Last week NASA’s Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex (KSC) had a close encounter of the feathered kind. Angry Birds Space Encounter, the first comprehensive, interactive Angry Birds attraction in the United States designed for people of all ages, opened at the Visitor Complex. The attraction was opened with a small ceremony featuring, of course, an Astronaut, an Angry Bird, and a Space Pig.
THRLLD staff was in attendance for the ceremony and enjoyed a special visit into the air-conditioned facility. That will surely make this space hit in the summer. To be perfectly honest, we were expecting something more than a few games and obstacle course opportunities. There is a whole theme park themed to Angry Birds in Finland and China. This is more on the level of a children’s museum.
Once our expectations were re-calibrated, we found that the kids did enjoy all the exhibits. There were some operational kinks to be worked out and a bit more signage would help direct guests around the space better. Our end verdict was that this is a wonderful addition to KSC, but not something worth arranging a special visit for. (There are, however, plenty of other reasons to make sure you include KSC on your Central Florida tour plan.)
More from KSC on the new Angry Birds Space Encounter Below the Jump:
KSC partnered with Rovio Entertainment, creator of the globally successful Angry Birds franchise, including Angry Birds Space, to bring the beloved characters to life.
“Rovio is thrilled to partner with Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex to bring this unique attraction to the fans of Angry Birds,” said Dan Mitchell, Rovio’s director of location-based entertainment, during today’s grand opening celebration at the Florida destination.
“Angry Birds Space Encounter is both a fun and educational experience,” said Bill Moore, chief operating officer of Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex for Delaware North Companies Parks & Resorts, which operates the popular destination on Florida’s Space Coast for NASA.
“Concepts of human space exploration are incorporated into Angry Birds Space Encounter, reflecting Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex’s ongoing mission to encourage young people in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) fields of study. Kids will love interacting with their favorite Angry Birds Space characters, while parents will appreciate that their children are enjoying the learning experience,” Moore said.\
The 4,485-square-foot Angry Birds Space Encounter, which is included in regular Visitor Complex admission, brings to life the space adventures of the Angry Birds as they follow their kidnapped eggs into an inter-galactic wormhole, come face-to-face with Space Pigs and gear up with heroic superpowers. Visitors encounter six interactive stations designed to engage and immerse guests in a new dimension of Angry Birds Space:
- Create Your Own Angry Bird – Red, green, blue or purple – Guests create their own Angry Bird by choosing from an array of body styles and accessories. When the bird is complete, guests can print their bird as a keepsake.
- Eggsteroids Slingshot – Ready, set, squawk! Guests take their best shot – slingshot, that is – at King Pig and Corporal Pig, competing with fellow players using mini Angry Birds launched in a slingshot to zap the Space Pigs.
- Cold Cuts Tile Puzzle – Guests line up a universe of planets and Angry Birds to solve sliding puzzles, with three levels of difficulty, featuring images of Super Red, Ice Bird, The Incredible Terence and Space King, Pig in a Bubble.
- Danger Zone – Proceed with caution! The Danger Zone features a mirrored labyrinth challenge to find the hidden Angry Birds. Guests discover surprises along the way.
- Red Planet Lazer Challenge – The Angry Birds need help finding their prized golden eggs! Guests journey to the surface of the Red Planet to search for the mythical eggs but need to watch out for lazer beams that create obstacles along the course, making the mission more difficult.
- Angry Birds Game Zone – Guests can play the actual Angry Birds Space game in a tournament against fellow guests, mastering selected levels and discovering little known hints to zap the pigs.
An Angry Birds Space photo opportunity also is available, as is Angry Birds merchandise.
NASA astronaut Donald Pettit, Ph.D., who previously announced from the International Space Station that NASA and Rovio would partner on the creation of the Angry Birds Space game, was also on hand for the grand opening.
“NASA and Rovio have worked together to teach players about physics and space exploration and energize young people regarding future careers in science and technology,” Pettit said.
The original idea for Angry Birds Space came in a Twitter message from @NASA to Rovio that said: “Hey @RovioMobile, our computers are a bit better than they were in ’69. We might be able to help you launch birds if you find pigs in space.”
That tweet was the starting point for conversations that eventually led to NASA’s partnership with Rovio and the creation of the Angry Birds Space game and Angry Birds Space Encounter at the Visitor Complex.
Entertainment Design Group Inc. of Austell, Ga., developed, built and installed the Angry Birds Space Encounter at the Visitor Complex under the direction of NASA and Delaware North.
The opening of Angry Birds Space Encounter comes a few months before the Visitor Complex will celebrate the grand opening of the new $100 million home of Space Shuttle Atlantis June 29.