35 Ways Disney World Will Be Different Next Year

There is a LOT going on at Walt Disney World, and we’ve seen so many changes just in the past year. And we’re not even referring to the changes with health and safety guidelines (which will likely continue to be modified according to CDC recommendations).

Cinderella Castle

We’re talking about other changes that will make Disney World completely different in 2022.

So if you’re headed to Disney World in 2022, here’s how it will be different

General Differences

50th Anniversary

Disney World’s 50th anniversary kicks off on October 1, 2021, and there will be signs of that celebration throughout the parks and resorts. We’ve already seen a ton of construction, additions, and updates at the parks, and we expect to see even more before the celebration officially begins.

She’s a beaut!

This celebration will not only run through 2022, but will also extend into 2023. It’s going to be a fun party!

Tickets On Sale Now for Disney World’s 50th Anniversary Fan Event

Disney’s Magical Express

Disney World’s free airport-to-Disney World transportation for resort guests, Magical Express, will no longer be available as of January, 2022. So getting from Orlando International Airport to your Disney World resort will be different.

Disney’s Magical Express will be retiring next year

However, Mears Connect should be running by then, though it won’t be free. Guests might also want to consider a rideshare service, such as Uber or Lyft, or a limo service like Happy Limousine.

Disney’s Magical Express Will Be Suspended  —  Is Cruise Line Transportation Sticking Around?


Another Disney World resort guest freebie, the MagicBand, is no longer free. Certain MagicBands can still be purchased at a discount by Disney World resort guests, and it doesn’t look like Disney will stop selling other MagicBands anytime soon.


Instead, guests who prefer not purchasing a MagicBand can use Magic Mobile on the My Disney Experience app to do everything that MagicBands do — check in to their hotel rooms, scan into the parks, etc.

NEWS: Free MagicBands No Longer Available for Disney World Resort Hotel Guests

Fab 50 Golden Sculptures

As we previously mentioned, signs of the 50th anniversary will be all over Disney World. That includes new Fab 50 golden sculptures that guests will find scattered all over the parks.


These golden statues will represent some of Disney’s most beloved characters, including Mickey Mouse, Goofy, Cogsworth, Lumiere, Daisy Duck, Timon, Pumbaa, and more.

PHOTOS: ALL of the 50th Anniversary Golden Character Statues Revealed by Disney World (So Far)

Cast Member Nametags

Even Cast Members will look a little different in 2022. Not only do they now have a more relaxed dress code and can sport more hairstyles and even show visible tattoos, but they’re also getting brand new nametags to celebrate the 50th anniversary.


The new tags will feature the “EARidescent” color scheme with shimmery gold, purple, and pink accents. The 50th anniversary logo is at the top .

PHOTOS: Disney World Reveals First Look at 50th Anniversary Cast Member Name Tags


Over the past year, capacity at Disney World has been limited due to the global pandemic. However, Disney has started to increase capacity, and it’s highly likely that there will be a lot more people in the parks and at the resorts than we’ve seen since 2019.

2021 summer crowds at Magic Kingdom

We don’t have official confirmation on when Disney might raise capacity to a full 100%, but we expect that it’s part of the plan for the big 50th anniversary. However, it does seem like Park Pass reservations might hang around to help Disney better manage crowds.

NEWS: Disney World Park Pass Reservations Now Available Through Early 2023

Early Theme Park Entry and Extended Evening Hours

Although Disney World has ended Extra Magic Hours, it will be bringing in something similar. Disney World guests staying at Value and Moderate resorts will have access to Early Theme Park Park Entry, allowing them to get into whichever park they choose on whichever day they choose 30 minutes early.

Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Deluxe Resort guests will have access to Extended Evening Hours, which will be available at specific parks on specific days, in addition to Early Theme Park Entry as well.

How Do You Qualify for Disney World’s New Extended Evening Hours?

Other Features We Expect To Return

Although FastPass+ has ended, Disney World will be launching Disney Genie with its optional paid components, Genie+ and Individual Attraction Selections. Using the new Lightning Lanes (aka the old FastPass+ lines) won’t be free, so learn more about these features here.

Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway FastPass

We expect to see the Disney Dining Plan make a comeback before 2022 — this is one of the services of our readers ask about the most.

Disney World Gives UPDATE on the Disney Dining Plan


All Resorts Will Be Open

For the first time in forever, all Disney World resorts will be open again by 2022. We finally have reopening dates for the Port Orleans resorts, All Star Music, and All Star Sports Resorts.

Disney’s Port Orleans — French Quarter

This will be the first time since Disney World’s closure in 2020 that every resort will be open to guests.

Here’s Everything That Will Reopen With Disney’s All Star Movies Hotel!

More Restaurants Will Be Open

A lot of Disney World restaurants have been closed since the resort reopened, but most should be reopened by 2022. We already have reopening dates for so many restaurants coming up soon, and with many resorts reopening, we expect their dining locations will also reopen.

Yachtsman Steakhouse will reopen soon!

We’ll be letting you know what restaurants you’ll be able to dine at next year.

Most Construction Will Be Complete

If you’ve visited Disney World over the past year, you will have seen a lot of construction at the parks, at the resorts, and all over the World. Much of this construction was to upgrade the property for the 50th anniversary, so most of it should be complete by 2022.

Construction for Tron ride

For the first time in several years, guests should be able to see Disney World without all the scaffolding, scrims, and construction projects going on almost everywhere.

Walt Disney World Swan Reserve Hotel

Speaking of construction, we’ve been watching the progress of the Walt Disney Swan Reserve Hotel, Disney World’s newest hotel, which will open this fall after being delayed in early September.

Walt Disney World Swan Reserve

The Swan Reserve will have amazing views from its rooftop lounge and will feature a new wedding venue. It’s also close to both EPCOT and Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Preview the Guest Rooms at the Walt Disney World Swan Reserve Hotel

Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser

Speaking of new hotels, Disney recently announced that the highly-anticipated Star Wars hotel, the Galactic Starcruiser, will open in spring 2022. But it’s not just a hotel — it’s a two-night interactive experience that will let guests star in their very own Star Wars adventure.


As we get closer to the hotel’s opening date, got details about dining, experiences, and how much it’ll all cost.

There Will Be a Hidden Part of the Star Wars Hotel in Disney World

Magic Kingdom

TRON Lightcycle Run

Although we do not have an exact opening date on the upcoming TRON Lightcycle Run attraction at Magic Kingdom, we are cautiously optimistic that it will finally open sometime in 2022.

Construction on TRON Lightcycle Run

We’ve been watching construction on the project since it began, and it does seem to be moving right along. So fingers crossed!

PHOTOS: Take A Look at the Latest TRON Progress in Disney World!

Cinderella Castle

If you haven’t been to Disney World recently, you are going to be shocked at the 50th anniversary transformation of Cinderella Castle. Not only did it get a paint job last year, but it also got a lot of ribbons and other decor, spiffing it up for the big celebration.

Cinderella Castle transformation

There’s even a big 50th anniversary logo on the front of the castle to tie the whole look together. Needless to say, in 2022, your castle photos are going to look a lot different. Oh, and did we mention that it’s getting a new lighting scheme, too?

PHOTOS: Cinderella Castle’s Makeover Reaches Another MAJOR Milestone!


Say goodbye to Happily Ever After fireworks — but don’t be sad, because a brand new nighttime show at Magic Kingdom is set to take its place. The show is called Enchantment and will not only feature traditional fireworks but also projections along Main Street, U.S.A.!


It’s sure to be spectacular. There will also be new music and lighting, too.

BREAKING: New Magic Kingdom Fireworks Show Announced for 50th Anniversary

New Cavalcades

Although daytime parades have not been announced to return to Disney World by 2022, there will be a new character cavalcade at Magic Kingdom.  It’s called “Mickey’s Celebration Cavalcade.”

Princesses Cavalcade

The new cavalcade will feature Mickey and all his friends traveling down Magic Kingdom’s parade route.

NEWS: A New Character Cavalcade is Coming for Disney World’s 50th Anniversary!

New Character Outfits

And while Mickey and his friends are strutting their stuff down Main Street, U.S.A.,  they’ll also be sporting some brand new outfits. Mickey and Minnie will be dressed to the nines in their new “EARidescent” costumes!


Donald, Daisy, Chip ‘n’ Dale, and Goofy will be getting new outfits, too.

NEWS! Mickey and Minnie are Getting a Fabulous Wardrobe for Disney World’s 50th Anniversary

Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor Will Be Open

After Disney World reopened, many shows and attractions remained closed. But Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor is returning, and guests coming to Disney World in 2022 will be able to yuk it up with Mike and his pals again.

Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor

Don’t forget to laugh — the monsters need all that laugh energy to help power Monstropolis!

Ranking the Rides of Magic Kingdom —  Based on YOUR Reviews

Disney’s Animal Kingdom


In honor of the 50th anniversary, Animal Kingdom is getting a brand new daytime show called Disney KiteTails. The show will happen at the Discovery River Amphitheater throughout the day and will feature performers flying windcatchers and kites to Disney music.


It will also have huge three-dimensional kites of Disney characters soaring over the water. It’s sure to be breathtaking.

NEWS: Disney’s Animal Kingdom to Get a NEW Daytime Show for 50th Anniversary

Tree Of Life To Get New Lighting

Cinderella Castle isn’t the only structure getting a glow-up for the 50th. The Tree of Life will also light up at night as a Beacon of Magic.


Imagineers plan on having all the lights make the tree look like it’s full of enchanted fireflies.

Walt Disney World Chronicles: The Story of the Tree of Life

Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Another iconic Disney building getting a lighting upgrade is the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. Although we don’t have a lot of details about the new lighting scheme yet, it will be along the lines of the “EARidescence” theme.


That means we can expect The Hollywood Tower Hotel to be lit up in pinks, purples, and golds.

The Biggest Surprises From Disney World’s 50th Anniversary Announcements

Wonderful World of Animation

The nighttime show Wonderful World of Animation has officially returned to Hollywood Studios. This nighttime spectacular uses projections on the Chinese Theater to tell the story of Disney animation, but there are some fireworks, too.

The Wonderful World of Animation

Guests haven’t seen this show since Disney World’s reopening, so it’s good to see it back before 2022.

The Things Disney Fans Love to Hate

Beauty and the Beast — Live On Stage

One of Hollywood Studios’ most popular shows has returned, too — and guests visiting the park can once again get to enjoy a live musical retelling of the tale as old as time in Beauty and the Beast — Live On Stage.

Beauty and the Beast – Live on Stage

The Beauty and the Beast show returned to the Theater of the Stars on August 15th.


Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure

Of all the parks, the park that will be the most transformed in 2022 will be EPCOT. And Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure will open on October 1st at the France Pavilion, so guests can enjoy being shrunk down to the size of a rat in 2022 and beyond.

Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure

Remy will require Virtual Queue Boarding Passes when it opens, but it will be worth it for a good time for the whole family.

La Creperie de Paris

Along with a new ride, the France Pavilion is also getting a new dining spot! La Creperie de Paris will also open on October 1st, serving up crepes and galettes to hungry Disney World guests.

La Crêperie de Paris

The menu here comes from the team headed by celebrity chef Jérôme Bocuse, the man behind the menus at both Chefs de France and Monsieur Paul, both at the France Pavilion.

PHOTOS! Check Out the TINY Hidden Detail We Spotted in EPCOT’s France Pavilion!


EPCOT is getting a brand new nighttime show, and we’ve been following its progress as structures continue to get added to it and as Disney conducts testing. And the first show of Harmonious will be on October 1st.


Between this show and Magic Kingdom’s Enchantment, 2022 is going to be THE year for new, groundbreaking Disney nighttime shows.

VIDEO: Sneak Peek at EPCOT’s Harmonious Firework Show

Spaceship Earth

Spaceship Earth is one of the other Disney World icons that’s getting a new lighting set-up. The new programmable LED lights will allow designers to create custom lighting shows ON the big globe itself. Disney World has been busy installing the new lights so they should be ready in time for the 50th anniversary celebration.


We’ve already seen the entrance of EPCOT in front of Spaceship Earth get a makeover — there’s a new fountain and new flags there now. And the Leave A Legacy display has an all-new look!

EPCOT’s Trash Cans Just Got a NEW Look

Space 220

The space-themed Space 220 restaurant will finally open after many months of delays. For a while there, we thought we might get to go to actual space before we had an opening date, but now that we know it’s opening this month, we can finally let ourselves get excited!

Space 220 Concept Art ©Disney

The concept of the restaurant includes screens that act as “windows” inside the restaurant that will make guests believe they are dining in space.

Five Things We Hope to See at Epcot’s Space 220 Restaurant

Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind

Another ride that we’re cautiously optimistic about is Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind. Although Disney has not released an opening date, we’ve been following progress on the attraction’s construction.

Ride Vehicles on Guardians of the Galaxy ©Zach Riddley

EPCOT has recently added the attraction to its park map, so we might get an opening date announcement soon. We do expect that it will be open before the end of 2022.

What’s Going on With Disney World’s Guardians of the Galaxy Ride?

Turtle Talk with Crush

Another attraction that reopened recently is Turtle Talk With Crush. Guests were reunited with their favorite sea turtle on August 21st.

Turtle Talk with Crush

This show, located in the Sea Base (which is the exhibits at the exit of The Seas with Nemo and Friends attraction), is an interactive attraction where guests talk with Crush!

Over 20 Spots at Walt Disney World That Never Reopened in 2020

PLAY! Pavilion

The PLAY! Pavilion will feature some brand new experiences devoted to offering a new kind of fun for guests. The concept is an interactive city full of hands-on games and activities.

Play Pavilion Concept Art ©Disney

PLAY! Pavilion guests will also get an opportunity to interact with Disney characters in a way they’ve never been able to before. Disney has not yet released an opening date, but we’re optimistic that it will happen before the end of 2022.

NEWS: Epcot’s Transformation Continues with New Entrance and New Play Pavilion

Club Cool

The original Club Cool was so…well…cool. It allowed Disney World guests to try different Coca-Cola beverages from around the world, and there were a lot of fun flavors to try. Club Cool closed in 2019, but only to make room for a brand new version of the beverage stop!


We’ve been seeing sneak peeks of the new Club Cool, and it looks like Disney is putting a lot of thought into the new drink spot. It will have a brand new look and new offerings. We should see it open by or in 2022.

Club Cool at Disney World Will Return Soon, and We’ve Got NEW Design Details!

Creations Shop

EPCOT’s main merchandise store, Mouse Gear, will be going away, but it’s going to be replaced with a bigger and better store called Creations Shop. This store will be the “flagship merchandise location” for EPCOT and will feature merchandise that represents the “bold sleek design” of the park.

Mouse Gear in EPCOT

The new shop will feature floor-to-ceiling glass walls with a color scheme that will match EPCOT’s look and feel. The new store is set to open soon.

PHOTOS: Another Look at the DETAILS Inside EPCOT’s New Creations Shop!

Disney Springs

One thing that we’re still waiting for Disney to announce an opening date for is Cirque du Soleil Drawn To Life.  The new show was originally set to open last year, but its premiere was delayed.

Drawn to Life Preview

However, we’ve recently seen signs that progress is being made on the show — we noticed a job listing for a sales coordinator that mentions it. We are hopeful that Drawn to Life will premiere in either 2021 or 2022.

First Look at New Cirque du Soleil Show ‘Drawn to Life’ Coming Soon to Disney!

So if you’re looking for a reason to go to Disney World in 2022, we just gave you 35! Disney World is going to have a lot of new and returning offerings for guests, and we can’t wait to experience them all.

4 BIG Reasons to Visit Disney World in 2022

Are you planning a trip to Disney World in 2022? Let us know what you’re looking forward to the most in the comments.

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