A major step for most visitors to Walt Disney World Resorts is booking an airline to get to Orlando.
Orlando International Airport (MCO) is the main hub for Disney travelers (There are Disney Gift Shops in the Terminal). Orlando International Airport better know as MCO is the largest airport in central Florida and caters to the Central Florida tourist destinations. It is a very busy airport where Disney’s Magical Express is based out of.
MCO also offers taxi, Uber, bus and car rental services that will also take you to the Resorts. MCO is currently going through a transformation so that the airport will be able to handle the projected increase in traffic for the next 20 years. Even though there is quite a bit of construction going on, MCO is very easy to get into and exit from.
MCO also offers the widest variety of airlines coming in from throughout the United States and the rest of the World.
Below is a list of airlines that currently serve MCO:
We would suggest that if you are coming from a colder climate that you would consider purchasing insurance for your flight. During the Winter months, snow storms can wreak havoc on flights, even if the storm is days before your scheduled trip.
It is common practice for airlines in the United States to overbook their busy flights. This is a practice that here at DisneyDawgs, we think should be illegal. But as of right now it is not and airlines regularly do this. “Bumping” is the practice of the airline selling more reservations for a flight than there are seats. In most cases not all tickets sold show up for the scheduled flight and there are not problems. But often, more people show up than there are seats for on the flight. When this happens, the airline will offer incentives to anyone willing to give up their seat for a later flight by offering free fares for a future flight and some even offer cash back. If not enough people take advantage of the incentives an airline is offering, those that were the last to check in for the flight will be “bumped” to a later flight.
Like I said, we believe that this practice should be outlawed and, well, it is just not right. The only thing that we can suggest for this practice is to make sure that you check in early for your flight and do not have any time-sensitive plans for the day that your flight is scheduled to arrive in Orlando.
Again, MCO is a very busy International Airport. Depending upon the time of year, the airport may take some time to get through.
Plan on extra time to get through the airport during the following times of year.
Remember when leaving Orlando, MCO is one of the most difficult and time-consuming airports to get through TSA security and Customs. During peak times, plan an extra 2-3 hours to get to your gate.
There are several other airports in the Central Florida region that it may be possible to fly into.
Orlando Sanford International Airport – Sanford is a smaller airport located in Sandford, FL, which is just outside of Orlando. There are limited airline opportunities at Sanford with the budget Allegiant Air hosting the majority of arrivals and departures. Orlando/Sanford International Airport is a further distance away (aprox 45 miles, MCO is 18 miles away) from most of the the major Orlando area attractions. This airport also does not have Disney’s Magical Express, so you would either need to take a taxi, Uber, bus or rent a car to get to your resort.
Tampa International Airport (TPA)- Tampa International Airport is quite a distance from the Orlando area. The airport is 78 miles away from the Walt Disney Resorts complex. Some people fly into TPA because there is less a volume of travelers and some airline’s offer lower rates to fly out of TPA rather than MCO.
Daytona Beach International Airport (DAB) – Daytona Beach International Airport is a small airport located right next to the Daytona Beach International Speedway. This airport would most-likely be an option if 1. Your were also going to Daytona for the Daytona 500 held in February each year. or 2. You were not able to get a flight into one of the above airports. DAB is 81 miles from the Walt Disney World Resort.
Orlando Melbourne International Airport – Melbourne is a very small airport on the East Coast of Florida. American Airlines and Delta offer service to this airport that is 75 miles away from the Walt Disney World Resorts.
All other MAJOR airports (Miami, Ft. Lauderdale) are 150 or more miles away from the Walt Disney World Resorts which would most-likely be a 3+ hour drive and not worth looking into other than if you were visiting other areas of Florida than the Orlando region.
Well, that is some basic information about flying into Orlando, FL. In most cases, we would recommend that you use Orlando International Airport because everything is geared toward the Orlando Tourist Industry and that Disney Magical Express runs out of MCO.
Where ever you fly from and to, DisneyDawgs wishes you have a very safe flight and have a wonderful time visiting the Orlando area.
Mark Plante and his family have been visitors to the Orlando area for 15+ years. They are using information, tricks and knowledge that they have accumulated during that time to create this blog.