The Federal Aviation Administration has regularly named Orlando International Airport as one of the ten busiest airports in the United States, and traffic increases significantly during holiday seasons.
Those flying into—or out of—the city for their theme park vacations should be aware of best practices for navigating the airport when busy.
Arrivals and Departures
Standard practice—and our recommendation—is to arrive at the airport two hours before your departure. Our experience has shown that Orlando airport security is relatively efficient, but lines can get long during busy season. Those checking bags can reserve their checked luggage in advance via many airlines' phone apps, allowing you to speed up the luggage check process by getting a tag upon scanning your ticket.
Many vehicles will arrive to pick up arrivals too early, and will park along the roads leading into the airport. We strongly advise parking in the WiFi-provided cell lots, as indicated by signs nearby, as police have been handing out tickets to those illegally parked on the side of the road.
Finding Your Way
The airport has multiple terminals, separated by security lines. Due to that structure and the trams that transport guests from beyond security to their gates, traveling across the airport because you selected the wrong terminal can make the airport take longer to navigate than others.
Make note of your gate number before heading through security, in case there were last-minute changes. Each terminal has signs in the airport's central area that indicates which terminal corresponds to which gate.
Orlando's airport security possesses older luggage scanners, meaning you will have to remove electronics, liquids, etc. from your bag in the security line. The airport, like most in the U.S., has TSA Precheck and CLEAR.
Those who pay for neither program can book an appointment with TSA in advance via this link, allowing you to skip most of the security line and get through faster.