Any recent experience of immigration/security at MCO?

janiebubble

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jan 26, 2010
We’re heading back to WDW in 2 weeks, excited!! Haven’t flown direct recently but got a very good deal on Virgin from Manchester. Speaking to a friend yesterday who travelled in Sep tlast year he said the airport was under refurbishment then and the self service immigration machines were gone, there was additional security screening and you couldn’t take your luggage on the escalator to the monorail you had to have it transferred. Was this a temporary measure does anyone know? Trying to manage my expectations (feeling my 5pm fastpass bookings may be unrealistically optimistic!)

Thanks in advance
 
  • starrysky

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 31, 2009
    Last time we flew into Orlando we had to collect our bags then we had to (staff there directing us) onto the conveyor to the main terminal and pick them up after the monorail.
     

    Tony Toon

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 30, 2004
    In Nov last year self service machines had gone and we had no issues with taking luggage on the monorail
    Same here in October 2018 and January 2019. No self service kiosks, longish queues but we were allowed to take our luggage with us if we wanted. We have friends heading out for their first visit on Wednesday so will be interested to what things are like currently.

    Mrs TT
     

    AurumPunzel

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Aug 20, 2018
    Same here in October 2018 and January 2019. No self service kiosks, longish queues but we were allowed to take our luggage with us if we wanted. We have friends heading out for their first visit on Wednesday so will be interested to what things are like currently.

    Mrs TT
    Had that too in March 2019, which really caught me by surprise because I was expecting MCO to have them, and because I went to NYC last year via SWF (first since my passport renewal, so was under a fresh ESTA), I was already able to use the APC machines. Bit of a retrograde step given that they were supposed to make going through immigration a breeze when you've got an existing ESTA. Queues were pretty long, but not FoP long, and the CBP officer was pretty swift in getting me through, so I was able to collect my luggage and go straight to the Magical Express in just under 5 minutes.

    The other thing I found weird was that there were no customs checks, and I didn't even have to fill out the usual customs form, so it felt more like going to Paris than going to Orlando.
     
  • RangerPooh

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 6, 2005
    Just went through immigration/security at MCO on Thursday as someone traveling from London back to the US. The international guest line through immigration was much faster than the one for US residents. We presented our passports, then picked up luggage behind them at the carousels. We were able to take our luggage with us on the internal monorail.

    While the wait for about 30 minutes or so, it was no where near as bad as the wait for us the next day when passing through TSA (security) to take our domestic flight home.
     

    janiebubble

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 26, 2010
    Brilliant thank you all. Glad we can take the luggage on the monorail. Have waited far too long for that second bag drop in the past!
     

    leiaorgana

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jan 25, 2015
    Ooh thank you! Have a magical trip x
    Thank you! We’ve just got to our room but this was our experience today:

    Just before landing they made announcement on the plane saying that we would have to use the kiosks but when we got to Immigration they made everyone go through the big line where you have to see someone and all of the US and Canadian residents were sent to the kiosks instead.

    Once we got our bags we headed to the new escalator and the guy there told us we couldn’t use the escalator and to use the lift instead but then told the people behind with their cases that it was “totally okay” to use the escalator. It was all very confusing and par for the course for MCO :rolleyes2
     

    csimon

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Sep 20, 2018
    I went end of February this year on Virgin. An announcement on the aircraft on landing said that all immigration was now done via self-service terminals but when we got there we were directed to the usual in-person desks. There weren't any customs checks at all, I was very surprised. Wasn't even asked any questions, fingerprinting or photo taking at passport control they just stamped me through. I'm pretty sure that won't be a permanent state of affairs, but reading other comments here I'm not so sure! On exiting the baggae hall there was a queue backed up for people wanting to use the lift but I just bypassed them and took the escalator to the monorail with my luggage.
     
  • janiebubble

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 26, 2010
    Thank you! We’ve just got to our room but this was our experience today:

    Just before landing they made announcement on the plane saying that we would have to use the kiosks but when we got to Immigration they made everyone go through the big line where you have to see someone and all of the US and Canadian residents were sent to the kiosks instead.

    Once we got our bags we headed to the new escalator and the guy there told us we couldn’t use the escalator and to use the lift instead but then told the people behind with their cases that it was “totally okay” to use the escalator. It was all very confusing and par for the course for MCO :rolleyes2
    Thanks so much - enjoy your holiday
     

    A&A

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Dec 17, 2009
    Same experience in April 19. No kiosks unlike last year, but able to take luggage up the escalator( one of the staff even helped taking a bag up for us as we had so many )
     

    katiec786

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    May 29, 2019
    I'm going to jump onto this thread and ask a question - I haven't gone through MCO internationally since I was a little kid, the last couple of Disney trips were while I was living in the US.
    Obviously there are multiple factors that could affect this, but on average if I'm due to land around 2pm on a Sunday in late September, what is a realistic time to expect to get through immigration etc and to the ME? Trying to decide if it's worth booking FPs starting at 5pm :laughing:
    Thank you!
     

    Pooh's-Honey-Pot

    Secretly prefers Tangled to Frozen...
    Joined
    May 31, 2007
    I'm going to jump onto this thread and ask a question - I haven't gone through MCO internationally since I was a little kid, the last couple of Disney trips were while I was living in the US.
    Obviously there are multiple factors that could affect this, but on average if I'm due to land around 2pm on a Sunday in late September, what is a realistic time to expect to get through immigration etc and to the ME? Trying to decide if it's worth booking FPs starting at 5pm :laughing:
    Thank you!
    It would be tight... I have rarely got through immigration in less than an hour, then you have to collect your luggage, walk to ME, queue up there to check in, get in line for your bus, wait for that to arrive, then ME can go to up to four resorts on its route and you could be the last one. Then, if you're booking an ADR that isn't at your resort, you will need to get to it. We always go quick service at our resort the first night to save the stress!
     

    katiec786

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    May 29, 2019
    It would be tight... I have rarely got through immigration in less than an hour, then you have to collect your luggage, walk to ME, queue up there to check in, get in line for your bus, wait for that to arrive, then ME can go to up to four resorts on its route and you could be the last one. Then, if you're booking an ADR that isn't at your resort, you will need to get to it. We always go quick service at our resort the first night to save the stress!
    Thank you!
    We want to get to MK that night because it’s the only chance we have to see HEA, so I think we’ll book some missable FPs that evening, grab a quick service and watch the fireworks! We have another day at MK (but it’s a party night so no HEA) so will have other opportunities for some of those rides. And if the queue for ME is long then we have no issue grabbing an Uber instead of it’ll save us some time!
     

    Rowlf the Dog

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Nov 13, 2015
    I'm going to jump onto this thread and ask a question - I haven't gone through MCO internationally since I was a little kid, the last couple of Disney trips were while I was living in the US.
    Obviously there are multiple factors that could affect this, but on average if I'm due to land around 2pm on a Sunday in late September, what is a realistic time to expect to get through immigration etc and to the ME? Trying to decide if it's worth booking FPs starting at 5pm :laughing:
    Thank you!
    As the kiosks are seemingly still not available for international guests, don't count on fast immigration. At my last visit in March I waited there 2 hours to get to a desk (I never waited so long for any ride!). Landing at 6.30 p.m., I arrived at my resort not until 10.30 p.m.
    In March 2018 we also waited at least 1 hour to face the officer.
    I realy hope until my next trip in October/November, the kiosks are back or at least I don't have to wait at the immigration longer than on any attraction.
     

    Cornish Lad

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Oct 16, 2017
    Our last trip was back in September last year and we were through immigration and customs in no time - truly amazed by how fast and easy it was. Guess it depends on time of day and number of agents on duty - we arrived at immigration around 5pm.
    The down side was that our ME driver got lost and took over an hour and forty minutes to go the 200 yards between the Old Key West exit and the Port Orleans French Quarter entrance - having taken us off Disney property, turned around, took another wrong turn and ended up going through Disney Springs, then missing our entrance before realising where he was and turned in to the Riverside end of the resort! Dropped off the guests for there and finally drove through the resort to deposit us at the French Quarter. Not so much of a Magical Express!
     

    cheryl.UK

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 30, 1999
    Arrived just over a week ago. No both just a big line. We have a huge case each and had no trouble taking them on the escalators.
     

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