Orlando Layover Guide (MCO)

Orlando International Airport (MCO) is the major international airport found in Orlando, Florida, United States of America. It is located 10 km (6 miles) from downtown Orlando. The airport has had commercial flights since it was converted from an air force base to a civilian airport in the 1960s. Orlando is known by visitors mostly for its theme parks and other tourist attractions but the city also has festivals, theaters, gardens, museums and teeming wildlife such as alligators.

Can you leave Orlando Airport (MCO) airport during a layover? Do you need a visa?
It's possible for certain travelers to see Orlando during a layover but others require a visa depending on nationality. (more info).

Tours/To do | Relax/Sleep | Internet/SIM | Transport | Storage | Money

Tours, Things to do, Sightseeing

Organized Tours

Orlando: Wild Florida Everglades Airboat & Wildlife Park

Travel the full perimeter of the Wild Florida Everglades that cover 4200 acres of protected swamps, marshes and rivers. Immerse yourself in nature and enjoy the best of Orlando’s most sought-after activities: airboat rides, alligators and wildlife. This Orlando Everglades tour is well known as the most beautiful ride in Central Florida. In addition to incredible airboat rides, you can enjoy the true meaning of southern hospitality. Indulge in real Florida barbecue as well as exploring exotic animal exhibits, a tropical bird aviary, a gift shop and a 500-foot sightseeing dock. » book this tour

SeaWorld Orlando

Discover SeaWorld Orlando where the aquatic world comes to life like no place else. SeaWorld lets you watch killer whales leap at the One Ocean show, race like a ray on Manta the flying roller coaster ride, enter the all-new thrilling, chilling adventure of Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin and share in an epic voyage with sea turtles at TurtleTrek. There are delights for all ages and interests. » book this tour

Kennedy Space Center

There is a unique opportunity for a behind-the-scenes glimpse into Kennedy Space Center as your admission ticket grants you exclusive access. Explore many exhibits, shows, and attractions at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, including Space Shuttle Atlantis, Shuttle Launch Experience, Rocket Garden, and IMAX Spacefilms of the Hubble 3D and Journey to Space. Travel back in time to relive Neil Armstrong’s first steps on the moon and experience the thunderous rumble of a Saturn V rocket lift-off. Get to explore the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame. Discover the world’s largest collection of astronaut memorabilia and ride simulators, and see tributes to the heroes of the Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, and Space Shuttle programs. Get to meet a real veteran NASA astronaut. » book this tour

Things to do / Sightseeing

Walt Disney World Resort

This is one of the most visited theme parks in the United States. Orlando’s Walt Disney World Resort is made up of Magic Kingdom, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Epcot, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The resort has a sense of wonderment and undeniable charm will win over anyone who visits. There are two amazing water parks Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach, three 18-hole golf courses, 34 contained resorts and hotels with spa facilities, the dining and entertainment of Disney’s Boardwalk and Disney Springs, as well as the new ESPN Wide World Of Sports Complex with nine different sporting venues.

Time required: Full day.

Airport to here: You can get here in 25 minutes by taxi while public transport takes an hour and a half.

Universal Studios Florida

Universal Studios Florida is an amazing high energy theme park with hugely popular attractions such as The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Islands of Adventure and the Escape from Gringotts, a thrilling indoor steel roller coaster. The Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit is a high-speed roller coaster that plays a song of your choice via speakers mounted in the headrest. Another popular ride is the Simpsons Ride which is a motion simulator dropping you into an episode on a flight through Springfield, while E.T. Adventure is the only ride that has remained open since 1990.

Time required: Full Day.

Airport to here: You can get here in 25 minutes by taxi while public transport takes an hour and a half.

Winter Park

The Winter Park was established in the 19th century as a winter destination for rich industrialists from the north.The neighborhood’s mannerly nature is underpinned by several lakeside mansions, more than 70 parks, upmarket shopping and dining, a cultural calendar jam-packed with events and even the Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art. Winter Park’s lakes are linked by a network of navigable canals, dug to serve a sawmill on Lake Virginia and avoid flooding, and now a beloved part of the townscape. It is still a great place for a vacation.

Time required: 2 to 3 hours.

Airport to here: It usually takes 30 minutes to reach by taxi while it takes public transport almost 2 hours.

Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art

This is indeed the kind of attraction you would find in Winter Park’s leafy and sprawling environment. This museum opened at its current location on Park Avenue in 1995 but has a history going back to 1942. It has the most complete collection of pieces by Tiffany of any museum in the world. There is straddling media such as stained glass, jewelry, enamels, furniture, mosaics, lamps, pottery, paintings and the recreated chapel that he designed for the World’s Columbian Exposition at Chicago in 1893. Although Tiffany’s work is the main attraction, there is much more decorative art to savor by William Morris and Frank Lloyd Wright, jewelry by Peter Carl Fabergé and René Lalique, furniture by the likes of Louis Majorelle, pottery and furniture.

Time required: 2 to 3 hours.

Airport to here: It usually takes 30 minutes to reach by taxi while it takes public transport almost 2 hours.

ICON Park

The Orlando Eye observation wheel is one of the tallest in the world and it was opened on the International Drive in 2015. It is a 122-meter structure has 30 air-conditioned capsules, each accommodating 15 passengers for dramatic panoramas of International Drive and north to the Universal Resort and the towers of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. It gives an impressive view of Orlando. The wheel was recently rebranded as Icon Orlando, and is accompanied by a bustling complex within the icon park which has more than 40 attractions, globe-trotting restaurants, bars, and shops./p>

Time required: 3 hours.

Airport to here: It usually takes 25 minutes to reach by taxi while it takes public transport almost an hour.

Harry P. Leu Gardens

The Harry P. Leu Gardens are a year-round delight. There are almost 50 acres of neatly landscaped grounds and lakes. Several areas within the garden can be explored such as a butterfly garden, citrus grove, conifer collection, floral clock, herb garden, bird garden, vine displays, palm garden and a subtropical and tropical fruit collection. Also, the rose garden has a total of 650 roses from 215 varieties, making it a dreamscape. The gardens’ serpentine trails are shaded by towering oaks more than 200 years old and draped with Spanish moss.

Time required: 2 hours or more.

Airport to here: It usually takes 30 minutes to reach by taxi while it takes public transport more than an hour.

Gatorland

Gatorland has proclaimed itself as the “alligator capital of the world.” It has become a refreshing change from Orlando’s amusement parks. The park opened back in 1949 and offers one of the most convenient ways to see Florida’s magnificent reptiles in a full spectrum of sizes, from little grunts you can hold in your hands to four-meter monsters. Interestingly, Gatorland also has the world’s largest collection of white leucistic alligators. There is also a huge free-flight aviary, the Screamin’ Gator zip-line, up-close encounters with Floridian snakes and the Stompin’ Gator Off-Road Adventure.

Time required: 2 to 3 hours.

Airport to here: It usually takes 30 minutes to reach by taxi while it takes public transport more than an hour.

Relaxing and Sleeping

Airport Lounges and Relaxing
There are numerous lounges in each terminal. » view all lounges or buy a lounge pass or membership online

Hotel and Sleeping
There are many hotel options less than a mile away and even a transit hotel within the airport grounds. » view all or book an airport hotel online

Rest Area and Sleeping in Airport
There are no designated rest areas within the airport. However, the hotel atrium between Terminal A and Terminal B has a relaxing spot to wait.

WIFI/Internet and SIM Card

WIFI/Internet: Free WiFi is available by connecting to “MCO Internet” network.

SIM Card: There are several shops within the airport that sell SIM cards.

Transportation to/from airport

Taxi: Metered taxis are found outside each terminal.

Train: SunRail is connected to Orlando International Airport by the Lynx bus line which runs between the airport and Sand Lake Road SunRail station. (more info).

Bus: Local bus lines serve the airport from bus zones outside the terminals to several parts of the city. (more info).

Shuttle: Certain hotels run shuttle bus services.

Car rentals: Car rental counters are available onsite at the arrival halls of each terminal at the airport. » view available cars or rent a car now online

Parking: The parking lots are found close to each terminal and there is information online about the availability of booking.

Luggage Storage & Lockers

There are no designated luggage storage areas within the airport.

Money Exchange and Withdrawal

- Orlando Airport (MCO) ATMs, currency exchanges and banks
- Order your foreign currency ONLINE and PICK IT UP at the airport!