Orlando International • Disney, Dior and Discounts Galore
If you have any dollars left by the time you reach Orlando International Airport (unlikely we know), you’ll be glad to know there are plenty of shops here where you can spend them. Most of them are landside though, so don’t expect any bargains here compared to downtown.Still if little Johnny is still whining that you didn’t buy him a toy ‘Shamu’ or you’ve decided that you really should have bought that skimpy Minnie Mouse t-shirt after all, fret not. You’ll find Seaworld, Magic of Disney, Universal Studio, and Kennedy Space Centre Stores all in the Main Terminal • along with a pretty good choice of other retail stores, all surrounding a central food court. They include Guess, l’Occitane, Oakley, Ron Jon’s Surf Shop, Skechers, Swatch and a must visit Harley Davidson outlet.It’s actually pretty user friendly here and well laid out with typical US style and razamatazz, but, understandably, can get very busy at times. If you do want anything specific outside traditional duty and tax free goods, you’re best off to buy it here because there are no stand-alone stores like these once you get to the Airside areas.
From the main terminal you’ll go to one of four Airside Areas • most likely Four, served by airlines including BA, Delta, Virgin Atlantic, Lufthansa; or One, served by Aer Lingus, Air Canada, jetBlue,Transat, Avianca, Aero Mexico, Caribbean Airways and several others heading mostly to Central/South America.
Dominating both Airside One and Four are the Nuance Duty Free Stores, both having improved greatly since a major revamp in December 2012 by Nuance with partners DFASS. The Airside Four store is easily the largest at 5,000 sq ft and you’ll find it much more ‘shopper friendly’ than the previous offer with wide, spacious aisles. Brand new is a fabulous MAC boutique at the front of the store and other major ‘on trend’ brands such as Kiehls and L’Occitane have also now been introduced to lure you…and your money! All are positioned along the back wall so you can’t miss them. Clinique, Lancome, and Estee Lauder are all present in force, along with most of the major fragrance brands that you’d expect to find.
Outside fragrances and cosmetics, the offer is pretty good, but not outstanding; although there is a good choice of American whiskies if you’re looking for something a little different. The tobacco choice is fairly standard, but most brands are there – though not necessarily carrying the same names as the equivalent in the UK…so check with one of the staff. There’s also a pretty good choice of non-core items such as watches, jewellery, designer sunglasses like popular brand Maui Jim and confectionery, including US favourites like Hershey as well as more international brands such as Godiva.
The Airside One store (which you’ll probably be using if you’re Irish or Canadian) is also vastly improved and again offers brands that are favoured in those countries.Don’t forget though that you will not be able to take your purchases with you; you’ll be given a ticket with a number on which you give in at the Gate as you board the plane to collect your goods.Outside the Alpha store, the shopping choices at Airside Four are limited • Sunglass International, Zoom Motion, In-Motion (cds/dvds), Blu Wire (high tech accessories) and Stellar News and Gifts being just about it. There are also a couple of stand alone ‘open’ stores selling some quite cute ranges of jewellery, tshirts and gifts. Airside One is also limited with choices including Tek on the Go, Life is Good and Kids Works.
With security and immigration, getting in and out of US Airports is never a particularly pleasant experience, but at least the shopping choice at Orlando International • duty free or otherwise • makes leaving more bearable than at some.
Orlando International fact file
International passengers 2.7m
Total passengers 35.7m
Passenger profile: 50% UK, 30% Canadian, remainder mostly Irish, German, Latin American
Destinations serviced: 19 non stop international
Terminals. One, divided into two sides • A&B • determined by which airline you are flying
Orlando Sandford Airport
Alpha also operates the duty free store at Orlando Sandford’s international terminal A.Orlando Sandford caters almost exclusively to British charter passengers along with various scheduled European destinations going with Icelandair via Reykjavik. There are a couple of shops here apart from the Alpha Store • Reel Stuff and Travel Pursuits • but nothing very exciting.
On experience, getting into and out of Orlando Sandford can be much quicker than Orlando International, but it’s such a long haul into Orlando itself, you wonder if it’s worth it (especially if you are paying for a cab).
For information on US Customs rules please see our quick guide: