Rumor Higher Speed Rail from MCO to Disney World

nickys

Premium Member
If the buses from Disney Springs to the resorts detoured via the station, and there was a luggage check-in facility at the station, then it would have potential as a transfer from the airport.

The questions are whether the trains would run often enough and if the buses started running early enough.
 

lazyboy97o

Well-Known Member
If the buses from Disney Springs to the resorts detoured via the station, and there was a luggage check-in facility at the station, then it would have potential as a transfer from the airport.

The questions are whether the trains would run often enough and if the buses started running early enough.
Brightline currently anticipates running trains about once an hour. Sun Rail would hopefully be more frequent but that’s a bigger unknown.
 

UNCgolf

Well-Known Member
Yep. People are thinking this is *the Disney train*. It isn't. It's just so happens there's a stop at Disney along the way to the cities. The goal for Brightline is to connect Miami, Orlando, and Tampa. Everything in between are just minor stops.

I think it's two different discussions -- one is a discussion of the train line as a whole (which is definitely a good thing); the other is the discussion that it's a replacement for DME for Disney guests.
 
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Lilofan

Well-Known Member
I did the train from Paris airport to Disneyland Paris and I liked it a lot. One caveat was there was no stops, it was direct and like 7 minutes. I see value here to a large swath of travelers. No brainer for convention folks. To me the most impactful leg will be Orlando-Tampa. This really should have been done first, I-4 is a mess between the two cities. In the end the goal is take locals off the roads with alternate transportation options. It will be interesting to see if this works, especially the southern route from south Florida to MCO. That seems like a stretch to me.
I think a forum member who lives in South FL mentioned it is a good idea for train to run from Miami to Orlando MCO /WDW
 

ctrlaltdel

Well-Known Member
I did the train from Paris airport to Disneyland Paris and I liked it a lot. One caveat was there was no stops, it was direct and like 7 minutes. I see value here to a large swath of travelers. No brainer for convention folks. To me the most impactful leg will be Orlando-Tampa. This really should have been done first, I-4 is a mess between the two cities. In the end the goal is take locals off the roads with alternate transportation options. It will be interesting to see if this works, especially the southern route from south Florida to MCO. That seems like a stretch to me.
Of course, Paris and the surrounding region has one of, if not the single best, metro/regional rail system in the entire world. It’s so well integrated and can take you pretty much anywhere in Paris and the suburbs.
 

joelkfla

Well-Known Member
If the buses from Disney Springs to the resorts detoured via the station, and there was a luggage check-in facility at the station, then it would have potential as a transfer from the airport.

The questions are whether the trains would run often enough and if the buses started running early enough.
Officially, luggage is not allowed on resort buses. In reality, it's up to the driver to enforce that or not.
 

joelkfla

Well-Known Member
I know.

Guests would check their luggage with the luggage service at the station to be delivered separately, like they do in Paris, and then take the bus to their resort.
I understand now, and agree. I'd thought you meant luggage check-in for the departing train. I would call what you're describing luggage transfer service.
 

Twirlnhurl

Well-Known Member
It wouldn't surprise me, but if they do so it'll make the elimination of DME even more of a headscratcher. They'll have almost all the same expenses, except for the baggage handling -- which isn't cheap, but can't cost nearly as much as the buses and drivers.
The cost of running a DME - type service between a Disney Springs station and the resort hotels would be less than 1/3 the cost of running DME from the resorts to MCO. That is because each bus could do a round trip in a much shorter time, plus, Disney already runs there buses. So even if it gets a smaller market share, it can be worth it to Disney, should they choose to offer such a service.
The train station at HKDL is right outside the main gate and all the resorts are nearby. Even if you wanted to walk I don't think it's much more than a mile to the furthest resort, but I'm pretty sure they have shuttles that will get you from there to your resort. It's not at all similar to WDW.
They have shuttle buses from the area around the train station to the resorts at HKDL. The bus ride is very fast, maybe 5-8 minutes.
They still wasted an opportunity to take advantage of the debt markets two years ago to push this through more aggressively or to push an Atlanta-MCO route that, while expensive, would be more valuable long term to the system’s success that connecting Orlando to Tampa.
There may one day be value in operating a train service between MCO and Atlanta, but the market between the three Florida urban areas is dramatically larger. MCO to Atlanta is right at the edge of practicality for conventional high speed rail, and is not competitive at 120mph higher speed rail. If there was more population between the two, it might work. But right now there isn't enough between Jacksonville and Atlanta to make a service worthwhile.
 

Twirlnhurl

Well-Known Member
I'm pretty sure WDW is the largest single-site employer in Orange County, perhaps the entire state. If they do allow the station to be built, I think SunRail would want to provide service from all SunRail stations to WDW. It would seem foolhardy to build the line and not maximize ridership.
The issue from a commuting point of view is that the actual jobs at WDW are spread out so much.

In 2019, WDW had something like 70,000 employees, almost as many employees as work within walking distance SunRail stations in Downtown Orlando (80,000 employees split between two stations, for about 40,000 employees for each).

However, only Disney Springs will be within walking distance of the Disney Springs station. So that is probably only about 10-15,000 employees. It isn't nothing, that is similar to the number of people who work at MCO. But it is far less a draw than downtown Orlando. And there is a pretty heafty transfer penalty between train and bus to other Disney employment destinations. Not that nobody will do it, but it will be a niche service for commuting to the theme parks.
 

UNCgolf

Well-Known Member
The cost of running a DME - type service between a Disney Springs station and the resort hotels would be less than 1/3 the cost of running DME from the resorts to MCO. That is because each bus could do a round trip in a much shorter time, plus, Disney already runs there buses. So even if it gets a smaller market share, it can be worth it to Disney, should they choose to offer such a service.

The DME costs were shared with Mears, though, weren't they? Disney didn't own the buses or have to hire the drivers, pay their benefits, etc. as far as I know.

Not to say they couldn't do something similar with a shuttle service from a Disney Springs station by contracting it out to a third party.
 

JoeCamel

Well-Known Member
The DME costs were shared with Mears, though, weren't they? Disney didn't own the buses or have to hire the drivers, pay their benefits, etc. as far as I know.

Not to say they couldn't do something similar with a shuttle service from a Disney Springs station by contracting it out to a third party.
Indirectly Disney paid, Mears don't work for free. The capital costs were on Mears and that is why you contract for services but Disney paid the operating costs.
 
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networkpro

Well-Known Member
In the Parks
Yes
There may one day be value in operating a train service between MCO and Atlanta, but the market between the three Florida urban areas is dramatically larger. MCO to Atlanta is right at the edge of practicality for conventional high speed rail, and is not competitive at 120mph higher speed rail. If there was more population between the two, it might work. But right now there isn't enough between Jacksonville and Atlanta to make a service worthwhile.

There's a large logistical problem with a Jacksonville to Atlanta rail route , port traffic from Savannah which is the third busiest port in the US. A lot of that traffic passes up I16 to I75 through Atlanta by truck and they are beginning to build a truck only expressway. Rail routes are already filled with multimodal traffic. Kia is building a new multi billion dollar EV plant along I16. Y'all might consider Coastal Georgia drive or flyover country but it's not dependent on Florida tourism to exist.
 

IanDLBZF

Well-Known Member
There's a large logistical problem with a Jacksonville to Atlanta rail route , port traffic from Savannah which is the third busiest port in the US. A lot of that traffic passes up I16 to I75 through Atlanta by truck and they are beginning to build a truck only expressway. Rail routes are already filled with multimodal traffic. Kia is building a new multi billion dollar EV plant along I16. Y'all might consider Coastal Georgia drive or flyover country but it's not dependent on Florida tourism to exist.
NS (or CSX) would obviously have to double track or triple track that whole corridor in order to allow it to happen. Plus ties would have to be concrete as opposed to wood.
 

UNCgolf

Well-Known Member
Indirectly Disney paid, Mears don't work for free. The capital costs were on Mears and that is why you contract for services but Disney paid the operating costs.

That's my whole point regarding cost sharing.

Mears was responsible for the capital costs, as you said. They were contracted for their services, so they made money, but it still saved Disney money. Running DME themselves would have been more expensive than contracting Mears to do it for a variety of reasons.

Disney running their own shuttle service from the Disney Springs station would require them to purchase a new fleet of buses, hire more drivers, etc. unless they just contracted with Mears (or another provider) again.

However, DME had benefits for Disney that a train station shuttle service would not -- I'm just not seeing any good reason for Disney to provide that.
 
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lazyboy97o

Well-Known Member
However, DME had benefits for Disney that a train station shuttle service would not -- I'm just not seeing any good reason for Disney to provide that.
Brightline paying them to offer it would be a pretty good reason. One of the things that came out of the new route proposal was Universal and other Convention Center area businesses committing to providing last mile service. It’s hard to believe that Brightline knew it would be an issue at the Convention Center but still hasn’t thought about the Disney station.
 

UNCgolf

Well-Known Member
Brightline paying them to offer it would be a pretty good reason. One of the things that came out of the new route proposal was Universal and other Convention Center area businesses committing to providing last mile service. It’s hard to believe that Brightline knew it would be an issue at the Convention Center but still hasn’t thought about the Disney station.

Oh absolutely. I was only talking about Disney deciding to just offer it on their own; there'd be no real reason for them to do so.

If they're getting paid to do it, that's a completely different scenario.
 

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