When planning a Walt Disney World vacation, choosing the most convenient airport is an essential first step. But what is the closest airport to Disney World?

Orlando International Airport (MCO) is the closest airport to Disney World, located only 17-20 miles or a 20-25 minute drive away. It provides the most convenient access to the theme parks and resorts.

The air traffic control tower and terminal building of Orlando International Airport, the closest airport to Disney World

Orlando International Airport (MCO), the closest airport to Disney World | Image © GOAA

This guide will provide everything you need to know about getting to and from Orlando International Airport for your Disney World vacation, including:

  • Details on MCO airport amenities, airlines, terminals, parking, etc.
  • Overview of transportation options from MCO to Disney hotels, including cost, travel time, and recommendations
  • Descriptions of alternative airports like Sanford, Melbourne, Tampa, Daytona Beach and Miami
  • Tips for navigating Orlando International Airport and making connections smooth
  • Answers to frequently asked questions about the best and easiest airports for Disney trips
  • A recommendation for how to book your trip.

Knowing the closest airport will ensure easy transportation to and from your Disney vacation. Read on for more information!

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About Orlando International Airport (MCO), Disney World’s Closest Airport

As I mentioned, the nearest airport to Walt Disney World is Orlando International Airport (MCO). It’s accessible through numerous airlines – both domestic and international – and has various transportation modes available to get you to the resort. Here are some essential details you should know about MCO:

  • Distance from Disney: Approximately 17-20 miles, about a 20-25 minute drive
  • Airlines and Destinations: Services over 35 airlines, including American, Southwest, JetBlue, Spirit, United, Frontier, Delta, and major international carriers. Nonstop flights are available to over 150 cities domestically and internationally.
  • Terminals: The airport has three terminals (A, B, and C) with restaurants, shops, free Wi-Fi, ATMs, and a 3000-gallon aquarium.
  • Parking: Short- and long-term parking, connected to terminals.
  • Address: 1 Jeff Fuqua Blvd, Orlando, FL 32827
  • Phone Number: (407) 825-2001

With its close proximity and transit choices, MCO allows travelers to typically be on Disney property within 30-60 minutes of landing. It offers unparalleled convenience for Disney-bound flights.

Transportation Options Between MCO and Walt Disney World

Here are the best ways to get from Orlando Airport to Disney World:

  • Uber/Lyft: Convenient rideshare services that can be booked via smartphone app upon arrival at MCO. The average fare for an Uber between MCO and Disney World is $35-50, making it an affordable option. Allows direct transportation with no stops. The downside is potential surge pricing during peak times.
  • Shuttle Bus: Shared transit services like Mears Connect offer scheduled routes from MCO to Disney hotels. You can book ahead online. It’s a more economical option at around $20/adult when traveling in groups. The downside is multiple stops and longer overall travel time.
  • Rental Car: Convenient for those wanting flexibility. Allows independence and ability to take day trips near Disney. The downside is the added cost of $400+ per week for rental and parking fees. Not needed for transportation within Disney World.
  • Private Car Service: Luxury sedans, vans, and SUVs provide privacy and convenience. Best for large groups and special occasions. The downside is the higher cost of $80-$150 per trip.
  • Taxi: Traditional cab option with 24/7 availability at MCO taxi stands. Convenience comes at a premium of around $70 per trip.
  • Driving Directions: If you are driving, the best routes are via FL-417 Toll S or FL-528 W/FL-528 Toll W. Use Google Maps or Apple Maps to navigate from MCO to your Disney hotel. Expect to pay tolls on portions of virtually any route between MCO and WDW.
Two Mears Connect shuttle buses at Orlando International Airport

Mears Connect shuttle buses | Image © Mears Transportation

My Recommendation for travel between MCO and Disney World:

During our trips to Disney World, my wife and I traditionally used the complimentary Magical Express shuttle service. With its discontinuation in 2021 – and replacement by the paid Mears Connect – we’ve found Uber and Lyft to be more convenient and budget-friendly. Families with young children like ours will benefit from the direct route to our hotel.

Rental cars offer flexibility to explore beyond Disney but are often unnecessary on-property. For groups of 5+ people, shared shuttles remain a good value. However, we favor rideshares for their direct trips and value. For those with lots of luggage or wanting luxury transport without the high cost, private vans and limos are great. While reliable, taxis tend to be pricier than ridesharing.

It’s advisable to consult an experienced Disney travel agency like The Vacationeer, an Earmarked Diamond level Authorized Disney Vacation Planner. Their team of experts cheerfully assists with transportation recommendations and bookings at no cost to you!

The Vacationeer also handles all of your Disney World hotel bookings, dining reservations, and theme park ticket purchases so you don’t have to stress over the details of your vacation.

Your trip won’t cost more than if you’d booked it yourself — and it might even cost less thanks to their extensive knowledge of discounts. They’ll even watch for new savings to be announced after you’ve booked and automatically add them to your reservation!

So focus on having fun with your family — let The Vacationeer handle all the logistics so all you have to do is pay and go!

Alternative Airports Near Disney World

Though Orlando International Airport is the top airport pick for Disney World travelers, here are some other airport options in the region you can consider:

Orlando Sanford International Airport (SFB)

  • Distance from Disney World: 43 miles, about a 45-60 minute drive
  • Transportation Options: Uber/Lyft, taxi, rental car, private shuttle/limo
  • Address: 1200 Red Cleveland Blvd, Sanford, FL 32773
  • Directions: Take FL-417 Toll S to/from Walt Disney World
  • Phone Number: (407) 585-4000

Daytona Beach International Airport (DAB)

  • Distance from Disney World: Approximately 70 miles, about a 1-hour 10-minute drive.
  • Transportation Options: Uber/Lyft, taxi, rental car, private shuttle/limo.
  • Address: 700 Catalina Dr, Daytona Beach, FL 32114
  • Directions: Take I-4 Express and I-4 W to/from Walt Disney World.
  • Phone Number: (386) 248-8030

Tampa International Airport (TPA)

  • Distance from Disney World: Approximately 73 miles, about a 1-hour 15-minute drive.
  • Transportation Options: Uber/Lyft, taxi, rental car, private shuttle/limo.
  • Address: 4100 George J Bean Pkwy, Tampa, FL 33607
  • Directions: Take I-4 E to/from Walt Disney World.
  • Phone Number: (813) 870-8700

Melbourne Orlando International Airport (MLB)

  • Distance from Disney World: Approximately 75 miles, about a 1-hour 15-minute drive.
  • Transportation Options: Uber/Lyft, taxi, rental car, private shuttle/limo.
  • Address: 1 Air Terminal Pkwy, Melbourne, FL 32901
  • Directions: Take I-95 N and FL-528 W to/from Walt Disney World.
  • Phone Number: (321) 723-6227

Miami International Airport (MIA)

  • Distance from Disney World: Approximately 230 miles, about a 3-hour 25-minute drive.
  • Transportation Options: Uber/Lyft, taxi, rental car, private shuttle/limo
  • Address: 2100 NW 42nd Ave, Miami, FL 33126
  • Directions: Take Florida’s Turnpike and I-95 N to/from Walt Disney World.
  • Phone Number: (305) 876-7000

Note: While flying into a nearby airport and then driving to Disney World may save you money on airfare, the additional transportation costs may negate the savings. Therefore, we recommend flying directly to MCO. But for some carriers — or for nonstop flights originating at smaller regional airports — the nearest airports may not be an option.

Tips for Navigating the Orlando Area Airports

Orlando International Airport is one of the busiest airports in the U.S. Use these tips for easy travel:

  • Allow extra time to get through security lines and check in
  • Bring snacks and an empty water bottle in a carry-on
  • Arrive at the airport at least 2 hours before your return flight
  • Download your airline app and add your flight for updates
  • Charge your devices fully before departing
  • Print or screenshot your boarding pass
  • Request wheelchair or special assistance if needed
  • Pack medications and park tickets in a carry-on bag
  • Verify transportation details before leaving home
  • Check airport food options online in case of delays

Being prepared and utilizing technology will help overcome the chaos of this massive transportation hub.

Is There an Airport at Disney World?

No, there is no currently-operating airport on Walt Disney World property.

A 1967 company document promised a “Jet Airport of the Future” would be built as part of the original plans for Disney World’s EPCOT (which was to be a fully-functioning city rather than a theme park). Sadly, like the ambitious plans for the “Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow” itself, the full-fledged Disney World Airport never really materialized.

When Disney World first opened in 1971, there was a small on-site airfield known as Disney World Airport (DWS). The facility was a so-called “STOLport” (Short Take-Off and Landing Airport) which briefly offered a sort of “puddle jumper” service via small planes from the larger nearby airports.

Aerial image of the runway of Disney's abandoned STOLport airfield, with the Contemporary and Magic Kingdom in the background

The long-abandoned Disney World STOLport, near Magic Kingdom and the Contemporary | Image © Disney

That passenger service — and the airport itself — has been abandoned for about four decades now. The former runway is about all that’s left, located off of World Drive just east of the Magic Kingdom parking lots. It’s now used mainly to park giant storage containers and construction equipment.

In the absence of an actual operating Disney World Airport, most visitors to Disney World simply fly into Orlando International Airport (MCO).

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Frequently Asked Questions About Nearby Airports

Is there an airport in Kissimmee?

Kissimmee Gateway Airport (ISM) is located in Kissimmee, but it does not currently offer any regularly-scheduled passenger flights.

Is there public transportation from MCO to Disney World?

Yes, Lynx bus service provides public transportation from Orlando International Airport to Walt Disney World. Lynx bus route 311 offers transportation between Orlando International’s Terminal A and the Disney Springs area (where you can then connect with Disney transportation). You’ll make a few stops along the way, and the entire trip will take about an hour. The cost is $2 per ride, per person. Buses generally run every 30 minutes or so, from approximately 5AM – 11PM, seven days a week. See Lynx website or call 407-841-LYNX for exact times.

Is Lynx a good option to get to Disney World?

Lynx is certainly cheap, but can be inconvenient and time-consuming, especially if are traveling with a lot of luggage or young children. There are much better options time-wise and logistics-wise — but it’s hard to argue with the price!

What is the nearest airport to Walt Disney World?

Orlando International Airport (MCO) is the nearest airport to Walt Disney World, located just 17-20 miles away.

What is the cheapest airport to fly into for Disney World?

SFB and MLB may sometimes have cheaper flights than MCO, but it depends on the flight.

How far is Orlando Sanford International Airport from Disney World?

Approximately 43 miles or a 45-60 minute drive.

What transportation options are available from MCO to Disney World?

Options include shuttle bus services like Mears Connect, Uber/Lyft, taxis, and rental cars.

Is it better to fly into Tampa or Orlando for Disney World?

Orlando is closer and more convenient, but Tampa can sometimes offer cheaper flights. Any savings might be offset by transportation costs.

Is there an airport shuttle from Tampa to Disney World?

Private shuttle services like Express Transportation provide transportation from Tampa Airport to Disney hotels, but they are less frequent and more expensive than services from Orlando International Airport.

What is the easiest airport to fly into for Disney World?

Orlando International Airport (MCO) offers the closest proximity and most transportation choices.

Which Disney-area airport is best for private jets?

Private jet passengers will likely prefer Orlando Executive Airport (ORL). It’s a few miles farther from Disney World than Orlando International is, but the smaller size and lower passenger volume offers a better experience for celebrities visiting Disney World or anyone planning a luxury Disney vacation. MCO still supports private jets, but you’ll miss out on much of the exclusivity and serenity that flying into ORL offers.

Can I take a shuttle from Miami International Airport (MIA) to Disney World?

Shared shuttles are not available from MIA to Disney World. Private shuttle services are available, but they are a long and expensive option compared to MCO.

What is the best way to get from Orlando airport to Disney World?

The best way depends on your priorities. Uber/Lyft, rental cars, and shuttle bus services are all good options.

How far is Daytona Beach International Airport (DAB) from Walt Disney World?

The drive is approximately 70 miles or about 1 hour and 10 minutes. Heavy traffic in downtown Orlando can make the drive longer during rush hours.

Can I use ridesharing services like Uber or Lyft at the airport?

Yes. Uber and Lyft offer their services from Orlando International Airport and Walt Disney World.

Are there any car rental services at Orlando International Airport?

There are several car rental agencies at the airport, including Alamo, Avis, Budget, Enterprise, and Hertz.

How much does it cost to park at Orlando International Airport?

The cost of parking at MCO usually ranges from $10 to $25 per day.

Is parking available at Disney World?

Guests staying at Disney hotels park for free, while day guests pay $25-30 per day for parking at the Disney World theme parks (parking is free at Disney Springs).

Can I walk from Orlando International Airport to Disney World?

No, it is a 17-20 mile journey that includes busy highways. It is not a safe or practical distance to walk!

What is the best time of year to visit Walt Disney World?

The best time to visit Walt Disney World is during the off-peak seasons, which include the periods during January, February, September, and October. Not only are crowds smaller during these times, but Disney’s prices tend to be cheaper.

Expert Disney Planning Assistance with The Vacationeer

Now that you know Orlando International Airport is the closest and most convenient option for your Disney World adventure, it’s time to start planning all the details of your vacation. From choosing the best Disney resorts for kids or adults to navigating Disney World with toddlers, the planning process can be overwhelming. But don’t worry – The Vacationeer has got you covered!

Get expert help planning and booking your Disney trip with The Vacationeer, an Earmarked Diamond-level Authorized Disney Vacation Planner agency. Their friendly advisors have years of specialized experience planning Disney vacations and are experts at crafting the perfect getaway.

Here’s what they can do for you:

  • Recommend the best rides, resorts, restaurants, and activities
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  • Book your entire vacation, including tickets, accommodations, dining, and transportation
  • Offer Disney payment plan options to make your trip more affordable
  • Provide fast service and the lowest price
  • Assign you a dedicated planning advisor for personalized service
  • Help plan a daily itinerary and packing list for Disney World
  • Gives you peace of mind knowing everything is booked correctly and timely

Don’t miss out on the chance to have the perfect Disney World vacation tailored to your preferences. Contact The Vacationeer today for a free, no-obligation quote, and let them take care of all the arrangements. That way, you can sit back, relax, and look forward to your magical trip!