It happens all the time. You’re flight gets delayed (or worse, canceled), you’re stuck on layover, and you find yourself with an abundance of time. When you’re at an airport waiting, there’s only so much you can do. You can’t leave when you’re waiting, so you’re left milling around. Occasionally, however, you might find yourself at a larger, busier airport, and when you do, chances are you will find something to do, even if it’s just wandering around the shops. Orlando International Airport is one of those airports, due to its size and location, that makes it an ideal airport to get stuck in (provided, of course, it’s not too long). Plus, Orlando International Airport (MCO) offers free wi-fi, so if you don’t feel like doing anything and want to just sit back, surf the net, or stream video, you’re already set!
Food and Drink. Waiting for a flight on an empty stomach, quite frankly, sucks. Naturally, that’s why many airports are packed with restaurants. Take your pick from the fast food variety of Burger King, Chick-Fil-A, McDonalds, Panda Express, or Wendy’s. If you’re looking for a sports bar, you can hit up the Fox Sports Sky Box and grab a plate of wings. Then, if you need to satisfy a craving for sugar and fat, wander on down to Carvel Ice Cream & Bakery or Krispy Kreme. Nothing takes the edge off like ice cream and donuts!
For a more sit down dining experience you can check out McCoy’s Bar and Grill. They offer a variety of menus, including lunch, dinner, and sushi. It’s an airport favorite located in the airport’s adjoining Hyatt Hotel. Also in the hotel is the Hemisphere Steak & Seafood Restaurant. This restaurant is slightly more upscale and pricier, but if you’re looking for more options, including breakfast, you might find something to satiate your taste buds, plus the restaurant offers an impeccable view of the MCO tarmac so you can eat and marvel at the wonder of flight.
Shopping. Could this airport be any more of a mall? The answer is no. It couldn’t be. Need a new book? Head on down to Barnes & Noble. Want some Disney memorabilia (because, let’s face it, if you visited Walt Disney World, you didn’t already spend enough money on stuff with “Disney” emblazoned on it somewhere), then you better stop by the Disney’s EarPort or Magic of Disney shops. Yes, it wouldn’t be the Orlando International Airport without two Disney stores. Alternately, if Disney isn’t your thing, but you want some merch from other “Orlando-ish” attractions, you can browse the Kennedy Space Center store for NASA related goodies or head over to the SeaWorld store to pick up a dolphin snow globe. Some other stores include the Universal Studios store (movie merch), Swatch (watches), and InMotion Entertainment (tech, gadgets, movies, video games).
If shopping and eating aren’t enough to keep you occupied, you can visit the King of Kong arcade. Opened by Billy Mitchell (one of the stars of the 2007 documentary The King of Kong) in 2011, the arcade isn’t big, but it offers enough variety to keep you occupied for a couple hours. Just don’t expect to find any Donkey Kong arcade machines here, strangely enough.
Billy Chamberlin is an avid, frugal-minded traveler and writer who’s always on the lookout for travel deals, such as affordable MCO parking. When he’s not traveling on business, he strums away on the banjo and builds model spacecraft.