So what might be different than your last vacation? Well, if you’re planning a 2022 Disney World trip, we’re outlining the biggest changes you’ll see at the resort this year.
Disney Genie, Genie+, and Individual Attraction Selection
We’ve already gone on (and on and on) about Disney Genie, Genie+, and Individual Attraction Selection, so we won’t go into great detail here, except to tell you how this could change your 2022 Disney World trip. First, the free version of Genie will help you plan your day, but if you don’t purchase Genie+, you’ll still have to use Standby Lines for rides.
But it won’t be like the standby lines of 2020 and 2021 — since those who purchase Genie+ or Individual Attraction Selection get priority access to rides via the Lightning Lane, you could be waiting in longer standby lines at Disney World.
This could also affect your planning — Disney Genie can help you plan out your days, but you’ll also need to be aware of standby wait times if you have an advance dining reservation coming up soon or need to be somewhere at a certain time. Be sure to read our guides on how best to use Disney Genie, Genie+, and Individual Attraction Selection to help you decide whether you should cough up the extra money for shorter ride wait times.
Early Theme Park Entry/Extended Evening Hours
Another thing that’s changed is that Disney World has replaced Extra Magic Hours with Early Theme Park Entry and Extended Evening Hours. Guests staying at Disney resorts will get an extra 30 minutes at the beginning of the day in the parks before everyone else — and unlike Extra Magic Hours, where it was only a specific park on any given day, guests can choose for themselves which park they want to use Early Theme Park Entry in.
Guests staying at Disney’s deluxe resorts will also have access to Extended Evening Hours — and like Extra Magic Hours, those are held on particular dates at specific parks. These guests get Early Morning Entry, too. So they can get into the parks early and stay LATE! So far in 2022, Extended Evening Hours have only been offered at Magic Kingdom and EPCOT. But there is a date listed for Hollywood Studios in April.
If spending more time in the parks is important to you, these extra hours perks may affect your planning — you’ll probably want to stay at an on-site hotel over an off-site one. Or you may want to spend more money on your stay so you can stay in the parks later.
No More Magical Express
The way you get to and from Orlando International Airport from a Disney World resort changed as of January 1st, 2022. The Magical Express service has been discontinued, so you will have to make other arrangements to get to and from the airport.
There are still two shuttle bus options available to take you back and forth between the airport and your Disney World hotel. Mears Connect was the first to launch, offering two levels of service: standard and express. Standard is a shared service and costs around $16 each way per adult and $13.50 each way per child.
The express service, which offers direct, round trip service, costs $250 for up to four people and $55 for each additional passenger.
The second paid shuttle bus service is the vintage train-themed Sunshine Flyer. These buses are styled to look like passenger train cars, and even the drivers dress the part.
Sunshine Flyer tickets are $17 per adult and $12.50 per child for a one-way trip, and round trip tickets are $34 for adults and $25 per child. Kids under 2 ride free.
Rideshare services, such as Uber and Lyft, are also still available from the airport, so you’ll need to figure out what works best for you and your family.
And we are keeping our eyes on one more exciting option! The Brightline Train will eventually run from the airport to a station in Disney Springs. That option is still a few years out, though. We will keep you posted!
The Galactic Starcruiser Is Opening
The Star Wars Hotel, otherwise known as the Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser, opens its doors for its first “voyage” (aka two-night stay) in March 2022. And even if you don’t plan on spending time and $$$ on this interactive experience, it could still affect your 2022 Disney World trip.
For starters, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge in Disney’s Hollywood Studios could be a little busier on some days as the hotel includes an “excursion” to the planet of Batuu as part of its experience. It’s likely these guests will get priority on rides and activities there, which means everyone else might end up having longer wait times.
After March, we’ll also have a better idea of how guests feel about the experience, especially given its high cost, so that could help you decide for yourself if you want to book a stay on the Galactic Starcruiser at a later date. Subscribe to our DFB newsletter for all the up to date details on this new experience and its impact on guests in Hollywood Studios.
New Attractions and Restaurants
Disney World will debut some brand new attractions in Summer 2022, including the highly-anticipated Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind. Expect EPCOT to get a lot busier after that happens! In the more recent past, new attractions like Rise of the Resistance and Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure opened with a Boarding Pass/Virtual Queue option. We are still waiting to see if this will be the case with Guardians. We promise, we will let you all know as soon as we know!
And as of now we don’t have an official timeline for TRON Lightcycle Run which is a new ride coming to Magic Kingdom. We will share those details as soon as they are released!
What’s Happening With Disney World’s Highly-Anticipated TRON Roller Coaster? Click Here to Find Out!
A new restaurant is also set to open in Toy Story Land at Hollywood Studios this year. Disney announced that Round Up Rodeo BBQ would be opening in Studios this year!
We will continue to share details on this new dining experience as they are released!
So those are the biggest changes you’ll see at Disney World in 2022, and we hope that this prepares you for what to expect and how to plan for your next vacation!
Which Disney World change are you most excited or concerned about? Let us know in the comments!