What's the best way to "do" the Kennedy Space Center?

Admission Prices to the
Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex
Standard Admission$31.00 Adult
$21.00 Child
Admission to the grounds of the Visitor Complex and Rocket Gardern w/ Imax Movie. Also a bus tour and the Saturn V Center.
Maximum Access Pass$38.00 Adult
$28.00 Child
This is a Two Day Pass. Includes above, and the Astronaut Hall of Fame and it's simulators.
Astonaut Hall Of Fame Only$17.00 Adult
$13.00 Child
Personal momentos of the astronauts. Spacecraft from the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo programs. Mission Simulator amusement rides are included in your admission.
12 Month Pass$48.00 Adult
$32.00 Child
Come and go whenever you like for 12 months (Locals like this one)
Extra Admission Charges:
Lunch with An Astronaut$22.95 Adult
$15.95 Child
Friendly conversation and a photo opportunity
NASA Up Close$22.00 Adult
$16.00 Child
A More personal tour of facilities at the Kennedy Space Center. Includes areas no longer on the Bus Tour. Requires purchase of Standard or Maximum Access Pass
Canaveral Then and Now$22.00 Adult
$18.00 Child
A personalized tour of the Missle and Rocket Museum at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Requires purchase of Standard or Maximum Access Pass
Combo Pass$52.99 Adult
$36.99 child
Includes "Maximum Access" and either "Canaveral Then and Now" or "NASA Close Up"
Security Proceedures In Place

Leave your pocket knife in the car or bus, since they'll only make you walk back to the parking lot to leave it.

If you haven't been to the Space Center in a few years, everything has changed. For one thing, entrance to the KSC Visitor Complex at the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) is no longer free. The good news is, the Bus Tour is included in the admission price.

Of course, while you're there, you've got to see an Imax Movie! Once you enter the Main Entrance, pick up a "Schedule Of Events". Things you don't want to miss are the "Astronaut Encounter" where you will get to hear an actual Astronaut speak. For an extra charge, you can even have lunch with him or her! You also want to catch an IMAX movie. The thing is, you have to be on the road for a few hours on the bus tour.

The extra cost bus tour Cape Canaveral, Then and Now takes you to the historic sights of the Cape Canaveral Air Station (including the Air Force Space & Missile Museum) where America's first rockets and astronauts left the Earth. The regular tour takes you through the Apollo Moon Rockets, and Space Shuttle areas. The tour bus takes you to the Saturn V Center, where one of the last Apollo moon rockets resides to amaze visitors. This was a rocket that should have taken astroanuts to the moon, but funding was cut off.

Don't forget the Imax movie! You need to see at least one of them to make your visit complete.

Of course, there are plenty of exhibits to see as well at the main Visitor Complex. The Space Shuttle Explorer is a full scale mock-up of a real space shuttle orbiter. It is painted, and even configured to appear to be a spacecraft that has just returned from a space mission. Shuttle pilots have gone in and made sure that the switches are all thrown in the same positions they are in at "wheel's stop" on the Shuttle Landing Facility when they return home from a mission. Don't miss that obscure looking dome behind the orbiter. They explain many of the shuttle's systems there. Oh, did I mention that you should see an Imax movie before you leave the Visitor's Complex?

After leaving the KSC Visitors Complex, you'll notice the Astronaut Hall of Fame with the full scale Space Shuttle Orbiter model outside. This museum was set up by the Mercury 7 foundation, and is supported by the astronauts themselves. Now operated by the same people that run the KSC Visitor Complex, this museum is included in your Visitor Complex Maximum Access Pass. Be sure to hang on to your ticket.

The Hall of Fame contains personal momentos of the astronauts themselves. It also has actual space capsules from the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo programs. If you're staying in the area, consider this a stop on your second day.

Once you get to US-1, drive north through Titusville to County Road 402 to reach The Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge. Their Visitor's Center explains the diverse wildlife that migrates through, or lives in the Refuge. This road also takes you to Playalinda Beach at the Canaveral National Seashore and is a great place to spend a day - but bring everything you need with you. There are rest rooms out there, but no vendors or "civilized" development (most people pick up fast food, and sodas "to-go" in Titusville on their way out - the fried chicken place at US-1 and CR-402 is my usual stop). It's best to park in one of the parking lots nearest the launch gantry towers. They make the best photographic backgrounds!

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