If you blink too quickly, it will already be winter!
With that in mind, it’s a great idea to get those travel plans locked down. As you probably already know, the holiday season (Thanksgiving through New Year’s) is an incredibly busy time for traveling through airports across the country. But never fear — we’ve got your back and know just when you might want to avoid Orlando International Airport (MCO)!
We’ve got a list of nine days that are particularly busy travel days throughout the upcoming holiday season based on the previous year’s travel data from MCO. If you’re heading to Disney World this holiday season or are otherwise passing through the Orlando Airport, you might want to keep these dates in mind.
Drumroll, please…here are the busiest projected dates based on previous data:
- Wednesday, Nov. 22nd — 150,600
- Sunday, Nov. 26th — 158,500
- Thursday, Dec. 21st — 154,449
- Friday, Dec. 22nd — 158,430
- Saturday, Dec. 23rd — 161,218
- Tuesday, Dec. 26th — 160,811
- Wednesday, Dec. 27th — 158,579
- Saturday, Dec. 30th — 161,581
- Tuesday, Jan. 2nd — 162,354
To try and start getting an idea of how many people will be traveling through MCO, last year, they had stated that during the 19-day travel period around Christmas alone, they estimated over 2.9 million passengers.
Now, that is a LOT of people. But if you’re working on travel plans during that same period, don’t let that shake you. Remember, we’ve got your back! Let’s go over some pro tips that will help get rid of stress and make your experience much smoother.
Let’s start with getting to the airport.
Pre-Schedule Your Ride to the Airport
If you weren’t aware, you can pre-schedule your ride to the airport on rideshare apps like Uber and Lyft. This is where you can schedule those rides ahead of time! No sense in trying to find an Uber the morning of. Let’s cut out that unnecessary stress.
Here’s how to do it in the Uber app. Head into the app and on the homepage hit the “Reserve” button. You can schedule these rides up to 90 days in advance and cancel them up to 60 minutes in advance without penalty or extra charge.
Once you schedule a ride, a driver should be assigned to you in advance, which is super helpful so you know what vehicle to expect.
What about once you’ve made it to the airport?
We would recommend purchasing TSA Pre-Check because, with it, you will not have to remove liquids, take large electronics out, or take your shoes off when you go through the security checkpoint. All you will have to do is send your bags through, walk under the security machine, and that’s it!
To get TSA Pre-Check, head on over to the TSA website and apply there. You will have to schedule an in-person appointment that includes a background check and fingerprinting. It costs $78 for new enrollment or in-person renewals and $70 for online renewals. Once you’ve been approved, you will get a Known Traveler Number (KTN) that you can add to any flight reservation. The great thing about it is that your Known Travel Number will last for 5 years and afterward, you can renew online and pay the fee again.
Although it is an additional cost, it takes a ton of stress away from the traveling experience. But what if you just want to skip the regular line altogether?
Skip the Security Line
There is a way to skip the regular security line at Orlando International Airport and it’s called MCO Reserve!
This program allows you to pre-register for a time slot to go through an exclusive, and shorter, MCO Reserve security line. The reservations open up 72 hours before your flight. You will have to be speedy though as the limited spots for this fill up very quickly.
Hopefully, that helps as you make your travel plans for the coming months. Until then, remember we’ve got your back with all the latest travel tips and Disney news, so stay tuned!
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Will you be traveling during the 2023 holiday season? Let us know in the comments!