Florida Guide > Travelling
Flying into Sanford
Most people who travel to central Florida fly in to Orlando International Airport, which is a very busy facility. The airport has a central concourse and is connected to the airside facility by automatic train type vehicles, this has advantages and disadvantages. One disadvantage is that you have to pick up your baggage from a station as you enter the airport, and then put it onto another belt for transport to the central concourse whilst you travel on the automatic train. As you would expect with an airport that is this busy, queues can get quite large for retrieving your baggage and care hire etc, but the facilities are good, with a hotel, restaurants and shops.
Sanford however is a much smaller airport, perfectly capable of carrying the traffic that enters and leaves Florida by this gateway, because it is so much smaller, and handles less traffic, queues are smaller, immigration is quicker and picking up your car is less of a hassle. Appreciated that if you are staying centrally to Disney you do have a little further to drive which may not appeal to some after the long flight from the UK, if you do try Sanford you will find that although some of the roads are toll roads, they are relatively empty and you soon arrive at your destination.
A typical journey from Orlando International Airport to around the Disney area is in the region of 30 minutes, whereas a typical journey from Sanford to the same area would be around 50 minutes, this subject of course to traffic conditions particularly as you hit the I4, however, we have found that by the time that you have cleared customs, got your baggage twice and queued for your car at Orlando Airport, you will have landed at Sanford, cleared customs, got baggage, picked up your car and travelled the extra mileage, so in actual fact, you would be arriving at your destination at around the same time without having to queue unnecessarily.
There is a down side to Sanford, not much of one but nevertheless I should note it, that is, because the airport is much smaller that Orlando, there are not many shops and whilst you are waiting for your flight you can get a little bored, however, there is a viewing area where you can watch the planes landing and taking off if you like that sort of thing.
I know a lot of people would not consider flying in to Sanford, I was one of them, we used the airport for the first time last year and I must say now that I prefer it.
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