Ever since the announcement of the end of Magical Express ending free transportation from Orlando International Airport to Walt Disney World, the talk of the new Brightline high-speed train opening picked up speed. Will this be happening after all? Orlando Business Journal reported breaking news on June 27th that the stop on Walt Disney World property would not be happening.
As of time of writing, I do not have enough sources this will not happen. However, Orlando Business Journal reported it as confirmed. A few other sources started confirming it after that. Though details appear “fuzzy” at this point, the new route configuration for the train route does not support a Disney Springs station. Thus, Walt Disney World will not be involved in this project. The new high speed train route was set to connect Orlando International Airport and Tampa by high-speed rail. The original plans, as we understood them, had train tracks running near Disney Springs on the way. Many people thought this would be a solution to fill in easy travel between the airport and Walt Disney World filling in gap of Magical Express.
Maybe the change in train route relates to Universal Orlando. We know recently that land was donated by Universal Orlando to direct train with a stop near the Orange County Convention Center. This stop would also be near Universal Orlando’s upcoming new theme park, Epic Universe.
According to Walt Disney World spokesperson Avery Mather, “As many people who are involved in this project are aware, the new route configuration does not support a Disney Springs station and as a result, we don’t anticipate being part of this project.” As first reported by Orlando Business Journal, this representative gave then this quote. At this moment, representatives from Brightline have not commented.
It appears Brightline chose the more northern route from Orlando to Tampa taking the train to the convention center and International Drive. A more southern route was needed to connect the airport to Walt Disney World with this train. This might be one occasion where Universal Orlando/Comcast showed more money than Walt Disney World was willing to invest.
This should be interesting to see the fallout from this change. Will this slow down the construction process? Will it stay this way, or will Disney open the bank account more to change the route one more time? Only time will tell!
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