Can you believe we’re just a few weeks away from 2022? It’s shaping up to be a big year if you’re a Disney World fan, with the continuation of the 50th Anniversary Celebration plus much, much more!
If you’re getting ready to swap out your 2021 calendar for a 2022 edition, you’ll want to make sure you circle the following dates!
Our list today contains important events with hard dates confirmed by Disney, but we ALSO wanted to include some exciting updates, openings, and more that we know will happen sometime in 2022, but with no date announced as of this writing! And, we’ll conclude our list with things we’re crossing our fingers take place in 2022, but Disney has yet to provide an updated timeline. Let’s dive right in!
Hard dates we know about for 2022
January 1st: Mears Connect launches
2022 is kicking off with a major change in the way we travel to and from Orlando International Airport. Disney’s Magical Express will suspend its service at the end of this year, and taking its place is Mears Connect.
This service provided by Mears will cost an additional fee, so be sure to look over ALL of your options before selecting your ground transportation to and from your Disney World Resort hotel.
January 5th-9th: Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend
After being canceled in 2021, the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend will return in 2022! This is runDisney’s big event of the year and the only runDisney marathon weekend of the year that includes a full-length marathon run.
January 14: EPCOT International Festival of the Arts
The first EPCOT festival of the year, the International Festival of the Arts, will kick off on January 14th, 2022. This festival will feature the return of the Disney on Broadway Concert Series, which skipped a year in 2021.
The Festival of the Arts is definitely a little different from the other three festivals, which makes it a totally unique and special event that we look forward to every year!
Click here to check out the full lineup from the Disney on Broadway Concert Series coming to EPCOT’s Festival of the Arts!
February 24th – 27th: Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend
The runDisney events continue in February of 2022 with the Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend!
March 1st: Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser opens
The highly-anticipated Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser hotel will “embark” on its “maiden voyage” on March 1st, 2022!
This one-of-a-kind immersive overnight experience will take guests to a galaxy far, far away as they can join the Rebel alliance or the First Order, attend lightsaber training, and dine on a menu truly out of this world at the Crown of Corellia Dining Room.
March 31st – April 3rd: runDisney Springtime Surprise Weekend
More runDisney events are officially on the 2022 calendar! In late March, the Springtime Surprise Weekend will begin and will run through April 3rd.
The premise of the “Springtime Surprise” is that Disney promises a “completely different experience” every year! We can’t wait to see what the “surprise” is for 2022.
September 9th-11th: D23 Expo
After the Springtime Surprise Weekend, the next big event for Disney World fans with a confirmed date as of this writing isn’t until September of 2022, but it’s a big one: the D23 Expo at the Anaheim Convention Center in California!
The D23 Expo was canceled in 2021 and pushed to 2022, and we can expect to hear some MAJOR updates when it comes to future Disney World projects, as well as maybe a few big announcements for projects we don’t even know about yet!
October 1st: EPCOT’s 40th Anniversary
Magic Kingdom isn’t the only park celebrating a big anniversary these days! On October 1st, 2022, EPCOT will turn the big 4-0!
Not much has been announced yet for what the 40th Anniversary will include, but we might expect to see some new merchandise, limited-time food offerings, and maybe some updates on highly-anticipated EPCOT projects!
Stuff that will happen sometime in 2022, but no date announced yet.
Beyond the exciting openings and updates coming in 2022 with hard dates, there are additional exciting things taking place next year without exact dates announced from Disney as of this writing. Some of these projects do have seasons attached, however, so if you’re currently debating on when in 2022 to visit Disney World, hopefully these projects will help narrow things down!
We’ll see the return of Festival of Fantasy Parade in Magic Kingdom in early 2022, along with the debut of a new castle stage show: Mickey’s Magical Friendship Faire! The castle stage show will be a new spin on the previous show, Mickey’s Royal Friendship Faire.
We can’t wait to see a full-length daytime parade return to the park next year!
If you’re a thrill seeker, then you may want to hold off on you 2022 Disney World vacation until after the summer season. That’s because Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind is finally scheduled to open in EPCOT at that time!
While we don’t know exactly when in the summer of 2022 it’ll open, we’re thrilled to know that it will open sometime in that window! Be sure to follow along for the latest announcements on an exact opening date!
Sometime in 2022 (no season announced)
More exciting entertainment is scheduled to return in 2022, including Fantasmic! at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
When the show returns, it will feature new scenes! As of this writing, Disney has only announced that the show will reopen sometime in 2022. We’ll also see the opening of a new show, Finding Nemo: The Big Blue and Beyond, sometime in 2022 at Disney’s Animal Kingdom!
This show is taking the place of Finding Nemo: The Musical, and will be set in the timeline of Finding Dory!
Additional EPCOT Festivals
In addition to the Festival of the Arts we mentioned before, EPCOT’s other three festivals are slated to return in 2022.
The Flower and Garden Festival typically begins in early March, the Food and Wine Festival has been kicking off in mid-July as of late, and the Festival of the Holidays usually begins in late November!
Click here for a list of what our readers suggested as their top tips for conquering the EPCOT Food and Wine Festival
Other things we HOPE to see take place in 2022!
Finally, we wanted to include a few projects that currently have no opening timeline from Disney, but we hope take place in 2022! First up is the highly-anticipated TRON Lightcycle Run roller coaster in Magic Kigndom. We had hoped to hear an update during Destination D23 this year, but all we got was that the project was still “coming soon.”
Additional “coming soon” projects we hope to hear an update on soon are both located in EPCOT: Journey of Water and the PLAY! Pavilion. Journey of Water – Inspired by Moana will be an interactive walkthrough attraction by the Living Seas Pavilion, and the PLAY! Pavilion will be located inside the former Wonders of Life Pavilion.
Finally, we have a new dining option in the works at EPCOT: Connections Cafe & Eatery! This dining location will be in the former spot of Electric Umbrella, close to the new Creations Shop in the World Celebration neighborhood of EPCOT.
WOW! There’s so many exciting things coming to Disney World in 2022, from returning entertainment favorites to new dining locations and (hopefully) more than one E-ticket attraction! With so much to keep track of, you’ll want to follow along in the weeks and months to come as we continue to cover the latest happenings from around Disney World.