Orlando International Airport (MCO)
The airport itself is pretty large with four runways. It is however extremely well laid out with a single main building servicing terminals A and B on opposing sides. Getting from A to B is essentially a 1 minute walk and in between the terminal sides on level 3 is a shopping thoroughfare and food court.
Planes arrive and depart at the departure and arrival satellites, two for each terminal.
Once exiting your plane you will be directed to International Arrivals if you have arrived from abroad. If your flight is domestic you will be directed to the satellite building and the transit monorail to get to the main terminal and baggage claim.
For international arrivals the US requires you to pass through immigration control and then customs. It is much easier to complete the paperwork on the flight over than to attempt to complete the forms in the arrivals hall. Note that the customers and border Protection department that handles immigration is usually fairly quick but if multiple flights converge it can take some time to pass through.
Once through immigration, collect your baggage and proceed to customs. Don’t try and sneak fruits through as the dogs are trained to smell fruit, meat and drugs. The agents are pretty friendly and can tell the difference between an oversight and an importation attempt!
Once through customs you’ll have the choice of whether to take your bags on the monorail to the main terminal or to have them delivered to the baggage claim. Please note the baggage claim delivery can take half an hour or more so if you’re in a hurry and it’s not too much trouble, you may want to take them with you now.
Then proceed up the stairs or the lift and board the monorail.
The monorail take a few minutes with alternating trains. Once you get to the main terminal building exit past security and head either left or right depending on which terminal side you have been advised.
If going to pick up your bags, go to level 2, if you already have them and want to pick up a taxi, shuttle bus or rental car, proceed to level 1. There are numerous lifts and escalators that will take you between the levels. Remember too, if you end up on the wrong side, it’s only a minute or so to walk to the other side when on level 3.
Please note that baggage can take a while to get to the belt.
Once you have collected your luggage you can proceed directly to the arrivals pickup lines if you are being met by friends and family. Otherwise take the elevators or escalators down to level 1 where you can pick up a rental car or taxis service.
If you are collecting a rental car the agents on the Level 1 desks can help you and once the paperwork is done you can either exit on that level to walk across to the car park and rental car pickup or you can go down to the tunnel level and enjoy a few more minutes of air conditioning and avoid the resort buses.
Getting out of the airport
The airport as mentioned before is very well laid out. The ring road is quite close to the terminal building and can be transited in less than five minutes.
If you have navigation it is a good time to use it as the roads can be a little confusing until you are used to them.
The airport has a north and South entry/exist. North takes you to the Beach Line (528) and from there out to the coast or in towards the Florida Turnpike and I4. The south exit will get you out on route 417.
Please note the airport ring road speed limit is 35, the intent of this is to both reduce accidents as people look out for road signs, and to give you time to read them. If you miss your exit, don’t panic. Go around again as it will only take five minutes. There is no point in getting stressed on the day you arrive.