On our first full day with girls, we all decided to go to the Kennedy Space Centre. The weather forecast for Orlando was rain and thunderstorms and although there was some rain forecast on the Space Coast, it was only in the morning for a short time, so off we went.
We travelled for just over an hour to get there and went through rain, sun and actually got there to quite a bit of rain. However, we didn’t mind as we knew the weather was going to clear up within the next hour or so – well that’s what we thought!
We paid our entrance fees and hurried to shelter under a canopy near a snack bar, so grabbed a coffee to wait out the worst of the rain. We then planned to take the bus for the two-hour tour around the space centre and then go into all the areas to visit.
Well, we waited and waited and the rain never let up. In fact, there was an announcement that they were expecting heavy rain and thunder and lightning and that everyone should take cover and stay clear of the rocket garden – yes, that place directly behind us in the photos!
Sure enough, we had amazing thunder and lightning and by then knew it was going to be a long haul. So, we decided to visit the Atlantis exhibit.
This is a huge hanger with the original Atlantis Space Shuttle housed in it. It feels really special to be standing right near a shuttle that completed 33 missions into space.
There is also a touching and lovely tribute to all the astronauts who lost their lives during the two shuttle disasters: Challenger and Columbia. Each person has a dedicated glass case with their photo and different items to depict their lives such as a camera for one who was an armature photographer or a baseball bat. On a brighter note, there are lots of interactive things to do here such as trying to land a shuttle on the simulator, or controlling the arm or docking the shuttle. You can also sit on a shuttle toilet and inside a mock cockpit.
After visiting Atlantis we had some lunch at the restaurant, hoping to go on the bus tour after. However, the rain was still pouring down and thunder and lightning were crashing around, so we thought it not worth going on the bus as we would not be able to see anything anyway. Instead, we went to watch a 3D movie about how beautiful the earth looks from space. This lasted 45 mins and was truly spectacular. We all loved it. Next, we wandered around in the rain, trying to decide whether to get the bus or not. In the end, we decided against it, it just wasn’t worth it, so we went around the rocket garden (quickly), then watched another 3D film about space travel, which was also very good.
As we left we tried to get some photos of the big NASA globe and as you can see it was still raining heavily.
At about 5:15 we decided to call it a day and head back to the villa. The journey home was interesting with loads of rain, then sun, then rain, then sun. By the time we got back to Orlando, we hit very heavy traffic and very heavy rain with crazy thunder and lightning but eventually got to the villa to chill.