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Disney World vs High Speed Rail

The Orlando Sentinel has a look at how far Disney might go to support High Speed Rail in Central Florida. They question if Disney would be willing to give up it’s free Disney’s Magical Express service, the first step in WDW’s attempt to make each vacation an all-inclusive experience, for HSR. I think they’re talking apples and oranges.

Part of the value of Magical Express is that it gets guests to their destination relatively quickly and without the hassle of toting their luggage. Even if Disney could arrange a “free to WDW” option for HSR, when guests arrive at the airport, they don’t want to have to wait an hour or two for the next train to go 20 miles. They want to get to the magic right away. That’s why the bus system works so well.

You will more likely see Disney offer some sort of traveler support at the WDW rail station. Guests can travel to the station from where ever (likely the Tampa area first, later Miami when that line is added), drop off their luggage, and head right to the parks via Disney’s newly built out peoplemover system. When they get back to their hotel at night their luggage is already waiting for them in their room.

Frankly, what Disney World and the Orlando attractions area really needs is a cheap, affordable transportation system connecting it all together. This could be peoplemover, light rail, monorails, or fixed route buses. Doesn’t matter. But moving visitors from the hotels and from their homes to the parks without the car is the future of Central Florida.