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Trafic from Orlando on launch day?

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Paris, France
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Trafic from Orlando on launch day?

Hi there everyone!

Am having problems finding info about how much time I should allow for travel from Orlando to Kennedy SC on launch day 16th november. Can someone give me expert advice?

Here's my situation: Will be staying at Fairfields Inn International Drive Orlando. I have to be at the KSC by LATEST 09:00 am according to my tickets (this is imperative because I don't have a vehicule placard, but I DO have viewing tickets) The KSC website says to allow extra time for heavy trafic. What does that mean? 1 hour extra? 2 hours? 3... 4...5... !!!!?????

I know I need to bear in mind that it will also be a Monday morning on top of the heavy trafic towards the east coast.

Should I try to avoid the busy 528 toll road?

Any expert advice would be appreciated.....

(I was thinking of leaving my south Orlando hotel around 06:00 am)

Thank you Graeme

Cocoa Beach, Florida
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1. Re: Trafic from Orlando on launch day?

The launch isn't scheduled to go until 2:28 pm, so if you are coming over before 9 am traffic will be heavier than normal but it won't be stop & go.

Do not bother to try to avoid 528, it is pretty much the only way to get to KSC from International Drive without going many miles out of your way.

Normally it would take about an hour to get to KSC from I-Drive, so I think that your plan to leave at 6:00 am will work out perfectly. You should have no trouble at all arriving before 9:00 am.

By the way, are you sure that you can get in to KSC without a vehicle placard? I've always heard that you must have a placard to get through the security gates on launch days.

essen, germany
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for Walt Disney World, Anna Maria Island, Orlando
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2. Re: Trafic from Orlando on launch day?

We needed a card for the car to enter... Which came with our tickets...

Palm Coast, Florida
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3. Re: Trafic from Orlando on launch day?

I would wait until 7am. Commuter traffic will be coming the other way.

Paris, France
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4. Re: Trafic from Orlando on launch day?

This is a follow up to my first post.

Firstly, yes we did get to see the 11/16 launch of Atlantis ST-129. Fantastic experience!!!!

As this may help others, here's how the drive to KSC went:

We left our hotel on International Drive south of Orlando at 06:15am as we had to be at KSC at the very latest by 09:00am. The traffic on the 528 and the 407 was very very fluide. Hardly any cars at all. Even at the toll booths only a few cars. Arriving at KSC, we were one of only very few cars also!!! No traffic jams at all. We arrived at KSC at 07:30am

As for the vehicule placard, there was no control. When I asked the parking attendant, he explained that before the gates close you can get into the parking area without the placard. After closure you need the placard to get in. We just needed to be there before 09:00am.

Fantastic day. No traffic problems. I don't know what would have been the case if we had left later in the morning.....

Paris, France
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5. Re: Trafic from Orlando on launch day?

Some extra info while I think of it:

When we arrive at 07:30am we could acces the KSC immediately (normal opening time on non launch days is 09:00am)

I noticed some cars on the parking lot had their "no later than..." time shown on their vehicule placards. Some had to be there no later than 06:00am! I thought we were all in all pretty lucky to have 09:00am as our last checkin time.

At the same time, I coiuldn't help wondering what would have happened if those persons with "no later than 06:00am" arrived after this time, since the parking area was fully open with no controls of the vehicules...?

Inside the complex, everything was running as usual. We could even go on the tour busses to the Saturn V complex and the ISS center, although there was no stop at the observation gantry. Last tour busses left the KSC at 08:45am though and the Saturn V complex closed at 10:30am to welcome the families and VIPs for the launch.

Hope this helps some...

Cocoa Beach, Florida
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6. Re: Trafic from Orlando on launch day?

Thanks for the great updates! How did you like the launch itself? Did you have a good view? Was it crowded? How bad was the traffic afterwards?

Paris, France
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7. Re: Trafic from Orlando on launch day?

Well Island24. Thanks for your interest.

The launch was wonderful!!! I was so thrilled since we had already tried to see a launch in february 2009 but had to go back home (to France) since it was delayed quite a few times....

This time we had our fingers crossed but we knew that a launch is ALWAYS a very iffy thing.

We watched it from the KSC rocket garden as we only had tickets for the Vistor complex. We stood between the rocket garden and the water which is on one side. We thus had a perfect view of the line of trees where we knew Atlantis would arise from. It was incredibly thrilling and gave us all goosebumps to see the launch. The only negative side is that you cannot see the launch from the ground (only once it clears the trees - but we did know this beforehand) Now I want to see another launch but with a view onto the launch pad!!!

The whole thing was very exciting and we watched the updates on the large screens - transfer of the astronauts and their preparations for entering the flight deck etc etc. The whole place was not too crowded and there was plenty of room to move around and get a good view of the liftoff.

Launch was at 2:28pm and we stayed in the KSC until 06:00pm so no traffic at all when we left- the roads were empty!

My conclusion: I will treasure this special event all my life. My only regret was not to see Atlantis liftoff from the ground. However causeway viewing tickets are quite a bit more expensive and you need to be in Florida in case it gets postponed.

Have you seen a launch Island24?

Cocoa Beach, Florida
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8. Re: Trafic from Orlando on launch day?

Thanks for the update. Yes, I've seen a few launches, they never get old!

texas
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9. Re: Trafic from Orlando on launch day?

Hey, frenchkiwi,

I just saw your TR and it is great. I just got to see Endeavour launch in Feb and it was great, so was just reliving it by looking at other people's TRs. It is a once in a lifetime thing, isnt it? I hope to go back in july, as we were there in the Visitor center, as well. Am thinking if I don't get causeway tickets( and am doubtful as it is the almost end of them and everyone wants to see it) that I may just do Spaceview Park. That way I get to see teh plume and everything. Anyway, just wanted to say I enjoyed your TR

10. Re: Trafic from Orlando on launch day?

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