In some very surprising news, Disney announced that they’ve canceled the highly-anticipated Brightline rail station that was supposed to come to Disney Springs.
According to a June 27 news report from the Orlando Business Journal, a Disney representative confirmed that plans for the station aren’t happening.
“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 the Orlando Business Journal.
June 28, 2022 Update:
Brightline Senior Vice President of Corporate Affairs, Ben Porritt, told the Orlando Business Journal that even though a station isn’t coming to Disney Springs, there is still potential for one near the original site — but not on property.
“In addition to the airport, one new station will be located at the Orange County Convention Center and an alternative station will be placed near the original Disney Springs site, albeit not on land owned by Disney. Together, the three integrated stations provide access to the largest economic and employment centers in Central Florida, and offer the best opportunity for the success of Brightline and SunRail [Central Florida’s commuter train].”
The publication also noted that Disney didn’t share further details. At the time of publication, Brightline executives also couldn’t be reached for comment.
Brightline is a multibillion-dollar project. The now former Disney Springs station plan first announced in November 2020.
At the time of the 2020 Disney Springs station announcement, Brightline confirmed (via Spectrum News), “The design concept for the proposed station at Disney Springs at Walt Disney World includes a lobby on the ground level, passenger facilities and an upper level train platform.”
The agreement between Disney and Brightline was always conditional to the rail service meeting specific requirements, including securing all of the necessary government approvals.
Per the Orlando Business Journal, “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 — when Disney first announced its involvement — had the train heading down State Road 417 and bypassing the tourist corridor.”
The publication also noted, “Brightline’s $2.7 billion, 170-mile Orlando to West Palm Beach expansion is roughly 80% complete and expected to finish construction by the end of 2022. The service is expected to start by 2023.”
In November 2020, Jeff Vahle, president of Walt Disney World Resort, said in a statement given to Orlando Business Journal, “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.”
We’ll be sure to keep you in the loop if any future updates are shared.
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