About This Episode
Learn how to get around Orlando International Airport (MCO) like a local. Find out how to get to the main terminal from the air side terminal, how to find the correct baggage claim for the terminal you arrived in; and which main terminal level offers the correct ground transportation for curbside pickup, ride-sharing services, car rentals and Disney’s Magical Express resort transportation at Orlando International Airport. Learn how to navigate the “loops” around the terminals and avoid frustration when arriving back at Orlando International Airport.
Fun fact: Orlando International Airport gets it’s airport code (MCO) from U.S. Air Force Col. Michael McCoy, who crashed a B-47 Stratojet on Oct. 9, 1957 out of what was then called Pinecastle Air Force Base. The base was renamed McCoy Air Force Base in the months after the crash. That Air Force Base eventually closed and became Orlando International Airport in the 1970s. Our luggage tags have had MCO on them ever since.
Nearly 70 million people visit my city of Orlando each year, if you are one of them, welcome! There is lots to do and see here! If it’s your first time visiting, getting around Orlando International Airport can be both exciting and frustrating. Stick around as I show you how to navigate in and out of the airport like a local. Hi, my name is Richard, and I am The Orlando Guy!
You’ve landed in Orlando! Welcome to my city – The City Beautiful – and the theme park capital of the world!
When you disembark from the plane you will have arrived at an Airside Terminal, either A or B. In the very near future, there will be a C Terminal , but, we’ll save that for another show.
The airside terminals have all the facilities you’ll need: restrooms, shops, and restaurants. The airside terminal is separated from the main terminal by a short ride on the Automated People Mover or APM – and that’s where we are headed next.
By the way, if you are an international passenger arriving at Orlando International Airport, you must first pass US Customs and Immigration and claim your baggage in the airside terminal which you can keep with you or have transferred to the main terminal. Then proceed to the APM station.
Make your way to the center of the airside terminal hub and board the APM. Both APMs take you to the same location on the main terminal side so take the first one available. It’s only a one-minute ride.
Once you exit security you will be IN the main terminal on the third level. You may then proceed to baggage claim, rental cars, resort transportation or ride sharing services. If you have checked baggage look for the large illuminated letters which indicate either the A or B side of the main terminal – if you arrived at an Airside Terminal A Gate, your baggage claim will be on the A side of the main terminal – B Gate, B side of the main terminal.
Most airlines have their baggage claim on level 2 of the main terminal, so take the stairs or escalator down one level and then check the monitors to determine the correct baggage carousel for your flight.
We’re almost out of here and on to the fun, so next up is Ground Transportation, if you are traveling out of the airport by curbside pickup or private car, exit the main terminal on level 2 – the same level as baggage claim. If you have a rental car, taxi, express pickup, shuttle van or resort transportation booked, head down to level 1.
If your ground transportation is located in the brand-new Intermodal Terminal C parking garage, you’ll need to head back up to level 3 and take the new APM located in the SE corner of the main terminal next to B gates 70 – 99.
Oh, and don’t forget Disney’s Magical Express is only serviced from Level 1 on the B Side of the Main terminal.
You’ve had fun and now it’s time to head back to the airport for your return flight. Looking at all the signs can sometimes be confusing. But really, there is a simple method for understanding how to drive around Orlando International Airport. Think of all the lanes as grouped into one of 3 loops. Two inner loops – one for the A terminal and one for the B Terminal – and an outer loop to transfer between the terminals and to access the north and south exits of the airport. Which loop you need to be in will be determined by your airline and departure gate. To help you, here’s a current list of airlines and from which terminal they arrive and depart.
One final word for those who are picking up guests. Remember that the airport has two levels for ground transportation – level 2 near baggage claim for curbside pickup and ride sharing services, and level one for commercial services (rental cars, taxi’s, shuttles and the like). Be careful not to turn too soon and stay in the upper lane or you will find yourself facing toll lanes for level one.
Well, that’s it for this show. I hope this will help you navigate Orlando International Airport like a local. Share this program if you know of anyone visiting my city especially if it’s their first time. There is one last thing that is mandatory when you are at the airport. You must visit Natalies Candy Jar for Semla’s Rice Crispie Treats! You know they used to sell these at the theme parks… Mmmm. Selmas. Oh Yeah! See you next time.