Slowly but surely, The Walt Disney World Resort will soon be accessible by train thanks to South Florida’s Brightline. But by no means will it be the first passenger train to service a Disney Resort.
Already providing fun, family-focused, high-class service from Miami Central Station in downtown Miami to West Palm Beach, the private, higher-speed rail line has the ambitious goal of connecting most of South Florida with current expansion plans stretching not just to a station at Disney Springs, but also to Orlando International Airport (MCO), Tampa, and Miami’s Cruise Terminal (which is a major departure port for Disney Cruise Line). We have recently reported that Brightline’s MCO expansion is making great progress.
And while being able to take a train to The Most Magical Place On Earth may be a novelty in the United States, Disney Vacations starting and ending with a train trip have been a norm for Guests at another Disney Resort: Disneyland Paris.
On March 24, the international high-speed rail service Eurostar announced that it would resume direct service from London’s St Pancras International Station to the Disneyland Paris Resort. The direct service is operational during the Disney Parks’ busy season, such as school breaks and bank holidays. It is one of four railroad operators that currently offer Disneyland service, including TGV and Thalys.
But as Brightline joins the club of Disney-bound rail lines, what can Disney World Guests look to expect based on what Disneyland Paris Guests are already experiencing?
Well, let’s take a look:
Disney Train Station Location
For starters, Eurostar, TGV, and the others don’t technically service a station exclusively used by the Disneyland Paris Resort. They take Guests to the Marne-la-Vallée/Chessy train station, which is just a two-minute walk outside the entrance of Disney Village (Disneyland Paris’ version of Disney Springs).
While the original plan was to have a brand new station on the Disney Springs side of Disney World Property, we have reason to speculate that will not be the case. In the latter half of 2021, a coalition of businesspeople was formed to call upon the area officials to coerce Brightline into building a station that was more mutually beneficial for the entire community surrounding International Drive and a residential community along Brightline’s ideal route also joined the protest.
It appears, for the moment, that negotiations have pushed forward in Brightline’s favor, and as of March 11, 2022, the route to Disney Springs along Florida’s State Road 417 is pending an environmental review, according to the Tampa Bay Business Journal.
Travel Time to Disney World by Train
According to Eurostar’s website, the trip takes passengers through the chunnel and straight to Disneyland Paris in just 2 hours and 49 minutes. Meanwhile, the French High-Speed TGV can get passengers from Charles de Gaule International Airport to Disneyland Paris in under 15 minutes.
Brightline will be admittedly slower than its European counterparts, topping out at 125 miles per hour while TGV cruises at around 200 miles per hour. But, the Florida line is still expected to save Guests significant time and stress. Like the TGV, though, Brightline will have airport access. Guests flying into MCO will be able to access the train at the South Terminal, and the distance between MCO and Disney Springs is less than 20 miles. Travel time from Miami Central is expected to be around four hours.
Despite its slower speeds, Brightline can still help save Guests time due to its proximity from not just MCO but also Miami International Airport (MIA) and Fort Lauderdale International Airport (FLL) and offer official transfers to the train stations. This gives families more options when planning their Walt Disney World Vacation.
Disney World Tickets and Vacation Packages
The UK-based rail company offers a family-friendly service and even partners with a travel company so that families can book Disneyland Vacation Packages tied to their train itinerary.
While it is far too soon to know for sure, it is most likely that Brightline will find itself partnering with the Walt Disney Travel Company if the Disney Springs Station comes to fruition. The planned stop at PortMiami and a strong community push for a station in Cocoa Beach also add fuel to the possibility of a partnership with Disney Cruise Line–especially for Guests looking to combine a Disney Cruise Line adventure with a visit to The Walt Disney World Resort.
But above all else, Disneyland Paris’ train access stands as a prime example of how traveling to and from our favorite Disney Parks can be much smoother more convenient by avoiding all the headaches that come with getting on the highway–especially in Orlando.
We at Disney Fanatic will continue to update our readers on Brightline’s progress to Disney World as more developments come to light.