Bad News for Disney Fans: The Worst U.S. Airport Lies in the Land of the Mouse

Nearly 30 percent of flights from Orlando were delayed in some form

Control tower at Orlando International Airport.
Jerry Driendl / Getty Images

Bad news for Disney fans: a new report found that the worst airport in the U.S. for flight delays and cancellations is in the Land of the Mouse.

A new round-up by trip planning site Family Destinations Guide discovered that Orlando International Airport holds an unwanted title: it's the country's worst when it comes to a poor travel experience, with 3.52 percent of its 2022 flights canceled. Nearly 30 percent of flights were delayed in some form.

The round-up, which relied on flight delay and cancellation data from the U.S. Bureau of Transportation, also found that other airports in Florida, such as Tampa International and Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, were among the worst for delays and cancellations.

Newark Liberty International Airport took the second spot, with 26.51 percent of outbound flights experiencing delays. While Newark is no longer considered a New York City-area airport, one NYC hub—John F. Kennedy International Airport—ranked eighth, as 24.08 percent of flights in 2022 were delayed.

It's not the best news for the nearly 13 million people who visit Disney World each year, but there are ways to minimize the chances of delays and cancellations.

"Flights earlier in the day tend to have fewer delays, so try and book an early flight when possible," said a Family Destinations Guide spokesperson. "You could also try and book flights in the middle of the week, on a Tuesday or Wednesday, rather than a weekend, as fewer people travel on these days."

As for the airport with the best chances of smooth sailing? According to the rankings, that title goes to Salt Lake City International Airport. At SLC, a popular Western hub for Delta Air Lines and other carriers, only 14.18 percent of flights were delayed last year, and just 1.02 percent of flights were canceled.

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  1. Statista. "Attendance at the Magic Kingdom theme park (Walt Disney World Florida) from 2009 to 2021." Accessed January 18, 2023.