Brightline Train Route to Disney Springs Delayed Indefinitely After Universal Orlando, Others Express Concerns

    According to a report from the Orlando Sentinel, a decision on whether to allow Brightline to use their planned S.R. 417 corridor to connect Orlando International Airport (MCO) and Disney Springs has been delayed indefinitely.

    Essentially, Brightline is hoping to use a corridor that would allow for a more direct route between MCO and Disney Springs. This would see the railroad run through the area of the Hunter’s Creek residential community, among others. You can see the proposed route in yellow below.

    However, interested parties have decided to indefinitely delay a decision on whether or not Brightline can use that route. Instead, interested parties in the International Drive area, including Universal Orlando, have lobbied for a costlier route that would take passengers along the green route in the graphic above.

    Among discussion on use of the I-Drive route was how Brightline might keep their costs from ballooning to an estimated $2.2 billion.

    “We will put our money and our resources where our mouth is,” said John Sprouls, executive vice president and chief administrative officer for Universal Parks & Resorts, “We want to be part of the solution.” Universal would donate 17 acres for the rail corridor at the convention center.

    Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings proposed a penny hike in sales tax to generate an estimated $596 million to assist with transportation needs within the county. That proposal didn’t pass in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic last fall.

    A previous timeline put an early 2026 completion date of the route to Disney Springs. It’s unclear how this latest setback might affect that date, but it is said that Brightline has at least a few months to make a decision on the route.

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    1. Disney needs to can the Brite Line Program and reinstate both the Magical Express and Luggage Programs. These programs are key to building a strong bubble relationship with the WDW vacationing guests. Using the proposed Brite Line train will be a disaster and it will take five to six hours to get to a resort from the Orlando airport and guests will be required to handle and manage their own luggage.

      Disney is showning that it no longer values the WDW customer.

    2. Saving money upfront only to shoot themselves in the foot sooner than they’d expect. Surprised that the yellow route is even an option for them. Sure, they have rail already laid for the 1st quarter of that proposed route, but being able to service the 528 corridor, Universal, SeaWorld, and I-Drive, while costlier upfront, would definitely pay dividends in the future.

    3. Just use SunRail to expand from its current route to all the theme parks. Everyone wins. There’s no need for a direct route from the airport to Disney anyways.

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