Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex Annual Pass Program

Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex Unveils New 3-Tiered Annual Pass Program

 Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex

New structure allows guests to customize their experience at the home of Space Shuttle Atlantis

Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex has begun offering a new three-tiered annual pass program that allows guests to customize their experience at the must-see Central Florida destination.

This new annual pass structure offers expanded value and the ability for guests to select the level that best fits their needs and expectations,” said John Clifford, senior sales and marketing director of the Visitor Complex. “With the holidays approaching, it is a great time to purchase an annual pass to experience all there is to see and do at the Visitor Complex, including one-of-a-kind attractions such as the new Space Shuttle Atlantis and Angry Birds Space Encounter.”

 Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex Annual Pass Program

The new tiered annual pass structure and benefits are as follows:

Tier 1: Discovery Pass, $75 plus tax for adults, $60 plus tax for children ages 3-11

· Unlimited admission for one year

· 10 percent off admission tickets for up to six guests per visit

· A Discovery Pass lanyard

· The Visitor Complex newsletter

Tier 2: Atlantis Pass, $89 plus tax for adults, $71 plus tax for children ages 3-11

· All Tier 1 Discovery Pass benefits

· Free parking

· 10 percent off souvenirs

· 10 percent off food and beverage

· 10 percent off Astronaut Training Experience® and Camp KSC®

· Exclusive special events and privileges

· An Atlantis Pass lanyard

Tier 3: Explorer VIP Pass, $139 plus tax adults and children

· All Tier 1 and Tier 2 Pass benefits

· One free KSC Up-close tour

· One free Lunch with an Astronaut

· A free collectible souvenir

· An Explorer Pass lanyard

Guests who have purchased the previous Commander’s Club annual pass within the last year will continue to receive those benefits through the expiration date of their pass.

Among the new Visitor Complex attractions and enhancements included in admission are:

Space Shuttle AtlantisSM: Visitor Complex guests can see the priceless, historic Atlantis spacecraft as only astronauts have seen it before – rotated 43.21 degrees with payload bay doors open and its Canadarm (robotic arm) extended, as if it has just undocked from the International Space Station. But getting nose-to-nose with Atlantis is not all guests can do at this $100 million, 90,000-square-foot attraction. The immersive experience invites guests to “be the astronaut” with never-before-seen, technologically sophisticated multimedia presentations and more than 60 interactive, touch-screen experiences and high-tech simulators that bring to life the people, passion and patriotism of the 30-year Space Shuttle Program.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ImSg-zwVhIA&feature=share&list=UUxhza5Nkv4ukqKmIFLE9dgA

Angry BirdsSpace Encounter: Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex has partnered with Rovio Entertainment, creator of the globally successful Angry Birds franchise, to bring the popular game and characters to life. The 4,485-square-foot Angry Birds Space Encounter is the first comprehensive, interactive Angry Birds attraction in the United States designed for people of all ages and features such immersive activities as Eggsteroids Slingshot, Cold Cuts Tile Puzzle, Danger Zone, and Red Planet Lazer Challenge.

New entry and fountain honoring President Kennedy:The new entry includes a grand plaza and fountain; ticket stations and self-service kiosks; will call, guest services and information stations; a retail shop; and a restaurant. Guests are greeted by a first-ever 3D representation of the NASA insignia and a majestic 75-foot-long, 5000-gallon fountain that pays homage to the dreams of late President John F. Kennedy, for whom NASA’s Kennedy Space Center is named. Kennedy’s face, along with a quote from his famous 1962 “moon speech” at Rice University, are laser etched onto a skyward-reaching arch of blue granite.

Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex

Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex attractions and activities also include Shuttle Launch Experience, an incredible simulated journey of vertically launching into space and orbiting Earth aboard the space shuttle; Astronaut Training Experience® (ATX®); Rocket Garden; two IMAX® theaters; Astronaut Encounter;Lunch With an Astronaut; U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame®; and Exploration Space: Explorers Wanted.

Located only 45 minutes from Orlando, Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex features many attractions and year-round interactive programs, including meeting real astronauts.

For more information on Kennedy Space Center Complex, please visit www.KennedySpaceCenter.com.

Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex

About Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex:

Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex brings to life the epic story of the U.S. space program, offering a full day or more of fun and educational activities, including the new Angry Birds Space Encounter, Shuttle Launch Experience, 3D IMAX® space films, Astronaut Encounter, Exploration Space: Explorers Wanted and many other interactive exhibits. The new $100 million home for Space Shuttle AtlantisSM opened June 29, 2013. Admission also includes the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame®, featuring historic spacecraft and the world’s largest collection of personal astronaut memorabilia, which opens daily at noon and closing times vary by season. Only 45 minutes from Orlando, Fla., Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex opens daily at 9 a.m.with closing times varying by season.  Admission is $50 + tax for adults and $40 + tax for children ages 3-11. The Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex offers annual passes starting at $75+ tax for adults and $60 + tax for children ages 3-11. For more information, call 877-313-2610 or visit www.KennedySpaceCenter.com.

 

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Glow With The Show Fantasmic! With Big Fat Panda Show

Todd and Cheryl did a great job capturing clips of the Glow with the Show fun at Fantasmic! that we shared on our Facebook page, but now John Saccheri of the Big Fat Panda Show www.BigFatPanda.com also wrote a great guest post and shared his wonderful video of even more during the debut of the Glow with the Show Ears during Fantasmic!

…and then it happened! Everyone was blinking in coordination with the show and for that time, we were all part of the collective that is DISNEY! 🙂

Oct 15th, 2013 marked the 15th anniversary of Fantasmic! and Disney’s Hollywood Studios used the anniversary as the first night to roll out the GLOW WITH THE SHOW Light Up Mickey Ears here on the east coast.

httpv://youtu.be/tzhe7irsYJo

The ears have been used at the West Coast parks for some time now and their use, as most things, has some controversy. Some people see them as annoying and/or distracting while others just wish more folks had them. Apparently, at around $25, they are not as popular as Disney or their guests would like them to be. I will tell you, when a lot of people have them, the experience is nothing short of surreal.

We arrived at the Fantasmic theatre wondering if ears would be given out. I mean, it is the first night and their cameras were all ready to broadcast a live feed. Surely, they would want it to look great, right?

My friend Jeff, for reasons he knew all too well, suggested we do all we could to sit in the Mickey section. I figured because it was right in the middle. He knew it was because this was where Disney would focus most of their attention if anything special were to happen. We noticed a smattering of ears around us and then about 30 minutes prior to showtime, cast members with bags of hats were making their way through our section. Before long, EVERYONE in our section had Mickey ears. And to the little girl in front of me whose ears were OFF the entire show, you irked me. I wanted to reach over and turn them on but it was dark and I realize I can appear threatening in the wrong light LOL.

Some Light-Up Ears made their way to other sections as well, but only a few – I would say about 200 pairs were given out although rumor is that as many as 600 were. Interesting to note the ears given out were the old ones from California complete with a World Of Color sticker they asked us to remove. Not that they were used ears, but they were new old ones if you get what I mean. The newer ones have a rim of cushion around the inside and the mechanism to activate the ears is slightly different. If you have a large head, you may prefer the older ones.

My experience was joyful. When it first began, that is me you hear in the video laughing. I was having the time of my life and I won’t forget it. I was told it would NEVER look this good again because of the giveaways. I can only hope!

 

 

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Westgate River Ranch Grand Re-Opening

Westgate River Ranch
Westgate River Ranch

Last weekend we were invited to take part in the Grand Re-Opening of Westgate River Ranch in River Ranch, FL. The ranch is the largest Dude Ranch East of the Mississippi and sits on 1,700 acres  in the Kissimmee River area. This resort features options that will suit everyone from those who like to rough it to those who are used to more upscale accommodations. There is tent camping, RV hookups, Glamping sites, traditional resort rooms, as well as cabins with studios, one and two bedroom units that can sleep up to ten guests.

At Westgate River Ranch you are able to experience as much or as little as you would like to with a la carte activity options. I will get more in depth with the numerous adventures available to guests in my next post as well as go in to more detail about what we experienced ourselves. To give you a quick taste of what is offered though, you can golf, fish, go on an airboat ride, swamp buggy, skeet and trap shooting, there is a ropes course, petting zoo, brand new adventure park including miniature golf, mechanical bull riding, zip line, rock climbing wall, bungee jumping for kids, horseback riding, golf, horseshoes and archery. Next month the ranch will play host to the Tough Mudder competition on November 2nd and 3rd.

Smokehouse Restaurant
Smokehouse Restaurant
General Store
General Store

Restaurants at the resort include the Smokehouse, which features a la carte menu for lunch and dinner and also offers a breakfast buffet with a great view of the water. We didn’t get an opportunity to eat here since our meals were catered for the weekend, but the menu looked great and I look forward to returning to try it next time. The General Store at Westgate River Ranch has options for doing your own grocery shopping if you’d like to cook your own meals if you are camping or in a cabin. You also can order pizza, sandwiches, salads, etc. from the General Store if you are staying in the Inn rooms and don’t have cooking facilities available to you or just choose to get take out. Snacks are also available for sale in the evening around the adventure park area and Saturday nights at the rodeo.

While at the resort we were able to tour the different types of rooms and campsites available to rent. Westgate River Ranch has campsites available to those who like to do traditional tent camping.  Bathrooms are available nearby for campers to use by the Trap and Skeet Range. For those who have pop up campers, motor homes or travel trailers, there are options for you too. RV hookups with water and electric are available with a dump station adjacent to the campsites for sewer. Glamping is the bridge type of accommodation for people who like to camp, but don’t want to give up creature comforts like electricity and air conditioning. These Glamping sites are awesome with either one or two beds, a ceiling fan, your own private bathroom with a key in a building close by, mini fridge, microwave, sitting area, board games included, as well as a grill for each site and a larger community campfire area.

Tent camping area
Tent camping area
RV site
RV site
RV hookup
RV hookup
RV setup
RV setup
Glamping area
Glamping area
Glamping grill
Glamping grill
Glamping tent
Glamping tent
Glamping tent ceiling fan
Glamping tent ceiling fan
Glamping tent mini fridge and microwave
Glamping tent mini fridge and microwave
Glamping tent portable a/c
Glamping tent portable a/c
Games in Glamping tent
Games in Glamping tent

If you are like me and are more inclined to stay in something with four walls and central a/c, then you’ve got plenty of choices at Westgate River Ranch, too. We stayed in a beautiful Inn room in the Lodge section of the resort that had been recently renovated. The room had a brand new 51″ tv (not that you’ll want to spend much time in your room with all the great activities, but it is still nice to have at night), new linens, floors, countertops, the works. If you are looking for something for a larger group, the Westgate River Ranch offers cabins that have studios, one or two bedrooms. The two bedrooms are considered lockoffs that consist of a one bedroom and a studio combined. The studios have a kitchenette and the one bedroom has a full kitchen so it is great to have that extra fridge space for snacks and drinks. The two bedroom has three full bathrooms and can sleep up to ten guests. The cabin we toured had a gorgeous wraparound porch with rocking chairs and a fantastic view of the buffalo at the ranch.

New Renovated Inn Room image courtesy Westgate River Ranch
New Renovated Inn Room image courtesy Westgate River Ranch
Single cabin
Single cabin
Cabin exterior
Cabin exterior
Cabin wraparound porch
Cabin wraparound porch
Buffalo outside the cabins
Buffalo outside the cabins
Cabin 1 bedroom 1st bath
Cabin 1 bedroom 1st bath
Cabin 1 bedroom 2nd bath
Cabin 1 bedroom 2nd bath
Cabin 1 bedroom 2nd bath jetted tub
Cabin 1 bedroom 2nd bath jetted tub
Cabin 1 bedroom 2nd shower
Cabin 1 bedroom 2nd shower
Cabin 1 bedroom desk area
Cabin 1 bedroom desk area
Cabin 1 bedroom king bed
Cabin 1 bedroom king bed
Cabin 1 bedroom kitchen
Cabin 1 bedroom kitchen
Cabin 1 bedroom laundry
Cabin 1 bedroom laundry
Cabin 1 bedroom living and dining area
Cabin 1 bedroom living and dining area
Cabin studio
Cabin studio
Cabin studio bathroom
Cabin studio bathroom
Cabin studio kitchenette
Cabin studio kitchenette
Cabin studio view from bathroom
Cabin studio view from bathroom

I cannot wait to go back to Westgate River Ranch for a girls getaway weekend or even a family reunion. There are great meeting spaces, so it is also perfect for a corporate retreat or even wedding. The choices of activities and types of lodging offered at Westgate River Ranch are diverse so there is sure to be something for the cowboy or cowgirl in all of us. I hope you take an opportunity to check out the resort for a stay soon or even just to experience the awesome recreation options they have or to see the rodeo and come out dancing some Saturday night. Please go check out Westgate River Ranch and let me know what you think!

Entrance
Entrance
East Corral
East Corral
Mom and me with John Wayne
Mom and me with John Wayne
John Wayne
John Wayne
Western and General Stores
Western and General Stores
Western Store
Western Store
Post Office
Post Office
Map of the Ranch
Map of the Ranch

Have you been to Westgate River Ranch before? Are you looking for a new adventure? This is the place for you just about an hour and a half from the Orlando area and about an hour from Tampa.

Disclaimer: I received complimentary lodging and meals in exchange for my time and efforts in creating this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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