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Orlando International Airport (MCO)

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11 Reviews

Orlando International Airport (IATA: MCO, ICAO: KMCO) is an airport located in Orlando, Florida. It is the busiest airport in Florida (by the number of passengers) owing to Orlando's popularity as a tourist destination and its enormous residential and commercial growth. The airport serves as a mini-hub for Delta Connection carriers Chautauqua Airlines and Freedom Airlines (all part of the Delta Connection) and a focus city for AirTran Airways and Delta Air Lines. In 2005 it was visited by 34.1 million passengers, making it the 12th busiest airport in the United States and the 21st-busiest in the World. It is the nation's 15th busiest international gateway, behind Philadelphia International Airport; JFK International in New York City ranks first. Floridians joke that the airport code MCO stands for "Mickey's Corporate Office", as the Orlando area is the location of Disney and Walt Disney World; it actually stands for its former name - McCoy Air Force Base and Colonel Michael N. W. McCoy, who died during an annual competition held at the base.

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      31.08.2013 14:20
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      Something to be endured before a wonderful holiday.

      I've been through Orlando International Airport (MCO) on many occasions and like all major airports it's big and busy.

      On arrival at the airport the first thing you are required to do once you've left the plane is immigration. This is done in an air conditioned hall where you are made to queue up and then families are called forward to have their documents processed and fingerprints taken. This can take a while depending on how many immigration officers are working at any given time, so be prepared to stand around. Once you've cleared immigration you can then proceed to the baggage claim area and get your luggage, there are trolleys available for you to put your bags on so you don't have to carry them, but in my opinion it's not really worth it, as you'll be getting rid of them again once you've gone through customs. Yes if you want you can get rid of your bags again so that you don't have to lug them to the main terminal. Because what is different about MCO is that you get off the plane at a different building which is a monorail ride away from the main terminal. You can if you want take your bags with you on the monorail that way you don't have to wait for them at yet another baggage carousel, it's entirely up to you. I've done it both ways, let my luggage go on ahead without me and also taken it with me and it's worked out well both ways. I suppose it depends on how many bags you have and if you have any children, personally I don't have any kids so I don't have many bags to carry.

      Once you get to the main terminal building you'll be directed to either baggage claim A or B where you'll pick up your bags again, if you opted for that or you can proceed directly to your car hire company which are situated on a lower floor of the airport if you've already got your luggage with you. One you've got all your documents in order for your car, the car park is just a short walk across a road from the terminal building.

      What you'll notice about the main terminal building, is that it doesn't really look like an airport, the vast majority of it is made up of the Hyatt Regency Orlando International Airport Hotel, there are palm trees, in what you might call the lounge area, there's a mini shopping mall, with shops which sell leading brands such as Crocs, Oakley, Swatch, Harley Davisdson and Guess. If you're on your way home and have forgotten to get a souvenier from Walt Disney World or Seaworld, then don't dispair as they've got shops there as well along with Universal Studios. There's also a food court which has a McDonalds and a Starbucks as well as several other eateries, so you wont go hungry.

      MCO is bright and airy compared to some airports I've been in there's plenty to keep you occupied on your return trip, but it is big and spread out, which after a ten hour flight is very daunting when it can take you at least another hour to clear immigration, customs, baggage claim twice and pick up your car, but it is a necessary evil which must be faced.

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        06.05.2010 10:21
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        a must if you want to get to florida

        We first experience MCO airport December 2009 , we had been to Florida 3 times before but had always gone to Sanford airport.
        Are first impression were , how big is airport you have get on a metro to the get the airport terminals it is that big.
        You get of the plane , and you have to go through passport control , you need ensure that you have filled in your green forms correctly otherwise you will have a ticking off, like we did however it let it go and didn't make us fill in another on. You also have your fingerprints taken and a photo taken , however they don't tend to do this with the kids. Do approach the desk until called, they have guns you know.
        We then had to round the corner and had to waited around 30 minutes for our luggage, not quite what you want when you have just got off a 9.5 hour flight.
        We then had to go and get our car , we had to go round what we can only describe as a rabbit run and a member of Dollar had to assist us as we hadn't been here before and would have got lost, we got to our car and the man from Dollar began to put our luggage in the boot , oh he made such a big deal of this kept saying you need a bigger car , however we managed to get the luggage in , funny though as when we came back we had an extra bag and all 5 suitcases fitted in here no problem.
        Our overall experience of Mco airport was ok however i much prefer Sanford airport, but hey you don't go on holiday to spend 2 weeks in the airport , this is just a short part of the experience even if it is not the best.

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        27.10.2009 16:08
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        A good Airport

        Orlando International Airport MCO is a major international airport located southeast of Orlando, Florida. It is the busiest airport in the state of Florida and was the 22nd-busiest in the World in 2008 The airport code MCO stands for the airport's former name, McCoy Air Force Base. The airforce base closed in 1973 and was then commisiond as a Commercial airport.

        The airport is services most of the internal USA airlines as well as British Airways and Virgin Ariways from europe. Another interestion fact is that MCO is a designated Space Shuttle emergency landing site.
        The airport is split in to sections. The a main building has all the check in booths, shops restartants and a hotel (Hyatt Regency). You will pass through passport control and the scanners in the building before you go to your departure area. The passport control and scanners are very fast. The longest I have queed here is 20 mins max.

        Once you have gone through you will then board a shuttle which will take you to your departure area (there are 4) where your gate is. Here you will find a Duty Free and a few restarants. It is better to eat in the man building but there is enough this site not to go hungry.

        On coming in to the country you will pass through immergration. If you are unlucky enough to land with another aircrafts it can get busy. My tip is to always go to the booths on the far right. No one goes that way and the lines are smaller. Bagage collection is fast here. They will have your bags off in a flash

        The airport is has great transportation links. There are always taxis waiting to take you anywhere you want. Walt Disney World Resort runs a bus service to and from the airport for guests staying at its on-site hotels. Also Royal Caribbean International, Carnival Cruise Lines, Disney Cruise Line all run buses from the airport to Port Canaveral.

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        09.02.2008 17:53
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        Good Airport

        Here is my experience of Orlando International Airport which we have used on Three holidays to Florida, our latest visit was Nov 2007.
        Orlando International airport is one of the main Airports for Central Florida but some airlines use Sanford which is further from Orlando. It really depends on the airline company to which airport you will land at, we used Virgin for all trips and all arrived at the same area of the international airport.

        Before you arrive in the USA don't forget to fill is those green visa waiver forms for each person in your party oh and 1 white customs form for the whole family. Fill this out correctly other wise you will pay for this later, time wise. The airline crew are very good and will help by checking over your forms but you must ask them to do this. On virgin flights they have a little section in the flight magazine with helpful information.
        On Arriving try and get off the plane as quick as possible. Why you may ask? Well you will find out as soon as your reach passport control where you will find queues and queues of people trying to get through. At our arrival time we had two large planes arrive at similar times and it becomes even more of a nightmare. Average wait has been between 30 minutes to 1 hour, not good when you have 2 children who have had a long flight and just want to get their holiday started. Plus you have everyone else being grumpy, adults and children (Ear-plugs might come in handy here). Once you get to the end of the queue make sure you have all your forms and passports ready. Wait your turn until your called, don't move unless asked. When called forward all the family must go together, hand over all paperwork and pray that everything is filled in correctly. I saw at least 6 families sent to the back of the queue and asked to refill in their forms, all forms can not have any crossing outs. Then the officer will check each of you out, adults have to do a finger check and eye/picture check. They don't really bother with the children much. Oh don't expect a happy greeting, they don't smile and please don't joke with them. Once your through that bit, breath!!!!

        Then its collect your baggage time, on the last trip its was easy, all luggage was there ready and waiting and we had no trouble at all. Good time to take a toilet stop. On other visits it took half an hour here.
        Then off you go through another check, you give in the white form customs form at this stage, in the past we didn't have to do this we just gave them to the officer at passport control.

        Then round the corner you meet a man with a conveyer belt putting on luggage. Normally they take your luggage from you and you don't see it until Baggage Claim which they normally direct you to (They give you a number to go to) and is very simple to get to and is very well sign-posted. BUT on our last trip we was given the option not to use this and take the luggage straight with us to the exit, this is okay if you don't have many bags with you. We had one each so managed this okay.
        You then proceed to either Baggage claim if you gave luggage or Exit if you have it already, you basically are going in the same direction. You get directed to a Train (Monorail) and this takes you to the main people, these can get packed so try and keep everyone together as much as possible. There is only one station to get off.

        The you follow the signs to where you wish to go to:
        Baggage claim - If you handed luggage over go here and collect luggage this can again take time.

        Exit - Follow signs to exits. You will see many different types like rental car area, buses, Taxis, Car parks and so on. As we had a tour bus picking us up we found a virgin rep who directed us to the ground floor where several buses were waiting.

        RETURN - This is much easier to do and follow, you arrive at the airport and go to the gate you need, this is normally already on your ticket which it has been on all trips. You go through security gates, be prepared to wait for a long while and take off shoes and watches and you name it everything, apart from your main clothes of cause. The detectors seem to be more sensitive than the uk one as we have found. My trainers set them off twice. On the last visit the machines were playing up and I nearly had a panic attack that we was going to be late. You then get on the train to the gate you want and jump off at the other end. Your basically at the departure area for your plane. Before you get there don't forget toilet stop and duty free, this normally closes 30 minutes before your flight is due to leave so be quick. Also you can grab a quick drink at several of the cafes there but be prepared to pay more than normal cafes.

        The seating areas are not very comfortable and I don't think they have enough seats for the number of people using this gate. Also when they call peoples names or gate numbers, they should do so more clearer or get a better system, you never seem to be able to here what's been said.

        OVERALL : I don't mind this airport at all its not one of the best but isn't bad. The main downside is the waiting around and all the queues and stuff but I suppose you have to expect that as part of the holiday.

        This review is my own work and is also located on ciao.

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          09.04.2007 23:16

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          very long

          The orlando airport is absalutly massive it takes you ages to get off the plane never mind get back on it .

          once you get off your plane you go go off to this shuttle were the heat just attacks you from all angles then once you get on this shuttle which is like a big monorail which the speed is fast well i thought it was anyway. from then you will go through immagration and that takes for ever just hope everyone fills the waver well the special visa on the plane we got as you could be there for at least 2 hours.

          and you still havent finished then you go and collect your belongings we thought we had finished no of course its not like any uk airport this is one big airport. even when you go home you are wanting to go to duty free you go but you are not allowed to take it on the plane the staff took ours on our flight. just hope if we go again to the airport at least we have been before and we now what to expect from the usa.

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          15.02.2005 01:04
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          OK, I’m going to try to make this a shorter than usual review.

          Orlando International Airport (MCO) is situated in the heart of Florida, USA. It is the main airport the British use when holidaying in the Disney area.

          The airport itself is huge, and our only experience of it was this Christmas just passed (2004). On arrival we were greeted by airport staff who were really friendly, and we headed out to pick up our baggage.

          Having waited about 20 minutes for all the luggage to arrive on the belt, we then headed off in the direction of the “exit”.

          Hmmm. This is where Orlando appears to be different from other airports. Just around the corner from where you have just collected your luggage is another conveyor belt. You will be expected to put your entire luggage back onto the conveyor, take your hand luggage, and head up the escalator. That is the last you will see of your luggage for the next 2 hours!!

          WHY?

          OK, the next step is passport control. Have you completed your green card correctly? After a huge wait (every family seemed to take at least 10 minutes to get through), you step up to the passport control desk. A hand will greet you requesting your documents. Don’t expect them to speak to you in a pleasant tone of voice. Do not expect “How are you today” or “Did you have a good flight?” Expect to be treated like a potential criminal.

          With terrorism on the increase, I suppose the extra security is an absolute must, but these people are downright rude.

          After you have had your fingerprints taken, passports checked etc, you can move on.

          Next, it is time to go through the security checks. Remove all jackets, jumpers, shoes, bags, purses, phones etc, and place them in the baskets. They will go through the X-Ray while you are searched or held up for whatever reason they can find. All I can suggest is, be organised. Have all your bags off quickly, and don’t hold these people up, or they will detain you as long as possible.

          Beware; my brother in law had his phone picked up by some woman who tried to walk off with it. They hold you up so long that your belongings are over the other side of the gate for a good 5 minutes before you get there!

          Next, you have to head for baggage collection. (Yes, again!). This time, prepare fr it to take ages, and you may find you luggage has been split up onto different belts. All in all, this process took 3 hours from landing to car collection. If you are approached by someone asking if they can help with your bags, they will CHARGE YOU.

          Check in was much quicker and more efficient than arrivals.

          The airport?

          The airport is well signposted, and really easy to find, whichever direction you come in from. Of course, if you are heading in by plane, you won’t have a problem!!!!

          The airport itself is clean, dry, warm, and the general staff are very friendly and helpful, but if you cross one of the security personnel, woe betide you.

          There is a shopping mall in the centre with jewellers, electrical goods, toy shops, Disney shops, Universal, Sea World etc. The only shop I couldn’t find was Busch Gardens. There are plenty of duty free shops, pharmacy, and anything else you could possibly want prior to your return journey.

          There are plenty of restaurants, coffee shops and fast food places, but the prices are inflated.

          Different areas are connected by monorail and moving walkways. (This place is huge). All areas are well signposted, and finding your check in desk, and departure gate shouldn’t be a problem.

          The airport has its own hotel situated within the building. Many of the rooms overlook the plaza. There are plenty of other hotels situated just outside the airport.

          The facilities for the disabled appeared to be excellent. There were disabled toilets and all areas were accessible by lift if required.

          Car Hire was fairly efficient with us picking the car up within 10 minutes of arrival at the desk.

          I think those are the main points. If I’ve missed anything, let me know.

          Sam xxx



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            02.10.2001 06:37

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            This airport must be the biggest one I've ever been in yet on my travels. This is what I would call a very advanced airport. The fact that it's an American airport might also explain why it's sooooo big! When you arrive at the airport you definitely feel the change in climate. Anyway, you immediately check in while leaving the plane and you then collect your luggage from the plane. After you hand your luggage over again, where it will be collected at the other building. To get to the other building you need to go on the monorail. Once you're at the other building you then collect your luggage and go to the transport area where you will either get a taxi or bus to your accommodation. I would say there is a lot of time wasted once you get into the airport. I arrived in Orlando at 1:30pm and didn't get out of the airport until around 3pm. If you arrive at night it's unlikely it will take a long time, you should be in and out. When you are going home, now since all the terrorist trouble you have to get to the airport 3 hours before. You put your luggage in to be put on the plane and then have a look around the shops. At the airport prices aren't as cheap but the shops are ok to look at. There are shops for the parks, such as Seaworld, Universal Studios, etc. there are gadget shops and CD shops things like that If you get hungry there are places to eat like Burger King and just hotdog places and the usual. There are also coffee shops if you're not wanting anything to filling. When you're ready to go through to the departure lounge you have to go through security and have hand luggage checked. You're not allowed to carry scissors or objects like that, they are considered to be weapons. The security is much more strict after the event in New York. After that you get the monorail through to the departure lounge. On the way back it's a quicker process. I think Orlando is a good airport. It's very clean, all s
            ecurity is very strict which made me feel safe about going on a plane.

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            22.02.2001 03:26

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            Orlando airport is like something out of a science fiction novel – a metropolis no less, full of beautiful buildings, sculptures, lots of glass & water features. There are numerous shops to choose from and a pretty good duty free. The food outlets are typically fast food & not to my taste at all but I’m sure I’m not the only one dying for a good old roast when I get home. It is also spotlessly clean & the contrast with Gatwick is embarrassing for us Brits. No smoking AT ALL – difficult for those who enjoy a ciggy but the whole place is so much cleaner. Yes I WAS one of those people – once. There is one recent innovation however that really gets us hopping mad, you collect your luggage from the carousel as normal – pass through customs & then it’s taken away from you & arrives on yet another carousel at the exit. Time consuming & very frustrating after a long flight & I can’t really understand the reasoning behind it. It only started about 2 or 3 years ago & I think it might be something to do with freeing up space on the shuttle between arrivals & the exit.. Most of the car hire companies are on the premises or have buses to take you to their depots – works like clockwork in my experience & all adds up to a stress free start to your holiday. Time enough for stress when you hit the Parks – but that’s another story.

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            04.08.2000 05:47
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            This is a massive airport. To get from the 'plane to the outside world is an eternity, firstly there is the long walk to the shuttle that takes you to the main terminal building, then there is the trek to the luggage carousel that will leave you sweating, after lugging your case up and down escalators and lifts in the heat with your jetlag all you will be ready for is bed! On the way home, there are plenty of shops to get those last minute pressies, although beware, the prices tend to be hiked up to take advantage of this. The Disney shop helpfully sells over-priced huge Mickeys etc that you won't be allowed to take on the plane, breaking little Jimmy's heart as you prise it off him to check it in.

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            10.07.2000 23:58

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            This place is not an airport, it's a mini city!! Well, less of the mini! Orlando International Airport is THE biggest airport I have ever seen and if something isn't there, it isn't worth having! There are hotels, diners of all variety, hundreds of shops, games arcades and anything you need to amuse you while you wait! Airports can be boring at the best of times but we had to board before we'd finished looking about!! Only in America, eh?

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            09.07.2000 02:55

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            Orlando is fantastic, shame about the Airport. There are plenty of shops for last minute bargains, when all your money has already gone, but it's definitely not the place to be with 3 young children and 7hrs to kill having missed a connecting flight. There is a very small and boring play area which children get bored of in 10 mins. Considering all the space available. Usual fast food available from Burger King. Rental Car return often leaves, you a long trek with luggage to check in.

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