BUFFALO, N.Y., and CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (June 28, 2013) – Delaware North Companies Parks & Resorts is set to open Space Shuttle AtlantisSM, the world’s most comprehensive and interactive attraction devoted to NASA’s 30-year Space Shuttle Program, on June 29 at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex.
The $100 million attraction allows guests to get nose to nose with Atlantis, which flew in space 33 times and still bears the scars, scorch marks and space dust of its last mission. Atlantis is dramatically displayed as only astronauts have seen it before, tilted on its side at a 43.21-degree angle and seeming to float in space with its payload bay doors open and its robotic Canadarm extended, as if it has just undocked from the International Space Station (ISS).
The 90,000-square-foot attraction contains replica modules of the ISS, a full-scale, high-fidelity replica of the Hubble Space Telescope, four multimedia and cinematic productions and more than 60 interactive experiences that invite guests to “be the astronaut.” It also celebrates the people, passion and patriotism behind the shuttle program. All 135 space shuttle missions from 1981 to 2011 were launched and processed at Kennedy Space Center, the home of human spaceflight.
Delaware North is a global hospitality management and food service company that has operated Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex for NASA since 1995. Delaware North developed Space Shuttle Atlantis in partnership with NASA and in conjunction with St. Louis-based PGAV Destinations, a global leader in the planning and design of unique destinations with nearly 50 years’ experience in the attractions/destinations industry. Atlantis is the marquee element in a 10-year master plan that Delaware North created for the one-of-a-kind destination.
“There is nowhere else on Earth like Space Shuttle Atlantis,” said Bill Moore, chief operating officer of Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex for Delaware North. “Our Delaware North team, working with NASA, PGAV Destinations and a dozen other world-class companies, created an attraction with hi-fi replicas, simulators and interactive activities touching on all aspects of the shuttle program and its accomplishments.”
Delaware North also led the creation in 1996 of the visitor complex’s Apollo/Saturn V Center, which features a fully restored, massive Saturn V moon rocket and interactive elements that tell the story of man’s landing on the moon.
“Delaware North is incredibly proud of being entrusted with Atlantis by NASA and to create a stunning, comprehensive and awe-inspiring attraction to tell the compelling story of her missions and those men and women who flew her. I am confident that the millions of visitors from around the world who make the trip to see Atlantis will feel inspired and moved by her story,” said Rick Abramson, president of Delaware North Companies Parks & Resorts, who also is executive chairman of the company’s operations in Australia and Asia.
In addition to NASA and PGAV Destinations, Delaware North’s other key partners have included:
- BRPH, an international architecture, engineering design and construction firm with offices in Melbourne, Fla.;
- Cortina Productions, a McLean, Va.-based company specializing in media design, video and interactive experiences;
- Design Island, one of the industry’s premier multimedia concept and production companies, based in Orlando, Fla.
- Electrosonic, a worldwide provider of audio-visual systems with offices in Orlando, Fla.;
- Guard-Lee Inc., based in Apopka, Fla., an acclaimed provider of high-fidelity aerospace replicas and models;
- Ivey’s Construction Inc. a Merritt Island, Fla.-based construction firm and leader in Florida’s construction industry;
- Mousetrappe, a Burbank, Calif. media-based design and production studio that creates entertainment and cultural attractions, exhibits and shows;
- The Nassal Company, Orlando, Fla., a global leader for fabrication and installation of immersive and themed environments and the same company that fabricated and installed the exhibitry for The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando’s Islands of Adventure;
- Penwal Industries, a designer, fabricator and installer of aerospace and military models based in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.;
- Unified Field Inc., a New York-based leader in the field of interactive media including multi-channel experiences and digital branding campaigns;
- Whiting-Turner, a national provider of contracting and construction management services, with offices in Orlando, Fla.;