Flying to Disney World Just Got Easier Thanks to Orlando Airport's New $2.8B Terminal C

Kathryn Underwood - Author
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Sep. 27 2022, Published 11:42 a.m. ET

Orlando International Airport recently opened Terminal C, which could benefit those traveling to Walt Disney World and areas around Orlando. About five years after construction on the project began, the new terminal opened with its first arriving flight from Aer Lingus on Sept. 20. Here’s everything you need to know about the Orlando airport’s Terminal C.

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Orlando’s new terminal greatly expands the airport’s capacity for travelers. “This state-of-the-art terminal is leading the way to a truly intermodal future for all of Central Florida, where passengers will be able to take a plane, a train or an automobile from one location,” stated Kevin Thibault, chief executive officer of the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority.

Orlando International Airport’s Terminal C already had its opening date.

The new Terminal C at Orlando International Airport opened officially on September 20. The first flight to arrive there was an Aer Lingus flight from Manchester. Brazilian airline GOL operated the first-ever flight out of Terminal C.

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Other airlines operating in the terminal are British Airways, Emirates, Lufthansa, Azul, Norse Atlantic Airways, and Icelandair. Beginning on Sept. 27, JetBlue will be the anchor airline for Terminal C.

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Since many of the travelers coming to Orlando do so to visit Disney World, the increased capacity of Terminal C could make it easier to book flights.

Terminal C’s construction came at a high cost. Will it be worth it?

The new Orlando Terminal C covers 300 acres and has a total of 15 gates. According to Business Traveler, the 15 gates can accommodate up to 20 aircraft, which increases the annual capacity of the airport by 10 million–12 million passengers. In 2021, MCO welcomed about 40.3 million passengers.

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Designed by the same firm that was responsible for the Tom Bradley terminal at LAX and Incheon International Airport, the total cost of the project came to $2.8 billion.

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The airport is said to be “the first fully integrated, multimodal airport terminal in the U.S. for rail, air, and ground transportation.” It’s connected to the integrated rail-air-ground transportation hub, which is expected to begin operations serving south Florida in 2023.

What can travelers expect from Terminal C?

Within the new Terminal C, travelers will find over 1,000 video display screens with directional and flight information. About 33 retail outlets are there, including food and beverage retailers across 80,000 square feet of space, are found in the terminal. There's also a Walt Disney World Store in Terminal C.

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A number of local south Florida food and drink vendors will operate there, including Barnie’s Coffee & Tea Co., Orlando Brewing Bar & Bites, Wine Bar George, Sunshine Diner by Chef Art Smith, Orange County Brewers, Raw Juce, and Cask & Larder Public House. More widely known restaurants in Terminal C include Chick-fil-A and Auntie Anne’s.

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Travelers can enjoy automated TSA screening lanes, which are meant to decrease the total time they spend in the security process. They also increase efficiency of airport security for all travelers.

International travelers will likely appreciate the facial recognition technology used when arriving and departing. There’s also a “bags first” international arrival area.

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