Excitement builds as you race down the NASA Causeway – several full-size rockets come into view and, before you know it, you’re snapping your first picture through your window as you turn into the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. Whether you’re a space geek, an enthusiastic sightseer, or just along for the ride, you can’t help but help feel a little bit of childlike giddiness after exiting your car.
For repeat visitors, you may notice that the entry to the Complex has changed drastically and, as Andrea Farmer, spokesperson for the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, said, “The entry now features a three-dimensional NASA logo, the JFK fountain, and new ticketing booths and turnstiles. Furthermore, guests now enter the Complex in the Rocket Garden, which makes much more sense from a storytelling standpoint.”
While there have been several key improvements to the Complex in just the past two years, there are two critical enhancements that have really brought quite a bit of excitement to the public: the Angry Birds Space Encounter exhibit and, quite definitively the crown jewel of the Complex, the Atlantis exhibit.
“We partnered with Rovio [creator of Angry Birds] to bring Angry Birds Space Encounter to life at the Visitor Complex,” Farmer explained. “Rovio worked with NASA in the past for their announcement of Angry Birds Space so it seemed like a natural progression to bring a live-action exhibit to the Complex.”
The 4,485-square-foot facility, which opened in March, invites children (and adults!) to learn the concepts of space exploration but also gives lessons in the STEM fields –science, technology, engineering and mathematics – all while playing with their favorite Angry Birds characters. There are six interactive stations that include:
- Create Your Own Angry Bird: Choose from a variety of body styles and accessories!
- Eggsteroid Slingshot: Load your slingshot with mini Angry Birds to take a shot at King Pig and Corporal Pig while competing with other players.
- Cold Cuts Tile Puzzle: Solve sliding puzzles, featuring three levels of difficulty, by lining up a universe and Angry Birds.
- Danger Zone: The mirrored maze challenges guests to find the hidden Angry Birds with surprises along the way.
- Red Planet Laser Challenge: Dodge laser beams that create obstacles while you help the Angry Birds find their Golden Eggs on the surface of the Red Planet.
- Angry Birds Game Zone: Play in an Angry Birds tournament against other visitors.
While the Angry Birds exhibit has brought something new and fun to the Complex, the Space Shuttle Atlantis has really changed the face of Kennedy Space Center. STORY CONTINUED IN PRINT MAGAZINE.
For more information about the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, please visit www.kennedyspacecenter.com.