Orlando International Airport predicts record number of ravelers this holiday season

Dec 21, 2023 in "Air Travel"

Posted: Thursday December 21, 2023 7:45am ET by WDWMAGIC Staff

Orlando International Airport (MCO) says that it expects record crowds this holiday season.

Nearly 3.9 million passengers are expected during the 23-day Christmas/New Year's travel period, a 13.5 percent increase over last year.

December 30, 2023, is projected to be the busiest day of the season with 187,000 total passengers.

"The holiday season is a joyous time of year, and our staff is focused on providing passengers with a frictionless journey," says Kevin J. Thibault, Chief Executive Officer of the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority. "We ask that passengers help the process by following our 3-2-1 guidelines upon arrival at the airport and by practicing patience throughout their travels. With this, we are confident our systems will meet the record demand at Orlando International."

The 3-2-1 guidelines are as follows:

  • Passengers should be at the airport ticket counter 3 hours before their flight (this allows extra time for parking and busy ticket counters)
  • At the security checkpoint 2 hours prior
  • And at the gate 1 hour before departure

A new surface parking lot will open on December 22, following the opening of two lots during the Thanksgiving travel season. The three surface lots are accessible with E-Pass and SunPass Plus. SunPass customers must be enrolled with Easy Pay, and a transponder must be used to enter and exit the lots. MCO has more than 2,000 new spaces on airport property compared to last year.

For those passengers using a rideshare, additional amenities are being provided so that ample drivers are onsite ready to assist passengers. Passengers may also note an increase in the number of ambassadors during peak times and may want to take advantage of one of the dozens of concession shops open on Christmas Eve until 9 p.m. and on Christmas Day from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.

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mktDec 27, 2023

Since we travel to SJU and DC a lot, Jetblue is one of our main airlines. Anyway, Terminal C's options are a lot better than the other two. It's like a mini Disney Springs with an Art Smith restaurant (Sunshine Diner), Summer House, Cask & Larder (same company as Polite Pig), Wine Bar George, and a WDW Merch Shop.... on top of other places. I only go to the lounge because it's less crowded, they have a kid's play area, free food, and free booze. But if we're craving a more filling meal, we'll hit up Sunshine Diner or Cask & Larder.

LilofanDec 27, 2023

Never been to MCO Terminal C which I think is only Jet Blue and all international flights. MCO has one of the worst food options of any airport we have been in, C could be the same quality.

mktDec 27, 2023

We were there over the weekend. The terminal C lounge was crowded, but still better than being out in the terminal.

MireilleDec 27, 2023

I'm pretty sure they mean that, with so many travelers during the holidays, people can get unraveled, so they're sending out a record number of ravelers to help re-ravel them.

MisterPenguinDec 22, 2023

No, that would then probably have been 'traversers.'

LilofanDec 22, 2023

Could also be the infamous drinking teams wearing their team colors and name on their T shirts attempting drinking around the world during Epcot Food and Wine.

King Racoon 77Dec 22, 2023

Thought he meant travelers 🤷🏻‍♂️

JohnDDec 22, 2023

Particularly around NYE.

MisterPenguinDec 22, 2023

Pretty sure Steve meant 'revelers.'

King Racoon 77Dec 21, 2023

mf1972Dec 21, 2023

pesky ravelers ruining everything for those travelers

JohnDDec 21, 2023

Gotta watch out for those ravelers. They're an ornery bunch. They just love to get you tangled up in knots.