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Old 04-22-2009, 09:30 PM   #1
sightcrr
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Viewing May 12 Shuttle Launch From WDW?

With the current space shuttle scheduled for lift-off at 1:30pm on May 12 are there any special places in WDW to watch lift-off? We decided that we didn’t want to go to KSC to watch it because of the 4-5 hour drive back and the possibility that it could get canceled. Are there any high spots in DTD or resort parking lots to view it from? Other special spots? TIA


FYI NASA CHANGED DATE TO MAY 11 AT 2:00 PM

Last edited by sightcrr; 04-25-2009 at 12:02 AM. Reason: NASA CHANGED DATE
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Old 04-22-2009, 09:39 PM   #2
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OOOH, I'll be there then too! I hope that we get to see it!
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Old 04-22-2009, 09:48 PM   #3
Disnsyncey
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4-5 hours? man, I guess there would be traffic to make it that much.....I would say 2 at the MOST......45 min from east Orlando is what I would say......

but any place where you are high is good.....I saw one from the top of a parking garage with a great view, so I assume that the observation desk at the contemporary would be a great place.....
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Old 04-22-2009, 11:54 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Disnsyncey View Post
I assume that the observation desk at the contemporary would be a great place.....
Just keep in mind that the 15th floor observation deck is only accessible if you're dining at the California Grill that day. You actually have to check in on the 2nd floor with your ADR and need a CM to escort you up in the special elevator. Since the CG doesn't open until dinner, not sure if there's any way to get up there earlier in the day.

There is another observation deck on the 4th floor that's open to the public.
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Old 04-23-2009, 12:07 AM   #5
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You would be able to see it from just about anywhere, beginning around 25 seconds after launch. As long as you have a clear view slightly north of due east (to the left of where the sun came up to some).

Now, the absolute best accessible view is from the top of Summit Plummet. The second best is the observation deck on Deck 4 of Contemporary.
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Old 04-23-2009, 01:06 AM   #6
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Just wanted to say I used to live in orlando. And MAN those sonic booms on re-entry are a killer. Always scared the crap outta me.
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Old 04-23-2009, 06:26 AM   #7
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This is cool! My kids would love to see it!
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Old 04-23-2009, 06:29 AM   #8
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You can see it from the beach at the Poly. We missed the one in March by a couple of hours but a CM that I was talking to there told me to stand on the beach and look towards the Contemporary and I would have a great view.
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Old 04-23-2009, 07:32 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Disnsyncey View Post
4-5 hours? man, I guess there would be traffic to make it that much.....I would say 2 at the MOST......45 min from east Orlando is what I would say......

but any place where you are high is good.....I saw one from the top of a parking garage with a great view, so I assume that the observation desk at the contemporary would be a great place.....
4 to 5 hours to get off the coast after a launch is probably pretty accurate after a launch. It is bumper to bumper traffic and it takes us 2 hours just to get back to our house from the beach on launch days and we live on the coast.

For an afternoon launch you could make it a beach day. head to the Cocoa Beach pier and just hangout on the beach after the launch, get dinner on the pier , shop, and then head back to Orlando in the evening. That way even if the shuttle is delayed you don't waste a day and you have a blast at the beach. Well worth the trip over to the beach.
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Old 04-23-2009, 07:44 AM   #10
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Too bad we are going to be at our ressie for Biergarten when it takes off.
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Old 04-23-2009, 07:53 AM   #11
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A couple of years ago we were eating at Whispering Canyon Cafe in the Wilderness Lodge during a shuttle lift-off. Everybody went running out of the restaurant to the pool area to see it. Here's what it looked like from there:
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Old 04-23-2009, 07:53 AM   #12
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We happened to watch the shuttle fly over EPCOT when we were waiting for Illuminations...it was awesome!
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Old 04-23-2009, 09:12 AM   #13
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Quote:
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We happened to watch the shuttle fly over EPCOT when we were waiting for Illuminations...it was awesome!
Michele
"..fly over EPCOT..." Don't think so....if you are refering to re-entry and landing.

You cannot see the orbiter due to darkness and it's altitude.

You probably saw a commercial airliner on it's approach to OIA.
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Old 04-23-2009, 09:20 AM   #14
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4-5 hours is pretty accurate...some people I work with went and it took them 5 1/2 hours to get home. You wouldn't believe how many people pack into the area to see, hear and feel it.


Here's pics from Clermont of the last Space Shuttle Launch...












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Old 04-23-2009, 09:21 AM   #15
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OooH OOH! I want to go up to the Contemporary!

How bout the Sundeck on the 4th floor of the Wilderness Lodge?

Just the shore of Bay Lake or Seven Seas Lagoon would work...GF would be ok or the dock at Contemporary, even the lounge at Chef Mickey's.

Now to find out where we will be on that day.

From the nasa.gov website

Date: May 12*
Mission: GOES-O
Launch Vehicle: United Launch Alliance Delta IV
Launch Site: Cape Canaveral Air Force Station - Launch Pad 37-B
Description: NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) are actively engaged in a cooperative program, the multi-mission Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite series N-P. This series will be a vital contributor to weather, solar and space operations, and science.

Date: May 12 +
Mission: STS-125
Launch Vehicle: Space Shuttle Atlantis
Launch Site: Kennedy Space Center Launch Pad 39A
Launch Time: 1:31 p.m. EDT +
Description: Space Shuttle Atlantis will fly seven astronauts into space for the fifth and final servicing mission to the Hubble Space Telescope. During the 11-day flight, the crew will repair and improve the observatory's capabilities.
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