Is a new northern entrance to Walt Disney World in the works?

Feb 12, 2015 in "Magic Kingdom"

Disney has been busy over the last few years making a number of changes to the area around the northern edge of property behind the Magic Kingdom.

Individually, the changes to parking, utilities and minor roadworks don’t look very significant. But together, they may signal that Disney is looking to create a new northern entrance to Walt Disney World.

The latest, and perhaps most significant of the changes in the northern area, is the relocation of two backstage buildings - Cast Connection and Property Control. Both of these buildings are not accessible by guests, but can be found directly in the path of what could be a new entrance from Reams Road. Their move in March 2015 to an area behind Disney’s Animal Kingdom on Western Way frees up a great deal of space that would be critical to a new entrance.

Similarly, yesterday’s announcement of the summer 2015 closure of the Richard Petty Driving Experience at the Walt Disney World Speedway due to “future transportation improvements” may also be tied to the project. A new entrance from the North would need to integrate into the TTC to handle a high volume of traffic, that does not currently exist, so the removal of the speedway may allow for that secondary entrance and parking plaza booths.

Two key factors could be driving the addition of a northern entrance. Firstly, there is a huge amount of residential building in the area north of the Magic Kingdom, with Horizons West being among the most significant. Thousands of houses are being built, with many more planned over the next few years. Guests arriving from this area would find themselves having to take a long way around to reach one of the existing entrances to Disney property, which is not only inconvenient, but would also increase traffic on those other entrances.

Secondly, the expansion of the Magic Kingdom with New Fantasyland brought even more Cast Members to work at the park, further increasing traffic in the northern area where Magic Kingdom cast park. The situation requires police supervision during peak periods, and cast members are frequently delayed getting to work due to traffic.

It seems likely that any new northern entrance would address both of these issues, creating a new guest entrance that would bring guests directly into property along Floridian Way beside the Grand Floridian Resort, and improved access and parking for the ever increasing number of Cast Members arriving from the north.

Disney has not yet made any comment about expanding the northern entrance, and always, this unconfirmed information should be treated as speculation. 

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Article Posted: Feb 12, 2015 / 8:41am EST