Disney Cruise Line offers the option of booking flights through them and while this makes things very easy, there is little flexibility with this option. DCL selects the airline and flight times for you, but does not provide the details of your flight until closer to your departure date. Many guests like to be in control of their chosen airline, schedule, connections and fares and choose to book air on their own.
Depending on your point of origin, we’d recommend flying in the day prior to departure. This removes the worry of missing the ship's sailing if there are flight delays. This is especially important during the winter months, when flight cancellations due to weather, are common.
There are a number of sites for checking airline fares, including Travelocity, Expedia, Orbitz, Priceline, Kayak, and Yapta. On most travel sites, you can sign up to be alerted when discount fares are available. You should also check the official airline website, because you might get better pricing and flight times by booking directly with the airline.
Keep checking on your flight even after it's booked. Airlines are known to change flight numbers and times. They are supposed to contact you when they make changes but rarely do. The sooner you notice a change the sooner you can contact the airline if this change doesn't work for you. Before calling, check the airline's website to see what your new options for flights might be. Don’t wait for them to suggest something. Tell them the option that works best for you. In addition, you might find that your fare has decreased.
If you're flying in on embarkation day, you need to make sure that you leave enough time to get to the ship. Final boarding is at 4:00 pm and no one is allowed to board after that time. The port is approximately an hour drive from the Orlando airport, but you’ll also need to factor in the time it will take to get your luggage and to get to your transportation. Morning flight arrivals are recommended.
Disney recommends on departure day that you not book a flight before 11:30 AM. There are times when the ship is delayed at the Port and you run the risk of missing your flight. Rushing to get to the airport is not the way to end your Disney cruise vacation.Checking In and Getting to Port Canaveral
We have found check-in at Disney Cruise Line to be quick and painless. The operational hours of the cruise terminal and parking garage in Port Canaveral begin at 10:30 am. Because the terminal doesn't open until 10:30, transportation companies are not allowed to drop guests off any earlier. Pickups at the airport or Disney hotels will begin at 10:00 am.
Just like at airports, you'll first pass through a security screening. From there it's up the escalator (or elevator) to the check-in area. Here you'll find a long counter manned by some of the friendliest Cast Members you'll find at Disney.