The biggest theme park story of last year was the re-opening of the Disneyland Resort on April 30, 2021 after over a year of closure due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. However, Disney didn’t stop there also giving fans a re-imagined Snow White ride, as well as the grand opening of Avengers Campus and its highly-anticipated WEB Slingers Spider-Man attraction. So what’s next for the Disneyland Resort in 2022?
As Disneyland continues its comeback from the pandemic, 2022 will see the return of their nighttime spectaculars (including the venerable “Main Street Electrical Parade”), expanded entertainment and festivals, and a celebration of the 10th anniversary of Cars Land and Buena Vista Street at Disney California Adventure.
Mickey’s Mix Magic – January 2022
Disneyland Resort in 2022 will see entertainment return in a big way. First up is “Mickey’s Mix Magic,” returning on Jan. 10 for a limited time. The high energy, state-of-the-art projection show will be presented nightly as lights, lasers, and music transform Main Street, U.S.A., Sleeping Beauty Castle and the façade of “it’s a small world” into a raucous family fun dance party celebrating Mickey Mouse. On select nights, you may be even able to catch fireworks in the show, too.
Lunar New Year Festival – January 2022
Starting Jan. 21, 2022, Disney California Adventure celebrates Lunar New Year and commemorates traditions of Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese cultures. The festival is filled with multicultural performances, kid-friendly crafts, Asian culinary creations delights, beautiful décor, merchandise and live musical entertainment.
Tigger joins the celebration as 2022 is the Year of the Tiger, and other Disney characters such as Mulan and Mushu, the Three Little Pigs, and Mickey and Minnie of course, will appear in festive attire. Also, Raya from Walt Disney Animation Studios’ film “Raya and the Last Dragon” will make her first appearance at Disneyland Resort during the celebration. Guests can visit with Raya and catch a glimpse of the glistening dragon gem among the blooming Kumandran flowers, nestled deep in the heart of the Redwood Creek Challenge Trail. Other activities include “Mulan’s Lunar New Year Procession” and the Lucky Wishes Wall. a performance that honors family, friendship, and the potential for a fortune-filled new year.
Lunar New Year continues at Disney California Adventure from Jan. 21 through Feb. 13, 2022.
“Celebrate Gospel!” – February 2022
Disneyland Resort will celebrate the soulful spirit of Gospel music with the return of “Celebrate Gospel!” For 2022, “Celebrate Gospel!” will expand and feature live choir performances, each sharing its own distinctive style and inspiration. This event moves to the Fantasyland Theater at Disneyland Park where guests will be able to enjoy uplifting choir performances on select days during the month of February. “Celebrate Gospel!” is offered as part of the Disneyland park experience.
Disneyland After Dark: Sweethearts’ Nite – February 2022
Sweethearts’ Nite Returns to Disneyland Park on select nights in February 2022. This Disney After Dark event takes place on Feb. 1, 3, 8, 10, and 14 after regular park hours and features a special themed fireworks show and projection effects, live entertainment and a dance party with a DJ, appearances by darling Disney couples, themed decor, along with food and beverage offerings around the park and early admission to Disneyland park starting at 5 p.m. Tickets are on sale now and start at $114 per person.
Disneyland After Dark: Villains Nite – March 2022
Villains Nite returns to Disney California Adventure in March. During Villains Nite, guests can party with some of Disney’s most mischievous misfits, with the wonderfully wicked events taking place on two separate evenings, March 8 and 10. The event includes The Cauldron, a cunningly-crafted cabaret featuring a cast of villainous virtuosos showing off their talents through song and dance; Ursula’s Seaside Sing-a-long; The Underworld Dance Party; special photo backdrops; some of Disney’s famously nefarious fiends — or their henchmen, and more. Tickets start at $119 and are on sale starting Jan. 11.
Disney California Adventure Food & Wine Festival – March 2022
The popular Disney California Adventure Food & Wine Festival returns on March 4, 2022 showcasing a culinary tour of California. A dozen festival marketplace kiosks are stationed throughout the theme park offering different food and beverage selections. The festival showcases delicious fare, vibrant entertainment, merchandise and even time with Chef Goofy. There are also complimentary cooking demonstrations with visiting, local, celebrity and Disney chefs (other than Goofy) on Saturdays and Sundays during the festival. For an additional charge, visitors can reserve signature experiences such as the Carthay Circle Winemaker Receptions, and the Wine, Beer and Mixology Education & Tasting Seminars. The Disney California Adventure Food & Wine Festival is scheduled to run from March 4 – April 26, 2022.
Disneyland Resort Nighttime Spectaculars return Spring 2022
Main Street Electrical Parade
Cue up the Baroque Hoedown because Disneyland’s iconic Main Street Electrical Parade returns… again. Mickey, Minnie, and Goofy are featured on the lead train and drum unit for a parade that will celebrate its 50th anniversary year. “Disneyland Presents – Main Street Electrical Parade” will bring back many guest favorites including Elliot the Dragon and floats from “Alice in Wonderland,” “Cinderella” and “Peter Pan.”
“Fantasmic!” has showcased “some imagination” for almost 30 years, and Disney’s longest-running nighttime spectacular is filled with colorful Disney animated film images, choreographed to an exciting musical score. It all comes to an excited conclusion with the appearance of the fire-breathing Maleficent Dragon. The waters of the Rivers of America come alive as Mickey Mouse’s power of imagination enables him to create fantastic events and images as seen in classic Disney films like “Fantasia,” “The Jungle Book,” “The Little Mermaid”and more.
World of Color
The world is a carousel of color and “World of Color” is a nighttime spectacular that combines lights, fountains, music, fire, fog, and laser effects, with a backdrop of Disney animation projected on an immense screen of water. This unforgettable kaleidoscope of color at Disney California Adventure celebrates the magic and fun of Disney and Pixar — all set to a soaring soundtrack. Audiences are immersed in some favorite Disney stories with memorable sequences of animation and music, including scenes like WALL-E and Eve zipping through the cosmos and Pocahontas exploring “just around the riverbend.”
“Disneyland Forever” fireworks spectacular
“Disneyland Forever” is a sky-high celebration filled with sparkling pyrotechnics and immersive projections that envelop guests in a breathtaking journey with surprising special effects. Main Street, U.S.A., and a few other spots in Disneyland become a magical canvas as guests are swept into a world of dreams, from flying above the London skyline with “Peter Pan” to a dance with King Louie in “The Jungle Book.” The inspiring closing song is “Kiss Goodnight.”
Tale of the Lion King – Spring 2022
After “Celebrate Gospel!” takes its last bow, Disneyland’s Fantasyland Theater will become home to “Tale of the Lion King,” an imaginative adaptation of Disney’s “The Lion King.” A hit with guests when it debuted in 2019, “Tale of the Lion King” is brought to life by the Storytellers of the Pride Lands, a troupe of traveling performers who present Simba’s beloved and timeless journey in a unique story-theater style with live music and dance.
Disneyland After Dark: Star Wars Nite – May 2022
Star Wars Nite returns to Disneyland Park on three select nights in May. This Disney After Dark event takes place on May 3-4 (of course), and May 27 after regular park hours. Note the May 27 Star Wars Nite takes place during Star Wars Celebration Anaheim 2022. Activities scheduled for the night include an amazing pyrotechnical spectacle that will illuminate the skies with a Star Wars-themed fireworks show, March of the First Order featuring Captain Phasma and her elite unit of Stormtroopers, a galactic dance party, sightings of various Star Wars characters, Star Wars-themed attractions, Star Wars-themed eats and treats, merchandise, photo opportunities, and more, plus early admission to Disneyland park starting at 6 p.m. Tickets go on sale beginning Jan. 11 and start at $134.
Cars Land and Buena Vista Street turn 10 – June 2022
On June 15, 2012, the first guests strolled down Buena Vista Street, with shops, architecture and theming reminiscent of Los Angeles in the late 1920s/early 1930s when Walt Disney first arrived. Families walked down Route 66 as they experienced an entirely new themed expansion with Cars Land. Lightning McQueen and Tow Mater invited you into their world Radiator Springs culminating in the E-Ticket attraction Radiator Springs Racers.
Downtown Disney District
Pelé Soccer – January 2022
Pelé Soccer is now open at the Downtown Disney District at the Disneyland Resort. This stadium-themed store offers a wide assortment of soccer gear from renowned global sports brands. This specialty shop is named after Pelé, the legendary Brazilian superstar and one of the greatest soccer players of all time. Guests can choose from a selection of official club and national team jerseys from around the world, sports apparel, cleats, balls and more for the whole family.
Lovepop – January 2022
Lovepop offers eye-catching, 3D pop-up cards and gifts that take paper art to new heights. Created by two ship designers, Lovepop combines engineering and modern technology with the ancient art form of kirigami, a variation of origami that intricately cuts paper rather than folding.
Post 21 – January 2022
Post 21 is a new Black-owned, woman-owned kiosk offering curated modern and design-forward merchandise from Black-owned businesses, including products for family, home, gifting and more. Guests will find this specialty kiosk between the World of Disney and Starbucks.
What’s coming to Disneyland Resort beyond 2022?
Mickey’s Toontown reimagining
Imagineers are working to reimagine Disneyland’s Mickey’s Toontown to incorporate more play areas, open, grassy spaces, and a fountain water feature. The updated land is expected to open in 2023 along with Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway.
Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway
Disneyland’s version of Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway will be their first ever ride-through attraction themed to Mickey Mouse. It features a new original story and theme song as it takes guests on a journey inside the wacky and unpredictable world of Disney Channel’s “Mickey Mouse” cartoon shorts. The immersive attraction is set to open in 2023.
Avengers E-ticket attraction
The centerpiece attraction for Disney California Adventure’s Avengers Campus will be the E-ticket attraction where guests will fly in a Quinjet alongside the Avengers during a thrilling adventure to Wakanda and beyond. The ride is housed inside Avengers Headquarters, where many Marvel characters currently roam along the rooftop. The opening window for this attraction has not been announced.
“The Princess and the Frog” retheme of Splash Mountain
Disney announced that Splash Mountain at both Disneyland park in California and Magic Kingdom in Florida will be rethemed to “The Princess and the Frog.” The story of this attraction picks up after the final kiss in the film, as riders join Princess Tiana and Louis on a musical adventure (featuring music from the film) as they gear up for their first-ever Mardi Gras performance. No opening date has yet been announced for this rethemed attraction.
What attraction are you most looking forward to coming to the Disneyland Resort in 2022 and beyond? Let us know in the comments below.