Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line' started by sweetpee_1993, Sep 7, 2012.
Just when you thought I'd finally shut up....
About 15 minutes drive from the Kemah Boardwalk is Space Center Houston, aka Johnson Space Center. This is where Mission Control for NASA is. Yep, the shuttles launched from Kennedy but they interacted with Mission Control in Houston. It's my understanding that when the shuttle cleared the tower she then belonged to Houston. I could be wrong but I think I remember that being the way it went. The astronauts trained here. The facility is still very much a working facility and during one of the tours I think you see where there's round-the-clock communication happening with the International Space Station. Like you see the people in by a bunch of consoles and they're talking to them. I *think* I remember seeing that when we did the full tour a few years ago. I realize the shuttles no longer launch so the Mission Control rooms are quiet now but the International Space Station is still manned. If you look back at the map I posted above. Where you see the name "El Lago Estates" near Kemah is approximately where the Space Center is located. One could easily spend a full day checking out the exhibits, taking the tours, and enjoying all there is to see & do right there at the Space Center. I could post pics from the last time I took the boys there 2 years ago as a homeschool "field trip". I won't bore y'all with my geeky mom-pics, tho. LOL!
So, okay, I'll shut up now. I'm hungry so I'll go away.
If anyone has any questions, needs me to go take pictures of something, want me to go scope out a hotel for you, etc. please don't hesitate to ask. I'm just a homeschoolin' Disney-fan momma who's thoroughly addicted to cruising with Mickey. Y'all don't be shy about coming to Texas to sail the Magic (& the Wonder next year). There's oodles to do and now you have an albeit "new" local to help ya with any uncertainties you may have in venturing to a new place. K?
Well, thank you! I tried to weed out the ones that were of the family and show the ones that were of the area. LOL!
Bwaaaahhahahahaaaaa....No, I'm a champion at procrastination. I've not been off my butt all day and it's after 2:00.
Awwww, now THAT's a compliment! Thank you!
You should be paid by the tourism department there. I've never even heard of that area as a vacation destination before, but you've made it look like a very good place to visit.
Wow, such great information!! I'm sailing on the Magic on October 6. And yes we are flying into and out of IAH. Our flight out doesn't leave unitl late.....so any recommendations on what to do in the Houston area?? I have the Magical Express transfers with the cruise line, so I'm guess they will take us to the airport in the morning. I'd love to spend time in Galveston, but I don't want to rent a car. Any ideas if Disney will offer anything for the last day in Galveston and then drop off at the airport later in the day for flights that leave late?
Thanks for all of the information!!
Well, it's not exactly Disney-cool but there really is a lot to see & do. Heck, I want to go jump in the car and go do some of the fun stuff I never think about being right here in my own backyard! I'm sure there's areas all over our great nation that have lots of not-necessarily-household-names things to do. Speaking strictly for myself, I almost think it's a handicap to have this little Disney obsession because I think I miss out on a lot of possibilities when someone says "vacation" and my brain automatically seeks out where Mickey & the gang will be. LOL!
Um, and not to keep going on and on and on...but within 5 hours of Galveston you can go to Sea World San Antonio, soak in the ambiance of the River Walk, see The Alamo, and go visit the original Schlitterbahn waterpark that you see on the Travel Channel all the time. There's tons and tons and tons of things to see and do and it's all right here in good ol' Texas. Whooda ever thunk it?
I really don't know what all Disney has plans for their Galveston cruisers. It seems they've not been really thorough or timely with the information and offerings. I think maybe the local tourism agencies underestimated the impact with Disney Cruise Line sail in and out of the area. Honestly, the best recommendation I can give is to rent a car for the day but I realize that's not something you want to do. Plus, you want to give yourself plenty of time to get out to IAH from Galveston. What's normally an hour or so drive can turn into several hours if something should happen on the interstate to back up traffic. I hate the highway systems in Houston. I think they're way better in Atlanta, if that says anything. LOL! The museum district and other more interesting things to do in Houston are nowhere near IAH so it's not places that are closeby to entertain you. IAH is a very large airport and there's plenty of food and stuff there. Also, just for the Disney geeks, I recently read that the little tram-thing that connects 2 portions of the IAH terminals to each other is the only one ever produced by WED Transportation that is not part of a Disney property. You could make it a point to go check that out. It won't be glamorous or pretty but it means something, right?
Its priceless info and im sure will be of great help to many!
That's the WEDway PeopleMover. When the technology was first developed, the Disney company planned on mass-producing it and selling it commercially. But the only one they actually sold was to the Houston airport. I don't know why they didn't go with the original plan. It's possible there wasn't enough interest, or that they decided it just wasn't worth it to focus on the commercial aspects of the technology. But I think it would've been pretty cool to have PeopleMovers all over the country. It's one of the attractions that I ride during every visit to the Magic Kingdom because my Dad loved it so much.
In fact, I'll be riding it TODAY!! Woo-hoo!! (I need that smilie that used to jump up and down and clap. . .)
Yay!!!! Have fun riding the Peoplemover for me, too! I love that ride...
Wow Kelly, what great information !! My parents have travelled a lot for my dad's business and my mom still talks about their visit to Texas and how wonderful the area and people were, she said by far it was their favorite state. We are dying to try some new places to sail from and this looks awesome, if only it wasn't so darn far from Nova Scotia.....sigh
I realize you wrote all this about four months ago, but thank you! It was highly informative. We are staying at the Harbor House (at least at this point) before our cruise, I agree the website makes it look quite a bit nicer than your exterior photo, I will let you know how it is, although after reading about that Hilton I may have to switch it up...Did you notice if people could walk from the Harbor House to the cruise terminal? That was why I picked it. I have a grand vision of waking up my kids and saying something like, "huh there is the Disney Magic, I didn't know it would be here. Lets go take a closer look...SURPRISE!! We are going today!" I love surprising the kids...
The transfer thing is turning into quite a challenge since I cannot find a one way car rental on Galveston Island that will be open on Sunday. We fly in and out of HOU and Disney isn't offering transfers that I can find. I guess we can take a taxi to and fro...
Thanks for the excellent, highly detailed and useful info!
Definitely call Disney because they are offering transfers to/from HOU! Not sure if they're just doing to/from the terminal the morning of sailing and to the Hotel Galvez (the official DCL hotel) or if they've got other options. Also, Super Shuttle says they run from HOU to the cruise terminals but they don't say how much. Maybe try giving them a call. You could do Super Shuttle from HOU to the cruise terminal area the day before --> walk to the Harbor House for the night (plenty of restaurants RIGHT there within eye shot) --> walk to the terminal for your cruise (maybe the length of 2 city blocks) --> book DCL transfers back to HOU post-cruise. It'd work. Here's the link to what I found for Super Shuttle:
Give 'em a call!
Harbor House is right next to the cruise terminals so absolutely you could wake up and walk over. It'll be a little bit of a hike if you've got lots of luggage but it's very much walkable. Disney is using terminal 2 so you'll have to walk past terminal 1 to get there. When the ship arrives in the early morning they'll slip right past the Harbor House. Right there! If you walk out of the hotel and go towards the water there's a pretty good sized pier there that you may be able to look down to the left and see the Disney ship. If any of the other cruiselines are in port they'll be pretty much all you see, tho, because like I said terminal 2 is on the other side of terminal 1. And, I think my pics were deceptive. The Harbor House is very nice. Hubby keeps prodding me wanting to stay there next Thursday night before we embark for our 8-night cruise on Friday. I'm digging my heels in refusing. Why spend that money + another night boarding the dog + eating out when we live 20 minutes away??? LOL! Craziness.
Ok I will dig a little deeper with Disney.
Thanks for the info, I really appreciate it!
I can't wait to read your trip report on the 8 night cruise because that's the one we are doing. Have fun!!
Oh yes! I'll do a report of some sort. I'm never sure if I'll stick with the usual format until I get home. We'll see. I'll save extras of all the Navigators to scan & upload.
The Lonestar Aviation Museum in Galveston has suspended all public rides in their vintage aircraft indefinitely. Their P-51 went down in Galveston Bay on 10/23/13 killing both the pilot and paying passenger. Very sad news all the way around.
Thanks so much for this thread! We are cruising on the Wonder in December (the 14th). We'll be driving to Galveston the 13th after my daughter gets out of school. I was wondering if you could help me since you live in the area.
We'll probably get into Houston right during traffic. Do you have any recommendations from I10 to get around the traffic? I read somewhere to take Grand Parkway south in Katy to Westpark Tollway to 45 and take that into Galveston. Is this the best way?
Also we say a special on Kemah on the daytripper (PBS show really neat for learning about Texas towns). Anyway I really want to eat at Bubba's Shrimp Palace on the way. Is it any good? (I saw you don't like seafood but figured you might know about the place). I am hoping it is on the way to Galveston so we won't be heading too far out of the way. We are staying at Springhill suites in Galveston because we are a family of 5 and there are limited options for us in a single room.
Thanks for your pics! We are season pass holders for Schiltterbahn in New Braunfels so we love that place! I wish we had time to check out the one in Galveston.
When we sailed from Galveston last May we are at Fish Tails the night before and really enjoyed it. The seafood was very fresh and the atmosphere was nice for the whole family. I recommend it. Ricky
@UmmGooD , glad the thread was helpful!
What day of the week and time are you talking about coming thru Houston? Do you have an EZ-Tag or another of the Texas toll tags that are accepted. I think you can check at hctra.org. I avoid the west side of Houston like the plague just because traffic can be so iffy anytime. I like the idea of taking 99/Grand Pkwy to the Westpark Tollway but I wouldn't take that all the way to I-45. I'd get on Beltway 8 (toll road) and bring that around to I-45 on the south side. There's a lot of construction on I-45 just south of the Beltway 8 exchange so that area COULD get hairy for you. Another option is to exit Beltway 8 before you get to I-45 on Beamer Rd. Take Beamer Rd. south all the way to 2351 and hang a left. It'll bring you to Beltway 8 past the worst of the construction. I-45 will then get you all the way down to Galveston Island.
Also, if you're wanting the check out a Bubba Gump's Shrimp Co. without veering all the way up to Kemah there's one in Galveston on the Pleasure Pier. The Pleasure Pier is a Landry's property so you can check it out on their website. I haven't eaten at any of the area Bubba Gump's but I had it in Gatlinburg, TN. It's a fun and festive place to go so for ambiance I'd say it's okay. I wouldn't go there expecting more than chain food, tho.
Hope that helps. Let me know if you have more questions.
Rick, Thanks for the recommendation on Fish Tails.
I do have a TxTag and have used it in Houston once before when we drove through on our way to FL. We'll be driving on Dec 13th (Friday) to Galveston. Unfortunately my daughter won't get out of school until about 12 or so. I am guessing by the time we actually get moving we'll probably be right in the center of Houston traffic
Thanks for the recommendation on the route. I don't mind taking tolls so I can avoid the traffic. I have eaten at Bubba Gumps and you are right it is just a chain. I was wondering about this place:
Separate names with a comma.