Disney opts out of Brightline rail stop as route will now approach Universal and convention center

Posted | Contributed by Jeff

A representative with Disney confirmed to Orlando Business Journal that the plans for a Brightline rail station, announced in 2019, to connect to the multibillion-dollar project are no more.

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eightdotthree's avatar

Are they actually opting out or were they deleted? The article just says the following.

“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,” Disney spokesperson Avery Maehrer told Orlando Business Journal.


Jeff's avatar

The long term intention is to take it right down I-4 to Tampa, so there's no universe where it isn't passing Disney Springs.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Phrazy

This announcement from Disney doesn’t make a lot of sense.

Brightline as of the last update still planned on getting the train from I-Drive to Disney Springs. They just received government funding a few weeks ago to start serious planning for it and then the Tampa leg. I doubt any routes are finalized yet.

So Brightline has not said there are any issues with getting it to Disney. It’s real weird for Disney to come out and say this.

Maybe it’s going to stop at Vineland Pointe (White Castle, etc) instead of Disney Springs? I dunno. But I can’t imagine there not being a stop at Disney, that’s a huge selling point for ridership numbers for the train

What's the point of a Disney stop in the first place? Surely it's not to connect the airport to Disney by high speed rail.


So people living in Miami or Tampa can go to Orlando without driving?

Disney sounds like a child in this. Wahh, it's going to stop at Universal, so we refuse to participate!

Last edited by PhantomTails,
Jeff's avatar

Disney is crying because there are other stops before theirs. That's all this is about.

And yes, Brightline is almost complete from Miami to Orlando. As best I can tell having driven the Beachline last weekend, there are a few sections of track to lay (foundation is in place), but they're almost there. The Orlando airport has a huge new intermodal terminal along with Terminal C. The intention is to also extend Sun Rail to that point, which would connect downtown to the airport. The next step is Orlando to Tampa.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Phrazy

Oh lordt. I don’t know what’s involved with laying track, but please tell me that I4 will not be torn up again. I thought the nightmare there was over.

Jeff's avatar

That was in town, now all of the construction is south/west of Disney. It's already a mess.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Phrazy

RCMAC:

Oh lordt. I don’t know what’s involved with laying track, but please tell me that I4 will not be torn up again. I thought the nightmare there was over.

I-4 Beyond the Ultimate is next, Kirkman to US-27 will get the fun that has been Lake Mary to Kirkman the last 5+ years. The Champions Gate exit is getting the first work associated with it, but that's really a small project compared to everything else. Unless they massively scale down the plans the 535 and 536 interchanges are going to be an absolute mess with what reads to me as 3 levels of roads (535/536 and then two different levels of I-4 travel lanes in addition to ramps at each interchange). I'm very much not looking forward to it and really don't know how they're putting the tracks through that mess, but I guess they will be.

Last edited by maXairMike,

Original BlueStreak64

From what I have read the proposed station at/near Disney Springs has moved. Where was the original station compared to the new station? As someone who owns at Saratoga Springs a train from the airport to Disney Springs was very appealing.

Mulfinator:

From what I have read the proposed station at/near Disney Springs has moved. Where was the original station compared to the new station? As someone who owns at Saratoga Springs a train from the airport to Disney Springs was very appealing.

I haven't seen details on a new potential Disney area station, but my guess is that they'll dust off the plans for the median station near the World Drive interchange if Brightline really does want a Disney station to market on the line. I don't see any potential lots adjacent to I-4 that work with the new I-4 construction as it appears on the planning documents in terms of room to shift tracks to and from the median to a station.

Edit to answer the question about the original station: I don't believe we ever got a firm location for where the Springs station would be, but my best guess considering the proposed southern route along 417 would have been in some part of the surface lots on either side of Cirque.

Last edited by maXairMike,

Original BlueStreak64

Jeff's avatar

My assumption was that it would be across the street from the bus loops, since that's where people transferring to resorts world need to be anyway. It's all parking there for the HR building, which I imagine they could do something different with.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Phrazy

I was thinking they would make it a part of an expansion of West Side past Cirque and HoB, integrating the now lightly used bus loop over there, as I believe the discussion was that Brightline might be the one operating resort connection shuttles and baggage service, so it would make sense to use the existing non-Disney bus loop for that in a potential station setup. But that doesn't matter anymore as Disney isn't providing any land at this point should Brightline still desire a stop after the I-Drive station before heading down to Tampa, so it would have to be before the 535 interchange, or the World Drive median station, I expect.


Original BlueStreak64

Jeff's avatar

That's too far off the line. Every extra foot of track, to say nothing of having to cross roads and parking lots, costs a lot extra.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Phrazy

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