After long debates about the route the train would take, it was decided in May that the Brightline would share tracks that currently house the SunRail Commuter system, and take it from the airport, to the Orange County Convention Center, and then down International Drive before going to Disney World, where a station was expected to be built near – but not on – Disney World property.
That is a vastly different route than the original one – which bypassed the tourist corridor and took a more direct route (near State Road 417) to Disney World.
A Disney spokesperson told the Orlando Sentinel that the Walt Disney Company is no longer involved in the project.
“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,”Said Disney spokesperson Avery Maehrer.
Guests who travel to Disney World regularly by plane had been energized by the plan, especially after Disney ended its free Magical Express airport transfer service.
We’ll miss you, Magical Express
By all accounts, Disney had been heavily involved in the initial planning for the train route, but the change to the route in early May takes it past the site of a new Universal theme park currently under construction – Epic Universe – as well as by other hotels and tourist attractions on International Drive.
The new route was supported by local officials, as well as Universal Orlandowhich offered land and a reported $ 125 million from Universal and other partners.
Universal and other International Drive partners have also guaranteed $ 13 million annually in ticket sales from this station, and they have committed to giving $ 2 million annually for maintenance of the station. The station would be built on land owned by Universal along Destination Parkway.
Brightline is currently completing the tracks between its South Florida service area and Orlandoand that service is expected to begin in 2023, with work on the route through Orlando starting after that.
In the meantime, if you need help deciding on how to get from the airport to Disney Worldcheck out this summer sale on a shuttle bus that can take you to your hotel!
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Were you planning to make use of the Brightline train? Let us know in the comments!