Rocket Blog: A Local Student's Adventures at Cape Canaveral - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Rocket Blog: A Local Student's Adventures at Cape Canaveral

Tia Watson and sister Dava, en route to Cape Canaveral Tia Watson and sister Dava, en route to Cape Canaveral
Tia visited Gatorland in Florida Tia visited Gatorland in Florida
Tia & family at the entrance to DisneyWorld Tia & family at the entrance to DisneyWorld
Hogwarts castle Hogwarts castle

(Editor's Note: Tia Watson is a local sixth grader with an interest in all things outer space. Last summer, she participated in the Starbase Atlantis Program at Ford Island, and launched a rocket as part of her out-of-this-world training. This week, Tia and her family are traveling to Cape Canaveral in Florida to witness a real, live rocket launch, and she has agreed to keep a diary about her experiences with our readers here on

Day One:
This is a picture of me and my sister Dava at the Honolulu airport. We are very excited about seeing the rocket launch at Cape Canaveral on May 15, and we are excited about going to all the amusement parks.

Day Two:
This is a alligator at Gatorland. If you ever go to "Gatorland" you'll see how WEIRD they act! We bought some food pellets to drop into the young alligator's area and instead of eating it normally, the baby alligators paused, then quick snatched the crunchies like they snuck up on them or something. One of the big gators seemed to be tracking my movements because he kept on swimming right under the wood planks I was standing on. Alligators have been taken off the endangered list.

Day Three:
This is from Disney World's "Magic Kingdom." We went there today and it was really fun. First we rode the train going to all the different areas in the park. We got out at Frontier Land and went on a little roller coaster ride called "Big Thunder Mountain Railroad" which I recommend if you are going on a trip to Florida anytime soon. We also saw an electric parade which was really lit up. If you go to Disney World, you NEED to stay and see the fireworks at 9:00pm at least one time. It's worth it; Disney World really knows how to do fireworks. It was spectacular. Tomorrow we'll be going to Universal Studios and the Wizarding World of Harry Potter!

Day Four:
This is a picture of the Hogwarts castle. Today we went to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, and it was really cool! We got to try butterbeer(not real beer but cream soda with a creamy shortbread cookie and butterscotch tasting cream) and we saw the Hogwarts castle and Hogsmead Village. There was a roller-coaster and a Quidditch simulator that was fun but it made me kind of dizzy. If you get butterbeer at Hogsmead, you should get the frozen one because it tastes better than the cold butterbeer and it is refreshing because the summer days are so hot. Olivander's Wand Shop is interesting. They choose one person out of a group of people and they let "the wand choose the Wizard." You can also buy your own wand, but I didn't since I have two at home. The flight simulator was fun. But it wasn't fun for some people because it made them dizzy. The special effects on the ride were really good, and when you went down on the screen in front of you, air blew up from under you so you felt as if you were really falling. We also went on an exclusive tour of the castle and got to take photos. Inside the castle were moving pictures, the Gryffindor common room, the defense against the dark arts classroom, Dumbledore's office, the mirror of Erised, the sorting hat, and more. Also, one of the guides told us that next year, a new London section will be added to connect to Hogsmead, and you can take a train from London to Hogwarts! Outlook for the weather is clear and sunny for this week; perfect for the rocket launch tomorrow. We leave for Cape Canaveral tomorrow morning!

Day Five:
Success! The rocket launch at Cape Canaveral was a successful launch! It was so cool to watch the Atlas V launch. We had to stay about five and a half miles away from the actual rocket because if you are too close, either the heat or the sound will kill you. Friends and family of the astronauts watch the launches from the same spot we were at. (Only immediate family of the astronauts can go to a different closer location.) The Kennedy Space Center was fun to go to. We saw replicas of certain rockets and there were simulators for landing shuttles on the moon that were cool too. From the way I kept crashlanding the shuttle, it seemes pretty hard to control a rocket. Inside the Space Center was a real rocket on the ceiling of the building. I really liked the launch simulator. You went into a seat, and then you would vibrate and shake and tilt like a real rocket does when it takes off! We saw a video before we went in the simulator and astronauts talked about how this simulator was the most like a real take off.

The narrator had actually piloted four launches! These are pictures af me and my family at the Kennedy Space Center and the rocket launch. Tomorrow we are going to Epcot in Disney World.

Day Six:
Epcot has a lot of simulators. Today we went to Epcot and we saw a lot of space in it, especially in the first part of Epcot. We went on a time travel simulator that shows you how communication has changed over hundreds of years. Another simulator we went on was "Soarin" and is like you're flying over California. That one is really good. The plants at Epcot look really nice too. They cut the plants really well. Tomorrow, we are either going back to Magic Kingdom or to Universal Studios.  

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