The Ultimate Guide to The Kennedy Space Center

If there’s one thing everyone knows about the Space Coast, it’s that the Kennedy Space Center is located here. It is a part museum/part attraction that showcases the achievements made by NASA just a few miles away at Cape Canaveral. Back in the 1950’s, the Cape was chosen as an ideal spot to launch rockets because of the close range to the equator, and they have been launched at this site ever since. The Kennedy Space Center, also referred to as KSC, is known as a Central Florida must visit, and because of this many people take a day trip from Orlando to check it out.

As a child, it was a difficult task to steer me away from Disney World for the day, so I did not get here until I was an adult. I have found that visiting this historical site is definitely a worthwhile way to spend day on a vacation mostly dedicated to theme parks or the beach. If you live nearby, there is even more reason to go and learn all about the spectacular feats that were accomplished in this part of Florida.

Kennedy Space Center Guide

Ticket Options

I was especially surprised to find that you can spend a whole day here and not run out of stuff to do. There are lots of attractions, tours and movies all included in the admission. There are also some add-on tours, but I think most visitors will be satisfied with the base offerings. The tickets are $50 for adults and $40 for kids.

If you are on vacation, you may want to get the Orlando Explorer Pass. For $69 you could go to the KSC and two other attractions like the Orlando Eye, The Sea Life Aquairum, or a Chocolate Factory Tour. If you want to have Legloand as one of the options, the prices goes up to $128, which is still a good deal. I would not really recommend any other versions of this pass as most of the attractions are not worth valuable vacation time.

Kennedy Space Center Guide

Seeing the Rockets

The complex starts outdoors with many different areas to explore. The Rocket Garden shows off a variety of different rockets from NASA programs through the years that you can explore on your own or at certain times, get a guided tour of. You can also walk through the Astronaut Hall of Fame or hear an astronaut talk about their experiences. Living on the space coast, I have met a few astronauts and it is really captivating to hear about their experiences in space.

From the training, to the space walks, to being on the International Space Station, it is amazing what life is like off of Earth. You can also see multiple movies like Eyes on the Universe, which is all about the James Webb Telescope and how it can use infrared light to look back in time and see the formation of galaxies!

Kennedy Space Center Guide

The Space Shuttle Atlantis

I found the best area of the complex to be the section showcasing the space shuttle program. You enter the main building and the experience starts with a movie about what it took to build the space shuttle. They are not used anymore, but it was an amazing invention to fly a reusable shuttle into space. This section of the KSC teaches visitors all about the space shuttle and NASA’s accomplishments with it. The Space Shuttle Atlantis is on display and is an amazing sight to see. They have some great instructional displays all about it.

Downstairs, they have some games to simulate work on the shuttle, but most were very outdated. They also have a ride which simulates a shuttle launch. It is supposed to be very realistic and I imagine it is as I felt a bit woozy at times which never happens to me on Star Tours or other simulator rides. They have plenty of air blasting to keep riders cool, but don’t be surprised if you are slightly uncomfortable at times. It is part of the astronaut experience!

Kennedy Space Center Guide

The Apollo/Saturn V Center

I didn’t have time for any of the bus tours on this visit, but I have enjoyed them in the past. The bus tour that goes to the Apollo/Saturn V Center is included in admission and there you spend about 2 hours learning about the race to the moon. You get to see the largest rocket ever flown, the Saturn V and other exhibits about the moon landing. This is part of a free guided tour although you can explore on your own as well.

Kennedy Space Center Guide

Add-On Experiences

There are also lots of add-ons you can do if you are really interested in learning more about space flight or are going for a repeat visit. The KSC Explore tour is an extra $25 per person, but for two hours, you are taken to the restricted areas like the launch pads and the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB).

My husband has done this in the past and he said it was an exciting experience getting to see where the rocket launches take place. They also have some crazy simulations you can partake in like an all day Astronaut training experience or Life on a Mars base. Those cost over $100 but if you always wanted to go to space camp, this could be your chance!

Kennedy Space Center Guide

Kids 10 and older can do both of those experiences, however there are options with less commitment like a space walk training experience or a cosmic quest where you build a Martian habitat and work with a robot.

And if you planned on eating there, you could spend a little more and get a buffet lunch complete with an astronaut as a dining companion. I know from experience astronauts have some fun stories to tell, so this could be great for future space explorers to learn more!

Kennedy Space Center Guide


As a person who knew nothing about Space Travel before moving here, I know that regardless of your interest level, there is something for everyone here. It’s by far the best museum in the area and also offers a lot more excitement than most museums. If you are visiting the space coast, I think it’s worth it to spend a day there and the fact that there is stuff to do indoors and outdoors makes it a great option for whatever the weather is like.

If you are taking a once in a lifetime trip to Disney World, I would only recommend it if your child is interested in space. However for repeat Disney visits this is definitely worth the less than an hour drive over to see the Space Center and maybe check out the beach after.

And if you are a local, you have no excuse and you should definitely come here and learn all about the spacecraft that were and will be launched in your neighborhood. They even have a salute to Brevard County where it’s only $19 during a two weeks period (Usually late October).

Kennedy Space Center Guide

Seeing the rockets up close is cool, but even better is seeing them launch! We have driven up to a nearby park before and even from there felt the heat of engines and heard the loud roar as it climbs through the sky. This is definitely a bucket list experience, so check out the launch schedule if you haven’t seen one.

A lot of launches get scrubbed so don’t plan your vacation around one, but it is something you shouldn’t miss if you ever get the chance. I have really learned to appreciate the importance of space travel since living here, and hopefully you will too!

The Ultimate Guide to Kennedy Space Center Guide - Everything you need to know before you go!