Navigating Orlando International Airport (MCO)

The majority of people going to the Disney area will fly into Orlando International Airport, with both British Airways and Virgin offering direct flights from Gatwick airport in UK.

It can be daunting arriving in an airport that you don’t know, so here’s a few tips to help you through the experience!

When the plane lands you will firstly need to head for passport control / U.S. Customs and Border Protection (follow the masses!). You will need to have your passport and customs declaration form in hand. You would have completed the customs form on the plane, and are only required to have one of these forms per household. It is also wise to have a copy of your ESTA and your flight itinerary showing details of your return flight in your hand luggage, should you be asked to show it.

The queue at US Customer Border, can be very long, especially if you have just landed behind another flight. If you hold an E-Passport and have been to the county within the last two years and had your finger prints scanned previously you can use the automated machines. Once you have scanned your passport, answered a series of questions and had your picture taken, a receipt will be printed. Take this receipt to a CBP officer to confirm the inspection for entry into the United States. These automated machines allow a much faster processing and shorted wait time.

Your passport will be stamped with your arrival date and the date by which you need to leave, which is within 3 months under the Visa Waiver Programme. You will be returned your passport and the customs declaration form.

If you are travelling with young ones that have pushchairs / prams, these are not returned until you have passed through passport control, therefore if you have baby carriers / slings, then I recommend packing them in your hand luggage.

You would have been told on the flight what foods are allowed into the United States, you will be asked again at the border if you have any. You may also see The Beagle Brigade walking through passengers; they are not to be petted as their role is to sniff out fruit, vegetables and meat banned from crossing the country's borders. Failure to declare food products can result fines of up to $10,000 – not a good start to your holiday!

Once through passport control, you collect your belongs off the baggage carrousels, and follow the exit signs, handing in your customs declaration form on the way out of this large hall.

Now you have a decision to make, can you carry your entire luggage up an escalator? If so it will save you a lot of time!

If not hand it to the baggage handlers and ask which baggage claim area to go to.

Either way, you now have to go onto the escalator and catch a monorail across to the main area of the airport. Your first ride in Orlando!

If you handed in your luggage, follow signs to the appropriate baggage claim area, either A or B, to collect your luggage.

Once you have your luggage or you were able to keep it with you, simply follow signs to Car Rental to complete your car hire check in and collect your car. The car park is located across the street from the car rental desks.

Once you have your rental car, you need to follow exit signs from the car park, your villa directions will either take you on the 417 heading south or 528 heading west. Re-read your directions before heading out of the car park, as the signs are immediately in front of you.

I hope these hints into what to expect have been useful to you? Have a fun onward stay in Orlando!

Add comment