Time-Sensitive Warning Now in Effect: All Disney World Guests Alerted as 1 Million To Descend Upon Florida Airport

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A large, crowded indoor atrium at Orlando International Airport is filled with people. In the foreground, an oversized figure of Mickey Mouse, wearing a jacket, waves to the crowd. The atrium features palm trees and seating areas, with multiple levels visible in the background.

Credit: Inside The Magic

Walt Disney World Resort guests are warned about the upcoming Memorial Day Weekend as Orlando International Airport prepares for a never-before-seen influx of crowds. Here’s how you can heed this warning and be well-prepped for another primary Holiday season.

A yellow caution sign is superimposed on a split image; one side shows a crowded Orlando International Airport terminal and the other displays a busy scene at Disney World.
Credit: Inside The Magic

Orlando International Airport Braces for “Record-Breaking” Crowds: All Disney World Guests Alerted

As the summer travel season begins, Orlando International Airport (MCO) is preparing for a significant increase in passenger traffic over Memorial Day weekend. According to AAA, Orlando and Central Florida are among the top travel destinations, with MCO anticipating a 6 percent rise in passenger numbers compared to last year. From Thursday, May 23, 2024, to Tuesday, May 30, 2024, MCO expects to handle nearly one million travelers.

The peak day is projected to be Memorial Day, Monday, May 27, with approximately 177,000 passengers passing through the airport. On Thursday, May 23, 2024, MCO expects 76,581 passengers to depart and 75,647 to arrive, totaling 152,228 travelers. Friday, May 24, 2024, will see 84,538 departures and 85,878 arrivals, resulting in 170,416 travelers.

Each Disney World park, including Animal Kingdom and Magic Kingdom park, will see its influx of Disney park guests over the next 72 hours. Even Disney Springs is expected to garner thousands of guests through the Holiday weekend, resulting in locations like Cinderella Castle, Main Street, U.S.A., Toy Story Land, and other spots being in gridlock.

Over 986,000 passengers are expected to pass through our airport over the #MemorialDay travel period! Busiest days: 1. May 27 – 176,728 (arrivals & departures) 2. May 24 – 170,416 3. May 25 – 166,947 4. May 26 – 163,889 5. May 28 – 156,567

@MCO on X

Saturday, May 25, 2024, is projected to have 83,476 departures and 83,471 arrivals, totaling 166,947 travelers. Sunday, May 26, 2024, will witness 81,666 departures and 82,223 arrivals, making up 163,889 travelers. The busiest day, Monday, May 27, 2024, will have around 88,446 passengers departing and 88,282 arriving, totaling 176,728 travelers.

Finally, Tuesday, May 28, 2024, will see 78,386 departures and 78,181 arrivals, totaling 156,567 travelers. Overall, MCO is set to manage 493,093 departures and 493,682 arrivals over the six days, amounting to 986,775 travelers.

To ensure a smooth travel experience, passengers are advised to follow the 3-2-1 rule: arrive at the airline ticket counter at least three hours before departure, proceed to security processing at least two hours before departure, and be at the gate at least one hour before boarding.

Credit: Drew (@DrewDisneyDude) and Orlando International Airport

Additional tips for travelers include utilizing MCO Reserve to book a time slot for security screening for eligible flights. The service operates from 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. Parking is available in several locations, including Garages A, B, and C, as well as North, South, and West Park Places. More information on rates and locations can be found on the MCO Parking website.

Surface lots across from the train station are also accessible by E-Pass and SunPass Plus. Reserved Parking at MCO allows passengers to pre-book their parking spot and follow Easy Pay instructions to enter and exit the lots. For those picking up passengers, the North or South Cell Phone Lot or the Travel Plaza can be used until guests are ready for pickup.

To prepare for the bustling Memorial Day travel weekend, guests visiting Disney World should take several proactive steps. First and foremost, plan all aspects of the trip well in advance, including flights, accommodations, and park reservations. Keep a close eye on any schedule updates or changes, including park hours and transportation options.

Arriving early at Orlando International Airport (MCO) is crucial, adhering to the 3-2-1 rule: arrive at the airline ticket counter at least three hours before departure, proceed to security processing two hours before departure, and be at the gate an hour before boarding.

Orlando International Airport crowds
Credit: Inside The Magic

For eligible flights, consider utilizing MCO Reserve to book a time slot for security screening, helping to mitigate potential wait times during peak travel periods. When packing, ensure all necessary documents are readily accessible, and pack essential items in carry-on luggage, such as medications and snacks.

Traffic around the airport and Disney World is likely heavy, so plan for additional travel time and explore parking options like Garages A, B, and C or North, South, and West Park Places at MCO.

Pre-booking parking spots can streamline the process, and guests should follow Easy Pay instructions for smooth entry and exit. Staying informed about flight statuses and potential delays is essential; regularly check airline notifications and follow MCO and Disney World social media channels for real-time updates. Once at Disney World, use Disney’s transportation options to avoid driving and parking hassles, utilizing services like buses, monorails, and boats.

Pack patience and stay hydrated, especially in Florida’s hot and humid climate. Download the MCO and My Disney Experience apps to manage travel and park plans easily. By taking these proactive measures, guests can easily navigate the busy Memorial Day weekend and fully enjoy their Disney World experience.

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