Amusement Parks in Cocoa

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The Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex celebrates the past, present, and future of space travel with educational exhibits and hands-on activities for visitors of all ages. And as a reminder that the history contained here is still being written, the center displays a countdown clock marking off the seconds until the next scheduled launch.

  • Size: The sprawling complex contains dozens of sites, simplified by sample itineraries that suggest guests plan to spend eight hours exploring some of the most popular exhibits and attractions.
  • Eye-Catcher: See the 363-foot Saturn V rocket, the largest rocket ever made, and watch in wonder as that magic journey to the moon is brought to life once again at the Apollo/Saturn V Center.
  • Permanent Mainstay: The actual space shuttle Atlantis serves as the centerpiece of an exhibit on the history of the NASA shuttle program, surrounded by interactive exhibits.
  • Don't Miss: The center provides guests with the opportunity to touch an actual moon rock at the Apollo/Saturn V Center.
  • Hands-On Experience: The Shuttle Launch Experience recreates the thrill of takeoff with its realistic simulation of the ascent into orbit, and includes testimonials by veteran astronauts and stunning views of Earth.
  • Special Programs: Guests can attend a lunch where an actual NASA astronaut will recount space-faring experiences for the group.
State Road 405
Kennedy Space Center,
FL
US

As a conglomerate of paintball facilities, Paintballtickets.com is a one-stop shop for weekend warriors seeking some chromatic outdoor combat. Partnering with fields across the country, the company helps players live out their battlefield fantasies, whether they're sneaking up on an enemy installation, executing tactic strategies, or painting Water Lilies on the chest of a charging opponent.

555 Fortenberry Rd
Merritt Island,
FL
US

Racers fly over the European-style road course, whipping past red-and-black boundaries as they maneuver in and out of the turns and straightaways. While they jockey for position and widen the gap between them and the competition, they listen to the race coverage on their radio helmets, striving to improve on their last lap time by cracking a whip over their engines until they gallop up to 40 miles per hour. This is the Andretti Challenge, one of five go-kart tracks within the six-acre Andretti Thrill Park.

The park?s attractions span amusements for nearly every age, from tyke-friendly fun on Rookie Row to single and double karts on the Super Speedway. The park also encompasses nonmotorized fun, such as the Andretti Edge climbing wall, mini bowling, and a tokenless, card-based arcade. And as expected at any family amusement park, Andretti's staff includes a team dedicated to handling parties so that parents don't have to sneak into the park at midnight and power the arcade with their car battery. This scope and quality of entertainment earned Andretti Thrill Park the 2011, 2012, and 2013 Best of Melbourne Award: Amusement Parks from the US Commerce Association.

3960 S Babcock St
Melbourne,
FL
US

Plantation Pet Resort helps pets feel at home by giving them ample exercise and attention on 11 acres of grassy play space. Dogs bound into the day at 7:30 a.m., roaming in two shaded outdoor play yards—one for big dogs and one for small. A fenced grassy area provides plentiful space for energetic games of frisbee, fetch, and Pin the Tail on the Schnauzer. Canines barrel across turf and engage in friendly tussles for two hours as staff members give pets’ heated and air-conditioned suites a thorough clean. Happily weary dogs are led back to their spacious accommodations for breakfast and a nap, returning outside four to five more times during the day for a half hour or more. At night, TVs, DVDs, and radios keep pets from missing the comforts of home and the antics of favorite talk-show hosts.

159 North Central Avenue
Oviedo,
FL
US

The only way to get into Gatorland is to walk straight into an alligator's toothy maw. The giant mouth provides entrance to 110 acres of marshy wildlife preserve––home to a vast ecosystem populated by thousands of alligators, crocodiles, and birds, including rare wading birds and four rare white alligators. Among these, more than 130 gators splash and lounge in the park’s breeding marsh, which visitors can view safely from a three-story observation tower or while sitting on the shoulders of Kareem Abdul Jabbar.

Yet one of the biggest thrills of Gatorland is the reptile's raw power. Visitors can see this on full display during the Gator Jumparoo show, where alligators leap four to five feet out of the water to snag food directly from a trainer’s hands, or during the Gator Wrestlin' Show, where a handler demonstrates survival skills. True thrill-seekers can even dangle over the breeding marsh while riding the 65-foot-tall Screamin’ Gator Zip Line. And to experience the unsettling sensation of stumbling upon a swamp filled with alligators at night, the Night Shine takes participants deep into gator territory armed with only a flashlight and a few hot dogs.

14501 S Orange Blossom Trl.
Orlando,
FL
US

From the outside, Professor Wonder?s WonderWorks laboratory appears to have flipped completely on its head. When visitors enter the upside-down edifice, they must first pass through the psychedelic, spinning lights of the Inversion Tunnel, which turns the building right-side up for families to embark on a full day of entertaining, educational activities. More than 100 interactive exhibits spark excitement around natural phenomenon, including replica mercury capsules that visitors can climb into, a gallery of mind-bending illusions.

Some of WonderWorks Orlando?s hands-on displays allow guests to experience the aftershocks of the San Francisco earthquake of 1989, throw a strike against Derek Jeter, and lie down on a bed of 3,500 sharp nails without so much as a scratch. Additional activities include the Indoor Ropes Challenge Course, which exercises bodies and minds as challengers navigate three stories of swinging beams and suspension bridges, and the XD Theater 4D.

9067 International Dr.
Orlando,
FL
US