Visiting Walt Disney World, or anywhere, may not be for everyone in 2022. That decision should be left up to you and your family. All of those reasons are valid for you, but there are plenty of reasons to visit Walt Disney World in 2022, and we give you 22 of them. Get it? 22 for 2022? Aren’t we clever?
#1 – Because, 2020 & 2021
Let’s face it, 2020 and 2021 have been a catastrophe, a train wreck, a dumpster fire, a cherry bomb in an outhouse type of year. Our world has been turned upside down. I think we are universally glad that 2021 is officially gone. With stay at home, school at home and work at home, we are all sick of our homes. We could all use a break.
2021 was not kind to Disney either, while Walt Disney World has been open but severely restricted during most of the year, Disneyland finally reopened mid-2021 and Disney Cruise Line has been sailing since Fall, but with severe restrictions.
2022 is going to be better than 2021!
#2 – Health and Safety Measures
The Walt Disney Company has spent over $1 BILLION dollars on health and safety measures, most of which has been at Walt Disney World, as it is the only park currently open in the United States. When you visit Disney World, you will notice the incredible detail they go into cleaning the parks and resorts. Disney World has always been “clean”, but nothing compared to what it is like now. From the requirement to wear a mask for everyone in all public spaces to dedicated cleaners at the parks and resorts, they have thought of it all.
Stay up to date with the latest status of Walt Disney World safety measure here: Know before you go Walt Disney World
#3 – Reduced Capacity
In order to reopen in July 2020, Walt Disney World was forced to reduce capacity at its parks. They opened at 25% capacity, and are currently somewhere higher (though Disney does not release capacity figures). Currently, most of the Disney resorts are open, but few are at full capacity, and you will notice a definite difference when in the parks, there just are not as many people around.
#4 – Shorter wait times
Due to much lower capacity than normal, especially during historically busy times of the year, the wait times for most rides have been much shorter than normal. Currently, on New Year’s Eve, one of the busiest days of the year, Haunted Mansion (15 minutes), Jungle Cruise (30 minutes), Expedition Everest (30 minutes) and Avatar Flight of Passage (105 minutes) are all considerably shorter than what would be expected.
Now, some rides have similar wait times as before due to spacing while loading the rides. Also, with spacing in the lines, they may seem really long compared to normal, but they move very quickly.
#5 – It is still MAGIC!
Fireworks and parades finally returned during 2021! But many other regular Disney happenings are not happening. While we miss the past, trust me, Walt Disney World is still MAGIC! Disney is fully aware of the missing magic that special events bring, and they have stepped up and added in special events through the parks, such as Character Cavalcades (#6) and even characters in their natural state (#7) you can see throughout the parks, that you would never have seen prior to 2020.
#6 – Character Cavalcade
Of course, there are currently no character interactions while at Disney World, which totally makes sense. This is good on two fronts, no waiting in line with your 3-year-old for 2 hours to see a character that they don’t even recognize and Character Cavalcades. Character Cavalcades are like mini parades, however, they are unscheduled, they just happen, they are smaller (typically include one float and a few characters), they are quick and magical. Everyone who has experienced a Character Cavalcade realizes that this is the future of Disney parades. Imagine seeing Merida on horseback riding down Main Street or Anna in her royal carriage.
#7 – Disney Characters
Disney used to do this years and years ago, and it has finally made a comeback in 2020, and will hopefully be around forever. Disney has placed characters throughout the parks, in their “natural” habitat. They are placed away from guests, so no meeting them, but you can see and hear them. Imagine seeing Winnie the Pooh chasing butterflies, or the evil Step Sisters heckling guests from the castle balconies. My favorite? The Country Bears come to life and appear on the balcony above the entrance to their attraction.
#8 – Princess and the Frog Splash Mountain
The unnamed remake of Splash Mountain, complete with a Princess and the Frog theme, will set sail in 2022. The ride itself should remain the same but Song of the South will be replaced with Princess and the Frog characters and music. No opening date has been announced, but it is expected to open Fall, 2022
#9 – 50th Anniversary
Did you know that 2021 is Walt Disney World’s 50th anniversary? Officially, the 50th anniversary was October 1, 2021, but the special 50th-anniversary event will continue through all of 2022! The event will be celebrated across all four theme parks at Walt Disney World in 2022, and will feature some incredible EARidescent excitement!
#10 – Disney Skyliner
While technically the Skyliner opened in late 2019, it is a reason why you should visit in 2022. Disney’s Skyliner is the future of Walt Disney World transportation. While the buses and boats aren’t going away anytime soon, it is obvious that more and more Disney resorts will be connected to the Skyliner system in the future. The Disney Skyliner is a gondola system, similar to what is used in ski resorts around the world. The Skyliner currently serves Pop Century, Art of Animation, Caribbean Beach and the new Riviera Resorts and connects them to Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Epcot (and technically the Epcot area resorts can use the Skyliner to access Hollywood Studios, but it takes a while).
The great thing about the Skyliner in 2022 is that they limit each pod to your group only, so if you are concerned about riding on a bus with a bunch of people you do not know, you can ride the Skyliner all day with just your family.
#11 – Updated Polynesian Village Resort and Contemporary Resort
Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort has been closed since last March, partially due to the pandemic closure, and partially due to a complete overhaul of the common areas. The resort will feature a new monorail station, entrance, grand house interior, water areas and remodeled Ceremonial House and retail outlets. In addition to the overhaul, Disney will be adding a lot of Moana-themed additions throughout the resort, from the pool and Ceremonial House to the guest rooms.
Disney’s Contemporary resort is also got a big makeover. All of the guest rooms have been completely redone with a classy Incredibles theme, they are Incredible!
#12 – Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser
Probably the most looked forward to addition at Walt Disney World since Animal Kingdom opened in 1998 (can it really be that long ago?!!). The Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser is not a ride, and in reality, it is not a resort, it is a combination of the two. You will not be able to spend your entire vacation at SW:GS, you will be limited to a 2-night stay. But that 2-night stay will be fully immersed in Star Wars from check-in to check-out and will include immersive activities at the resort as well as in Disney’s Hollywood Studios (the planet Batuu). Have you noticed that the rooms do not have real windows?
Disney’s Star Wars: Galactic Starcruises opens on March 1, 2022. Reservations are now available. Find out more about Star Wars: Galactic Starcruisers.
#13 – Space 220
In a slightly related topic, Space 220 recently opened in Epcot. Space 220 is a one of a kind restaurant. You will board a special elevator for a journey 220 miles above Earth to a space station where you will enjoy fantastic meals and drinks while taking in the views. While nothing about Space 220 will be Star Wars related, it will surely be the most popular restaurant in Walt Disney World for years to come.
#14 – Roundup Rodeo BBQ
You can never have too many Toy Story themed meals. Roundup Rodeo BBQ will be located in Toy Story Land in Disney’s Hollywood Studios and will be hosted by Woody, of course, your favorite sheriff.
You will be surrounded by all your Toy Story friends participating in Woody’s rodeo. Roundup Rodeo BBQ isn’t just a restaurant, it is an immersive experience, featuring toys, games and playsets for children of all ages. You won’t be able to find Woody dining on BBQ quite yet, but this restaurant should open sometime in Summer, 2022.
#15 – Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure
Originally scheduled to open in 2020, Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure just opened a few months ago in Epcot. It has been received with incredible reviews and long lines.
Remy’s will be a unique ride at Walt Disney World, it is trackless. You board a Remy inspired mouse vehicle and see the world as the size of a rat. There is sure to be plenty of gags and surprises (the Disneyland Paris version is one of the most popular rides).
#16 – Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind
Another addition to Epcot, Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind is being constructed where Ellen’s Energy Adventure used to be located. I sure hope the Universe of Energy dinosaurs survive another ride change and make an appearance. Guardians of the Galaxy will be a “family-friendly storytelling coaster”. OK, well, that is new. The cars spin 360 degrees and even reverse just for takeoff. Surely Guardians will be a fun, incredible attraction, and I can’t wait to ride it. Currently on schedule to open during the Summer of 2022, though no exact opening date has been announced.
#17 – Tron Lightcycle Run
If you are lucky enough to have been to Shanghai Disneyland (I have!!!), you had a chance to experience the original Tron ride, Tron Lightcycle Power Run. The new Walt Disney World version is being built in the Magic Kingdom next to Space Mountain. Tron is easily the second-best ride in Shanghai behind Pirates of the Caribbean, and my guess is that the Walt Disney World Tron will become a park favorite. An upright roller coaster, it is everything you can imagine. Just look up a few Youtube Videos of the Shanghai version, you will be planning a trip tomorrow, I promise you.
One hint, you must ride Tron during the day and again after it gets dark. The ride is partially outdoors, and the nighttime version is INCREDIBLE.
There is not an opening date yet for Tron Lightcycle run, but it is currently expected to open sometime during the late Summer of 2022
#18 – Epcot Festivals
In 2022, Epcot has announced a full schedule of festivals! Festival time at Epcot is my favorite time to go, I love all the food booths and extra activities around the park. So fun!
- Epcot International Festival of the Arts – January 8 – February 22, 2022
- Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival – March 3 – July 5, 2022
- Epcot International Food & Wine Festival – July 15 – November 20, 2022
- Epcot International Festival of the Holidays – November 26 – December 30, 2022
If you are planning a visit in 2022, be sure to include an Epcot festival, it will be worth your time.
#19 – Harmonious
Sticking with Epcot, Harmonious opened late last year. Harmonious is Epcot’s sequel to Illuminations, the super-popular fireworks show. Harmonious however is completely different, featuring daytime effects (water fountains and lights) and a nighttime show bigger and better than anything Illuminations even considered doing. Watch for Disney characters to be included in the show as well as lasers, fireworks, LED lights and musicians from around the World Showcase.
#20 – Magic Kingdom Railroad
If you have been to the Magic Kingdom in the last year, you will have noticed one major attraction has been missing. Due to the construction of Tron Lightcycle Run (#17), the path of the Magic Kingdom railroad had to be altered, and therefore the train has not run since 2019. Good news for railroad fans, the Magic Kingdom railroad is scheduled to reopen this Summer.
#21 – Epcot Neighborhoods
Epcot has been a hot mess for some time now, and finally, it looks like during 2022 much of the mess will be resolved. Epcot will be divided into neighborhoods. We have all known World Showcase for years, the rest of Epcot will receive names as well. While the names for these neighborhoods were announced in conjunction with the 50th Anniversary, 2022 will be the year that Epcot neighborhoods come together. From the new shops and restaurants in World Celebration to new attractions in World Discover, World Nature and World Showcase, Epcot looks to be emerging from the ashes of years of bad decisions.
#23 – Discounts!
As a bonus, Walt Disney World has released 2022 discounts! Now available for March 6 – July 7, these are the first discounts made available since last Summer!
There you go, 22 great reasons to visit Walt Disney World in 2022. Plus, I didn’t even mention some great attractions that opened in 2020 and 2021 that you likely missed such as Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway, new Epcot films (Canada, China and Awesome Planet) and Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance! So many new things!!!
If you would like more information or make a visit Walt Disney World in 2022 or would like to check on some options and prices for a vacation. please feel free to contact us for a free, no-obligation Mouseketrips quote.