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Florida’s High Speed Rail to stop at Disney World

President Obama mentioned the high speed rail project that will run from Tampa to the Orlando International Airport in the State Of The Union tonight. The project will get about 50% of the funding it needs from the federal stimulus package, with the rest, it’s assumed, coming in future budgets. So we don’t know if they’ll use that 50% to just build the northern part of the line (from MCO to Disneyland) or to start preparing the whole line. But we do know they’re planning a stop at Walt Disney World, because Meg Crofton has previous said Disney is willing to give up some land for the station.

The Orange area is the proposed location for the station. The High Speed Rail line will go right up the middle of I-4 (highlighted in yellow) until it reaches the 528 (just north of SeaWorld). That puts the proposed station right between Osceola Parkway and ESPN Wide World of Sports, on Disney property. The former Disney owned town of Celebration is right on the other side of the I-4.

If this is the final location for the station, then I hope Disney quickly accelerates their plan to build out Pop Century with new family suites. Pop Century is the closed property to the station. This also gives Disney the chance to add a little rail of their own. Apeople mover, street car, or light rail line connecting Downtown Disney, WWOS,  and Disney’s Animal Kingdom would run right by this location and serve as a perfect way to move these new High Speed Rail passengers quickly to their destination in the resort.

I don’t know if there is space, but if Disney World would be willing to relocate their Casting building across from Downtown Disney, that would deposit all those High Speed Rail passengers right into the Downtown Disney Shopping area (via a very short people mover line or moving walkways).

Do you have a a preference for either location or suggest someplace else on Disney property adjacent to the I-4?

Meg Crofton has previous said Disney is willing to give up some land for the station.

14 thoughts on “Florida’s High Speed Rail to stop at Disney World”

  1. If Americans can be lulled back into loving the train this could be a great boon to WDW. The French TGV link added huge numbers to Paris’ numbers just because it was easier to get to the resort, less hassel, less driving, more family time.

  2. This is probably the only section of that rail line that would get used, so let’s hope they build it first. People who travel between Tampa and Orlando generally need a car at both ends, so the rest of the link is of questionable value. But tourists might use it, although the Magical Express accomplishes much of the same thing. And Disney employees probably don’t live near this line.

  3. ” The High Speed Rail line will go right up the middle of I-4 ”

    I don’t envy the people who travel I-4 every day, their commute will be severely disrupted for the time of construction (likely a year or three, based on projects I’ve seen in other cities).

    Otherwise, I think this is a great idea. Public transit’s been horribly neglected in our country.

  4. Very exciting times. I’m all for a people-mover connecting much of property but I’m pretty sure what you’re suggesting would involve using property owned by Bonnet Creek. However they may allow that if Disney builds a station for them.

  5. Interesting idea, building the station across from Downtown Disney. I’m not sure if I like it or not. As you say, it could be a potential boon for Downtown Disney. Regardless of where they build it, I would like to see them also build a 21st century transportation system using either an expanded monorail, personal rapid transit system, light rail or some other method (other than buses) to move people to/from this station and around the rest of the resort. And, they need to start now, so it will be in place and working when this line opens.

  6. When will they make the final decision on the station location?

    What other WDW area locations are on the table?


  7. Frenchfriedpotaters

    High speed rail from MCO to Disneyland?! Wow, Manifest Destiny! Seriously, if this is supposed to be a Disney blog, you should not be confusing the two American parks. It questions your credibility…

  8. DTD would be the logical choice. Disney already has plans for a Monorail system going to DTD along with other locations. If the Station is going to be paid with government grant money that should give Disney the push they need to run with that project.

    It would be a good investment for Disney to rapidly move people around property and create good paying jobs during the construction process.

  9. Relocating the casting building is not an option – It’s too much of an architectural icon for Disney and would be a serious waste of money for a building that’s only 20 years old….

    The giant open air carpark/cheaply built SunTrust building next to it… that’s a good place for a nice station, built in the same post-modern style as most of the Eisner era WDW.

    (Also, I might be just me but it’s not far enough to justify a moving walkway… Are these the same people who complain about walking from the Grand Californian Hotel to the front gates of the park?)

  10. Scratch that… You’d have to get rid of the Hilton as well. It would fit on the south side of the building though.

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