Top things to do at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex

Top things to do at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex

If you are planning a holiday to Orlando, a visit to the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex is a must. More than just a theme park, home to the U.S. space programme, you’ll see and experience the whole space story, past, present, and future. Now more than ever, we are witnessing awe-inspiring images and the steps being made to explore space. For anyone with an interest in space expedition and science, the feats achieved will leave you captivated. We recently visited the complex and here are our top things to do at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex.


Mission Zones

The Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex is all about providing visitors with an all-round immersive experience. To do this, there are a variety of Mission Zones with everything you could ever want to learn about space, astronauts, science, and more.

1. Heroes and Legends

Just as you enter the park, you will suddenly be among the giant rockets from the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo programs. Join a space expert and let them guide you through the history of early rocket science and around the garden, which has some of the most incredible, authentic feats of engineering that have pioneered America’s space exploration.

The Heroes & Legends mission zone is all about experiencing the dangers and excitement of the earliest space missions. The U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame® is where American astronauts are remembered and honoured at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, Orlando. Take in the interesting displays and learn all about the lives of the space heroes.

For smaller visitors, the All Systems Are Go!, show is an immersive 20-minute experience where your favourite Peanuts® characters invite you on the next NASA mission. The lights, sounds, and state-of-the-art puppetry are a fantastic way for little ones to get the most out of their day at the centre. 

Another brilliant option for kids is the It’s a Matter of Fact show by the S.T.E.A.M Team. Presented daily inside the Universe Theater, you can learn about technology, mathematics, engineering, and art through exciting experiments. 

One of the best experiences at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex is the Astronaut Encounter. Each day you have the chance to meet veteran NASA astronauts who have worked and lived in space. The live show features a presentation taking you through what it’s really like to be in space, with a chance to ask your burning questions.

2. Behind the Gates

It’s no surprise Kennedy Space Center is huge, everything in it is super-sized so the best way to get to the launch pads and the Apollo Saturn V Center is by their free bus tour, included in the daily admission ticket.

Jump aboard and get ready to go behind NASA’s gates and tour the restricted areas of America’s spaceport. Follow space guide Emily Calandrelli as she takes you to some of the most mission-critical areas of Kennedy Space Center.
things to do at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex

3. Race to the Moon

The Apollo/Saturn V Center is the main attraction in this mission zone. Here, you have the chance to get up close to the real Saturn V rocket. Walk underneath the mammoth display while admiring the engineering that took it through space. This is the only remaining Saturn V rocket out of 13, making it a true treasure. 

A newer exhibit at the centre, Moonscape displays the moment Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin planted the American flag on the moon. You can also explore the Lunar Module that was meant to go to space but was replaced, giving you a first-hand look at what would have sheltered the astronauts on the moon. 

By far, one of the most popular artefacts at the Apollo/Saturn V Center is the real moon rock you can touch while exploring the moon’s surface on the projected exhibit. 

Head to the Firing Room Theater and see where all the action took place during the launch of the first crewed NASA mission in 1968. Sit before the actual consoles used during the Apollo launches and experience the countdown for Apollo 8.

The Ultimate Road Trip exhibition displays a range of artefacts from Apollo missions 7-10. Discover the technology responsible for keeping the astronauts safe through the command service module while seeing the steps taken as the rockets launched to the moon.

The Artifacts of the Apollo gallery displays some of the most important and treasured items from the Apollo Moon missions. From dust-covered spacesuits to training gear, this exhibit is something special. 

things to do at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex

4. Shuttle: A Ship Like No Other

The Hubble Space Telescope Theater includes an exact replica of the Hubble Space Telescope, which was first deployed in 1990. Learn how this clever piece of technology has answered some of the greatest questions about the universe and how it is still operating in space over 25 years later.

One of the most popular activities at the centre is the Shuttle Launch Experience®. This fun simulator sends you into orbit, well nearly! Veteran NASA astronauts have called this the ‘next best thing to flying aboard the space shuttle’. This is an experience you are not going to want to miss!

The Astronaut Training Simulators allow you to pilot a space shuttle while docking at the International Space Station. This is a great way to learn about the different components and systems behind the scenes.

5. Nasa Now + Next

This one is for little visitors between 2-12. Planet Play is a multiple-story indoor play area with interactive artistic and gaming experiences. From walking on Saturn’s rings to mapping out a constellation, Planet Play is a great way for the next generation of astronauts to learn in a fun and exciting space.

Gateway – The Deep Space Launch Complex area is all about the future and current space programmes developed by NASA and commercial activity. Surround yourself with the galaxies as you walk through to see examples of flown capsules and satellites at the cutting edge of science. Experience the future of space exploration on board unforgettable immersive experiences and rides.

Designed for navigating the demanding landscape of Mars, the Mars Rover Vehicle Navigator® is an impressive sight and even features a mobile lab. As long as it is not away on a mission, then you can expect to see MRVN at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex during your visit.

This is a truly unforgettable experience, and we highly recommend you build it into your holiday to Orlando or the beautiful nearby beaches.

Want to visit Kennedy Space Center? Contact our travel experts today to discuss your visit.

By Ali McCurdy

Personal Travel Planner

Favourite Destination: Orlando

Treat your family to the magic of Orlando, the place where there is something for everyone.
Disney World Resort, Universal Orlando Resort, Kennedy Space Center and LEGOLAND name just a few. International Drive and Lake Buena Vista are very good areas for non drivers whilst villas in Kissimmee are ideal for those who don’t mind the driving and would like to enjoy a private pool home. Give it a go, the memories stay with you forever.