You’re heading on a Disney vacation! But before you can get to the parks or board your cruise, you may need to navigate the pathways of Orlando International Airport. Your friends at Disney Addicts don’t want that to be a stress inducer, so we’ve got 5 need-to-know items that will make your airport trek a breeze!
1. There’s a monorail there!
Whether you’re arriving at Orlando International Airport or departing home after your magical Walt Disney World or Disney Cruise Line vacation, you’ll need to board an airport shuttle. Just like the Disney monorail (but not as fun if you’re heading home), it transports travelers to or from their gates. You cannot get to the main terminal or onto your flight without boarding it. Be aware that there are no seats on this shuttle, so you’ll have to stand and hold onto the handrails.
2. It’s one big, giant rectangle.
The main terminal of Orlando International Airport is a rectangle surrounded by four corners and divided into two sections. Travelers arriving into the airport will disembark their flights from one of these four corners, depending the gate. Likewise, travelers returning home will head to these same gates to board their departing flights. Upon taking the airport shuttle into the main terminal, guests will notice it’s divided into two sections – side A and side B. It’s important to note which side your gate is on as this is the baggage claim area you’ll need to report to. Those guests staying on Walt Disney World property and enjoying the complimentary benefits of Disney’s Magical Express can rest easy; your bags will be magically transported to your resort room.
3. The terminal is three levels.
The main rectangular terminal has three levels. Travelers enter the airport on Level 3. Ticketing counters are located on both sides A and B along with the TSA security checkpoint, shops (like Disney’s Earport), and a sprawling food court. The middle level, Level 2, houses the baggage claim areas. Once again, it’s important for travelers to note if their flights disembark on side A or side B as they’ll need to pick up their bags at the appropriate claim area. The bottom level, Level 1, is home to ground transportation, car rentals, and Disney’s Magical Express Transportation. Walt Disney World Resort guests should head to side B of Level 1 to board the Magical Express. Upon arriving, Cast Members will scan their MagicBands and direct them to specific lines where they will wait until the Magical Express whisks them away to their resorts. Please note that Disney Cruise Line guests who have paid for transfers from the airport will also head here to board their motorcoach to Port Canaveral. (One-way transfers cost $35/person and round-trip transfers cost $70/person.)
4. There’s a hotel in the middle of the airport.
Upon stepping into the center of the main terminal on Level 3, guests might notice its airy, cavernous feel. Look up, and you’ll see you’re actually standing in the middle of a hotel! The Hyatt Regency at Orlando International Airport is often the choice of many Disney Cruise Line guests as they stay here the night before their cruises depart. It’s conveniently located and includes transfers to Port Canaveral located on Level 1. As previously mentioned, guests who have prepaid for transfers from Disney will head to Disney’s Magical Express to board their motorcoach to the port. However, guests can also rent a car or secure a taxi or Uber on this same level.
5. There’s an app for that!
Still need help navigating your way through Orlando International Airport? Never fear. The Orlando MCO Airport App is a free app that might help. It offers step-by-step directions once you’re inside of the airport as well as up-to-date flight information, TSA wait times, shopping and dining locations, ground transportation, and more.
Airports can sometimes feel overwhelming, but hopefully you’re feeling more ready to tackle Orlando International Airport on your next Disney trip!
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