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What is coming to Walt Disney World in 2022 (and beyond!)

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What is coming to Walt Disney World in 2022 (and beyond!)

There’s a lot of new stuff coming to Walt Disney World over the next few years, including 2 new rides and a new Star Wars-themed resort. Plus, there are some beloved favorites that are also scheduled to make their returns, too.

Here’s what we know:

In this article

What is opening up at Walt Disney World in 2022 (and beyond)?

2022 is scheduled to see the completion of 2 highly anticipated attractions: Tron: Lightcycle Run & Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind.

Festival of Fantasy Parade
(early 2022)

Returning entertainment
Magic Kingdom

Great news! The popular daytime Festival of Fantasy parade is returning to Magic Kingdom in early 2022!

Festival of Fantasy

We don’t have any exact dates, but look for it in early 2022.

Mickey’s Royal Friendship Faire
(early 2022)

Returning entertainment
Magic Kingdom

A 50th anniversary edition of Mickey’s Royal Friendship Faire is coming to the Cinderella Castle Forecourt Stage at Magic Kingdom in early 2022.

magical friendship faire at magic kingdom

It’s called “Mickey’s Magical Friendship Faire” and will incorporate favorite scenes from the previous version of the show, plus a new opening and a new finale with Mickey Mouse and all his friends in their sparkling, EARidescent costumes.

There’s even an all-new, original song called “Where the Magic Feels Like Home.”

Disney Adventure Friends Cavalcade
(early 2022)

New entertainment
Magic Kingdom

A brand-new cavalcade called “Disney Adventure Friends Cavalcade” will debut at Magic Kingdom later this winter.

The cavalcade “will feature the most characters of any cavalcade to date,” like Nick and Judy from Zootopia, Baloo and King Louie from The Jungle Book, José Carioca and Panchito from The Three Caballeros, Miguel from Coco, plus Merida, Moana, The Incredibles, and more!

disney adventure friends cavalcade magic kingdom

Select tours
(returning February 6, 2022)

Returning Enchanting Extra
Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom

Although the parks have been reopened for quite awhile, tours (aside from private VIP Tours) have been mostly put on hold.

But, some fan favorite tours will make their return in early February 2022.

Caring for Giants

While not all tours are returning, the following are:

  • Keys to the Kingdom (Magic Kingdom)
  • Caring for Giants (Animal Kingdom)
  • Wild Africa Trek (Animal Kingdom)
  • Up Close with Rhinos (Animal Kingdom)
  • Savor the Savanna (Animal Kingdom)

Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser resort
(opening March 1, 2022)

New resort
: near Hollywood Studios

While other projects have had completion dates quietly removed, Disney is full steam ahead with a 2022 opening for the brand new Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser resort

Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser room

Billed as a “living adventure” and totally unlike anything else on Disney property, this new resort (which is less of a resort and more of an experience) will be 100% immersive and connect guests to the Star Wars universe in never before seen ways.

Stays at the Galactic Starcruise resort will last 2 days and include plenty of opportunities to interact and participate with stories and characters on their adventure.

Check out our Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser page to learn everything we knew about this new resort, including information on pricing and the configuration of passenger cabins and suites.

Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser

Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind
(opening Summer 2022)

New attraction
Location: Epcot

Construction is well underway for a new Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind “storytelling coaster-style” attraction at Epcot.

Guardians of the Galaxy Coaster Ride Vehicle

With ride vehicles that rotate and direct your view towards the story unfolding around you, this new attraction is HUGE (Disney has said it is one of the world’s longest enclosed coasters) and is sure to impress when it opens in 2022.

Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind

Finding Nemo: The Big Blue… and Beyond
(opening 2022)

Re-imagined show
Animal Kingdom

In September, Disney announced that “Finding Nemo: The Musical” at Animal Kingdom would be returning sometime in 2022, but in a reimagined way with new storylines and the return of songs from the original show, including “In the Big Blue World” and “Go with the Flow.”

Finding nemo theater in the wild

Well, we learned that the updated show is called “Finding Nemo: The Big Blue… and Beyond” and will be set in the timeline of the movie Finding Dory.

The audience will find themselves at the Marine Life Institute and they’ll “catch up with the fish from Dr. P. Sherman’s office in Finding Nemo, who have made their way across the ocean to California.”

Tron Lightcycle Power Run
(opening 2022)

New attraction
Location: Magic Kingdom

Inspired by a similar attraction at Shanghai Disneyland, Tron Lightcycle Power Run is a brand new coaster-style attraction coming to Magic Kingdom.


Originally slated to be a part of Walt Disney World’s 50th Anniversary, we now know it will be 2022 before seeing the opening of this new attraction. 

Tron poster magic kingdom

This amazing new coaster will put guests aboard a two-wheeled “lightning cycle” before sending them off on a thrilling adventure on the digital frontier.

Tron Lightcycle Power Run

Construction here is well underway, and with views of the site from both Tomorrowland Speedway and the Peoplemover, it is easy to be impressed by the scale and scope of this Tomorrowland addition.

New Epcot entrance

Location: Epcot

The new entrance to Epcot is well underway, with many of the scheduled components already completed.

New Epcot entrance

Concept art for this area included plenty of green space, winding paths, and the relocation of the monolithic Leave a Legacy photos outside the front entrance of the park:

Leave a legacy plaques

Although a lot of the construction is completed, we are still awaiting a few pieces … including the day when some of the construction walls that surround the area are removed.

Epcot entrance spaceship earth

Parking Lot Trams
(confirmed for 2022)

Returning transportation
Location: Animal Kingdom, Epcot, and Hollywood Studios (Magic Kingdom trams return in December 2021)

Now, we know that it might seem kind of silly to list “parking lot trams” as something worthy of being noted, but if you’ve ever driven to the parks you’ll know that having these little pieces of convenience return is a big deal (especially at the end of a long park day!).

Parking Lot Tram

Aside from Disney announcing that the trams would return to Magic Kingdom in December 2021, we don’t have an exact date for the other 3 parks – but we are positive people (including us!) will be overjoyed to see them when they do

(confirmed for 2022)

Returning entertainment
Hollywood Studios

Disney has confirmed that Fantasmic at Hollywood Studios would be returning sometime in 2022.

mickey fantasmic

We don’t have many details (or an exact date) but we do know that it will include a new sequence featuring characters that have never been part of the show before.

Announced projects with no known dates

Connections Café and Eatery

New restaurant
Location: Epcot

We don’t have many details yet, but Disney announced that a new Epcot quick service location will open next to the Creations Shop in World Celebration. It will be called Connections Café and Eatery and replaces the now closed Electric Umbrella.

Connections Cafe Epcot quick service

Walt Disney statue and Dreamers Point

As shared at D23 Expo in 2019 and confirmed at the Destination D event in November 2021, it looks like Dreamers Point is still set to come as part of the World Celebration neighborhood.

Walt Statue at new area in Epcot called Dreamers Point

There will also be a statue of Walt Disney celebrating the legacy of the “original dreamer.”

At the time of the announcement, Disney also revealed the addition of a wishing tree in an enchanted forest and a story fountain celebrating the power and music of iconic Disney storytelling, but no word on those components have been released.

New “Play” pavilion

New interactive experience
Location: Epcot

Located in the former “Wonders of Life Pavilion,” this new attraction has been described as “an immersive and interactive experience where play fuels the fun.”

Disney says: “Built on the power of play, [the new pavilion] introduces an immersive and interactive ‘city’ where you can explore, create, and interact with some of your favorite Disney characters.”

Play pavilion at Epcot

This is one of the projects that we wouldn’t be surprised to see delayed.

Disney hasn’t said much on it since the reopening. And although construction appears to be moving along on the outside of the old Wonders of Life pavilion, it isn’t easy to know just how much of the original concept we’ll actually see come to fruition. 

Read more about the updates happening at Epcot.

While there are some previously announced projects we are confident that Disney has put on hold or permanently shelved, there are others that we think are still planned, even if Disney hasn’t said much about them recently.

Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana

New interactive experience
Location: Epcot

Journey of Water

According to Disney, this “first-ever experience based on the Walt Disney Animation Studios hit film, ‘Moana,’ will let guests interact with magical, living water in a beautiful and inspiring setting.”

And, unlike other Epcot projects, this one has been recently mentioned by Disney since the reopening. That leads us to believe that we will see this one completed.

Keep in mind that this isn’t a major new attraction, but it will connect guests to both Moana and water in a walk-through experience.

Read more on the Disney Parks Blog.

Princess and the Frog reimagining of Splash Mountain

Reimagining of an existing project
Location: Magic Kingdom

On June 25, 2020 (which was during the shutdown), Disney announced that it would be reimagining their popular Splash Mountain attractions at both Disneyland and Walt Disney World into a Princess and the Frog-themed ride.

According to Disney, the attraction picks up after the end of the popular 2009 movie –  meaning guests will get to see Princess Tiana in human form rather than as a frog.

The ride will follow Tiana and Louis on a musical adventure as they prepare for their first-ever Mardi Gras performance. And, yes, there will be music from the movie.

Princess and the Frog attraction concept art

Since the announcement was made during the closure, we hope that the project will be completed.

However, while we wouldn’t be surprised to see construction start in late 2022, we also wouldn’t be surprised for things to not even kick off until 2023 and for the entire project not to be completed until 2024 or later.

Wondrous China

New show
Location: Epcot

Announced at Destination D in November 2018, China will be getting an updated 360-degree film.

It was originally set to open in 2020. But, like many other projects, it was delayed. 

China pavilion

We hope to see the new China film, called Wondrous China, premier in 2022, but we also wouldn’t be surprised to see the project pushed further out (or shelved all together).

Roundup Rodeo BBQ in Toy Story Land

New restaurant
Location: Hollywood Studios

Located in Toy Story Land at Hollywood Studios, Roundup Rodeo BBQ will be a full-service restaurant offering guests the opportunity to be immersed in Andy’s world, one where he’s taped together cardboard boxes to create a rodeo arena using a “kaleidoscope of toys, games, and playsets.”

Concept art for Roundup Rodeo BBQ coming to Toy Story Land

Construction on this project was well underway before the shutdown. However, Disney hasn’t provided any recent updates on the status of the restaurant.

Despite that, we remain hopeful that we will see it open up its doors sometime in the future.

Roundup Rodeo BBQ

Recently announced projects that are on hold (or maybe not happening at all)

Mary Poppins area

New interactive experience
Location: Epcot

Mary Poppins area

Announced at D23 in August 2019, Cherry Tree Lane was supposed to be joining the UK pavilion.

But then 2020 hit and Disney quietly removed any mention of this new attraction from the Epcot Experience (which is a new-ish attraction where guests can see the projects and plans for Epcot). 

After being so excited about this fun addition, we were honestly quite sad to see the project shelved.

Disney hasn’t yet said if this is a temporary suspension or if we’ll see the project happening sometime in the future.

You can bet we’ll keep our fingers crossed for the latter.

DuckTales Worldshowcase Adventure

New interactive game

Disney has several different free activities and games that families can play in the parks, and we love them as an excellent alternative to attractions.

Epcot’s version has seen several incarnations with both Kim Possible and most recently Agent P, but that last one was due to be replaced with a new DuckTales-themed adventure.

But then the shutdown happened, and the reboot of the DuckTales cartoon was canceled. And with no signs of the new game showing up, we’re left wondering if we’ll see it all.

Reflections: A Disney Lakeside Lodge

New resort
Magic Kingdom Resort area (between Ft. Wilderness and Wilderness Lodge)

Building on the popularity of Disney Vacation Club, a planned 16th resort was in the works for the area between Disney’s Wilderness Lodge and Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground.

For guests familiar with that area, that is the spot of the now-closed River Country Water Park.

Disney Lakeside Lodge

In fact, Disney had permits filed, and the land was cleared. But since the shutdown, there has been zero activity on the site. 

Disney is no stranger to abandoning resort construction. Fans familiar with the Pop Century saga know that the area where Art of Animation now sits was originally planned as the 2nd half of Pop Century known as the “Legendary Years.” 

At the point that the Pop Century Legendary Years section was scratched, several buildings were already up. And until Disney began construction on Art of Animation, they sat there empty and abandoned (and slightly creepy looking). 

“Reflections” was nowhere near that far along in the construction process before everything was halted. Still, just like we saw the abandoned Pop Century space re-imagined in better times, we hope to see this project take off again sometime in the future. 

Spaceship Earth enhancements

Attraction overhaul
Location: Epcot

Before the big shutdown, Disney was planning a long refurbishment of the popular Spaceship Earth.

And while we do love the attraction now, we were really looking forward to seeing the enhancements, especially after Disney clarified that “Many of the moments you know and love will be updated in amazing ways, blended with brand-new scenes to tell a story about our human experience.”

That felt like the best of both worlds to us, and the concept art they released looked stunning:

Egypt Spaceship Earth

But, like many other projects that were announced, this one too has been quietly shelved. 

We do think that we will (eventually) see this attraction get a much-needed face-lift; it just likely won’t be for the next couple of years.

What new things opened at Disney World in 2021?

Drawn to Life – new Cirque du Soleil show
(Opened November 18, 2021)

New show
Location: Disney Springs

The brand new Cirque du Soleil show named “Drawn to Life” in Disney Springs debuted on November 18, 2021. Tickets are now on sale.

The show (which was just days away from opening before the closure) is a collaboration between Cirque du Soleil, Walt Disney Imagineering, and Walt Disney Animation Studios.

According to Disney, the show will “celebrate the art of animation through the magic of storytelling in a way that only Cirque du Soleil can deliver while paying homage to the craftsmanship that makes Disney animation special and unique.”

From the description, the show sounds absolutely charming and is sure to be a hit with both Disney and Cirque fans:

“This new show follows the story of Julie, a courageous and determined girl who discovers an unexpected gift left by her late father: an unfinished animation piece. Guided by a surprising pencil, she embarks on an inspiring quest sprinkled with her Disney childhood memories. Through this journey, she learns to imagine new possibilities and animate the story of her future.”

Check out the videos below for some behind-the-scenes looks at the new show.

Genie, Genie+, Lightning Lanes
(Began October 18, 2021)

New line management system
Location: Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, Animal Kingdom

Goodbye FastPass, hello Disney Genie!

Toy Story mania lightning Lane

Disney Genie, Disney Genie+, and Disney Lightning Lanes are all part of the new line management system that has replaced FastPass+.

And, unlike the old system, this one actually costs money, so it is more important than ever to spend some time figuring out exactly how it works.

The Walt Disney World Swan Reserve
(Opened November 3, 2021)

New resort
Location: Boardwalk area

Swan Reserve

A new resort has come to the Swan and Dolphin-area.

Originally named “The Cove, this new resort, now called “The Walt Disney World Swan Reserve,” will be more group-oriented and convention-focused. It will include several venues for renting, including a rooftop area perfect for weddings and other V.I.P. events.

Swan Reserve pool

Marriot (who owns the Swan and Dolphin and this new resort) had previously set a July 2021 opening date for this new resort; however, the opening was postponed until later in 2021.

Space 220 (Opened September 20, 2021) 

New restaurant
Location: Epcot

Located between Mission: Space and Test Track, this new space-themed restaurant uses special technology to give guests views of “space” from their table.

space 220 lounge area

We love the concept. The idea that you’re looking down from 220 miles up (hence the name, “Space 220″) really fits that area of the park, and from the descriptions, we think both kids and adults will love the aesthetics. 

We originally expected this restaurant to open up in the Winter of 2019/2020. However, even before the pandemic, it was plagued by several delays.

We finally got to see it open its doors in September 2021.

Check out our Space 220 review for more pics and information.

space 220 astronaut window

Disney Enchantment (Opened October 1, 2021)

New nighttime show
Location: Magic Kingdom

With the big 50th Anniversary Celebration, Disney unveiled a brand-new nighttime show at Magic Kingdom.

disney enchantment magic kingdom

As described by Disney, the evening event “will take you on a journey filled with adventure, wonder and empowerment.”

Disney Enchantment also includes music, enhanced lighting, fireworks, and for the first time projections extending from Cinderella Castle down Main Street, U.S.A.

And yes, Tink does still fly.

Disney KiteTails (Opened October 1, 2021)

New daytime show
Location: Animal Kingdom

Animal Kingdom got in on the big 50th Anniversary action, too.

Disney kite tails

This new show, called “Disney KiteTails,” incorporates performers flying windcatchers and 3D kites – with some stretching to 30 feet long! They depict beloved characters, like Simba, Zazu, Baloo, and King Louie

Harmonious (Opened October 1, 2021)

New nighttime show
Location: Epcot

Illuminations: Reflections of Earth ended in 2019. And for a short period of time before the shutdown, a temporary show called Epcot Forever was presented in its place.


But for the 50th, Disney debuted a brand-new show called Harmonious.

Not only does it include fireworks, but the production also uses large barges that double as both screens for nighttime and fountains during the daytime hours. 

Harmonious at Epcot

Probably the best part of this new show is the music. Filled with Disney favorites performed in a rainbow of languages, the score for this show should appeal to fans young and old.

Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure (opened October 1, 2021)

New attraction
Location: Epcot

The France pavilion got a new Ratatouille-themed attraction named “Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure.”

remy's ratatouille adventure epcot

Like the version at Walt Disney Studios Park in Paris, this 4-D attraction uses an innovative “trackless” ride system. 

Beauty and the Beast Singalong

La Crêperie De Paris (opened October 1, 2021)

New restaurant
Location: Epcot

Now open near the new “Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure” is an authentic crêperie featuring cuisine from chef Jérôme Bocuse who is already behind Chefs de France and Monsieur Paul in the Epcot France pavilion.

The new restaurant features savory and sweet crepes and has both a quick-service and table service dining option.

Epcot Creperie

Cinderella Castle Makeover

Location: Magic Kingdom

Begun just before the big shutdown, Cinderella Castle has now been transformed from the blue/grey paint scheme:

Cindarella Castle

Into a majestic pink masterpiece:

Cinderella Castle

We admit, in the beginning, we were a little bit hesitant about the change.

But after seeing it in person, we love the new look, and it seems perfect for the big 50th Anniversary Celebration.

What new things opened in 2020?

Beauty and the Beast Sing-Along (Opened January 17, 2020)

New attraction
Location: Epcot

Capitalizing on the success of the For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration in Epcot, this new Beauty and the Beast-themed sing-along is housed in the same theater where Impressions de France is shown.

But don’t worry – you can still catch Impressions de France; you’ll just need to check your My Disney Experience app for showtimes.

This new show was created by the same person (Don Hahn) that produced both the animated and live-action versions of Beauty and the Beast.

Beauty and the Beast Sing-Along

Truth be told, we don’t love it. Without the live actors (like you see for the Frozen Sing-Along), it falls flat.

It is a nice place to rest your feet, but we wouldn’t really suggest making it a priority unless you just really, really love Beauty and the Beast.

Awesome Planet (January 17, 2020)

New show
Location: Epcot

The Land pavilion at Epcot got a new film with an environmental message called “Awesome Planet.” 

According to Disney, the film features “spectacular nature photography, immersive in-theater effects, and space sequences created by none other than Industrial Light & Magic (which provided the cinematic foundation for the Star Wars franchise).”

Awesome Planet coming to Epcot

The film itself is beautiful and is a nice time-filler.

Canada Far and Wide (Opened January 17, 2020)

New show
Location: Epcot

Announced at Destination D in November 2018, Canada received an updated 360-degree film in early 2020. 

Called “Canada Far and Wide,” it is packed with gorgeous Canadian views while being narrated by Canadian treasures Eugene Levy and Catherine O Hara. 

Canada Far and Wide

Regal Eagle Smokehouse: Craft Drafts & Barbecue (Opened February 19, 2020)

New restaurant
Location: Epcot

A new quick-service restaurant called “Regal Eagle Smokehouse” has taken the place of Liberty Inn in the American Adventure pavilion.

According to Disney, the “new location is a modern barbecue smokehouse, with all the accompanying sights, sounds, smells, and flavors you love – including a large smoker preparing fine food every day right on the pavilion’s promenade. There is also a redesigned patio for you to enjoy, so get ready to grab a brew, some barbecue, and relax inside Epcot.”

Read more on the Disney Parks Blog.

Regal Eagle Smokehouse

Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway (Opened March 4, 2020)

New attraction
Location: Hollywood Studios

Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway opened up in Spring 2020 as part of Hollywood Studios’ 30th Anniversary.  This new attraction is inside the Chinese Theater and replaced The Great Movie Ride, which closed in 2017.

Featuring new technology Disney calls “2 ½ D”, guests are put inside the zany world of a Mickey Mouse cartoon in the first-ever ride-through attraction themed entirely around Mickey Mouse.

There is no minimum height requirement for this attraction, which means the whole family can enjoy it!

Mickey and Minnie's Ruanway Railway

Read more about it in our Spoiler-Free Guide to Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway.

Mickey Shorts Theater (Opened March 4, 2020)

New attraction
Location: Hollywood Studios

Taking the place of the now-closed Star Wars: Path of the Jedi theater, this new Mickey Shorts Theater opened in Hollywood Studios in March 2020.

The theater features a short film styled after the animated series “Mickey Mouse” on the Disney Channel. Not only is it cute, but it also gives guests a great place to cool off on a hot day.

Disney's Hollywood Studios Mickey Shorts Theater