A decision, although admittedly not a huge one, is taking into consideration which Orlando airport you're going to travel to. Airlines will either fly to Sanford or Orlando international. They don't tend to go to both. So if you have a real preference to which you want to go to, you need to choose your airline carefully. We run through the main differences between Sanford and Orlando International.
Disney run the Magical Express only to Orlando International. So if you're not driving, this free transfer service is a major plus.
Lots of shopping! Orlando International has a mall's worth of shops for you to explore. Great if you've missed any shopping trips.
It's a good 20-25 minutes closer to Disney World than Sanford. After a very long flight, every little helps.
With all its extra amenities, it's a lot bigger. I hope you don't have a tendency to get lost easily.
Because check-in and gates are so far apart, it's a lot of walking and requires monorail travel to get to your gates.
It's a very small airport, which means you won't get lost, and there's barely any walking.
There's only a few gates, and they're close to the waiting area, which means quick and effortless boarding.
Security is super quick to get through with less flights leaving frequently.
It's 20-25 minutes further away from Disney World than Orlando International, so transfer times are longer.
There's only a few shops and a couple places to eat. There is still a duty free of course, but no shopping sprees here.
Disney do not offer Magical Express to Sanford, so if you need transfers, you'll have to pay for a coach or taxi.
We have been to both airports multiple times, and although we don't exclusively choose the airline for either airport, it is definitely in the calculations. If we don't plan for much shopping one time, we may pick Orlando international to hit some of those shops on the way back. We also will save some money not having to pay for transfers as the Magical Express is included. The downside for us personally, is our closest airport only flies to Sanford. We have to choose if its worth travelling a couple extra hours this end (each way) for the amenities of Orlando International, or choose the quiet, smaller yet slightly more inconvenient and costly Sanford (excluding any shopping sprees of course).
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