What's New at Disney World for 2022

March 17, 2022

Fairytale castles, spellbinding firework spectaculars, and roaring western-themed roller coasters are a few of the Disney World Resort classics we have all come to know and love.

Whether you spend days on end devoted to the Magic Kingdom or dedicate your time to eating your way through Epcot, there are endless ways to experience the magic of Disney. However, true Disney devotees know there is always something incredibly fresh on the horizon. So follow along as we take you through what's new at Walt Disney World in 2022!

From the continuation of Disney World's 50th-anniversary festivities, now running through March 2023, to the debut of the first Marvel attraction, there is no end to the excitement and enhancement in store this year. 

So grab your Mickey Mouse ears and get ready to conquer every last coaster, parade, and character-filled attraction. 

What's New at Disney World: Resorts

Disney Vacation Club Resort Studios

Vacationers seeking a stylish Victorian-themed upgrade will be pleased to rest their heads at the all-new Disney Vacation Club Resort Studios. This former home of many Grand Floridian hotel rooms will be transformed into 200 studios sporting a fresh modern look. Projected to be open for visitors by summer 2022, these stylish studios will accommodate up to five guests.

View of a living room area with a large window doors that lead to a balcony and a light blue couch, brown coffee table, and a cream colored chair with white walls and brown shelving on the left at the Disney Vacation Club Resort Studios in Orlando, Florida, USA

photo credit: Fairytale Journeys by Amanda Micun via Facebook

Star Wars Galactic Starcruiser

Travel to a galaxy far, far away when you book yourself and your fellow Star War nerds a stay at the all-new Star Wars Galactic Starcruiser.

Much more than a themed hotel stay, this is a fully immersive Star Wars galaxy experience. Embark on an intergalactic 2-night adventure that allows you to eat, breathe, and sleep aboard the magnificent Halcyon Starcruiser. Channel your inner Jedi as you master the art of lightsabers, dine on exotic galactic cuisine, and strike up a shady bargain with some interplanetary smugglers.

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Whether you are being drilled on Halcyon navigation technique or sipping a sweet cocktail from the comfort of the Sublight lounge, you are guaranteed a unique mission. Continue your starcruiser training with transport to the planet Batuu and fulfill your destiny at Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge.

Gran Destino Tower at Disney Coronado Springs

While probably not aimed at the key Disney demographic, the new Gran Destino Tower at Disney's Coronado Springs Resort is welcome to the Disney World Resort family. This modern and minimalistic tower features a muted aesthetic that appeals to the conventioneer demographic.

Rooms feature TVs enabled with interactive content and access to indoor pathways to the convention center. With a strong value per dollar, we predict this addition to the Springs Resort will be a certified hit with the frequent traveler crowd.

Disney Springs

Craving fresh baked cookies? Disney fans with an indomitable sweet tooth will be in sugar-filled heaven when they learn Gideons Bakehouse is making an appearance at Disney Springs.

Home to the world-famous ½ pound cookies that take over 24 hours to create, this Orlando institution is bringing their expanded menu of cookies, double frosted cakes, and more to the Landing. Fuel up with a fabulously nutty Peanut Butter Iced Coffee and salivate over cookie flavors such as Pistachio Toffee Chocolate Chip and Original Chocolate Chip.

What's New at Disney World: Attractions and Rides

Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind

Ready to save the universe with Gamora, Groot, and Star-Lord? Mark your calendars because your favorite Guardians are landing at Disney this summer. Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind will make its opening date debut in Epcot and is already creating quite a stir.

This family-friendly attraction will be the first-ever roller coaster featuring a reverse launch at Disney World. Marvel maniacs will be in awe as they witness rotations of 360 degrees and one of the longest enclosed coasters in the world.

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Sit back and relax as you dive into the spellbinding Galaxarium and uncover the differences between Xandar and Earth's galaxies. Then, just as you think the tour is over, you will be called on to cruise across the cosmos and lend a hand to the formidable Guardians. 

Wide shot mockup of the Guardians of the Galaxy Cosmic Rewind ride at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, USA

photo credit: Fairy Tale Concierge, Erika Brombacher-Travel Agent via Facebook

Tron Lightcycle Run

Alexa, play Daft Punk! Cue up the Tron soundtrack because adrenaline junkies may be afforded an all-new roller coaster to enjoy sooner than they think.

Based on the slickly stylish and space-themed hit movie of the same name, Tron Lightcycle Run is a new Magic Kingdom ride currently under construction. Poised to take its place behind Space Mountain in Tomorrowland, this semi-enclosed launched steel motorbike roller coaster attraction is a replica of Shanghai Disneyland's TRON Lightcycle Power Run. Fearless flyers can prepare themselves for a gravity show and a stunning loop climax beneath a vibrant color-changing canopy.

Although construction is well underway, Disney has yet to announce an official date. However, our best experts have speculated the earliest opening being set for Fall or Winter 2022…

View of the track for the Tron Lightcycle Power Run at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, USA

photo credit: ACE Europe Region via Facebook

Spaceship Earth

Technology, innovation, and the spirit of humanity come together via elaborate sets and advanced audio-animatronic figures on this flagship Epcot attraction.

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For decades this Judi Dench narrated dark ride has ushered millions of guests through human history, from the days of cave paintings to the moon landing and beyond! Back in 2019, Disney had announced plans to renovate Spaceship Earth and give a much-needed facelift to this popular attraction.

The lengthy refurbishment would include new scenes, updated technology, and a more modern storyline. Unfortunately, due to the unforeseen COVID-19 pandemic, this massive undertaking has been paused. Eager beavers will need to stay tuned as Disney has made no official statements on the commencement of Spaceship Earth changes…

Space Mountain

Everyone's favorite rip-roaring space coaster certainly needs no introduction. However, observant Mouseketeers may have noted that the iconic Space Mountain seems to be slated for construction.

Like many of Disney's most famous rides, Space Mountain maintains more than its fair share of wear and tear. However, recently filed construction permits lead us to believe that this deep space-themed attraction simply needs a little TLC.

Disney officials have not announced any closure dates, so adrenaline aficionados should still be able to get their fill of meteors, comets, and more come 2022!

Finding Nemo: The Musical

Journey under the sea with Dory, Nemo, and more when you sit back and soak in the aquatic enchantment of an updated Finding Nemo: The Musical.

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This exciting live stage show will be returning as Finding Nemo: The Big Blue…and Beyond. Little lovers of the popular animated movie will enjoy the same skilled puppeteers and sing-alongs, set in a new timeline of 'Finding Dory.' The new show promises to be a truly seaworthy hit with an abundance of marine magic, catchy bops, and animated backdrops.

This exciting theatrical exploration is expected to debut sometime in 2022. 

Moana: Journey of Water

Can't stop playing, How Far You'll Go? Fans of everyone's favorite Polynesian princess should start planning their return to Epcot today. Moana: Journey of Water is slated to be the first-ever attraction based on the Walt Disney Animation Studios film.

This interactive experience is drafted to be a dreamlike water maze surrounded by a lushly landscaped environment. Guests of all ages will be able to play and communicate with water, just like Moana.

Ready to be reunited with Maui and the gang? Unlike other recently mentioned Epcot projects, Disney officials have mentioned this one, leading us to believe you won't have to wait too long to play in paradise!

Concept art for Moana - Journey of Water with a mom and two kids walking towards a waterfall surrounded by greenery at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, USA

photo credit: Theme Park Review via Facebook

Splash Mountain and The Princess and the Frog

Psst..it looks like Frontierland may be holding on to a very frog-shaped secret! In June 2020, Disney announced the reimagining of the long-heralded Splash Mountain flume ride.

Plans included an ambitious redesign incorporating characters, themes, and music from the well-loved Princess and the Frog film. This thrilling new splashtastic adventure would follow Princess Tiana and Louis as they prepare for their first-ever Mardi-Gras performance.

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Due to the park's closure during the pandemic and various other slated projects, Tiana's timeline has been quite delayed.

While conceptual design work is underway, likely, construction will not commence till the end of 2022 or even 2023. 

Festivals, Parades, and Spectaculars

Disney Enchantment

The most' Magical Place on Earth' gets an extra special bump of enchantment at dusk. Watch the inky night sky explode into a vibrant display of magical effects, lighting, and stunning fireworks when you witness the all-new Disney Enchantment.

This sparkling nighttime spectacular will sweep you away with new characters like Moanna and Raya and plenty of swoon-worthy songs. Sing all to classic tunes, and soak in an original song by 7-time Grammy award-winning songwriter Philip Lawrence.

Watch the stately Cinderella's Castle come to life as you revel in the glory of this celebration of dreams, joy, and imagination. 

View looking up at the Enchantment Firework Show with Cinderellas Castles in front of it at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, USA

photo credit: Steve Dausey via Facebook


Prime yourself for even more evening escapades from Mickey Mouse and the Disney Villains when you head to Hollywood Studios for the return of Fantasmic. This open-air nighttime musical spectacular returns in 2022. Fans of the original Hollywood Hills Amphitheater performance will still get plenty of magical sets, sublime effects, rousing music, and dynamic pyrotechnics.

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Thankfully, this larger-than-life show is simply being spruced up with some searing new sequences and characters. No secrets are out, but we have our fingers crossed for a Coco or Moana appearance.

Festival of Fantasy Parade

Make way for the return of the Festival of Fantasy Parade. Unfortunately, like many of the Magic Kingdom's more interactive elements, this beloved parade was paused during the pandemic. Thankfully, tiny tykes can once again rejoice in the fantastic mix of floats, music, and beloved Fantasyland characters as this parade resume its regular run.

Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade Dragon breathing fire on a sunny with the castle in the background at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, USA

photo credit: Walt Disney World via Facebook

Disney Adventure Friends Calvacades

If you're wondering what a Cavalcade is? Let us break it down for you! These short mini parades were born out of necessity during the pandemic and allowed Disney to cut down on crowds.

They have become so smashingly successful we are happy to announce they are here to stay! Disney Adventure Friends Cavalcade is the newest debut and features the most animated Disney characters to date. Join familiar faces like Miguel from Coco, the Incredibles, and Merida from Brave. Meanwhile, embarking on an escapade from Frontierland through Liberty Square down Main Street, U.S.A.

Disney Adventure Friends will run multiple times daily, and showtimes will be available in the My Disney Experience app like all currently scheduled cavalcades.

View looking down at a group of different Disney characters from Disney Adventure Friends Calvacades standing in front of Cinderellas Castle on a sunny at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, USA

photo credit: Laurie Olivieri via Facebook

Apps & MagicBands

New MagicBand+

Disney veterans might be shrugging their shoulders and wondering what's new about MagicBands? While it's true MagicBands have existed since 2013, this year brings a whole new layer of Disney dazzle to these functional and fashionable accessories.

Older bands allowed you to unlock your Disney accommodations, pay for Mickey-shaped ice cream, and even link your PhotoPass photos. The new launch of the MagicBand+ will contain all of these same standard features plus cool new additions.

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Watch your band light up, glow, vibrate, and even use it to interact with sensational nighttime spectaculars. In addition to lands such as Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge and the golden "Disney Fab 50 Character Collection" statues. Park guests who have opted for the new Genie+ program can also tap into their itineraries and book attractions using their bands. 

Genie and Genie+

A custom tip board, personalized Disney itinerary, and tailored recommendations, oh my!

Disney World's latest foray into advanced mobile planning has arrived and is here to grant your every wish. First released in 2021, the app has slowly gained popularity. Conveniently built into the My Disney Experience mobile app, this handy pal makes theme park planning a breeze.

Enjoy superior scheduling features, reminders to book activities, and more. Genie+ is available at over 40 attractions and experiences throughout the park. It also allows you to select the next available arrival window for Disney Genie+ Lightning Lane experiences all day long. Park patrons can make ride selections one at a time, beginning at 7:00 AM on the day of their visit.

Disney guests who purchase the Park Hopper option will also be able to select Lightning Lane arrival windows across multiple theme parks.

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First, learn the inner workings of the Halcyon Starcruiser. Then get your hands on a real-life lightsaber. Or experience 360 degrees of awesome drops with the Guardians of the Galaxy.

Rousing rides, creatively captivating live shows, and ethereal evening spectaculars! These are just a few thrilling new items calling Walt Disney World home in 2022.

Whether you are holding your breath to capture the island spirit of Moana in Epcot. Or simply can't wait to witness the effervescent evening spectacular of Fantasmic. There has never been more to look forward to at Disney.

So, what are you waiting for? Plan your return to the 'Most Magical Place on Earth' today!

Tell us, what new 2022 attraction are you looking forward to most?

Leave us a comment below!

isis with mural in background

Written By Isis Maya

A New York native, Isis-Maya spent most of her professional life working in TV production until a vacation whisked her away to Central America and her love o ...

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