If space travel leaves you awe of the wonder beyond our little blue and green planet, Earth, then visiting Kennedy Space Center near Orlando, Florida, is a must. This incredible place is on Florida’s beautiful Space Coast, and securing Kennedy Space Center tickets should be on your Florida must-do list.
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Kennedy Space Center Ticket Information
- Tickets for guests ages 12+ are $75 for the day. A two-day pass is $89 (which we recommend because you won’t be able to fit everything there is to do there in one day).
- Children’s tickets, ages 3 to 11, are $65 for a one-day pass or $79 for two-days.
- Seniors get a bit of a discount, at $70 for a one-day ticket or $84 for two-days.
- Military tickets are priced at $70 for 12+ guests for the day, or $84 for two-day tickets. Children of military families are $60 for the day or $74 for two-days.
If you have a group or family of two adults and four children (blood-related or not), you may want to consider the “Cosmic Club Family Annual Pass.”
This allows unlimited entry for two adults and four kids, all year. The pass is $432.10 (4, 3, 2, 1! Humour is not lost on the Kennedy Space Center team!). If you priced two-day pass tickets out separately for two adults and four children between ages 3 to 11, the pass saves you $61.90.
However, if a family of the same size is only going for one day, then buying the tickets separately is the better option at $410, total, for the same tickets for one-day.
How to Get Discounted Tickets to Kennedy Space Center
There aren’t many options for this however, there is one reputable discounted ticket source we can recommend: Undercover Tourist.
You can save up to $12 per adult ticket if you purchase tickets in advance on their website or up to $24 for a combination pass that gives you access to Kennedy Space Center tickets as well as places like Legoland and The Wheel at ICON Park in Orlando (the big Ferris Wheel).
Tickets for KSC purchase on Undercover Tourist expire one year later. The ticket isn’t activated until the QR code is scanned at the KSC turnstile entrance, like any ticket you buy to visit.
Be sure to check Kennedy Space Center’s online ticket information and offers before you purchase if you want to include kids’ tickets. For example, for the month of September 2022, they ran a promotion that included free entrance for kids ages 3 to 11 with a paying adult.
Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex Important Information
Hours of Operation
The information building outside of the complex opens at 8:30 am, 30 minutes before the rest of KSC opens. (The parking lot also opens at 8:30 am.)
If you’re truly trying to make the most of the entire day there and your Kennedy Space Center tickets (which we recommend because there is SO MUCH to do) you should arrive early.
If you haven’t already purchased your tickets online, get there between 8:30am and 8:45am. This will allow time to take photos in front of the KSC icons (like the huge NASA sphere that’s a little like the Universal Globe outside of Universal Studios in Orlando) and see the fountain with John F. Kennedy etched into the stone.
Then you’ll be able to get into KSC when it opens, promptly at 9:00 am.
Closing times for Kennedy Space Center vary depending on the season. Generally speaking, they’re open until 5:00pm. During peak times, they’re open until 6:00 pm (like during Spring Break) or 7:00 pm (like Christmas Break).
Though it’s unlikely that you’ll purchase a ticket and go into the complex later in the afternoon, it’s important to note that entry closes 1 hour prior to KSC closing. Bus tours (which are included in the general admission tickets) that take you towards the launch pad area end 2.5 hours before closing.
The Two Days a Year that Kennedy Space Center is Closed
KSC is closed on Thanksgiving Day (the third Thursday of each November) and Christmas Day, December 25. Otherwise, they are open daily.
Parking at Kennedy Space Center
If you’re driving to KSC and need to park, expect to pay $10 for their lot. There is no shade in the parking lot and we’re talking about Florida sun! So be sure that you don’t leave anything that will melt in the car and not recover, like chocolate (including candy from Walt Disney World) or sunscreen.
You’ll definitely want to bring your sunscreen into Kennedy Space Center with you anyway!
How to Get to Kennedy Space Center Without Your Own Car
Don’t have your own vehicle? No worries! There are alternative transportation options to get to KSC. Don’t let the lack of your own rental car discourage you from visiting this amazing place.
In Case You Aren’t Sure…Here is What Kennedy Space Center Is
If you love themed entertainment, you might consider this as such with an educational twist. It reminded us of Mission Space at Walt Disney World’s Epcot theme park, but on major steroids in the best way possible.
Kennedy Space Center (KSC) is one of the main launch sites for NASA. It’s also on a wildlife refuge on Merritt Island, just a few miles north of Cocoa Beach. KSC is open to the public and requires tickets to enter.
The complex does not pull from tax dollars; its funding is completely made possible by Kennedy Space Center tickets purchased by visitors.
What is There to Do at Kennedy Space Center?
There is SO much to do at KSC we recommend staying in the area overnight (more on that, below) and buying a 2-day pass.
You’ll be able to learn about the first moon launch, see rockets that started our exploration of space, ask guides questions about space exploration, see real space shuttles, ride space simulators, take a and much more.
We also very much enjoyed seeing a 3D IMAX film, called Asteroid Hunters, which was included with the price of admission. (This was a huge perk and added value, because we see IMAX films where we live in Raleigh, and it’s at least $12 per ticket.)
Space Souvenirs and Gifts at Kennedy Space Center
There are great gifts and throughout the complex. They sell everything from books (for kids and adults), to sweatshirts, t-shirt, backpacks, official Corkcicles with NASA missions branded on them, mugs, glasses, patches, stickers, and much more.
Is There Food at Kennedy Space Center?
Yes, there is! You can have lunch and dinner there and get things like ice cream for a snack.
We had the Cuban Sandwich at the Moon Landing quick-service restaurant because we were at the Apollo/Saturn V Center during that time. Our sandwich was panini-pressed to order; we have to say, it was really good!
Their chicken fingers and fries looked especially delicious, as did their salads.
There are four quick-service dining areas around Kennedy Space Center. There are also places to purchase snacks, like popcorn (for IMAX films), coffee, and ice cream.
Snacks, Beer, and Wine at KSC
While we recommend eating lunch at the visitor complex, snacks are permitted. You can bring a soft-sided cooler as well if you like. You are not permitted to bring alcoholic beverages inside the complex, however, wine and beer is available for purchase around KSC.
Where is Kennedy Space Center?
Kennedy Space Center is located on Merritt Island. It’s approximately one to one and a half hours from Orlando, depending on where you’re driving from and what time of day, traffic-wise.
How Far is Kennedy Space Center from Orlando?
KSC is also very close to Port Canaveral, where many cruises embark, including Disney Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean, MSC Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line and more.
Restrooms on the Drive from Orlando to KSC
There aren’t many places to stop for restrooms between Orlando and KSC, so if you have to use one look up the closest McDonalds or gas station.
However, restrooms at KSC are plentiful!
Kennedy Space Center Launch Schedule
If you are hoping to see a launch during your visit, you will want to refer to KSC’s events page and filter by “Rocket Launches” on the black navigation bar, where you see the on/off toggle options.
You can also find current launches in the Next SpaceFlight App or website. (Just note, however, that this particular app and website has launches worldwide, not just in Florida on the Space Coast.)
Not all launches require special tickets, and not all launches have tickets at all.
If you cannot view a launch from Kennedy Space Center, check out our recommendations for nearby locations that are great to watch rocket launches along the Space Coast.
How Long Do You Need to Visit Kennedy Space Center
We recommend at least one full day. However, if you have the time we highly recommend a two-day pass. There is simply so much to do and see there that you can’t fit it all in with just a day.
Do You Need a Whole Day at Kennedy Space Center?
Our immediate response to that question is yes. However, if you only have half a day, you will want to weigh the cost-benefit of seeing one or two things there against the price of the tickets and what kind of a budget you’re on.
We were truly shocked at how much there is to do and how quickly the day flew by we were there. One day is ideal, two days is better. It would be challenging to fit in a plethora of all that is offered there if you only have a half-day.
What to Bring With You to Kennedy Space Center
You’ll be in the outdoors of sunny Florida, no matter how you slice it. The KSC complex is a series of buildings that you walk between outdoors.
As such, our “what to bring” list includes a lot of sun protection items:
- Refillable water bottle to fill at the stations around KSC. Technically, the team at KSC told us it could be plastic or metal. Read below to see the two water bottles we love and travel with. Our insulated recommendation of the two is especially fantastic for the Florida heat.
- Handheld fan (we bring it with us everywhere in hot destinations – buy one and bring it…you’ll thank us later)
- Snacks (if you like though there’s plenty of food at KSC and we recommend purchasing meals there)
Other Practical Information for Kennedy Space Center
We have two additional pieces of advice and FYis for Kennedy Space Center:
- Download the Kennedy Space Center official guide app! It was really helpful when we were navigating the huge complex, and it was better than wasting a paper map or finding a paper map somewhere in my purse when we wanted it.
- There is free wifi throughout KSC.
- KSC is located on federal property. Be careful to observe the speed limit if you’re driving there and especially respect the wildlife. It’s also on a Wildlife Refuge on Merritt Island.
Where to Stay Near Kennedy Space Center
We have the BEST recommendation for space lovers: a SPACE-themed hotel!
The Courtyard Marriott in Titusville is less than 7 miles away. It’s also very close to Port Canaveral if you’re arriving to the area after a cruise or exploring before a cruise.
We loved it so much that we dedicated an entire post to the space hotel.
But in case you’re in a time crunch, know that the hotel overlooks the launch pads (from a safe distance), is incredibly close to Kennedy Space Center, has space elements in their room, including space projectors and outer space wallpaper, and has an awesome rooftop Space Bar with photo-worthy drinks and other photo opportunities!
What Else Is There to Do Near Kennedy Space Center?
So much! It’s a great area, and if you’re able to, you should definitely stay overnight. Ideally, two nights in the area are better than one. Three is better than two!
We loved our time on Florida’s Space Coast. You can visit Cocoa Beach (the downtown area and the actual beach), eat at great restaurants, enjoy breweries, watch the cruise ships as you dine along the waterfront, find unique gems like a plane museum or Wizard of Oz museum, and more.
Check out our recommendations for unique things to do on Florida’s Space Coast.
Conclusion for Kennedy Space Center
Kennedy Space Center tickets won’t simply get you access to the complex. A visit to KSC will provide lifelong memories for you and your travel companions that won’t fade into space! Instead, you’ll be in awe of space exploration, from the past to the present.
While we understand if you only have a day to visit, we cannot recommend staying in the Space Coast area for more time. That way you can enjoy all this Florida area has to offer from Kennedy Space Center, and beyond!
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