EVERYTHING We Know About the Train to Walt Disney World

This year will mark the end of Disney World’s Magical Express service. That means guests of the resort will need to find alternative methods of transportation to get to and from Orlando International Airport.

©Brightline

Although Mears Connect will offer a paid bus shuttle service for Disney World guests in January 2022, there’s also a high-speed Brightline train route under construction that will connect the Orlando International Airport to Disney World.

Although we don’t have a definitive date on when that train may be available, here is everything we know about that Brightline service.

What We Know About The Disney World Route

The route from Orlando Airport would travel along a path that would take it to a station near Disney Springs. According to Brightline, “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 proposed location would be in close proximity to Walt Disney World Resort’s four theme parks, two water parks, and more than 25 hotels.”

A Brightline train station is planning to come to Disney Springs

Brightline presented a map of Central Florida railway plans that laid out the area where they might consider putting a train station in Disney Springs. 

©Brightline

The orange area of the map indicates all the space currently being considered. According to the Orlando Business Journal, the Disney Springs stop could be located towards the southern part of Disney Springs, near the Orange Parking Garage.

©Orlando Business Journal

This is dependent, though, on Brightline taking into account what the most optimal route to Disney Springs might end up being.

NEWS: Here’s Where the Brightline High-Speed Train Could Drop Off in Disney Springs

Opening Timeline

Initially, the opening timeline for the Brightline train that would connect the Orlando airport to Disney World was 2023.

©Brightline

However, due to details still needing to be finalized for the route, that timeline was pushed back three years to 2026.

VIDEO: See an Aerial View of the Brightline Train Expansion Project in Florida

Current Route Status

As it stands, construction for the Disney World train station and line isn’t set to start until 2024. But that depends on Brightline getting all the official approvals in place. This means the train won’t be a viable Magical Express replacement for some time.

©OrlandoSentinel

However, there could be a delay in the Disney World route — the Central Florida Expressway Authority (which must provide approval of the route that will also go to Tampa recently decided to indefinitely delay a decision on the route that the train can take between the Orlando Airport and Tampa.

Brightline submitted a preferred route that would travel from a corridor of the airport along State Road 417 to I-4 and Disney World. But this route travels near a residential community and wetlands areas.

©Brightline

Advocacy from the International Drive tourism strip and the residential community led to the Expressway Authority’s decision to put everything on hold.

Here’s What the Construction of the Train Line to Disney World Looks Like Now

Universal Station

Earlier this year, representatives from Universal Orlando, along with Orlando officials had plans to meet with Brightline to discuss a potential stop along the route at Universal Orlando.

Hogwarts Express

Brightline and Universal later began to hold discussions for a path that would allow the train to also stop at Universal. But there’s a disagreement between the two companies over cost; planning a route that stops at both Universal and Disney World would end up costing significantly more. So for the moment, it doesn’t look like Universal will get a stop.

Universal Orlando and Brightline in Disagreement About Potential Train Path

As it stands, we don’t expect to see a train running from Orlando Airport to Disney World anytime soon, but we’re continuing to track Brightline’s progress and will keep you updated.

Everything We Know About Disney’s Magical Express (and What Will Replace It)

What do you think? Would you take a train from Orlando Airport to Disney Springs if it becomes available? Sound off in the comments.

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6 Replies to “EVERYTHING We Know About the Train to Walt Disney World”

  1. The real question will be how often the train runs. Does anyone think the train will run like every hour on the hour or anything ike that? If , according to what I read, the longest wait for a bus (even with stops at multiple resorts) at MCO will be 20 minutes. Or you can order an UBER with,likely, a similar waiting period. And both those options will dirctly take you to your resort. The train will require another form of transportation, likely a bus, to go from Disney Springs to the resort. I just don’t see how it will be worth it, even if it is a bit cheaper. People aren’t going down there to spend a lot of time getting where they need to be. They want to start relaxing and having fun. And just remember. Whatever process you need to get TO WDW wil require a return trip to MCO at the end. When you and all your family are tired and looking to get where you need to be in as simple a way as possible

  2. The train is an interesting idea but, it will never be as convenient as the Magical Express, especially for families traveling with multiple children and multiple pieces of luggage.

    Stops at both Universal and Disney seems practical. I think it would be in those parks best interest to partner with Brightline, if not pick-up the full cost of building their respective stations.

    1. I don’t understand how a high speed train is less convenient for families with kids than a bus. They’d have baggage handlers. Can you clarify?

      1. If I understand the proposed Brightline option correctly, people will transport themselves/children/luggage from MCO to the MCO train station then, transport everything from the Disney Springs station to their hotel/resort. This will require more stops/transfers/walking from start to finish than a single bus ride will.

    2. Any way 200,000 plus residents and grandchildren etc of The Villages ( by the time the train starts its run) can have access- meaning it’s stops here) to Brightline?