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Rumor Higher Speed Rail from MCO to Disney World

maxairmike

Well-Known Member
If that's the case, I think another question would be whether Brightline would allow SunRail to share it's WDW station, if Disney were OK with it.

I'm curious about where you found this info?

Agreed, and I'm not sure an E/W line makes sense in that area, but it is about the only area where there's more room to work with laying new tracks at minimal cost. IMO if they're doing an E/L line they should focus around the Sand Lake area. With the 417 widening plans, it appears to force them to go elevated no matter which route they choose, so it feels like they're looking at 528 again with this announcement, but I'm not sure if there's a way that makes sense to get there from the south end of the MCO station.*

*I know they can just go north out of the station, and it almost feels like the initial ROW combined with the shift to the southern ROW was setting up for both routes to happen if there was demand and funding.
 

techgeek

Well-Known Member
If that's the case, I think another question would be whether Brightline would allow SunRail to share it's WDW station, if Disney were OK with it.

I'm curious about where you found this info?

Bringing Sunrail into WDW is a whole other ball of wax that would create more complications for Disney then it solves, I can’t see them being interested in that.

Sunrail would wind up catering mostly to CM commuting traffic, which would need a ton of last-mile solutions to get cast to various backstage locations that aren’t serviced by the existing guest bus routes. It would also require direct guest links to every theme park to connect local day-guests, which unearths the old ‘why we don’t have direct park busses from Springs’ argument again. Lots more bus infrastructure on Disney’s part, for diminishing returns in loss of parking fees.
 

MisterPenguin

🐧🐧🐧🐧🐧🐧🐧🐧Fully Pfizered!🐧🐧🐧🐧🐧🐧🐧🐧
Premium Member
This is good news but Disney really needs to integrate the station into its transport system. imagine if you could take a monorail from the station to the parks or a wedway or skyliner to your resort. If people have to take a bus then get the train it will cut back a lot on the effectiveness of the system as you’ll have bottlenecks at the station and destination bus stops

Tokyo and Paris does this well with the station being located for easy access to the monorail and walking routes to inspari and Disneyland
WDW's resorts are all over the place. Disney isn't going to build new skyways and monorails or wedways to serve them all. And they most certainly would not use the current passenger buses for people with luggage.

The logical solution is luggage-capable shuttles making loop routes just like the ones major airports use to get passengers to and from distance parking.
 

seascape

Well-Known Member
WDW's resorts are all over the place. Disney isn't going to build new skyways and monorails or wedways to serve them all. And they most certainly would not use the current passenger buses for people with luggage.

The logical solution is luggage-capable shuttles making loop routes just like the ones major airports use to get passengers to and from distance parking.
The train will never replace Magic Express. First the train is not a light rail line with trains constantly running. Realistically, they run every 30 minutes but more like every hour. Then dropping off everyone at the same station means another 20 minutes between busses and busses that require luggage. Not a good or speedy process compared to Magic express leaving every 30 minutes or so and taking everyone to their own resort. Now, the Bonnet Creek Resorts and Disney Spring resorts will benefit from this but not the Disney owned and operated ones. It will also bring in daily visitors from south South Florida. As someone who took the train daily in NJ, I can guarantee everyone here that the promised speed won't be achieved as stops are added, plus the cost will be higher than advertised.
 

JoeCamel

Well-Known Member
The train will never replace Magic Express. First the train is not a light rail line with trains constantly running. Realistically, they run every 30 minutes but more like every hour. Then dropping off everyone at the same station means another 20 minutes between busses and busses that require luggage. Not a good or speedy process compared to Magic express leaving every 30 minutes or so and taking everyone to their own resort. Now, the Bonnet Creek Resorts and Disney Spring resorts will benefit from this but not the Disney owned and operated ones. It will also bring in daily visitors from south South Florida. As someone who took the train daily in NJ, I can guarantee everyone here that the promised speed won't be achieved as stops are added, plus the cost will be higher than advertised.
Maybe not day trippers. 6 hours by rail and a full day in the parks is a little much for most anyone.
 

maxairmike

Well-Known Member
The train will never replace Magic Express. First the train is not a light rail line with trains constantly running. Realistically, they run every 30 minutes but more like every hour. Then dropping off everyone at the same station means another 20 minutes between busses and busses that require luggage. Not a good or speedy process compared to Magic express leaving every 30 minutes or so and taking everyone to their own resort. Now, the Bonnet Creek Resorts and Disney Spring resorts will benefit from this but not the Disney owned and operated ones. It will also bring in daily visitors from south South Florida. As someone who took the train daily in NJ, I can guarantee everyone here that the promised speed won't be achieved as stops are added, plus the cost will be higher than advertised.

I highly doubt trains on the regional route (i.e. outside the Miami metro) will even be every hour. I'd expect 3-5 trains a day between the non-Miami stops. This isn't meant for commuting, it's meant for day and weekend trips, really, and the occasional business trip between FL cities.
 

joelkfla

Well-Known Member
I highly doubt trains on the regional route (i.e. outside the Miami metro) will even be every hour. I'd expect 3-5 trains a day between the non-Miami stops. This isn't meant for commuting, it's meant for day and weekend trips, really, and the occasional business trip between FL cities.
I think Tampa to Orlando can support hourly service. WDW will be on the Tampa segment.
 

coolbeans14

Active Member

TL;DR It looks like its happening, and no it wouldn't replace DME. Imagine all those passengers having to walk thier luggage a good mile or so from a train station, to the bus depot, onto busses that have no luggage storage. It'd completely be the opposite of what the aims of DME is.

With the Luggage problem, they could always go down the route of the Eurostar at Paris, where you can leave luggage at the train station for it to be taken by Disney to your hotel, which leaves you free to go to the Parks straight away? In that case almost more convenient sounding than DME?
 

Magic Feather

Well-Known Member
I am not a huge fan of this project, that being said, I feel like a train between Tampa and Orlando is far more appealing than Miami to Orlando. I feel like a lot of people would use Tampa to Orlando. I question the viability of this project from South Florida to Orlando.
Back when I lived in Orlando, Tampa to Orlando is a 1 hr commute that most people don't mind making. People hate driving to South Florida. I would have taken the train almost every time I had to go to Miami if I could.
I can't see it being a spur. The passengers on one leg would be facing forwards, while on the other leg, would be facing backwards... Passengers will NOT like that. My significant other gets nauseous if she has to ride facing backwards....
Most trains worldwide have forward and backwards facing seats. To my knowledge, Brightline is no different.
The description of the station complex implies the actual tracks will be elevated at least by one story at the Springs station, so any grade transition is unlikely to occur on WDW property. After all these years, the Disney Village gets some manner of elevated rail after all!

For perspective on the kind of scale the station might take, this is the Miami terminal station, which is also elevated:

View attachment 515226
The Miami station is meant to be a statement that is way larger than it needs to be (Then again, so is the MCO station). See Brightline's Ft. Lauderdale and West palm stations for a better reference (but I expect Disney to have theming standards).
I feel it’s more likely this will be going in the WWOS/celebration area, I just can’t see how they would get it through all the interchanges at 192 and 536 without it being incredibly expensive
Most train proposals to WDW had their station in that area. Brightline has explicitly stated that they are going for Springs, and lord knows there are plenty of empty plots around Springs that could be used.

TL;DR It looks like its happening, and no it wouldn't replace DME. Imagine all those passengers having to walk thier luggage a good mile or so from a train station, to the bus depot, onto busses that have no luggage storage. It'd completely be the opposite of what the aims of DME is.
It could 100% replace DME. Already, with DME, guests don't see their luggage after they check it at their first airport until it "magically" shows up in their rooms. The same could easily be done with the trains.
The latest proposal is for new tracks to be built in the OUC ROW that both Sunrail and Brightline would share. The Meadow Woods Brightline station would be eliminated and replaced by a completely new East-West Sunrail route, where Sunrail would be allowed to operate on Brightline tracks between Disney and Innovation Way, with stations at MCO and Meadow Wood (my understanding is that while rights will be granted to Sunrail to operate to Disney on the tracks, no conversation with Disney has been had about allowing Sunrail trains on its property, and I'd guess they won't allow that)
Disney's only rule when it comes to outside connections is "no connecting to Uni/I-Drive/SeaWorld/OCC." SunRail doesn't connect to that, so I see no reason why they'd be opposed to it.
If that's the case, I think another question would be whether Brightline would allow SunRail to share it's WDW station, if Disney were OK with it.

I'm curious about where you found this info?
Brightline would be happy to split the costs with SunRail. They are already trying to split costs with SunRail for a lot of the CFL sections of their rail network.

The only party that i could see objecting to SunRail's involvement is SunRail if they don't see a benefit/don't want to spend the money.
The train will never replace Magic Express. First the train is not a light rail line with trains constantly running. Realistically, they run every 30 minutes but more like every hour. Then dropping off everyone at the same station means another 20 minutes between busses and busses that require luggage. Not a good or speedy process compared to Magic express leaving every 30 minutes or so and taking everyone to their own resort. Now, the Bonnet Creek Resorts and Disney Spring resorts will benefit from this but not the Disney owned and operated ones. It will also bring in daily visitors from south South Florida. As someone who took the train daily in NJ, I can guarantee everyone here that the promised speed won't be achieved as stops are added, plus the cost will be higher than advertised.
IF this actually happens, I could see this replacing ME. Luggage is dealt with the same way. They could easily have extra trains run directly between Disney and MCO as a contingency on awarding Brightline a DME-esque contract to ensure that a train runs out of MCO every 15-30 minutes.

Sure it will be less convenient for s decent chunk of guests, but if the price is right, I absolutely see DME being handed over to the train. Maybe even make DME an upcharge alternative to the train.

But, at the end of the day, we have a while until this is even in the realm of possibility.
 

homerdance

Premium Member
I'm under the impression that Magical Express will function as is, unless sudden bad blood between Disney and Mears pops up.

Brightline has publicly said that they won't actively advertise going between MCO and WDW, and I think that might be because of Disney and DME. I see it being a "take DME for free" or "pay to take the train to Springs, enjoy Springs, then use Disney Transport back to your hotel"

I could also see DME, but just for luggage, being advertised as a service. Then allowing people to spend their final hours on property at Springs where they take the train to MCO, where their bags are already checked in.
At most likely, a better rate for Disney, or maybe a slower increasing rate.
 

bpiper

Well-Known Member

TL;DR It looks like its happening, and no it wouldn't replace DME. Imagine all those passengers having to walk thier luggage a good mile or so from a train station, to the bus depot, onto busses that have no luggage storage. It'd completely be the opposite of what the aims of DME is.
Why would DME users have to carry their luggage?
Remember, DME is 2 services, passenger transportation and luggage transportation incorporated into one service offering.

I can see 2 scenario's.

1. DME passengers move over to the Brightline trains from the Mears busses and their luggage continues to be diverted to BAGS and still put on the box trucks at the airport and trucked to the resorts as is.

2. DME passengers move over to the Brightline trains from the Mears busses. BAGS collects the diverted luggage, puts it on the rolling carts that they currently use and then takes it to the Brightline station where it is rolled into a baggage car. At the Disney station, the carts are rolled off and put into waiting box trucks heading to the resorts. This would work best if Brightline uses dedicated shuttle trains with baggage cars in the consist. As a matter of fact, due to the volume of DME users and the infrequent Brightline thru trains going past the two station, I think they would have to have dedicated shuttle trains to move the volume of passengers and keep the wait time reasonable.
 

bpiper

Well-Known Member
Most trains worldwide have forward and backwards facing seats. To my knowledge, Brightline is no different.

People are missing my point. Yes there are forward and backwards seats and they are fixed in position. When people board, they look for the forward seats, the backward seats are filled in last. Who wants to travel backwards. For example they make my wife nauseous. When the train pulls into the Disney station if its on a spur, and then leaves, the direction of travel is reversed using the engine at the other end. The seats that were forward facing from the airport are now backwards facing going to Tampa. That will cause passenger irritation.

Now if they use dedicated shuttle trains to transfer DME passengers then it wouldn't apply. Its only an issue for thru trains.
 

bpiper

Well-Known Member
Oh, in case anyone was wondering, here is the actual press release from Brightline:

Walt Disney World and Brightline Enter Into Agreement Regarding Brightline Station at Disney Springs​

NOVEMBER 23, 2020

Today, Brightline and Walt Disney World Resort announced they have entered into an agreement to construct a train station at Disney Springs, the popular shopping, dining and entertainment complex. The Brightline station is intended to provide a convenient travel option between Walt Disney World Resort and Brightline stations at Orlando International Airport (OIA), Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach and planned stations in Aventura, Boca Raton and Port Miami. Brightline’s expansion from West Palm Beach to OIA is on track to be completed in 2022. The agreement is conditioned upon Brightline’s satisfaction of certain obligations including obtaining all necessary government approvals.

The design concept for the proposed station at Disney Springs at Walt Disney World Resort includes a lobby on the ground level, passenger facilities and an upper level train platform. The proposed location would be in close proximity to Walt Disney World Resort’s four theme parks, two water parks and more than 25 hotels.

“Brightline will offer a car-free connection to the millions of visitors from around the state and the world who plan to make Walt Disney World Resort part of their vacation plans,” said Patrick Goddard, president of Brightline. “Our mission has always been to connect our guests to the people and places that matter, and Walt Disney World Resort is a tremendous example of this.”

“We’re excited to work with Brightline as they pursue the potential development of a train station at Walt Disney World Resort, a project that would support our local economy and offer a bold, forward-looking transportation solution for our community and guests,” said Jeff Vahle, president of Walt Disney World Resort.

In 2018, Brightline was awarded the right to execute lease agreements with FDOT and the Central Florida Expressway Authority to connect OIA and Tampa. In February 2020, Brightline commenced engineering and design work for the proposed project.
 

monothingie

Ask me about the Riker maneuver.
Premium Member
IF this actually happens, I could see this replacing ME. Luggage is dealt with the same way. They could easily have extra trains run directly between Disney and MCO as a contingency on awarding Brightline a DME-esque contract to ensure that a train runs out of MCO every 15-30 minutes.

Sure it will be less convenient for s decent chunk of guests, but if the price is right, I absolutely see DME being handed over to the train. Maybe even make DME an upcharge alternative to the train.
I’m not so sure.

In order to maintain the frequency of 15-30 minutes for departures and arrivals it requires at minimum 2-3 dedicated trains. Provided they can fill the trains. During of peak with 1 train it will be more than an hour. Keep in mind too that trains are expensive to run (especially if the train is empty) when compared to buses and a single bus can serve at least 4 resorts. So I reality how many buses are active at one time? 10? 15? It’s still cheaper to run the busses. Plus the train option still needs the buses to get you to the resorts.(Unless they stick everyone on the Disney Transport buses)

But even then I thought the purpose of DME was to quickly get guests to their hotels so they could check in and go to the parks and spend money? The train option doesn’t do this. You still need the buses to take guests from the DS to the resorts. It becomes an unpleasant process to get checked in.


Departure becomes an issue as it probably turns into a 4+ hour process. Right now DME is 3+ hours before your flight.
 

joelkfla

Well-Known Member
People are missing my point. Yes there are forward and backwards seats and they are fixed in position. When people board, they look for the forward seats, the backward seats are filled in last. Who wants to travel backwards. For example they make my wife nauseous. When the train pulls into the Disney station if its on a spur, and then leaves, the direction of travel is reversed using the engine at the other end. The seats that were forward facing from the airport are now backwards facing going to Tampa. That will cause passenger irritation.

Now if they use dedicated shuttle trains to transfer DME passengers then it wouldn't apply. Its only an issue for thru trains.
Seats are selected when you purchase your ticket. So select a seat that faces forward for the greater part of your journey.

It is what it is. Stub-end stations, where trains pull in one way and continue their run the opposite way, are not uncommon in Europe. Brightline is not going invest the capital to build a loop just to avoid irritating a small number of riders.

If it's a major problem, select opposing seats at a table. Then the 2 of you can just swap seats with each other.
 
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TrainChasers

Well-Known Member
It is what it is. Stub-end stations, where trains pull in one way and continue their run the opposite way, are not uncommon in Europe.
It’s not unheard of in the USA either, Amtrak keystone trains reverse in Philadelphia and Amtrak Surfliner trains reverse in LA
 

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