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Drive time from Buena VIsta to Kennedy Space Center

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Kansas
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Drive time from Buena VIsta to Kennedy Space Center

We want to be at the Kennedy Space Center Visitors Center by 8:30 AM on Friday, November 25 for the Mars Labratory launch. What time do we need to leave Buena Vista and would taking 417 around the metro make sense?

Do the unmaned launches draw very big crowds?

Doncaster, S Yorks
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1. Re: Drive time from Buena VIsta to Kennedy Space Center

About an hour drive but I would allow a bit more that that to park up and find a viewing spot using 417 round the metro area till you come the 528 Beaches Expressway is the best route. You might also get a a good viewing spot off the bridge just before the Cruise terminal turn off on the way to Coco beach Park at the bottom of the bridge on the approach cross under to northern road section and walk up to the top where you would have a elevated view point. Try it out the day before so you are familiar with where to be.

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2. Re: Drive time from Buena VIsta to Kennedy Space Center

"About an hour drive but I would allow a bit more that that to park"

Yeah, I agree, but would allow 1½ hours for comfort. Go straight out the Beachline east toward Cocoa Beach and follow the signs about turning off to KSC.

"would taking 417 around the metro make sense? "

That's an interesting idea and I would say "maybe". It's a week day, but also the day after Thanksgiving and a day off for many. It's also Black Friday, so there is no way to know how that will all factor in. Perhaps, by avoiding I-4 before you get on SR 528, you just might avoid some early morning traffic.

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3. Re: Drive time from Buena VIsta to Kennedy Space Center

Starting from within LVB, you definitely should allow more than an hour, as sometimes there is a backup on Hotel Plaza Drive just to get out onto SR535 and onto I-4.

If you are short on time, I would recommend the SR417 Greeneway, instead of the I-4 route, to the 528 Beachline. Both may be OK, but if there is traffic, 417 will have less than I-4, and the toll cost is not that different.

At the othe end, you have the choice of going NE on SR407 to Titusville, or staying on SR528 to Port Canaveral and Cocoa Beach. If you go to Titusville, you can continue on across the NASA Causeway to the KSC Visitors' Center to watch the launch. Normally (you should confirm), the center is open for unmanned launches. You don't have to pay an admission and go inside -- you can just watch from the parking lot. With the possibility of some traffic on both ends, I would allow two hours.

If you go in the direction of the port or Cocoa Beach, you can pull off the Beachline at a safe place along one of the causeways, you could take SR401 north of the cruise terminals, you could go along King Blvd. into Jetty Park for a slight fee, or you could go to one of the beaches north of the pier. The time required to get there should be around 90-100 minutes, as others have said.

Typically, unmanned launches have not been crowded. However, because the manned launches are suspended for a while, the unmanned ones might start to draw bigger crowds. Be sure to take along a radio so you can track the countdown. Of course, you should be prepared for a possible delay into the launch window or even a scrub.

Enjoy the experience!

Edited: 17 November 2011, 03:53
Orlando
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4. Re: Drive time from Buena VIsta to Kennedy Space Center

The exit for Highway 417 is on the other side of Disney. Use 528. It takes about an hour to drive if the traffic is light and the toll booth lines are not long. I don't know about the parking in Titusville if that is where you are choosing to go. You might get a decent view from Jetty Park too if you choose to go toward Cocoa Beach.

There will be three tolls on 528 (about $3.75 each way total). If you wish to save additional time, you may want to look into a Sunpass so you don't spend time waiting at the toll booths.

Kansas
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5. Re: Drive time from Buena VIsta to Kennedy Space Center

We have tickets for the Visitors Center and a closer viewing location.

Thank you so much for your help!

Orlando, FL
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6. Re: Drive time from Buena VIsta to Kennedy Space Center

From Lake Buena Vista you can access I-4 from Buena Vista Drive, take I-4 to Exit 72 (Beach Line Expressway aka Hwy 528) and then straight accross to the Cape. No need to take the 417, traffic should be light as it is a holiday. I would still allow about 2 hours just to be safe..the sunrise should be beautiful to watch as you drive east.

7. Re: Drive time from Buena VIsta to Kennedy Space Center

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