Several Disney World Experiences Were Supposed to Return in 2022; Is There Still Time?

It might be difficult to believe, but we are already nearing the end of 2022. This year has been full of exciting changes and updates for Disney Parks fans, especially as the Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort continue to offer new experiences and returning ones we lost during the pandemic.

At Walt Disney World several experiences were set to return this year, whether mentioned briefly as “returning in 2022” during last year’s Destination D23 event or even confirmed with a reopening timeframe on Disney’s official website. As we near the end of the year, however, have all these updates happened? Let’s take a look….

Characters / Cinderella Castle - 50th Anniversary

Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom (Credit: Disney)

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Theme park reporter Scott Gustin restarted the conversation on social media about what experiences have yet to return (or begin) at Walt Disney World and considering the pre-pandemic experiences that Disney has not mentioned a reopening timeline for, the list is quite extensive.

Starting with the basics, if you have driven to Walt Disney World this year, you are probably aware that both EPCOT and Disney’s Hollywood Studios are still without parking trams. Courtesy trams returned to the Magic Kingdom in December 2021, and to Disney’s Animal Kingdom earlier this year, but Disney World’s two other theme parks have been without tram since the Parks closed at the onset of the pandemic.

Disney's Animal Kingdom Parking Trams

Credit: Disney

Many character experiences have returned to Walt Disney World over the course of 2022, but others are still missing (and this is only when considering the ones we have been told would return this year, not the experiences Disney has stayed quiet about like character dining at 1900 Park Fare for instance.) Among still missing character experiences, with no return date announced are the Green Army drum corps and character lineup in Toy Story Land at Hollywood Studios and the characters of Pete’s Silly Sideshow in the Magic Kingdom.

The Ducktales World Showcase Adventure was just announced by Disney only earlier this month, but the opening timeframe for the experience is simply “2022.” We have not heard of Cast Members training for related positions, but will keep an eye out for any additional information.

The Roundup Rodeo BBQ Restaurant set to come to Toy Story Land was announced with a 2022 opening, and aside from ourselves and other Disney World Guests simply noticing construction taking place on the exterior of the restaurant, we have not yet received any updates.


Credit: Disney

“Hey Disney” is an Alexa-style device created in partnership with Amazon that should be making its debut at Walt Disney World Resort hotels this year, however, Disney has not shared any recent updates on the project.

And of course, no opening date has been announced for Fantasmic! beyond the note on Disney’s official website that the show is “returning in 2022.” We have speculated that the opening of Fantasmic! is indeed delayed as the end of the year draws close, but for now it looks like we will just have to wait and see.

It seems that Disney is getting back on its feet in terms of upcoming projects and the way they are announced following the pandemic. On a similar note, we along with many other fans, expected updates on these announcements at the 2022 D23 Expo, but we did not learn anything new on these upcoming experiences then.

We do believe that these experiences will return to Walt Disney World, but whether or not they make it in before the calendar year remains to be seen. We will keep an eye on all updates out of Disney Parks and Resorts and will be back with more information as we have it here on Disney Tips.

About Brittany DiCologero

Brittany is a New England-based writer focused on the history of the Walt Disney World Resort. She is the author of "Red, White, and Disney: The Myths and Reality of American History at the Walt Disney World Resort," and "Brittany Earns Her Ears."