Doitwell has previously shared investigative guest experiences from a wine tour in Tuscany to a kayaking excursion in Naples, but this week we are back in the USA at our headquarters in Orlando, Florida, to interview our Co-Founder, Giovanni di Ronza after his visit to the Kennedy Space Center.
The Kennedy Space Center is situated on the east coast of Florida, now famously known as the Space Coast. It is one of the most inspiring science attractions for guests of all ages. For as long as he can remember, Giovanni has been fascinated by outer space and the world of astronauts. The Kennedy Space Center is the best place to get the history of space travel, astronauts, and to dream of one day getting to travel to space.
Giovanni, along with his wife and his toddler, arrived at 09.00 when the park opens and stayed almost 10 hours, eventually re-emerging at closing. They were able to visit all of the space center with their stroller since all exhibit areas were accessible.
Selenia: Tell us more about this experience!
Giovanni: As I said before, we spent the whole day discovering all of the attractions at the Kennedy Space Center. We arrived without purchasing tickets in advance since they were the same price online. At the entrance, the ticket machines we noticed were shaped as space shuttles. Nearby the rocket display, a fountain, with the namesake of the Space Center, President Kennedy, featured a quote from his famous Moon speech which set the tone for what to expect inside.
Once inside we traveled back in time to the first years of the space race and we wandered around the different exhibits for hours. At some points, we felt lost because the signs and maps were not very precise. There were virtual reality booths where you can enter to experience what it is like to travel in space. But what fascinated us the most was the reconstructed view of the entire 1962 dispatch control station.
It was an experience that lasted about 20 minutes, but it creates a sensation that accompanies you throughout the day. I wanted to learn more and I felt the need to research more of the history. I wished there were options to have a guide to discover the park more independently, maybe with a digital tool? I know I would have used it! Additionally outside there was the opportunity of being professionally photographed with an astronaut and then picking up the photo later.
Selenia: What kind of activities did you do? What could be improved?
Giovanni: When I travel I like to explore but in some contexts, as a visitor, I enjoy being accompanied and motivated. Otherwise, the sense of experience itself is lost. A disappointing moment was not being able to try the simulator because the line was too long and it was difficult waiting with a toddler. We preferred to walk and immerse ourselves in other things. The Hall of Fame of the most famous astronauts, for example, a super technological room with a 360-degree monitor had an overwhelming brightness.
Undoubtedly the thing that struck us the most was the bus ride that allows you to approach the launch pad of the spacecraft. One thing that surprised me though was that the buses were diesel engines rather than electric. We thought that in this inspiring place we should have seen a future vision of a sustainable world. The bus tour lasted about 45 minutes, and the driver provided some interesting information during the drive. There was also a video that told stories about points of interest that we passed along the way, which included interviews with NASA’s team.
We enjoyed the video on the bus and the interaction with the driver and it was possible to take pictures along the drive expect at one point. There was another moment of feeling lost since the bus tour ended at a different point from which it started. Again, I felt the need of being guided.
Tourism has changed in recent years and customers are increasingly hungry for memorable experiences. We must surprise them and lead them, always giving them all the necessary tools. Therefore, I would have enjoyed signs, customer care, and services. We ate in one of the onsite restaurants, ordering through touch panels, so lots of technology, but little choice and little theming, including no restaurant name. However, the NASA shop has no rivals, it was very diverse items for purchase, a space dreamers paradise.
Selenia: What do you look at when you visit an attraction like this?
Giovanni: I try to understand if there are all the elements that can make the customer happy. I like to examine all the steps of the Customer Journey offline and online. I usually test any digital tool and try to organize my day with an app, for example, checking different waiting times, schedule of the day, and looking for a sense of continuity.
Selenia: What rating would you give to this experience as a Guest?
Giovanni: The experience was positive. If I had to leave a review, I certainly enjoyed the Kennedy Space Center but see ways for improvement. I would suggest proposing a better experience for the Guests. You can buy seats to watch the launches, too bad that this is not advertised in any way. If you grow with a passion like mine for space and you have the chance to go to Florida, it’s a must-do step.
I am still excited when I think back to see the famous Atlantis spacecraft, I took in every piece of it. My passion became reality, getting to the instruments used by astronauts. Only in this way can you really understand what life in space was like! I enjoyed living the experience and I would have shared it online and offline with my friends and family!
When I asked Giovanni what was the main reason visit this attraction, he mentioned a Walt Disney’s quote that everyone knows: “if you can dream it you can do it”, and if you want to become an astronaut you have to go to the Kennedy Space Center to dream big!
After visiting a few attractions with us you are getting to know us better, the spirit of doitwell is an international, adventurous spirit that always looks at the details and figures out ways the guest experience can be improved. Our passion is wearing Guest shoes and supporting our Clients; designing and delivering an exceptional customer journey experience both online and offline.
We are always on the move looking for new experiences to tell you!