Two weeks ago, I did FPP and a week ago, I was able to modify FPPs into ideal times.
Now, DS19 (the aerospace engineering major) wants to go watch a scheduled rocket launch at Cape Canaveral at 7:45 am on Day 3 (Epcot). It would be cool to watch a live launch. But launches are uncertain. We are currently scheduled to go to Kennedy on Day 9 and flying home on Day 10, Christmas Eve. We can probably go to Kennedy on Day 3 instead. Or should we get to Epcot around noon on Day 3 after the launch instead of moving it to Day 9? I don’t know when to modify FPP. Only TT would be the important FPP impacted. Or should I depend on SDD? Also, if anyone has any thoughts on how to get to Cape Canaveral, car rental or Uber? Yes, stressing again!
I’d just swap them, I think. Then you can be leisurely on your offsite day and do what you like. And if the launch doesn’t go as scheduled, you’re not inwardly stressing about your park day. I’d probably go with a car rental for the same reason, more freedom.
I will second that yes, launches are uncertain. I know people who were out on the top of their car at 3 am only to be told to do the same thing the next day. It did happen the next day, but they were really worried that it would get delayed to the point they couldn’t see it.
This is a hard one. Not only do rockets often not take off on the first day of the launch window, but the window itself can also change. More than a month out (which you are) is pretty iffy. Here’s a really good run down of what it takes: https://everydayastronaut.com/where-to-watch-rocket-launches-in-florida/
We had tickets to one of the last shuttle launches, and it launched the first day of the window, the only day we could go, which is a little bit of a miracle all by itself. You can’t get ticket refunds, they are good for a launch, not a certain day. And shuttle schedules were far more predictable than the launches now. It is just super hard to plan around them now, with Disney plans also having to be set in stone, too.
There are lots of other places where you could go and park to watch it, though, without tickets. Because of this, I’d rent a car, not take Uber. Unless you had tickets to KSC, of course, then Uber would be viable.
I think the only way to realistically do this is to keep the schedule you have and be willing to drop any given day in order to go to the launch when it happens. I wouldn’t try to plan around it, and certainly not this far out.
With the way rocket launches are delayed, I think it’s more likely an earlier launch will be pushed back and end up within your dates than that particular launch will happen on that exact date. So IMO make your plans, and if you find out there is a launch the day before that will be your priority. I would not change any plan at this time, based on a possible date 2 months from now.
It was a struggle just getting my TPs together!
While a live launch would be exciting to see, I don’t want to squander too many WDW days to chase a launch. It’s been 7 years since our last trip and may be awhile before we return.
Thanks for the link and tips!
Okay, I will keep my existing FPPs until we get closer.
I was just thinking I should change my FPPs before the 30-day mark.
I would much rather drive than Uber. The Uber driver is not my chauffeur! And I imagine it would still be cheaper to rent a car and pay for a couple of nights of parking at the resort.
I just landed back at SFO after visiting my college kids for a few days. I need to get on my laptop to figure out the rental car, AGAIN! I have my 3 separate rental car reservations at ideal places (because time is💰) and okay prices.
Good thing I can book and book lots of rental car reservations without penalty! Thank you, everyone!
Went to the final shuttle launch in 2011 - went up on schedule after an early start and many hours of waiting.
Went to the EFT-1 (first Orion) launch in 2014 - was postponed due to an errant boat and over-touchy wind sensors - after an early start and many hours of waiting. It went up the next day, but I wasnt prepared to spend two days on it, so was at the Animal Kingdom!
Thanks for sharing your experiences. I know that launches are uncertain, even if the countdown starts from 10!
But we do things for our children that sometimes don’t make sense!: We want our son to know that family time is important and we do things for one another as family.
However, we are in Florida for WDW!
I love this. Ohana. And I understand. It may not work out, but you have to try, right?
So…unsure if your plans involve hopping over to Universal, but I found that for the dual purpose of changing hotels from WDW to UOR plus getting to KSC, a one day rental made a lot of sense. Avis and Budget both have offices at a Disney Springs and in hotels opposite Universal, so I found those the best companies to use for that purpose.
Even without a hotel move, I would wager that the price is cheaper than an Uber both ways. Be aware that parking at KSC is chargeable - $12 all day I think it was.
If the launch doesn’t go ahead, you will still be at KSC, at which point it makes sense to see the site that day. Further launch attempts do not have this fallback as a draw!
Do I understand correctly that if you did KSC on day 3 you would do EPCOT on day 9 and vice versa? In which case, could you just book FPPs for both days? That would seem to give you most flexibility - I had both FPPs and ADRs duplicated across multiple days on our recent trip, just cancelling as plans evolved.
Regards FPPs, we got same-day FEA and SatW ones, and could have had TT if we wanted it. Looking at the online trackers, TT has good availability even tomorrow - unlike things like 7DMT, SDD or AFoP. I wouldn’t worry too much about getting onto that ride. I do note that your day 3 (17th) has evening EMH at EPCOT but day 9 doesn’t - were you planning on using these? If so, would the morning EMH on day 5 help you at all?
They can only book as many days of FPP as they have tickets for, IIRC.
Launches are actually visible from WDW. You don’t get the sound and the fury, but you do see it. I’ve witnessed a shuttle launch from West Palm Beach, more than 150 miles away.
I accidentally witnessed a launch while leaving a Walgreens in 2000. DH and I had stopped at a drug store in Kissimmee and I looked out my window and lo and behold there was a rocket on its way up.
We would swap the Kennedy Space and Epcot days but I can’t make FPPs for both days. I don’t have any more tickets to use for FPP.
Since it is Epcot, there are not that many rides we would do anyway. We only want Soarin’, TT, and Mission Space. So, we would depend on SDD if we do need to switch days at the “last” moment.
I spent yesterday evening, before we lost power again, rearranging car rental reservations. I see have all my new rental reservations and old rental reservations.
The uncertainties make me nervous but it is teaching me patience.
I know we can see the launch elsewhere but DS wants to be part of the fury of take off!
Surprises like that are such blessings.
If the whole family wakes up really early on a WDW vacation to take him to see the launch, I hope he will wake up early to accompany me to RD!