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Be Prepared for These Changes Coming to Walt Disney World in 2022

We have seen a lot of changes and adjustments throughout 2020 and 2021 throughout the Walt Disney World Resort and it looks like 2022 won’t be any different. From new rides and dining experiences to closures, we have some changes that we know will impact your 2022 Walt Disney World vacation.

We hope that providing you with a little bit of information about these changes will help you be better prepared when you arrive at Walt Disney World.

No More Magical Express

If you have traveled to Walt Disney World in the past five years, you have probably used Disney’s Magical Express. This free transportation service from Orlando International Airport to the Walt Disney World Resorts has been a fantastic option for families since 2005. Unfortunately starting January 1st, 2022 this free service will no longer be available to Guests.

This means that Guests will need to figure out how they are going to get from Orlando International Airport to Walt Disney World. Rideshares and car rentals are options for many Guests; however, if you have little ones that need car seats this might not be the easiest choice. Private transfers are available, but make sure you do your research as to what is offered along with the cost.

Finally, Mears Connect is the service that will be replacing Disney’s Magical Express and could be a good option for Guests traveling with little ones. There are two options when booking Mears Connect from Orlando International Airport.  Guests can choose from the standard option which is $32 for adults round trip and $27 for kids ages 3 to 9 round trip.

Disney’s Magical Express

The other option is an express service which is $200 for a group of four.  This would be a direct service to your Resort instead of a shared service. As we head into our 2022 vacations to Walt Disney World, this will be a big change that Guests will need to adjust to when they visit.

Disney Genie and Genie+

Disney Genie Logo

Credit: Disney

Even though Disney Genie launched in 2021, if you haven’t been down in the last few months 2022 will be your first experience with this new feature provided through My Disney Experience. Disney Genie is a few services that will provide Guests with suggested touring plans for the Parks.  Real-time data is used to provide Guests with suggestions based on their personal preferences.

A change that Guests will need to prepare for when visiting Walt Disney World in 2022 is Genie+.   This is a paid feature that Guests can choose to add to their Walt Disney World vacation for $15 per day per person. By booking this feature, Guests are given access to over 40 Lightning Lanes thus bypassing the standby lines and saving time in line.

Disney Genie

Another change that Guests will need to adjust to during 2022 is the Individual Lightning Lane selections.  In addition to Genie+, there are two rides in each of the four Theme Parks that are part of the Individual Lightning Lane selections. These rides require a separate purchase in order to use Lightning Lane for them.

If you choose to use or not use these features, there is a lot of research and learning that comes along with Disney Genie and all it has to offer. This is a big change in Walt Disney World that Guests will have to adjust to in 2022.

New Openings

Star Wars: Galactic Starcruisers (Credit: Disney)

Two big changes are coming to Walt Disney World in 2022 when it comes to opening experiences. The first big change and possibly one of the most anticipated changes will begin March 1st, 2022 Star Wars: Galactic Star Cruiser will begin welcoming Guests on board. Guests will experience a two-night immersive experience as they travel to a galaxy far, far away making this anything but a typical hotel vacation.

Even if you don’t choose to stay here during your Walt Disney World vacation, it could impact your vacation in 2022. Based on the plans for those staying at the Galactic Starcruiser, Guests will dock at Batuu for a day meaning those Guests will all be in Disney’s Hollywood Studios on the same day.

Guardians of the Galaxy Ride Vehicle (Credit: Paula Kennedy)

Another change coming to Walt Disney World in 2022 will be the opening of Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind in the summer. This high-speed indoor roller coaster will feature the first reverse launch as well as the new omnicoaster that will rotate Guests 360 degrees so they are always facing the action.

If you are visiting when this ride opens, this will have a big impact on your vacation as new rides always impact the crowds within the Theme Park. Both of these openings will be a big change in 2022 and one that many Guests are looking forward to moving forward.

New Technology

Credit: Disney

In 2022 two new pieces of technology have been announced that will change your Walt Disney World vacation. MagicBand+ will be coming to Guests in 2022.  This is an upgrade to the current MagicBands that Guests can choose to learn while on vacation. This new generation of MagicBands will continue to allow Guests to charge to the rooms, enter their Resort room, Theme Park, and Lightning Lanes, but MagicBand+ will offer even more.

MagicBand+ will have new interactive elements that can be used throughout a Walt Disney World vacation. They are to interact with the Fab 50 Golden Character Statues around the Theme Parks as well as the nighttime spectacular. Guests can choose to purchase a MagicBand+ to experience these enhancements.

Credit: Disney

The other technology that is scheduled to come to the Walt Disney World Resorts 2022 is Amazon’s Alexis. By using “Hey, Disney!” and Alexa, Guests will be able to ask about bus schedules, Park hours, Disney trivia and so much more. This will be a fun feature to have in Resort rooms and will be a change in how Guests receive information.

2022 looks to bring a variety of changes to Walt Disney World.  We hope bringing some of these changes to you will help you as you plan a Walt Disney World vacation.

About Jennifer Retzlaff

My name is Jennifer Retzlaff and I became a lifelong Disney fan during my first trip to Walt Disney World in 6th grade. From that moment, Disney became a big part of my life. I live in Iowa with my husband and two kids who are growing up too quickly for my liking. I started introducing my love for Disney early to my family with a Disney honeymoon and then trips when our youngest of 18 months. Since then, our family has been to Walt Disney World over five times and we continue to plan and dream for the next trip. I love the magic that Disney brings to people through the theme parks, cruises, adventures and movies they create. As a teacher, I try to bring that magic into my classroom to help kids believe that “If You Can Dream It, You Can Do It.” I recently reached a dream of mine as I joined Magic Vacation Planner as a personal travel advisor. With this team, I can now help others plan magical vacations. As a passionate writer, I also have my own blog at magicalvacationsbyjen which is also where you can follow me on instagram for trip reviews along with tips and tricks for your next magical vacation.