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Kennedy Space Center - should we go and can you help with tours?

Kennedy Space Center - should we go and can you help with tours?

Old Feb 6th, 2008, 07:08 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2005
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Kennedy Space Center - should we go and can you help with tours?

Why am I so confused by the Kennedy Space Center website? It says the $38 admission includes a tour of 'Kennedy Space Center' along with some other things. Is KSC the name of the whole complex or just one part of it? Could someone describe what the KSC tour (I think it's by bus?) entails?

If we only do the basic $38 admission, how long should we plan to be there? We would go to the IMAX films, space shuttle simulation, etc.

Is the additional $21 tour worthwhile for teenagers (ages 14-18) who are somewhat interested in space? Do you get to go into the building where the rockets are being built?

Thanks for any recommendations.
kwren is offline  
Old Feb 6th, 2008, 11:57 PM
Join Date: Jan 2004
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I would do just the basic tour unless the kids are die-hard, plan-to-be-an-astronaut types. There are several buildings to visit, and a shuttle bus will take you from one side of the complex to the other and back. We visited the place after 9-11 so several of the buildings are now off-limits. I wouldn't plan on staying longer than half a day.
offlady is offline  
Old Feb 7th, 2008, 06:15 AM
Join Date: Oct 2007
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Our last trip to KSC was a couple years ago when our kids where 15 (a daughter who had already been to KSC and is not a big space enthusiast) and 11 (our science-minded son). We definitely needed the entire day to fully enjoy KSC. If you have any interest in the whole space thing (and you must have or you wouldn't be going) then you will want to plan to stay all day. Get there early to ensure a ticket (I think you can sitll buy them online in advance) and tours as they can get busy. We opted for the extra tour (don't know if it's the same thing they're doing now though) and enjoyed the additional information and sights. Our bus tour took us to more places (closer to the VAB, right up to the runway, etc) and our driver filled us in on all sorts of interesting facts about everything from space to nature (we stopped to watch the alligators on the side of the road) . But, no, you can't go inside the VAB (vehicle assembly building). You will, however, drive by and will still find it impressive. The IMAX movie is worth seeing but can fill up quickly so be sure to get in line and plan for that early as well. Beyond that, you'll have plenty other things to see and do. How much time everyone spends at KSC will certainly vary but I don't think you'll have any problem keeping yourself occupied for the day. Hope you have an interesting visit! Keep your fingers crossed for a safe shuttle lift off at 2:45 today.
KarenInFla is offline  
Old Feb 7th, 2008, 09:33 AM
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 4,408
kwren, KSC is the entire area you see on this map from the Indian River to the Atlantic Ocean:

The visitor's center is a small part with most of the remainder having restricted access. The visitor's center includes the shuttle exhibit, astronaut memorial, Imax movies, rocket garden, and various other exhibits (not to mention the gift shop!). Because of the restricted acccess, they take visitors to the various sites via the bus tour. The bus tour usually includes the International Space Station building, the gantry (great for pictures), and the Apollo/SaturnV center. IMHO, that's the only bus tour you need unless you're fascinated by the space program. You do not get to enter the vehicle assembly building - security is extremely tight there and they do not allow tourists in the building.

If anyone in your group is interested in nature, the Merritt Island National Wildlife refuge is also part of KSC, though reached through a different road.
321go is offline  
Old Feb 7th, 2008, 10:28 AM
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 142
We have been to KSC several times. I aggree keep to the basic tour. The astronaut hall of fame is also nice. My childrens only complaint was that they showed pretty much the same film at each stop. I would recommend staying at the Hilton On Cocoa Beach, it is in a quieter area with a nice beach. There are lots of good restaurants in the area.
cbr is offline  
Old Feb 10th, 2008, 10:38 AM
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Thanks for the info everyone. It's tough work putting together the perfect vacation for 5! I'm getting there though thanks to everyone's helpfulness.
kwren is offline  
Old Feb 13th, 2008, 01:19 PM
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 113
I took my 8 year old grandson three years ago and did the whole tour and we both had a great time. It's well worth the time!
BWBlakely is offline  
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