Home » Flying in for Your Walt Disney World or Universal Orlando Resort Vacation? Here’s What You Need to Know

    Flying in for Your Walt Disney World or Universal Orlando Resort Vacation? Here’s What You Need to Know

    Terminal B

    The Orlando International Airport (MCO) is the most popular Orlando airport nearWalt Disney World. If you’re headed to Walt Disney World or one of the area’s other world-class theme parks, you’ll most likely be travelling through this essential checkpoint. Here’s a quick rundown of all the details you need to know to navigate the airport easily and make the most of the special perks that you’ll find at MCO.

    Airport layout essentials

    Terminal B

    Image: Rusty Clark ~ 100K Photos, Flickr (license)

    The Orlando International Airport features one Main Terminal and four Airside Terminals. The Airside Terminals are not physically connected to the Main Terminal. You can only reach them via the shuttles available behind the security checkpoints. The shuttle ride is quick and painless, taking just over a minute each way.

    Waiting for a flight

    Image: Mark Cameron, Flickr (license)

    The Main Terminal is divided into the A Side and B Side for ticketing and baggage claim purposes.

    Airlines on A Side include:

    • Aer Lingus
    • AeroGal
    • AeroMexico
    • AirBerlin
    • Air Transat
    • Alaska
    • Avianca
    • Azul
    • CopaAirlines
    • Eastern
    • Emirates (Ticketing only)
    • Eurowings
    • Frontier Airlines
    • jetBlue
    • Magni Charters
    • Norwegian
    • Southwest
    • Sunwing Airlines
    • Virgin America
    • Virgin Atlantic
    • WestJet

    On B Side, you’ll find:

    • Air Canada
    • American Airlines
    • Bahamas Air
    • British Airways
    • Caribbean Airlines
    • Delta
    • Emirates (Baggage only)
    • Iselandair
    • Latam Airlines
    • Lufthansa
    • Miami International Air
    • Air Canada Rouge
    • Silver Airways
    • Spirit
    • Sun Country Airlines
    • Thomas Cook
    • United
    • Volaris

    The MCO App AKA your best friend

    Airport track

    Image: Christopher Schmitt, Flickr (license)

    The Orlando International Airport has its own handy app packed with useful information. Just search for the MCO app and add it to your phone before your trip. You can pick your airline and find all the details you need including its location in the airport, availability of curbside check-in, and mobile check-in links.

    Allow your phone access to your location and you can get directions right to your favorite shopping or dining location in the airport. Need Starbucks fast, or a juicy burger with no time lost wandering around? Just plug in your pick and you’ll get there in no time. Though some airports are small enough to make this kind of feature superfluous, you’ll really appreciate it in a property this size.

    Best of all, you can get updates on the current security wait time at both gates to help you plan your travel as efficiently as possible. Since most of the best shopping is available before the security checkpoint, this is a great tool for figuring out how much time you can spend picking up last-minute souvenirs before you need to hop in the security line and head to your flight.

    Theme park shopping on-site

    Universal Store

    Image: Rusty Clark ~ 100K Photos, Flickr (license)

    You don’t have to make it all the way to the theme park to shop memorable souvenirs. Being the primary Orlando airport near Disney World, the Orlando International Airport is well-equipped with theme park essentials. Branded stores that channel top local attractions include:

    • Disney’s Earport: Main Terminal – East Hall
    • Magic of Disney: Main Terminal – West Hall
    • Kennedy Space Center: Main Terminal – East Hall -AND- West Hall
    • Ron Jon’s Surf Shop: Main Terminal – South Walk
    • SeaWorld: Main Terminal – West Hall
    • Universal Orlando: Main Terminal – East Hall

    If you forgot to grab a favorite tee shirt or get a gift for someone back home, these stores have everything you could need. They’re also a convenient stop if you want to pick up something from a park you couldn’t quite fit into your agenda. Perhaps your Disney vacation didn’t have time for a stop by Universal but you still want to pick up some Harry Potter swag. Just do it at the airport and you can enjoy all the best of Orlando in one spot.

    Transportation options

    Arrivals board

    Image: Rusty Clark ~ 100K Photos, Flickr (license)

    You’ll find ample transportation options available at the Orlando airport near Disney World. If a private car is picking you up, you’ll find curbside pickup on Level 2. All other transportation options are on Level 1. These include:

    • Rental cars
    • Taxis
    • Hotel shuttles
    • Buses
    • Disney’s Magical Express

    If you’re staying on property at Walt Disney World, Disney’s Magical Express is by far your best option. Just make arrangements before your arrival and you can hop on this complimentary bus for direct transportation to your hotel. Once on property, transportation is free to all other Walt Disney World locations including the parks, hotels, golf courses, and Disney Springs.

    MCO is an outstanding airport that caters to its visitors as efficiently as any Orlando destination. From mouse-eared souvenirs to stunning art installations to handy high-tech app features, you’ll find everything you could need to make your travel as comfortable as possible through this airport.