Plan a Trip to Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex 

So, you’re coming to Florida! The Sunshine State of the south has plenty of Orlando attractions for you to enjoy, with the most popular being the Kennedy Space Center.  

Today, we’ll be taking a deep dive into the history of the center, its location, how to get there, and more. So if you’ve ever needed a one-stop guide to the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, bookmark this page! 

Our #1 Kennedy Center Tour from Orlando has plenty to offer, including transportation and a tour guide included. All you have to do is show up on time and we’ll do the rest. So, without further ado, let’s look at the five steps to planning a trip to this awesome complex.

1. Where is the Kennedy Space Center, Florida?

Located on Merritt Island, the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex is just under an hour’s drive east of Orlando. Driving is the fastest way to get to the center and, if you’re like most of our guests, you’ll either hire a car or let us do the driving for you on our bus tour.

The Center has gone through many names before its current one, having first opened for public visitors in 1963. Popularity soared since then and now it’s a worldwide attraction that has been visited by more than 42 million people!

2. How Much is Admission to the Kennedy Space Center?

One-day tickets for adults and children cost $75 and $65 respectively. Senior citizens can visit the complex for $70. There are also parking fees for different vehicles. For a more in-depth look at the Kennedy Space Center’s ticket prices, including FAQs about admission, you can visit their website

If you choose to travel with Real Florida Adventures, our tour prices start at $135 and include admission, roundtrip transportation to your hotel, and a dedicated professional tour guide for your small group. Your tour guide will accompany you for the entire trip and answer any questions.     

3. What Can I Do at the Kennedy Space Center?

In short, quite a lot! There are plenty of activities for kids and adults alike at the center, which makes the hours fly by. We always recommend a full-day tour. The Gateway exhibition space is packed with real spacecraft and technologies used by NASA throughout history and now.

With continually updated exhibitions, some of the things you can look forward to in the center include a gravity-defying Shuttle Launch Experience, the Heroes & Legends Center that gives you a history of the space race greats, the epic IMAX theater, and more.

For full details of what your ticket includes, take a look at our #1 Kennedy Center Tour

4. When Should I Visit the Kennedy Space Center, Florida?

The Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex is open a whopping 365 days a year! The complex opens at 9 am EST and closes at 6 pm and you’ll want to spend every minute learning and enjoying the center! 

As you may know, if you’ve visited Florida before, there are seldom rainy days but if there are thunderstorms or showers on your trip, the center is the perfect place to spend the day. There are parts of the complex that are indoors and outdoors, suiting the Sunshine State perfectly!

5. Who Can I Meet at the Kennedy Space Center, Florida?

In addition to the knowledgeable staff working at the center, visitors can also opt to Chat With an Astronaut! If you’ve ever dreamed of going into space, now is your chance to talk to someone who has! From dehydrated food to cabin life, these space heroes will answer all your questions.

Check out our tour page for further information and more details of the tour, including itineraries, snack and meal options, and further details of what the interaction entails. There is also a presentation from the featured astronaut full of juicy biographical information and space facts.

Bonus Round: FAQ About Kennedy Space Center

Does Kennedy Space Center Sell Out?

The visitor complex at KSC is huge, so they have ample capacity to handle the many tourists who visit on a daily basis. For this reason, daily admission entry to the visitor complex rarely, if ever, sells out. However, we always advise booking your KSC tickets prior to visiting as it gets your day off to a seamless, hassle-free start. Better yet, our #1 Kennedy Space Center Tour covers all your needs, including return transportation and a local expert tour guide.

How Many Launch Pads Does Kennedy Space Center Have?

Kennedy Space Center has two launch complexes comprising four launch pads. At the time of writing, only two pads are active. Of the other two, one is inactive while the other is under lease with SpaceX, who plan to use it for Starship launches. It’s worth noting that there are more launch pads in the area. However, these belong to Cape Canaveral Space Force Station.

How Much Did it Cost to Build Kennedy Space Center?

There are plenty of Amazing Facts About Kennedy Space Center. Unfortunately, it’s more difficult to put a single value on how much it cost to build. The federal government already owned the land before construction began, and much of the essential infrastructure linking to the site was already in place.

Then you need to factor in that the original structure has been revised, expanded and upgraded over more than 50 years now. As if that’s not enough, the building work involved many contracts, usually with aerospace companies. These companies then subcontracted work to hundreds of other firms and component manufacturers. However, we can present some figures that help to add some context.

The Spaceflight Committee authorised the creation of a visitor centre at Kennedy Space Center in 1965. At the time, this cost $1.2m. But for an insight into the grander scale of the money spent, we can look at the investment in Project Apollo. Between 1960 and 1973, the United States spent approximately $25.8b on this project. Adjusted for inflation, that’s equivalent to $257b.

A Brief History of Kennedy Space Center’s 50 Years?

It’s impossible for us to give the kind of deep insight that a historical landmark like Kennedy Space Center deserves. However, some of the key points in its first half-century of existence include:

  • September 1961 – NASA, along with the Army Corp. of Engineers, start negotiations for the acquisition of 80,000 acres of land to become home to “a large space vehicle launch facility”.
  • July 1962 – Launch Operations Center, what we know as KSC today, officially activated by NASA, giving the burgeoning launch site the same standing as other agency field centres.
  • July 1963 – Construction of the enormous Vehicle Assembly Building starts.
  • July 1969 – The 36-storey Saturn V rocket launched Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins into space and the history books.
  • December 1972 – The 11th and final Apollo mission launches. To this day, it is the most recent human expedition beyond Earth’s orbit.
  • January 1986 – The Challenger disaster shocked the world and ground all shuttles for almost 3 years.
  • February 2003 – The Columbia disaster grounded the shuttle fleet for another 2-and-a-half years.
  • Now – Shawn Quinn, director of Engineering at Kennedy Space Center sees unlimited potential for NASA’s future.

While that wraps up our virtual visit to infinity and beyond, we have plenty of other unforgettable day trips from Orlando for you to explore and enjoy. There’s always something to do in Florida for families, solo travelers, friends, and partners! Which day trip will you take first? 

If you’re ready to visit space, get in touch! Our team has been showing visitors around Florida for years and we can’t wait to welcome you to the Sunshine State. We never tire of finding new and interesting things to share with visitors alongside iconic landmarks.

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