The Kennedy Space Center is a popular travel destination for thousands of people each year. The center features dozens of exhibits, a rocket garden, space simulation experiences, behind-the-scenes tours, and much more. The best news is the facility is highly wheelchair-accessible making it easy to navigate while in a wheelchair.
Since the Kennedy Space Center is located away from major cities on the coast of Florida, it might be best to drive yourself there. Whether you use your own vehicle or a wheelchair-accessible rental van, the accessible parking spots are large, accommodating, and close to the entrance. Just keep in mind that the center does charge a separate fee for parking. To purchase accessible parking, you will need to have a valid parking permit. If you don’t have a parking permit, a temporary permit is offered at any ticket window.
One of the major draws of the Space Center is the extensive bus tours that are offered in restricted areas. There is a 45-minute bus tour that is included with admission, but there is also an additional tour for purchase, the Kennedy Space Center Explore tour, that spans over two hours. Whichever tour you take, the buses are well-equipped to lift both wheelchairs and motorized scooters. You can request this service when you purchase your tickets or at the bus boarding location, although we recommend requesting it when you purchase your tickets as wheelchair seating is limited. You should also be advised that some stops along the tour may need a little extra navigation, as some of the pavement is slightly broken down.
The tours are not the only attractions at the Kennedy Space Center. The center also offers multiple IMAX theater experiences with ground-level entrances and companion seating. It’s a Matter of Fact is presented inside the Universe theater, with accessible seating. This show is geared towards the younger crowd and uses interactive experiments to teach them about the matter.
Possibly one of the most thrilling activities is the Shuttle Launch Experience. The entrance for the experience can accommodate standard wheelchairs and electric wheelchairs. Each ride cabin has an accessible seat with a pivoting grab bar to make transferring into the seat easier. The seat is equipped with a five-point harness to ensure you are secure, as the ride may get a little bumpy. If you are unable to transfer or prefer not to experience the simulation aspect, you can opt to view the experience in the observation room on flat-screen televisions.
There are a plethora of other exhibits around the center to explore. The majority of the center is built on flat, paved ground, but there are ramps or slopes on occasion around some of the exhibits. To name a few, the Atlantis exhibition and the Heroes and Legends exhibition both have a steeper ramp that may require some assistance if you don’t have a motorized chair. The slope outside the Memorial Garden may also require some assistance to navigate.
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Much of what you get to experience at the Space Center is included with regular admission. However, there are additional experiences that you may choose to purchase. The Fly with an Astronaut experience includes your general admission ticket; the difference is that you get to spend the entire day with a veteran astronaut who leads your tour. The Launch Director tour of the Atlantis is another wheelchair-accessible addition. This is a three-hour tour starting with a tour from the nose of the Atlantis all the way to the engines with the last launch director of the spacecraft itself, Mike Leinbeich. He will also take you through a couple of other experiences, ending with the opportunity to ask him any questions.
If you don’t bring your own mobility aids and equipment with you, the center does provide options for renting them. There are many locations where you can purchase your rentals, including the ticket window, will call, guest services, and the information station. You also have the option to rent your equipment in advance online. If you decide to use the online option, simply take your ticket to the Information building to retrieve your rental. Rental options include standard wheelchairs and electric scooters.
Food and Shopping
There are plenty of opportunities for souvenirs with three different gift shops on the property. The Space Shop boasts a staggering 15,372 square feet for your shopping pleasure. As far as food goes, you have eight options for meals and snacks, ranging from cafes and bistros to ice cream stands. The Center allows you to bring your own food and drink too if you’d prefer to pack a picnic instead.
The Kennedy Space Center has made sure that the entirety of its center is equipped with accessible restrooms. You can also find a companion or family restrooms by looking at their visitor guide app.
The Kennedy Space Space Center strives to be accommodating to everyone, including those that require the use of a service animal. Service animals are permitted in all exhibits and presentations and are even allowed on bus tours.
The Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex is an amazing, eye-opening experience that allows you to see the ins and outs of what space travel is and what it will become as new technology is developed. There is no shortage of wheelchair-accessible options to include everyone in the enlightening experiences the center has to offer.
Plan Your Next Accessible Space Adventure!
To make sure you get to your space travel experience safely and on time, be sure to check out our wheelchair-accessible vans. With 200+ nationwide locations, Wheelchair Getaways offers plenty of ways for you and your loved one to arrive at your destination in the comfort of a wheelchair van. Click here to book your rental reservation today!