We saw this coming a mile off! Walt Disney World’s plans for a Brightline high-speed rail station have been canned.
A Disney representative told Orlando Business Journal (OBJ) that plans for a station to connect to the multi-billion-dollar Brightline project are “no more.”
“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 Maehxer told OBJ.
According to OBJ, Disney didn’t share any other details. Brightline executives were not available for comment, according to OBJ.
Brightline’s current route is expected to take it along State Road 528 and Taft-Vineland Road (through the International Drive corridor) and down Interstate 4. Its previous route had the train heading down State Road 417 and bypassing the tourist corridor.
The 417 route drew heavy criticism from multiple parties. The 528 route gained popularity as more parties including the city of Orlando, Orange County, and Universal Orlando worked with Brightline to set the train to the Orange County Convention Center area on International Drive.
That led to Universal Orlando pledging to donate 13 acres and money for the Orange County Convention Center-area train station that would be used by Brightline and SunRail.
Brightline’s plan for the corridor includes a South I-Drive station that is near Disney property, according to a corridor proposal by SunRail and Brightline. No specific location for the station has been revealed.
The new station will likely help service attendees of the convention center and future theme park guests of Universal Orlando’s upcoming theme park Epic Universe who will fly into Orlando or travel from South Florida.
Brightline $2.7 billion, 170-mile Orlando to West Palm Beach expansion is approximately 80% finished and expected to finish construction by the end of this year. The service is set to start by 2023.
Stay tuned to Orlando Theme Park Zone for more Orlando theme park-related news and information.