From traveling to a galaxy far, far, away to saving the galaxy, 2022 promises to be a big year at Walt Disney World. Families can anticipate a combination of brand-new experiences such as Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser and Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind combined with the re-opening and return of favorites like Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon water park, parades, loads of theme park entertainment, and a full year of Walt Disney World’s 50th anniversary celebration. Continue reading for all of what’s coming to Walt Disney World in 2022 and beyond.
Disney “Festival of Fantasy” Parade – Early 2022
Magic Kingdom’s popular “Festival of Fantasy” daytime parade will twirl down Main Street U.S.A. once again in early 2022. Spectacular floats, dancers, and characters bring popular animated films to life from “Peter Pan” and “Tangled,” to “Merida” and “Sleeping Beauty,” represented by an amazing fire-breathing steampunk Maleficent dragon.
Mickey’s Magical Friendship Faire – Early 2022
In addition to the Magic Kingdom’s daytime parade, live entertainment will return to the Cinderella Castle Forecourt Stage with a newly-enhanced show for the 50th anniversary celebration. “Mickey’s Magical Friendship Faire” will incorporate scenes from the previous iteration of the show — with sequences inspired by “Frozen,” “Tangled,” and “The Princess and the Frog” — along with a brand-new opening and new finale with Mickey Mouse and friends in their sparkling EARidescent attire. The show will also include an all-new original song, entitled “When the Magic Feels Like Home.”
Disney Adventure Friends Cavalcade – Early 2022
When Walt Disney World re-opened after the pandemic, they debuted character cavalcades in the parks, and in early 2022 a new cavalcade will debut at Magic Kingdom, titled the Disney Adventure Friends Cavalcade. This new character experience will feature the most characters of any cavalcade so far, including Nick and Judy from “Zootopia,” Baloo and King Louie from “The Jungle Book,” José Carioca and Panchito from “The Three Caballeros,” Miguel from “Coco,” as well as Merida, Moana, The Incredibles and more.
Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser – March 1, 2022
The most anticipated new attraction since… well, since the last Star Wars attraction has to be Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser, scheduled to make its maiden voyage on March 1, 2022. Families will depart Earth for a two-night adventure aboard the Halcyon starcruiser. Similar to a cruise, guests will stay in stateroom-like cabins, feast on out-of-this-world cuisine in the Crown of Corellia dining room, and enjoy a performance from a true galactic superstar. Activities along the way include learning the proper way to wield a lightsaber, visiting the starcruiser Bridge, and meeting Star Wars luminaries such as Rey, Chewbacca and Kylo Ren. A scheduled stop at the Black Spire Outpost on Batuu will lead to adventurous excursions aboard the Millennium Falcon or standing up to the First Order and to help with the Rise of the Resistance.
Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind – Summer 2022
“I am Groot!” Get your dancing shoes on and get ready to save the galaxy with Rocket, Groot, Drax, Gamora, and Star-Lord on Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind. The family-friendly attraction will be the first coaster at Epcot and the first reverse launch for any Disney coaster. The ride will be one of the longest fully-enclosed coasters in the world, housed in one of the largest show buildings ever constructed for a Disney theme park. Debuting in the newly-renamed World Discovery neighborhood, Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind will take families on an intergalactic chase through time and space.
Remodeled Disney Vacation Club rooms at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa – Summer 2022
Walt Disney World has overhauled rooms in their deluxe resorts to incorporate more Disney characters, such as Moana at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort and The Incredibles at Disney’s Contemporary Resort. In 2022, Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa will add approximately 200 proposed resort studios. These studios will be available to rent through Disney Vacation Club, and the room type will be unique just to Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa. Guests will likely be able to stay in the new resort studios starting in summer 2022.
Fantasmic! – 2022
Josh D’Amaro, chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products, announced that Fantasmic! is set to return to Disney’s Hollywood Studios. This nighttime spectacular features a massive set, a cast of over 50 live performers, lights, lasers, fireworks, and water animation all set to a rousing score. Fantasmic! has been updated since we last saw a performance, and this version promises at least one all-new sequence.
Details have not yet been shared, but careful study of the key art shown during Destination D23 in November 2021 at Disney’s Contemporary Resort suggest “Frozen II,” “Aladdin,” and “Moana” will have some representation in the re-worked show.
Finding Nemo: The Big Blue…and Beyond – 2022
At Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park, the former Finding Nemo stage show is being updated to Finding Nemo: The Big Blue…and Beyond. This new show is set in the timeline of the film “Finding Dory,” and when guests sit in the theater, they’ll now find themselves inside the Marine Life Institute.
As the show begins, guests will catch up with the fish from Dr. P. Sherman’s office in “Finding Nemo,” who have made their way across the ocean to California. They will then tell the story of Nemo and how they all got there, incorporating many of the songs and production numbers from the original show, including “Go With The Flow” and “In the Big Blue World.”
New MagicBand+ Wearable – 2022
MagicBand+ will debut at Walt Disney World in 2022 as the next generation of wearable guest technology. The original MagicBand debuted in 2013 and provided guests with a cash-free way to navigate park and guest room entry, pay for retail and dining, store Disney PhotoPass and more.
Upon entering a theme park, MagicBand+ will come alive at various times with color-changing lights, haptic vibrations, and gesture recognition. The wearable will allow guests to engage with the Disney Parks in new ways, including:
- Play like a bounty hunter and find virtual bounties throughout Black Spire Outpost in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
- Interact with the Disney Fab 50 Character Collection of golden statues throughout Walt Disney World Resort.
- Experience nighttime spectaculars in a new way as the band lights up to shows like “Harmonious” at Epcot and “Disney Enchantment” at Magic Kingdom.
MagicBand+ will be available for purchase starting next year. While we don’t have a price just yet, a discounted pre-arrival price will be offered for Disney Resort hotel guests and new or renewing Annual Passholders. Current MagicBands will also continue to be available, as well as the complimentary Disney MagicMobile service that extends MagicBand features to smart devices.
‘Hey Disney!’ Voice Assistant for Amazon Alexa and Echo – 2022
Disney is teaming up with Amazon for a new voice assistant project called “Hey Disney!” that will roll out in Disney Resort hotel guest rooms across 2022. The “Hey Disney!” voice assistant will work alongside Alexa to respond to vocal prompts and use the voices of Disney characters such as Mickey Mouse, Olaf, C-3PO and more, to provide weather forecasts, timers, alarms, etc. “Hey Disney!” will also feature an all-new character, the Disney Magical Companion, who will help guests discover more than 1,000 magical interactions, like hearing special greetings and jokes from authentic Disney character voices, asking trivia questions and exploring audio environments inspired by Disney films and destinations. Resort guests can also learn helpful vacation information with questions like “Hey Disney! When does the next bus to Epcot depart?,” or requests like “Hey Disney! Can we have some extra towels?”
“Hey Disney!” will be available for guests to purchase for supported Amazon Echo devices via the Amazon Alexa Skills store, and Amazon will offer two Mickey Mouse-inspired stands for the Echo Show 5, featuring the iconic Mickey ears inspired by either his 50th anniversary celebration outfit (which will be the version found in Disney Resort hotel rooms) or his classic red shorts.
What’s coming to Walt Disney World beyond 2022?
Continued Transformation of Epcot – Ongoing
As revealed at D23 Expo 2019, Epcot will stay true to its original vision while bringing timeless Disney storytelling to life with the magic of possibility. The park will be unified with four neighborhoods that each celebrate a unique aspect of what makes Epcot so special: World Showcase, World Celebration, World Nature, and World Discovery.
DuckTales World Showcase Adventure – TBA
Your favorite “DuckTales” pals are headed to Epcot. Through the Play Disney Parks app, guests will join Scrooge McDuck, Donald Duck, Launchpad McQuack, Webby, and the nephews in search of priceless treasure. Travel around the World Showcase to discover unique destinations, mysteries, and maybe even a few thieves, villains, and supernatural guardians of ancient artifacts.
Dreamers Point – TBA
Dreamers Point will feature lush gardens, a wishing tree, an interactive new fountain and a statue celebrating the legacy of the original dreamer, Walt Disney.
Journey of Water, Inspired by “Moana” – TBA
Journey of Water, Inspired by “Moana” at Epcot will be the first attraction inspired by the hit Walt Disney Animation Studios film. This lush exploration trail will invite guests to meet and play with magical, living water.
PLAY! Pavilion – TBA
In this interactive metropolis, guests will discover a city bursting with games, activities, and experiences that connect them with friends, family, and beloved Disney characters like never before.
Wondrous China – TBA
In the China pavilion, Wondrous China will take guests on a spectacular journey across China, filmed and presented in a completely seamless 360-degree digital format.
Roundup Rodeo BBQ restaurant – TBA
Set to be built in Toy Story Land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, this new table service restaurant will make guests feel like honorary toys in a Western-themed play set created from a colorful mash-up of fun, oversized toys and cardboard boxes.
Tron Lightcycle / Run – TBA
The hit Tron roller coaster from Shanghai Disneyland will make its way to the Magic Kingdom’s Tomorrowland in an entirely new area right next to the Space Mountain attraction.
“The Princess and the Frog” retheme of Splash Mountain
Disney announced that Splash Mountain at both Magic Kingdom in Florida and Disneyland park in California 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 Walt Disney World in 2022 and beyond? Let us know in the comments below.