I have a confession to make. I have lived in Florida for over ten years, and somehow I never made it to Kennedy Space Center. It wasn’t because I had no interest in visiting. I was making plans to go before things shut down because of COVID-19. On April 14, I finally went with my daughter. I’m glad I did.
All of the normal safety procedures are in play at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. Also, on the day that we visited a lot of exhibits were closed. I don’t know if that was for safety or because of the lack of guests. It wasn’t crowded at all.
When I bought my ticket, the woman at the window gave us the information for the bus tour. It’s free, but you have to sign up for a time. You’ll scan a QR code and then you can reserve your spot. It was fast and easy to do. I needed to put in an email address and I was emailed the virtual tickets. I have not received any emails from them since, so it doesn’t look like this was a way to get me on an email list.
There are two parts to Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. We spent the beginning of the day exploring the exhibits in the Visitor Complex. These were interesting, but as I mentioned, some things were closed. I especially liked The Rocket Garden, the name is literal. We got a picture with an astronaut. We were told that real astronauts used to be there for pictures, but with COVID-19 restrictions it was decided that someone in a spacesuit would have to do. That was fine with me, safety first.
About 15 minutes before our bus tour time we got in line. The process was fast and efficient, and our bus was on the way a few minutes early. There are several buses for each time slot, so no one was left behind.
Our driver was Dave, and he pointed out points of interest along the way. There are over 6,000 alligators that live on Kennedy Space Center property, and we saw a few. We also saw a bald eagle on a perch. Dave explained about the Vehicle Assembly Building, which is the tallest one-story building in the world. I’ve seen it in the distance before, but we drove right past it.
The bus ride lasted about ten minutes, and took us to the Apollo/Saturn V Center. This place was fascinating! I have vague memories of the moon landings, and while we were learning about them I had a few glimmers of remembrance. This center is filled with information, and you can even touch a moon rock. There was a free guided tour, and the tour guide had an obvious love for what she does. She told me that she’s been working there for 30 years.
Dave was our driver once again on the ride back. We saw more alligators, and he pointed out a famous nest with eagles and eaglets in it. The eagles have made this nest their home for breading for over 50 years. Unfortunately, the tree has died, so it is expected that they will soon find another tree.
My number one piece of advice if you plan to visit Kennedy Space Center is to sign up for as early a bus tour as possible. That will give you plenty of time to explore the Apollo/Saturn V Center. You don’t have to sign up for a bus coming back, just get in line. Take your time, because there is a lot to take in there. Our problem was that we signed up for the last bus tour of the day, and we ran out of time in the center. Take an early bus, and then explore the Visitor Complex after you’ve learned all about the moon missions. It is captivating, even if you don’t remember when man walked on the moon.