The Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex is a unique and inspiring attraction that celebrates human achievements in the space exploration program.
Despite all the great exhibits and shows that are offered in the visitor complex, many will agree that it cannot be considered a true theme park (there is only one ride in the complex), and there is nothing wrong with that. That said, it looks like things will change in the future, as more shows and rides may be in the works.

About five years ago, a Kennedy Space Center master plan was presented by PGAV Destinations, a company that "designs attractions, exhibits, and experiences that enrich lives" (they have worked with SeaWorld, Busch Gardens, and many other major theme park around the country and the world).

The master plan included some of the proposed attractions, rides, shows, and other improvements that could be potentially added to the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex over the next 7 years. First of all, the entrance of the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex could be improved even more, thanks to the addition of some great water features, interactive elements, and new retail opportunities:

Guests may soon also experience a completely new pre-show before boarding the buses to other areas of the visitor complex. The new pre-show would include some great special effects and props:

As some of our Readers may already know, the Astronaut Hall of Fame will soon relocate to the visitor complex. While this has not been announced, a flight simulator very similar to the popular Soarin' attraction at Epcot could soon make its way to the new Hall of Fame (which is currently under construction). The rendering attached to this presentation even includes the same ride vehicle (with the same Guests featured in the Disney images!) used at Soarin':

Later this decade, a new observation tower (with food & beverage offerings) could be built on site, providing even better views of rocket launches and future shuttle launches:

Finally, a brand-new nighttime show could be introduced in 2019. While no details have yet been released, it seems like a nearby pond could be used as part of the show, making it similar to World of Color, Rivers of Light, or Universal's Cinematic Spectacular. No renderings are available at this time.

Here is the complete timeline (subject to change):

This could be the new layout of the visitor complex (should all the additions mentioned above be built):

Of course, we are absolutely aware of the fact that plans could have changed by now. That said, the visitor complex has been following the timeline quite closely up until today (the new Atlantis exhibit opened a few years ago, and the new Astronaut Hall of Fame will open next year). This gives us hope.

RENDERINGS: ©2010-2015 Kennedy Space Center/PGAV Destinations. All Rights Reserved.

10 Comment(s):

Anonymous said...

The new astronaut hall of fame building is not being built where it is shown on the draft you have here. They said it was going where the current Early Space Explorations exhibit is, or where it says Debus on the draft you have here.

Anonymous said...

Also, there are construction walls currently where the map says the new main retail would go. Could the new main retail also be an exit?

Anonymous said...

Who's paying for all of this?

Anonymous said...

Did they really steal the Epcot Soarin photo and put a space picture on the screen?

I am pretty sure this is the same image:

Anonymous said...

Anonymous, I am guessing since the complex is owned by NASA and operated by Delaware North that one of the two is covering all or part of the costs of this. For what it is worth the visitor complex is self-funded through visitor admissions and sales. It is not taxpayer funded if that's what you were getting at.

Other Anonymous, I would assume that the company they plan to have build the Soarin' type attraction is likely the same one that Disney uses and they probably use the same concept art for multiple attractions. Just a guess there.

Greg said...

What would be really cool is if they had manned spaceflight again. Kinda hard to pull off the whole "Astronaut" thing when NASA doesn't even launch manned rockets anymore.

Anonymous said...

You do know we still have manned space flight right? That never ended. We just stopped using the 40 year old space trucks. There was a huge competition over the last years over who was building the new shuttles.
They only finished a few months ago.
This expansion has to do with the increased amount of space activity NASA will be engaging in over the next decades.

TimmyV said...

KSC is turning into more of a theme park than a place to do actual space work. I once worked for the space program via my old employer at Boeing. I never made it to KSC, but did visit JSC at Houston. I went to KSC on my own time and enjoyed it immensely. Its too bad the space program has suffered after the space shuttle program went away.

Anonymous said...

Since the ride technology for "Soarin'" is not owned by Disney, I am sure the manufacture just placed another screen image behind the guests on the ride vehicle to market the idea to NASA. So, no, it was not "stolen".

@Anonymous: The ride technology for Soarin' was designed by Mark Summer at WDI. Disney owns the rights to the attraction design and use, hence why they can throw the ride up in Singapore without much of any issues from the company who built it in the US (Because they can just outsource the build to a company over seas as it would be cheaper)

@TimmyV: I agree with you but we sadly have to understand that companies will do whatever is financially stable to keep the flow of money comming in (or, in this case, to keep their heads above water). KSC will likely become a makeshift theme park over the years and act as a new EPCOT Center, just without the Disney flare (obviously).

@(Other)Anonymous: The building that you are describing where the Astronaught HOF is going already exisits; if that is where it is going, then I would assume they would just gut the current infrastructure and fill it with what is needed. It is also worth noting that these plans are well over five years old now and were not official; merely a concept of what /could/ happen.

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