A Newbie's Guide to Orlando International Airport

onceinalifetimedct

Earning My Ears
Joined
Dec 30, 2014
Hi - trying to determine what time I need to leave the Disney Resort in order to get to the airport, return the rental car and get checked in for a 1:45PM flight to Vancouver, Canada? This is my first trip so I don't want to undermark the amount of time this might take on a Saturday morning.
 

Mikey15

DIS Veteran
Joined
Aug 29, 2018
Airlines want you checked-in 3hrs before an international flight, though physically going through security and getting to the gate can vary wildly from 30-60 minutes (security+tram+walking). On a Saturday, you'd probably skew more on the higher end.

You can probably shave some airport time if your airline offers Resort Airline Check-In with Disney (it's a very small list)
https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/en_CA/guest-services/resort-airline-check-in/
then at least the bags can already be checked and on their way, and when you get to the airport you just go right to security.

Rental car return and then the walk to the terminal is probably a 15-20+ minute process. Pull into the garage, get sent in circles, wait for staff to check the car, and THEN you start walking.

The drive to the airport could be 30 minutes on a good day, but if you're on the far end of property or trying to drive on I-4 or past Disney Springs on a Saturday, that can double or even triple. Don't forget grabbing gas too. In most cases you can fill up at a Speedway on Disney property and the needle won't have moved by the time you get to the airport, but there is a slight risk there. I'd rather overfill than have to stop near the airport. Time saving option is prepaying for fuel with the rental company, though you'd want to be Kramering it to the airport.

I'd aim for leaving 10am. It's early enough that you could be lucky and get to the airport, car returned, and in security line shortly after 11, which leaves you tons of time to make it to the gate, even on a bad day. Add a buffer if there's slower members (young kids, elderly, etc.) in your party.
 

ShirinM

Earning My Ears
Joined
Mar 28, 2019
Airlines want you checked-in 3hrs before an international flight, though physically going through security and getting to the gate can vary wildly from 30-60 minutes (security+tram+walking). On a Saturday, you'd probably skew more on the higher end.

You can probably shave some airport time if your airline offers Resort Airline Check-In with Disney (it's a very small list)
then at least the bags can already be checked and on their way, and when you get to the airport you just go right to security.

Rental car return and then the walk to the terminal is probably a 15-20+ minute process. Pull into the garage, get sent in circles, wait for staff to check the car, and THEN you start walking.

The drive to the airport could be 30 minutes on a good day, but if you're on the far end of property or trying to drive on I-4 or past Disney Springs on a Saturday, that can double or even triple. Don't forget grabbing gas too. In most cases you can fill up at a Speedway on Disney property and the needle won't have moved by the time you get to the airport, but there is a slight risk there. I'd rather overfill than have to stop near the airport. Time saving option is prepaying for fuel with the rental company, though you'd want to be Kramering it to the airport.

I'd aim for leaving 10am. It's early enough that you could be lucky and get to the airport, car returned, and in security line shortly after 11, which leaves you tons of time to make it to the gate, even on a bad day. Add a buffer if there's slower members (young kids, elderly, etc.) in your party.

Thank you for sharing this! I have never travelled there alone. I would always had to take some help to get there, but this post is going to be bookmarked for future trips! :)
 

dec2009mama

DIS Veteran
Joined
Nov 21, 2012
Hi - trying to determine what time I need to leave the Disney Resort in order to get to the airport, return the rental car and get checked in for a 1:45PM flight to Vancouver, Canada? This is my first trip so I don't want to undermark the amount of time this might take on a Saturday morning.
We are returning to YVR at the same time on the same day of the week -- we do not have to return a car (we have hired private transfer) and have pre-check for TSA.
We are getting picked up at our disney resort between 10:30am/10:45am, if we had to return a car I would leave at 10am to account for the time it might take to gas up and drop off the car!
 

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