Space Shuttle Launches Viewing Tips? Etc?

Discussion in 'Theme Parks Community' started by toystoryduo, Nov 26, 2007.

  1. toystoryduo

    toystoryduo DIS Veteran

    Jun 13, 2003
    This will be the third time we have been in Florida when the shuttle launches and this time, we definitely want to see it!:thumbsup2 I have several questions...Any tips on where we can go to see the launch? Any places outside of the space center? When should we get there? What will the crowds be like? Any good places to eat in the area? How do we get there from WDW? Thanks for your help!:goodvibes
  2. goofy4tink

    goofy4tink No tags...not needed! Transportation moderator Moderator

    May 2, 2002
    I've seen two launches, from WDW proper. Obviously you aren't seeing it very well, but you do see the shuttle go overhead...sort of. There is no way we would leave WDW and head closer to Cape Canaveral to see it up close. Just way too much traffic. We were in WDW in August when the shuttle launched...watched it from the beach at the Polynesian. Then, 3 days later we arrived in Cocoa Beach and visited Kennedy Space Center. Having watched the shuttle launch several days earlier added to the fun of visiting the center. We had hoped the launch would be delayed until we were at Cocoa Beach, but it wasn't.
    You can see the flames from the shuttle go overhead, from WDW. If in MK you can watch to the east, over TomorrowLand.
    But, leave the area and try to get closer? Not me...way too much work and traffic and time wasted.
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  4. domestic goddess

    domestic goddess Mouseketeer

    Oct 14, 2002
    We have also seen the shuttle launch from WDW 2 times. The first time was from MK at night during MVMCP. They stopped the fireworks for the launch and then started them again after it was pretty much out of sight. We had been to Kennedy Space Center the week before the launch and had seen the shuttle on the launch pad. That was really cool to have seen it on the luanch pad and then to see it taking off! The last time we were at EPCOT and saw it over the lagoon during the day. It was harder to see it during the day but we could still tell what it was.

    From what I hear it is very hard to get very close to Cape Canaveral on launch days and there are cars lining the streets all around there. As previously stated there is a lot of traffic and you won't get much better view.

    Have a great trip and good luck!
  5. daisylove

    daisylove <font color=purple>Met a DISboard Celebrity!<br><f

    Mar 7, 2004
    This summer we saw the launch from the swiss family treehouse. When you get up to the bedroom stop there and look over towards space mountain. It was really cool. The shuttle came from behind space mountain and curved up towards the castle.
  6. Pixiedust34

    Pixiedust34 <font color=blue>It's like I'm stuck in a music ti

    Jun 23, 2005
    We saw a launch from Tom Sawyer's Island in August. There was one other family there waiting for the launch with us, and we all cheered when we saw it. It was just white streaks in the sky from where we were standing, but it was still interesting for us.
  7. mcqueengroupie

    mcqueengroupie Mouseketeer

    Jan 29, 2007
    Could you tell me the date of the launch????
  8. 1000th happy haunt

    1000th happy haunt <font color=green>My source is knowledgable, but u

    Jan 13, 2004
    The Atlantis shuttle launch is scheduled for December 6, 2007 at 4:30pm. The Endeavour shuttle launch is scheduled for February 14, 2008 at 12:00 noon.
  9. mcqueengroupie

    mcqueengroupie Mouseketeer

    Jan 29, 2007
    Thank you, we hope to catch a glimpse.:thumbsup2
  10. vettechick99

    vettechick99 <font color=purple>Why do I open these threads?<br

    Jan 2, 2004
    I saw a launch from the Poly beach and it was boring! Nothing to write home about. So I would try and make the effort to get closer if you really want to see it. I read in the Beyond Disney book that they have a $50pp package to view it from inside the compound (but that's too late to book now). Of course you can view it from the streets for free, but as others said the traffic is rough. But really, the traffic is the price you pay to see it launch.

    If it's something you really want to see, make the effort and expect to work for it. ;)

    Here is a good site. Look at the bottom for neat pictures from the locations listed.
  11. bdpa

    bdpa <font color=red>Disney Lover

    May 17, 2000
    :eek: We were at Kennedy for the August launch. We had purchased the tickets (thru KSC)to get as close as possible. It's a once in a lifetime thing! We will not be doing it again. We had to be there before 11:00 a.m. for an afternoon/evening launch. Everything (giftshops, movies, rides) are VERY crowded. We got in line to watch the IMAX movie - we were in it for over an hour. At Launch time they board you on the buses and take you about 6 miles of the launch pad. No chairs. Just a grassy strip. You can see the shuttle with binoculars. When the launch happens. You can feel it and then hear the launch. Can't really see anything but white smoke. Over in about 20 minutes then it's back on the bus. I bet there were 200 charter buses on that little strip of land (causeway?). It had taken us 45 minutes or so to get to Kennedy. It took over 3 hours to get back. Bumper to Bumper traffic - and we had waited till most of the crowds had left Kennedy Center. Like I said - it was really neat to see. But I think - now I wish we had tried to see it from WDW. Really everything is so crowded that you can't really DO anything. It was so hot that day and so many people , we were exhausted by the time we got back to our room.Hope this helps. This is just our "take" on the trip. Kennedy has such neat stuff that it would be a shame to go and not get to see everything. Have fun regardless of what you decide. :dance3:
  12. disneygirlinnj

    disneygirlinnj DIS Veteran

    Nov 24, 2007
    I'm hoping to see the launch from Disney next week. My one friend lives down there and she goes to Kennedy all the time to watch but I know you have to buy ticket wayyyy ahead of time to get a decent view. Thanks for the tips on where to see it (tomorrowland) Launch time is 4:30 and we'll be at Epcot... hmm...

    does anyone know where to watch the launch from Epcot?
  13. Eljay

    Eljay DIS Veteran

    Oct 20, 2002
    We saw the Shuttle Launch on Oct. 23, from the boat dock behind the Contemporary.
  14. redoschi

    redoschi Mouseketeer

    Jul 24, 2007
    I'll arrive in Orlando (MCO) at about 2pm on Dec 6th. Our flight from Brazil comes to Orlando, we'll stay on a hotel near the airport as we take a flight to New york on the Early morning of Dec 7th. But we'll be back on the 11th for 12 full days of WDW before returning to Brazil!

    I was thinking on hitting something like the Florida Mall (nearest mall I believe to the airport. If anyone has another idea I'm open for it!) for some strolling around and an early dinner before we get an early sleep to get up at 4am for the NY flight.

    Does anyone know if we can see the launch from the Florida mall or anywhere in the Airport area? Any ideas of a nice place to see it in the area?
  15. Snoopymom

    Snoopymom DIS Veteran

    Oct 27, 2003
    Thanks everyone for the info.

    I'd also like to know if there is somewhere besideds Disney in Orlando or even 30 minutes out that would be a good spot?
  16. bellebuzzntink

    bellebuzzntink Mouseketeer

    Oct 16, 2007
    DH saw it a while back and said it was really disappointing for the effort and hype. He said it was just a white streak in the sky and then gone. He got as close as traffic would allow, without being on KSC property, but was still miles away, of course.

    We will be at WDW on Dec. 6th, and but for a 5pm Spirit of Aloha, I might be dragging him out there for another disappointing viewing! I guess I'll look for it in the skies as we head to the Poly!
  17. Brian_WDW74

    Brian_WDW74 Oh, I'm detecting nuttiness...

    Sep 22, 2006
    The shuttle rises from behind the Mexico pavilion, so it's best to be on the other side of the World Showcase Lagoon to see it. My favorite spot is from the Rose and Crown at the United Kingdom pavilion, but I'd say just about anywhere from the UK to Japan would be good. :)
  18. Lintasare

    Lintasare Holy Carp!

    Jul 16, 2007
    I remember when I was a CP I saw a launch from the cast parking lot at MGM. It was right after Illuminations because I remember watching the Illuminations fireworks over the trees while waiting for my ride. Right after the Illuminations fireworks ended I saw this bright ball of light go up, at first we thought it was one final firework but it just kept going. That was when we realized the space shuttle was going up. We missed our bus because we were watching it. It was really kinda cool.
  19. rkandmjsmommy

    rkandmjsmommy <font color=blue>2006: A year for letters....<br><

    Sep 25, 2003
    We will be at MK on Dec 6 and hope to get a glimpse, it might be boring but I think it will be cool to see it:cool1:
  20. BPCooper

    BPCooper Mouseketeer

    May 2, 2007
    Shuttle Atlantis is scheduled to lift off on Dec. 6 at 4:31:44pm EST (exact second will be refined by launch day). This is the middle of an exactly ten minute long. Atlantis on mission STS-122 will deliver the long-awaited European Columbus science laboratory module to the international space station.

    It is well worth it to go and see the shuttle launch, regardless of traffic or even if you can't get the absolute closest. There are just 13 shuttle launches left; everyone should get to see it once.

    This guide will give you a rundown on viewing the launch. Titusville is the closest offsite (free) location at 12 miles away.

    The closest viewing is 6.5 to 7.5 miles from the NASA causeway but those tickets (tickets only since 9/11, unfortunately; it used to be free) are long sold out. However, tickets to view from the Visitors Complex at 7.4 miles from the pad are still available at The only asterisk is that the pad itself is not visible from the VC.

    Please note: is NOT a NASA website and the information on there is not always accurate or up to date.

    The best website for launch dates from the Cape is:

    Good site to bookmark. They will also, starting early next week, begin to provide daily updates and a "mission status center" with play by play of the launch. It is a great place to check to see if the launch is ontime, the official weather forecast, etc.

    From Titusville, at 12 miles, it is easily visible and you will hear it easily but do not go expecting a deafening roar. More appropriately, you should ask yourself "how many things can you hear from 12 miles away at all?" The shuttle's roar is clear from there. It shows just how powerful and amazing it is to send an 18-story building into space. (If you could get to the causeway, it is much much louder).

    If the sound is more important than the setting, then the Visitors Complex may be better for you. It will be much louder there than Titusville. It also provides you with things to do during the day, though, yes, it will be crowded on launch day (like Disney ;-)

    I hope you try! Good luck and feel free to ask any more questions.

    Hope this helps everyone.
  21. cat1258

    cat1258 Earning My Ears

    Apr 5, 2003
    We saw Columbia's launch from Titusville in 1996. It was the coolest thing to see it in person. There was a man there who had worked for NASA for years and told us lots of things about the shuttle and the launch. He told us when to expect the sound of the launch, and when the solid rocket boosters would fall. We still have the video we shot and the t-shirts with the mission number and Columbia on them. It's something my family will always remember, especially given what happened to Columbia a few years later.

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