Monday, April 13, 2015

PI Update: The Sunshine Rail Line

When Disney Springs was first announced in 2013, Kathy Mangum, Executive Producer at Walt Disney Imagineering, had just recently launched the fictitious town of Radiator Springs for Cars Land at the Disneyland Resort. So it was no stretch of the imagination to create a "springs" related theme for the re-do of Downtown Disney too.  According to an interview posted then on the Disney Parks Blog, Mangum was quoted as saying, "The heart of Disney Springs, of this whole development, is an area that we’re calling The Springs. And The Springs is a bubbling water fountain. It’s sort of a natural space where we’re really taking advantage of the water in general.”
Of course the history here included the Sunshine Rail Line that connected the small town to the rest of Florida.  Remnants of the old rail line remain in various sections on the West Side such as this one near Splitsville.
The largest section passes Exposition Park in the center of the West Side.
According to Mangum, "The existing West Side will feature a more industrial feel, adding new seating areas atop what appears to be elevated train trestle. In its entirety, Disney Springs is being designed to feel like a town that grew up with Florida, long before Walt Disney World’s theme parks moved in."  Signs posted in Downtown Disney still show a seating atop this section, assessable via stairs and an elevator.  So it remains to be see if that is coming or not.
This third section of the old rail line near Characters In Flight curiously curves towards the lake and thus does not line up with the bridge to Pleasure Island.
The track ends at this locomotive turntable at West End Plaza.
But with trains no longer arriving, the old Disney Springs railroad depot has been turned into rest rooms. You can feel the nostalgia as you pee!


Anonymous said...

I know an Imagineer here in Florida who's ex-boyfriend works on Disney Springs. She told me that the elevator and stairs idea has been scrapped. No idea why.

KingBob said...

Thanks for the information!