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Orlando International Airport Shatters Its Previously Held Record

cinderella castle magic kingdom disney world signs for orlando international airport and disney world

Orlando International Airport, the airport used most frequently by Guests visiting the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, has hit an all-time record, and it’s cause for celebration.

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Orlando Airport (MCO)

Credit: Orlando Airports

Orlando International Airport (MCO) is located approximately six miles southeast of Downtown Orlando and is one of two major airports in the city of Orlando. The other is Orlando Sanford International Airport (SFB). MCO is unique in that it sees high levels of foot traffic all year round (due in part to the fact that Guests visit the Walt Disney World Resort twelve months out of the year), something that can’t be said of most airports.

In September 2022, Orlando International welcomed the first passengers through its brand-new, $2.8 billion Terminal C. The state-of-the-art complex is the end result of five years of construction and decades of planning. The new terminal houses ten different airline carriers, including Aer Lingus, Azul, British Airways, Emirates, Caribbean, Gol, Icelandair, JetBlue, Lufthansa, and Norse Airlines, and has 15 gates that can accommodate a total of 20 aircraft.

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Terminal C at Orlando International Airport/Credit: Travel + Leisure

MCO is currently the 7th busiest airport in the United States and also the 7th busiest airport in the world, serving more than 40 million passengers annually, many of whom fly into Orlando International en route to Disney World.

The airport has seen a resurgence of passengers following the decreased travel in 2020 due to restrictions in place because of the global coronavirus pandemic. In August 2022, international passenger traffic at MCO increased by nearly 200 percent over August 2021. According to Orlando Airports, strong international traffic has historically been indicative of “overall economic resiliency” in Central Florida.

More recently, however, MCO hit an all-time record in the airport’s history. On Saturday, March 11, Orlando International Airport saw its busiest day since the airport opened in 1940. A total of 95,287 passengers departed from the airport that day, according to airport officials. That’s almost 5,000 more passengers than the previous record, which was set back in 2019. On Sunday, March 12, MCO also experienced a surge in passenger traffic, seeing close to 93,000 passengers departing.

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Crowds at MCO Airport/Credit: Your Mileage May Vary

According to WESH:

Four of the highest outgoing traffic totals in airport history have come during the early days of this year’s spring break travel season, which began on March 4, airport officials said. In fact, since the start of the new year, Orlando International has logged eight of the ten busiest days in airport history.

In an effort to meet the increased demand at the airport, the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority (GOAA) has recently implemented several new “convenience measures” for passengers, which include additional resources and additional staff to help passengers as they work to move through security at the airport, and as they follow through with boarding procedures so that things can move more smoothly and efficiently.

To keep up with the increased demand, the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority (GOAA) has approved a series of customer convenience measures, including additional staff and resources to help passengers move through security and boarding procedures more quickly and efficiently.

“Our team has been working diligently to ensure that all of our guests have a safe and enjoyable travel experience, despite the high volume of passengers,” said Phil Brown, CEO of GOAA. “These measures are part of our ongoing commitment to providing world-class service to everyone who passes through our doors.”

Orlando International Airport | Orlando, FL | 31118

Credit: Visit Orlando

In 2021, more than 19.6 million passengers arrived at and departed from MCO–an increase of nearly 88% as compared to 2020. In July 2022, 2,175,119 passengers used Orlando International Airport–an increase of nearly 7.5% over July 2021, according to Orlando Airport Guide. Such increases are proof that the travel industry is bouncing back following the effects of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020 and part of 2021.

About Becky Burkett

Becky's from the Lone Star State and has been writing since she was 10 and encountered her first Disney Park when she was 11. It was love at first Main Street Electrical Parade. Joy is blank lined journals, 0.7 mm pens, and all things Walt, Woody and Buzz, PIXAR, Imagineering, Sleeping Beauty (make it blue!), Disney Parks history and EPCOT. At Disney World, you'll find her croonin' with the birdies at the Enchanted Tiki Room or hangin' with Woody and the gang at Toy Story Land. If you can dream, you really can do it!