know before you go: Orlando (MCO)

With the devastation of Hurricane Irma hitting our friends in Florida, a tribute to one of the most family friendly airports seems appropriate.  It’ll take time to rebuild the cities affected by the hurricane, but again, Floridians and those from all over who are drawn to this vibrant community will be heading back into Orlando to enjoy all of the sights it has to offer in no time.

It’s no surprise that this is one of the busiest airports in the US.  I feel like every person I know has been here at least once, if not with your parents on your way to Disney World, then as a parent on your way to Disney World.  Only 6 miles from the city, MCO features one main terminal split into two concourses, A and B.  Each concourse is split into two airsides, 1 and 2 in A and 3 and 4 in B, totaling about 130 gates (it’s huge).  Confused yet?

A services flights from Alaska, JetBlue, Southwest, Virgin as well as Aer Lingus, Aeromexico, Azul, Copa, Norwegian and Westjet.  B contains flights from America, Delta, Spiriti, United.  International flights on Air Canada, British Airways, Emirates, IcelandAir, Lufthansa, and Virgin operate out of airside 4 in this terminal.

That may sound like a conundrum, but everything is connected to the main hub by people movers, which makes things pretty simple.   The whole central part of airport is like a huge mall with a big food court.  There’s a ton of things to see and eat here and the majority of food is before security, which is nice for variety sake.  There’s 7 places where you can get frozen treats including 2 Carvels, 2 Pinkberrys.  There’s almost every type of fast food option (Chick Fil-A, Burger King, McDonald’s, Chipotle, Jersey Mike’s) and a few sit downs: Cask & Larder, Macaroni Grill, McCoy’s, On the Border, Outback Steakhouse.  There are also several airline lounges and spas in the event that you need some me time after having a theme park bonanza during your stay in FL.

If you forgot to buy your mouse ears or Harry Potter wand, don’t despair, there’s Disney Store, Universal Orlando, SeaWorld and all sort of toy stores to get your last bit of money spent before you leave this magical land of attractions.  The main thing is that this airport was designed to occupy your kids during layovers.  It makes this airport an attraction on its own, not to be missed.

Remember: ✈️ = animal kingdom to ✈️✈️✈️✈️✈️ = happiest place on earth

Convenience from city: ✈️✈️✈️ (a lot of direct transportation options if you’re staying at any of the resorts, but a bus line travels to the city)

Ease of navigating through terminals: ✈️✈️✈️ (people movers are a plus, but navigating through strollers and children can be like a mini-obstacle course)

Convenience of check in/security lines: ✈️✈️ (lines can be very long and there’s no fast pass here, but there’s precheck/clear to help)

Dining: ✈️✈️✈️✈️ (may not have the most upscale dining, but there’s a ton of variety)

Bathrooms: ✈️✈️✈️ (many family restrooms available)

Charging stations/wifi: ✈️✈️✈️  (free wifi)

Amenities: ✈️✈️✈️✈️ (lots of mall type stores, Disney, Universal, SeaWorld, Kennedy Space Center store, onsite Hyatt, play areas, United/Delta/American lounges, XPress Spas)

IMG_4477

famous local celebrity spotted in airport

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