It’s hard to believe that 2021 is almost over, but we’re already starting to look ahead to 2022. It will be here before you know it!
And as you can go ahead and book your 2022 trip to Disney World, you might want to know about some very important things that will happen next year — and what dates they’ll be occurring.
January 1st-December 31st
Walt Disney World’s 50th Anniversary Celebration started on October 1, 2021, and lasts 18 months through 2022 and into 2023. The celebration has brought new character cavalcades, new nighttime shows, EARidescent decor, and more to the parks for the next year and a half.
January 1, 2022, brings the end of Disney’s Magical Express transportation service. Starting that date, guests can book a shuttle through Mears Connect, use a taxi, book a towncar, or use a rideshare service to get to and from the Orlando International Airport and Disney World resort hotels. A train service between Orlando Airport and Disney World has been planned, but it may not be available until 2026 or later.
January 14 – February 21
The EPCOT International Festival of the Arts begins January 14 and runs through February 21. EPCOT guests can expect to see a variety of food booths, activities, and entertainment themed around the visual, culinary, and performing arts.
January 4th-Mid April
Expedition Everest will go down for a lengthy refurbishment that is scheduled to last three or more months. Guests who visit Disney’s Animal Kingdom during this time will need to make note that this ride will be closed.
The Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend will finally return as an in-person event to the resort. This will bring a lot of guests to the resort, and they will be running to bring home some pretty cool medals. Those visiting over this weekend and not running will want to note that crowd levels will be higher, and there could be some transportation delays.
January 10th-February 10th
For a month at the beginning of the year, Splash Mountain will be undergoing a brief refurbishment for routine maintenance. During this time, no major changes will be made to the ride (it’s not time for the Princess and the Frog overhaul just yet!). Disney World’s water rides tend to have routine maintenance on an annual basis.
Another closure that will happen in January is a short refurbishment for the Disney Skyliner. For a few days at the end of the month, Skyliner service between Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, Disney’s Riviera Resort, and EPCOT will be unavailable. During this time, alternate forms of transportation will be provided for guests wishing to travel that path.
Early January-Late February
Over at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, the Flippin’ Fins Pool will close for refurbishment from early January through late February 2022. During that time, guests are encouraged to use one of the other resort pools. No official dates have been announced for the refurb at the time of publishing.
Super Bowl Sunday happens on February 13th this year, the day before Valentine’s Day. We expect to see a lot of guests celebrating both big days at the parks, but the winner of the Super Bowl typically visits the theme parks the day after the big game.
For just a few days in the middle of the month, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad will be closed in Magic Kingdom for a refurbishment. The ride will receive “routine maintenance” during that time, so don’t expect any big changes.
The Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend takes place during the last weekend in February. Again, this is when we expect to see more guests in the park, so if you want to avoid crowds, you might want to skip the parks that weekend.
Late February-Mid April
After the Flippin’ Fins Pool completes its refurbishment, the Cozy Cone Pool at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort will close in its place and get some updates as well. No specific dates are listed for this refurbishment yet either, but the other two pools will remain open during the closure.
On March 1st, we have one of the most highly-anticipated openings at Disney World for the past few years — the Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser. This new hotel offers a 2-night adventure, similar to a cruise, where guests can “live out their Star Wars story.”
March 2nd-July 4th
On March 2nd (yes, the DAY after Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser opens), the 2022 EPCOT International Flower & Garden Festival kicks off. This year’s festival is bringing back several outdoor kitchens, beautiful topiaries, and the Garden Rocks concert series.
March 31st-April 3rd
The next runDisney event is the runDisney Springtime Surprise Weekend. This is a brand new event that will replace the former Star Wars Rival Run Weekend.
Easter is on April 17th and shortly before that, EPCOT usually hosts the Egg-stravaganza Easter Egg Hunt that tasks guests with finding hidden Disney-themed Easter Eggs through the EPCOT. Maps will be available for purchase throughout the park, and those who complete the hunt will win a prize.
April is Earth Month, and Animal Kingdom usually celebrates by offering up unique snacks, activities, entertainment, and more for a limited time during that month. Earth Day officially takes place on Friday, April 22nd.
April 30th-May 1st
The Spring Dapper Day event is also held at Disney World in April. This is an unofficial event that usually happens on different days in two separate parks where guests dress up in their best vintage fashion. It’s always a lot of fun to attend Dapper Day and seeing all the wonderful and creative outfits guests have put together.
May the 4th is Star Wars Day, and Disney usually does a little bit to celebrate with special snacks, events, activities, and more. Expect to see loads of Star Wars fans flocking to Disney’s Hollywood Studios on that day to celebrate at Galaxy’s Edge.
At some point during the summer season, Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind is set to open in Disney World. Summer technically runs from mid-June to mid-September, so the grand opening could fall anywhere during that time period. Until then, we’ll just have to enjoy the few photos and videos we’ve already gotten as a sneak peek!
Gay Days takes place at Magic Kingdom in June and while it’s not an official event from Disney, many guests will flock to the parks to celebrate during that time. In the month of June, you may also notice special pride merchandise and snacks.
EPCOT’s Food and Wine Festival is one of the biggest events of the year, as well as the one that runs the longest. It generally starts a little later in the year, but in 2020 and 2021, the event started in mid-July and ended in late November. This is a great time for foodies to visit Disney World because guests have an opportunity to sample some of the most delicious and unique cuisines from all over the world.
Halloween season officially kicks off at Disney World in August, which means that the parks get decorated for the season, Halloween snacks start showing up, and the After Hours Halloween parties begin.
The holiday season begins shortly after the Halloween season ends. The parks get decorated for Christmas, and there are extra ticketed holiday parties that guests can attend. Guests will want to keep an eye on the dates of these parties, as they do mean that Magic Kingdom will close early to regular guests on those days.
This is also the time that EPCOT’s Festival of the Holidays begins, which includes holiday-themed food booths from around the world, special activities, events like the Candlelight Processional, and more.
There are a few things that are happening at Disney World in 2022 that have not been assigned specific opening dates yet. Here’s the full list:
- The return of Festival of Fantasy
- The return of Fantasmic!
- The return of Mickey’s Royal Friendship Faire with a special 50th Anniversary show
- Launch of MagicBand+
- Launch of Hey Disney in Disney World Resort rooms
- Updated DVC rooms at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort
- Salt & Straw at Disney Springs
- Reimagined version of Finding Nemo: The Musical
Those are all the official dates that we have right now, but we’ll keep you updated as more are announced! Stay tuned to AllEars!
Will you be going to Disney World in 2022? Let us know in the comments.
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