The Brightline high-speed rail station that was supposed to be built at Disney Springs no longer is happening. Disney confirmed to the Orlando Business Journal that plans for the station at Walt Disney World Resort are no longer moving forward. The project was originally announced in 2019.
“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.
Disney did not share other details about the change and Brightline has not commented either.
The loss of this station at Disney Springs is Disney’s loss and Universal Studios Orlando’s gain. The project with what was originally the 417 route that would have gone to Disney Springs drew heavy criticism from local groups. This eventually led to the project being put on indefinite hold. The current plan that is moving forward is for the 528. It will bring Brightline to the Orange County Convention Center on I-Drive.
This new route has led to Universal pledging to donate 13 acres for an Orange County Convention Center-area train station. It would be able to be used by both Brightline and also SunRail, the Central Florida commuter train. The new station will also help tourists who fly into the Orlando International Airport get to Universal’s newest theme park, Epic Universe. It is set to open in 2025.
The plans currently also include a south I-Drive station that will be near, but not on Disney property. An exact location for this station has not been revealed yet. The exclusion of Walt Disney World Resort and Disney Springs comes after Disney no longer offers the Magical Express bus services and tourists are now using third-party transportation services to arrive at Walt Disney World Resort from Orlando International Airport. It was initially thought that this new station would provide another way to access Walt Disney World Resort for tourists.
The $2.7 billion Brightline project runs 170 miles from Orlando to West Palm Beach and is roughly 80% finished. It is expected to be completed by the end of the year with service beginning in 2023.
What do you think of Brightline no longer having a station at Disney Springs?