Train service to Disney World from South Florida in the works

Getting to Mickey Mouse could be a lot easier for residents in South Florida soon.

Virgin Trains announced Thursday plans to link trains to Walt Disney World and Sunrail's Meadow Wood station around the same time as it opens its station at Orlando International Airport.

“It’s our expectation to get it done and to build out to Disney,” Virgin Trains president Patrick Goddard said of a time frame that hinges on permits and financing. “It is entirely conceivable that that can happen with the delivery of the Orlando station.

British billionaire Richard Branson drew an enthusiastic crowd in Miami for the public rollout of his Virgin Group's partnership with Florida's privately owned, higher-speed passenger rail service. 

Virgin's partnership with what was then Brightline was announced in November, but Brightline's downtown Miami station became "Virgin MiamiCentral" on Wednesday. 

Brightline is now Virgin Trains USA, and is expected to rebrand its trains and Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach stations by year's end.  Aside from plans to expand to Orlando by 2022, Virgin Trains USA also has aspirations outside Florida, eyeing service between Southern California and Las Vegas.

For Brightline, the rebranding gives it instant name recognition. 

For Virgin, the partnership gives it a toehold in the U.S. train market and gives its British customers a potentially seamless Florida holiday.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.