A Journey into Space

The Kennedy Space Center is on the Atlantic coast of Florida - about a three hour drive from where we are staying in Dunedin. We've spent the entire day there and had a great time. The first thing we did was to visit one of the IMAX theatres. There we sat spellbound as we watched "Space Station 3D". And what fabulous 3D it was. We literally joined the astronauts as they lived, worked and adapted to life in space. The effects were so realistic I felt I could open my mouth and catch one of the water droplets as it floated towards me! When the show ended about 45 minutes later we went out into the sunshine and wandered around the Rocket Garden where a number of historic rockets are standing to tell the story of man's quest for the stars. Here are some of them.

And here is another rocket towering above the small figure of my young friend.

Next we boarded a shuttle bus for a tour to the Observation Gantry a few miles away where we stopped to climb the edifice and gaze across to Cape Canaveral and the launch site itself. A little later we passed the central building where you can see the largest painted American Flag in the world. (the stars are 12ft wide and each stripe measures 10 ft across.

And on to the Apollo/Saturn V Center. Straddling an enormous room is a 363-foot moon rocket. This is just part of it

After lunch in the Moon Rock Cafe (where else?) situated right in the middle of the sights and sounds of the Apollo lunar landings, we went to the Lunar Theater to see a depiction of the first moon landing. And very impressive it was too, with a real lunar module landing on the stage in front of us accompanied by the actual sounds and commands of that historic event. Back at the Launch Center, where this Shuttle Explorer stands

... we prepared to experience the sights, sounds, and feelings of a vertical launch in the shuttle. After removing most of the items from our pockets and person we were strapped in our seats in readiness for take-off. They told us this simulated launch just about exactly replicates the astronaut's actual launch experience. The shuddering and vibration, together with the incredible noise, was quite mind-blowing, and we almost chickened out at the last minute. But in fact it was well worth it - even though I suffer from vertigo! To round off a really exciting day we saw an IMAX 3D show entitled "Hubble 3D" - a really powerful story of the Hubble Space Telescope and the legacy on the way we look at the universe. I hooked up with a passing astronaut to be photographed before venturing into space

And now for something completely different - as they say. Yesterday we decided to stay overnight in one of the Disney hotels as we wanted to spend the day at EPCOT. Booking on line we chose the Disney All Star Music Resort Hotel. Here's where we stayed.

Not exactly the most subtle of colour schemes, do you think? Apart from a couple of hours of rain we saw quite a bit of the place - most of the individual country shows and buildings - Morocco, Japan, Austria, Norway and Canada amongst many others, and ate fish and chips (what else) at the British Pavilion.

We ended our stay at EPCOT with a really lovely meal in the underwater "Story of the Seas" Coral Reef restaurant. So as the evening drew to a close we said goodbye to Disney World and the magical glow of this gigantic globe.