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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.

5 thoughts on “Disney World vs High Speed Rail”

  1. NewEnglandCamper (Bob C)

    I enjoyed taking the Magical Express. I’m not sure exactly what high speed rail is exactly (I assume it is like a subway). I’d be less inclined to take that. Also don’t mind tipping the DME drivers $5 or so to handle my carryon luggate. Really enjoyed DME! Don’t change it!

  2. That really is the one thing that I miss about living in New York: a consistent, readily accessible, and available-at-ALL-hours public transit system. If you want to bring people to places where you want them to spend money, make it easy and cheap for them to GET there!

  3. They have this system in Disneyland Paris. I live in London, you take the Eurostar to Disneyland Resort, take your Bags to the Disney desk at the train Station (which right outside the Parks and Hotels, and Disney staff take your bags to your hotel (and subsequently to your room). Fantastic, a better travelling experience than going to Orlando.

    At Orlando the walk to the Magical Express is too long, but the Magical Express bus is very good.

    I think International Travellers going to Orlando, are treated less well than Domestic travellers. Domestic travellers have onsite check-in/ baggage transfer. I think Disney should put their thinking hats on and work something out for Overseas Travellers.

  4. I’m not sure the rail sounds more convenient than the Magical Express bus system for travelers arriving. Most Disney tourists are arriving with a LARGE amount of checked baggage, far more than they can easily carry or pull. The Magical Express system can pick them up very close to the baggage pick-up. You just haul it from the carousel to the curb and you are done pretty much.

    But a rail system would involve hauling your own luggage from the luggage carousels to some distant train station, then wrestling all of it on and off of a train (while also wrangling small children in many cases). That doesn’t sound like a “magical” start to a vacation.

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