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Old 11-26-2007, 05:44 AM   #1
toystoryduo
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Space Shuttle Launches Viewing Tips? Etc?

This will be the third time we have been in Florida when the shuttle launches and this time, we definitely want to see it! 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!
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Old 11-26-2007, 06:07 AM   #2
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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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Old 11-26-2007, 06:22 AM   #3
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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!
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Old 11-26-2007, 06:25 AM   #4
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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.
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Old 11-26-2007, 06:27 AM   #5
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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.
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Old 11-26-2007, 07:12 AM   #6
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Could you tell me the date of the launch????
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Old 11-26-2007, 08:05 AM   #7
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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.

http://www.kennedyspacecenter.com/
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Old 11-26-2007, 08:07 AM   #8
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Thank you, we hope to catch a glimpse.
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Old 11-26-2007, 08:28 AM   #9
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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.
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Old 11-26-2007, 09:22 AM   #10
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Talking Traffic! - Long Post

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.
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Old 11-26-2007, 09:28 AM   #11
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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?
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Old 11-26-2007, 09:29 AM   #12
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We saw the Shuttle Launch on Oct. 23, from the boat dock behind the Contemporary.
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Old 11-26-2007, 09:53 AM   #13
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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?
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Old 11-26-2007, 10:11 AM   #14
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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?
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Old 11-26-2007, 02:00 PM   #15
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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!
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