What’s New in 2022?

Updated on 6/28/22

As much as Disney fans bemoan change, can you honestly imagine a year without ANYTHING new? Theme parks aren’t monuments. New stuff is why we go back again and again, right?

While nothing is the Disney-verse is guaranteed, here are the things Walt Disney World has added or has announced it will add soon.

Coming in June

MagicBand+ at all the parks

Any day now!

A sneak peek at a MagicBand+ (Image Courtesy of Disney)

The latest version of the MagicBand will include color-changing lights, haptic vibractions, and gesture recognition. But will it tell time?

Opened in May

Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind at the new Wonders of Xander Pavilion in EPCOT

Cast members learning the ins and outs of the new Cosmic Rewind attraction so they can share the experience with us this summer. (Image Courtesy of Disney)

Cosmic Rewind opened on May 27. The team calls it indescribable! (But we’ll try anyway.)

Located in the Wonders of Xander Pavilion, Cosmic Rewind features omni-coaster technology, which allows the coaster to launch in reverse and its individual cars to rotate 360 degrees. Scenes inside the pavilion reach the size of a football field and the music comes from a mix tape of 70s and 80s classics. “Jump points” allow the coaster to travel vast distances through the Andromeda Galaxy, a mere 2.5 million light years away from Terra (a.k.a. Earth).

Opened in April

Connections Eatery

Disney released a menu for EPCOT’s newest restaurant. (Image Courtesy of Disney)

Connections Eatery, a fast casual quick-service restaurant is now open in EPCOT’s World Celebration (It is also be a Starbucks location.) POP IN HERE to see the menu.

Salt & Straw at Disney Springs

Disney Springs promises, “taste-provoking ice cream” at Salt & Straw, located in Disney Springs West Side neighborhood. (Image Courtesy of Disney)

Salt & Straw, a unique ice cream chain, opened on April 20 in Disney Springs. Salt & Straw makes an ever-changing menu of small batch ice cream flavors like, pear and blue cheese, chocolate gooey brownie, and salted caramel Thanksgiving Turkey. 

Opened in MARCH

Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser at Hollywood Studios

Ouannii (center), a Rodian musician, greets guests outside the Sublight Lounge in Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser. Image courtesy of Disney. (Image Courtesy of Disney – Matt Stroshane, photographer)

Galactic Starcruiser is everything Disney does best in one big package – storytelling, a VIP theme park experience, a virtual world, a deluxe resort, fine dining, and a cruise ship. (It’ll cost a pretty penny but every minute so far has been documented by “someone” via YouTube, Instagram or TikTok.)

The adventure starts at the terminal. Guests will ride a launch pod into space and board the Halcyon starcruiser. Once inside, those aboard will settle in for a two-night stay in a cabin or suite with a view of space. While cruising, guests will dine at the Crown of Corellia Dining Room, meet and role-play with characters from other galaxies, and take a transport to Batuu for a special mission. 

New Legacy Lightsaber at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge in Hollywood Studios

The new legacy lightsaber hilt option at Doc-Ondar’s. (Image Courtesy of Disney)

Those who travel to Batuu specifically to build a custom lightsaber now have a new hilt option available. This spring, Disney added a hilt design similar to Cal Kestis’ from Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order. The hilt comes two ways — the broken end design as received by Cal or with a dual-saber adapter to replicate the saber when owned by Cal’s Master, Jaro Tapal. For information on how to register to build your own lightsaber, CLICK HERE.

Local Green Orlando at Disney Springs

Robyn Wallace, co-owner of Local Green Orlando. Wallace co-owns the highly successful Local Green in Atlanta and is now serving up fast-casual healthy food at Disney Springs. (Image Courtesy of Disney)

Local Green Orlando has opened a new food truck on the West Side Neighborhood of Disney Springs. Local Green Orlando features vegan, vegetarian and pescatarian dishes. For a link to the menu, CLICK HERE

Opened in FEBRUARY

Adventure Friends Cavalcade at the Magic Kingdom

The new “Disney Adventure Friends Cavalcade!” debuted Feb. 11, 2022, at Magic Kingdom Park. Starring nearly 30 favorite Disney and Pixar friends. Image courtesy of Disney. (Image Courtesy of Disney – David Roark, Photographer)

Disney added this “super-sized cavalcade” in February. So, it’s not quite a parade, but it’s a little longer than previous cavalcades.

The new Disney Adventure Friends Cavalcade has nearly 30 Disney and Pixar friends including Nick and Judy from Zootopia, Baloo and King Louie from The Jungle Book, Jose Carioca and Panchito from The Three Caballeros, Merida, Moana, The Incredibles, and Miguel from Coco.

Coming Soon?

Splash Mountain Reimagined at the Magic Kingdom

Rumor has it this one may not be coming until 2024

Concept art for Splash Mountain. (Image Courtesy of Disney)

Take one of the most popular rides currently at the Magic Kingdom (Splash Mountain) and combine it with one of the hippest Princesses (Tiana) and what do you get? An ultimate Mardi Gras Party-themed, The Princess and the Frog attraction and thrill ride. 

The water-ride itself – a log-flume with three dips and a five-story drop – won’t change, but the décor and music definitely will! This will be the biggest update the attraction has had since it opened in Frontierland on July 17, 1992.

TRON Lightcycle Run

Rumors are circulating that this one may not debut until 2023, but for now, we’re keeping our fingers crossed that it’s still a go for the fall of 2022

Disney recently released this photo of the TRON Lightcycle Run vehicles. Engineers are ready to start testing the vehicles. Since the track is visible to guests in the Magic Kingdom’s Tomorrowland, anyone present during testing will be able to see the cycles in action. (Image Courtesy of Disney)

Tron Lightcycle Run is a high-speed rollercoaster with steep turns and drops. It’s being added to Tomorrowland in the Magic Kingdom, right next to Space Mountain. From what we’ve been reading, it WILL NOT go upside down, but its track stands pretty high off the ground. Its expected top speed will be about 59 mph, making it the fastest rollercoaster at Walt Disney World. (Yes, Test Track vehicles do reach about 65 mph, but Test Track isn’t considered a rollercoaster.)

Will Lightcycle Run give Space Mountain a “run” for its money in 2022? We hope the answer is, “YES!”

Jessie’s Trading Post and Roundup Rodeo BBQ in Hollywood Studios

Those that know are saying it’s coming in 2022!

BBQ fare is coming to Toy Story Land. (Image Courtesy of Disney)

Toy Story land will get a new toy store and a new restaurant this year. Jessie’s Trading Post will be THE PLACE in Toy Story Land to pick up the latest toys and souvenirs. Roundup Rodeo BBQ will be a family restaurant with two dining rooms and a “rodeo” put on by Andy.

CommuniCore Plaza & Hall, with gardens in World Celebration

To be completed in 2023 (hopefully)

This new facility, which you can see in the upper-right side of this rendering, is inspired by the original EPCOT aesthetic apparent throughout the park’s transformation, including the timeless triangular geometry most prominently featured in Spaceship Earth.  (Image and Description Courtesy of Disney)

CommuniCore Plaza & CommuniCore Hall are an outdoor facility and indoor event spaces surrounded by gardens. This will be the place to go during festivals for demonstrations, exhibits, galleries, music, and shaded seating (no more balancing those tiny festival food plates on a trash can).

Also coming nearby are:

  • Dreamers Point, a new area dedicated to Walt Disney that will include a statue of Walt, a wishing tree, and a story fountain.
  • Moana: Journey of Water, a walking trail with gardens and interactive water features.
  • PLAY! Pavilion, a city with interactive experiences and characters. (This one appears on the latest Disney maps, so it should be soon.)

Summer House on the Lake at Disney Springs (a restaurant)

2023

Summer House on the Lake is coming to Disney Springs in 2023. The restaurant will be located on the site of the former Bongo’s Cafe and will replace the plan to build a Beatrix in the same location.

Currently, Summer House has locations in Chicago and Maryland. Signature menu items include the Malibu Peanut Noodle Salad, JL’s Soft Shell Crab Sandwich, and the Blue Cheese Peppercorn Burger. This may also be a location to brunch. Let’s hope.

KEEP CHECKING BACK

We’ll keep updating this page as we collect more announcements and exact dates.

What was New in 2021?

If you haven’t been to the parks post-pandemic, here’s a quick and dirty list of the NEW stuff that opened in 2021:

  • Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure in Epcot’s France Pavilion
  • Space 220 Restaurant and Lounge in Epcot’s World Discover neighborhood
  • Harmonious a new EPCOT nighttime show
  • Disney Enchantment the new Magic Kingdom nighttime show
  • The Fab 50 Character Collection sculptures (50 “golden statues” located in all four parks)
  • Beacon of Magic – EARidescent lighting of the park icons in celebration of the Magic Kingdom’s 18-month birthday celebration (from Oct. 1, 2021 to April of 2023)

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