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What Happens When A Small-Town Family Visits The "World's Largest"... Whatever!

Orlando Science Center: World’s Largest Digistar Planetarium

We’re just back from Boston, and summer is winding down. Say, is that a dim light I see at the end of the tunnel?? Why, it looks like the light coming from a local elementary school classroom…

Orlando Science Center

Photo credit: Orlando Science Center

Of course, we have yet to share all of our Orlando adventures, so…

Where we went, and who was coerced into going:

Picture it: Orlando. Summertime. A heat-phobic family of nerdy tourists needing somewhere to escape. Orlando Science Center to the rescue!

WHY did you go there, exactly?

Orlando is not only theme parks, a fact which I urge everyone to consider when they visit. There are some really fun attractions which have nothing to do with a certain mouse and his friends.

Because we proudly fly the geek flag on our homestead, we’re always up for a visit to a science museum. The OSC lured us in with its promise of the world’s largest Digistar Planetarium.

Okay, what was so cool about it?

The Planetarium was our last stop, after visiting the center’s other exhibits. The kids enjoyed the “DinoDigs” exhibit gallery features several reproduction skeletons of dinosaurs and prehistoric sea creatures, including a T-Rex. Two fossil dig areas attracted a gaggle of kids clamoring to find dino bones.

The Girl especially enjoyed being with other pre-schoolers in KidsTown, where she spent an inordinate amount of time at the water table and in the pretend orange juice processing plant.

water table

Remaining relatively dry at the water table.

The Boy was in his element in the Science Park gallery, where exhibits focus on principles such as magnetism, electricity, lasers, sound waves, etc. He constructed a pinewood derby car and sent it down the 70-ft. track, and played a harp with laser “strings.”

science museum

Geek space.

The Digistar planetarium is inside the 310-seat CineDome, which features a giant, 8,000-sq ft screen. You can watch a traditional planetarium show, laser light shows, and movies in this theater. Movies are projected via a 15,000-watt Xenon lamp, utilizing the world’s largest format film in the world, 15/70, which is 10 times larger than conventional film.


This is the show we WISH we had watched. Photo credit: Orlando Science Center

On the day we visited, our only choice was a laser show, “Legends of the Night Sky: Orion’s Story.” It’s a simple mythical story for kids, narrated by Aesop the owl and Socrates the mouse, following Orion’s adventures as he battles an evil king and wins goddess Artemis.

Let’s just say, I’m glad this film was followed up by a short planetarium presentation. The laser show’s storyline and graphics were really simple, and boring to both kids. The pulsing of the laser graphics was uncomfortable for my eyes to take in. We were all glad when the live narrator switched on the starry night sky, and explained where and how we could see the Orion’s Belt constellation with our own eyes.

How it rated on a scale of 1 to 10 (1 = snoozefest, 10 = add to your bucket list): [rating=7.5]

Overall, the Orlando Science Center was a hit. Although we didn’t enjoy the laser light show we saw, the immense screen would make a planetarium show or movie really fun! My advice: plan ahead if you want to see a planetarium show by checking the online calendar.


Orlando Science Center

777 E. Princeton Street , Orlando, FL 32803

407-514-2000 or 888.OSC.4FUN


  1. Mike said,
    August 16, 2012 @ 3:06 pm

    What?!?!?! No Pink Floyd, Dark Side of the Moon playing at the planetarium. I may be dating myself 🙂

  2. Liam said,
    August 16, 2012 @ 5:00 pm

    There are so many great things to do in Orlando apart from Disney–good for you for exploring!

  3. August 20, 2012 @ 12:48 pm

    The planetarium is really amazing! 🙂

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  1. May 15, 2013 @ 5:09 am

    […] There are other smaller attractions we also like in the area, such as Gatorland   and the Orlando Science Center. We visit my parents in Tampa, and there’s a lot for families there as well, including the […]