Brightline Clarifies Plans Regarding Rail Link to Disney World
Yesterday, we shared the shocking news that contrary to what had previously been reported, an extension of the high speed rail network currently being build by Brightline and offering service from Miami to Orlando WILL NOT include a link from Orlando International Airport to Disney Springs.
What is a loss for Disney World, seems to be a WIN for Universal Orlando. According to yesterday’s report in the Orlando Business Journal, Universal Orlando Resort worked with Brightline to get a station at the Orange County Convention Center on I-Drive. Universal pledged 14 acres and money allowing a station near Universal’s Epic Universe theme park which is currently under construction and expected to open in 2025.
Though Disney confirmed to Orlando Business Journal yesterday that current plains DO NOT support a Disney World stop, Brightline has now said that though the new route means no Disney Springs station, there will still be stops close to Disney. According to Brightline, the current route is expect to take the train from Orlando International Airport along State Road 528 and Taft-Vineland Road. Proposed stops will be at the Orange County Convention Center/International Drive and then Down Interstate 4 (toward Tampa.)
However, Brightline Senior Vice President of Corporate Affairs Pen Porritt argues, there is still scope for a station close to the originally proposed Disney Springs spot. Porritt said, “In addition to the airport, one new station will be located at the Orange County Convention Center and an alternative station will be placed near the original Disney Springs site, albeit not on land owned by Disney.” He continued, “Together, the three integrated stations provide access to the largest economic and employment centers in Central Florida, and offer the best opportunity for the success of Brightline and SunRail [Central Florida’s commuter train].”
Questions still remain as to how valuable International Drive station will be for Disney guests. Its not yet known how guests would connect from the train stop to the parks.
As of going to print, Disney has yet to comment on how and what sort of transportation links might be incorporated to transport guests from future stations to Walt Disney World Resort. Disney traditionally offered Magical Express transportation to and from Walt Disney World Resort to Orlando International Airport. However, Disney shut down Magical Express in January of 2022 and has yet to provide an alternative. Many thought this move was in anticipation of the rail network. It remains to be seen what if any new systems Disney may implement as a result of Brightline’s route changes.
Readers are encouraged to keep following along with MickeyBlog for further Walt Disney World news and updates! We’ll be coming to you live from the theme parks every week!
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Source: Orlando Business Journal