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  • Writer's pictureGotta Go Orlando

Plan Ahead - Orlando International Airport Expecting Busy Roads & Full Parking Lots For The Holidays

Orlando International Airport is expecting record numbers of travellers to pass through the airport over the busy holiday travel period, with parking expected to be challenging as we get closer to the holiday weekend.


MCO is expecting the roads leading into the airport to be extremely busy, and all airport parking lots to reach full capacity throughout this holiday season, and they want travellers to be prepared for it.


According to airport estimates, this Thursday and Friday is expected to be some of the busiest seen at MCO as travellers either make journeys home or head out on vacation for the holidays.


As an alternative to the frustrations of finding a parking spot at the airport, travellers could use ride shares to get to the airport, or find an off site parking site as an alternative if the airport lots are full.


No matter how you get to the airport, MCO are advising travellers to plan ahead, and make sure they are at the airport 3 hours before their flight, and as always to pack lots of patience!


For up to date parking information, and the status of the airports parking facilities, prices and locations, please visit MCO's website.


Parking at Orlando International Airport

Nearly three million passengers will move through MCO over the course of the 19-day travel period, which began Saturday past, December 17.


The estimated 2,924,474 total passengers marks a 17 percent increase over the same time frame in 2021-2022 when 2.5 million passengers passed through Orlando International.


The busiest travel day this holiday season is predicted to be Monday, January 2, 2023 when more than 162,000 travelers will arrive and depart MCO.


The least busy is expected to be Christmas Day with just over 136,000 passengers. Of the 19 days, 15 show a double-digit percentage increase over last year with only December 25 showing a one percent decrease.


Orlando International Airport Busy Holiday Queue

Christmas / New Year’s travel in 2022-2023 at Orlando International Airport (MCO) is projected to rival the busiest holiday seasons prior to the pandemic. In total, nearly three million passengers will move through MCO over the course of the 19-day travel period, which begins tomorrow.


The estimated 2,924,474 total passengers marks a 17 percent increase over the same time frame in 2021-2022 when 2.5 million passengers passed through Orlando International.



The airport has issues the following travel tips if you are travelling through MCO over the holiday period.


Holiday Travel Tips

Arrive at least three hours before your flight to allow for added parking, ticketing and security screening times.


Parking could be a challenge. Consider being dropped off and picked up on the curb. When picking up arriving passengers, MCO staff encourages using the airport’s cell phone waiting lots. Travelers should call for pick-up once they have retrieved all of their bags.


Be prepared for extended waiting periods at any stage along your journey.


Weapons are prohibited in carry-on bags. Firearms are allowed in checked baggage but must be unloaded and secured in a hard case.


Do not wrap presents going through security. They may be subject to inspection.


After going through screening, do not forget to retrieve your personal items. Every holiday season thousands of watches and other items are left at TSA checkpoints.


Consider signing up for the complimentary MCO Reserve checkpoint reservation program, which allows travelers to select a screening time to avoid possible lines at the security checkpoints.


Take advantage of digital tools for travel assistance. MCO’s website orlandoairports.net, the MCO app and the TSA website offer updated information and tips for optimizing the holiday travel experience.


Orlando International Airport Busy Holiday Queue


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