I’ve been known to bring up Orlando International Airport (MCO) as an integral part of the Disney experience, because it’s both the first and last parts of your vacation!
Folks who are travelling to Walt Disney World (via air) get their first “taste” of the Disney product through the two Disney Stores (EarPort & The Magic of Disney), but they are also introduced to the other attractions in the Orlando area.
If you’ve ever had the pleasure of travelling with me …HA….then you’ll get to see me compare any airport that I visit with that of the Orlando International Airport. Usually it starts with the food offerings and eventually gets to the merchandise locations, which is the point of this article. What do I mean?
THERE ARE TWO DISNEY STORES
I’m a fan of any airport that has a Disney store, but this airport actually has two (soon to be three)
Both are unique in their own ways and provide different pieces of merchandise for you to purchase. Are they a replacement for the parks? No, but it’s not uncommon to see me going from one store to the other when I’m seeking out a specific size on a shirt.
Article Continues Below
HARRY POTTER IS THERE!
As Universal Orlando grows their theme parks into “Must-See” attractions, folks who go to Disney World for a week long vacation are starting to factor in a day or two at Universal to experience The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
What happens if you don’t have a chance to get to Universal during your trip? Well you can pick up your Wands, Robes, Marauders Maps….and chocolate frogs all at the Airport!
Did you know that you can Pin Trade at the Disney and Universal Stores? Well you’ll have the opportunity to part with those last few traders and maybe even find a hidden gem! The cast members don’t get a lot of pin action, so you’ll be in good company if you stumble upon a Disneyland or Disney Cruise Line pin from those who are using MCO as a transfer point before heading home.
Universal has a pretty cool style of pins as well, so don’t forget to check them out too!
Packing t-shirts in your checked luggage is pretty standard, but what happens if you wanted to get a ceramic mug or a picture frame and don’t want to take the chance of having it break in transit? Well we’ve come to like the wrapping skills of the staff at the Airport, as they know what to do for folks who are just about to jump on a plane.
Just a general FYI, Disney has a special wrapping paper that you can get in most retail locations called Geami. It’s perforated paper, which allows for a nice cushion for those breakable items!
Article Continues Below
Before you head into the security check-point, enjoy the huge variety of shops! My favs are:
- Harley Davidson
- Kennedy Space Center (Two Locations)
- SeaWorld (Two Locations)
The Orlando International Airport is constantly evolving and adding new experiences. Check out their website for all the shops & restaurants that you can explore when you’re starting your vacation (ie waiting for your baggage) or before heading home.