Magic Kingdom Fireworks
Credit: Disney

Will These 2022 Changes Affect Your Walt Disney World Vacation?

There are a lot of changes coming to Walt Disney World in 2022. There will be new rides, dining options, and new technology, and it could impact your vacation.

Take a look at these changes so you will be prepared when you head to Walt Disney World in 2022.

Disney Genie Logo

Credit: Disney

Disney Genie

One of the biggest changes that has come to the Walt Disney World Theme Parks is Disney Genie.

Disney Genie rolled out on October 19th, 2021, and has three different features for Guests to use to help enhance their vacations. The free Disney Genie service provides both a tip board and customizable itineraries for Guests.

Guests can select their favorite rides, shows, and attractions, and Disney Genie will provide a suggested plan for the day. That includes dining options.

Disney Genie+ is a paid feature that Guests can add to their Walt Disney World ticket for $15/person/day.

By adding Genie+, Guests are given access to the Lightning Lanes for over 40 different attractions across the four Theme Parks.

This can give Guests the opportunity to lower their time in line and therefore experience more of the magic.

Finally, Guests can choose to purchase Individual Lightning Lanes.  These are al-a-carte options for specific rides in each of the four Theme Parks.

Individual Lightning Lane is currently available for rides such as Rise of the Resistance in Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Flight of Passage in Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

The prices for these rides fluctuate depending on the time of the year.

Disney Genie is a big change that those traveling to Walt Disney World in 2022 will want to look into and determine what features will be the best for them. It is included in the My Disney Experience App.

Disney’s Magical Express

Another significant change coming to Walt Disney World in 2022 is the end of Disney’s Magical Express.

Starting on January 1st, 2022, Disney’s Magical Express will no longer be offered to Guests traveling from Orlando International Airport and the Walt Disney World Resort.

Guests who need transportation once arriving in Florida in 2022 will need to determine what transportation service they will use.

Renting a car, private transportation, and the new Mears Connect are all options that Guests can look into. Mears is the company that runs Disney’s Magical Express.

For Guests that have relied on Disney’s Magical Express for their Walt Disney World vacation, this will be a major adjustment moving forward.

Credit: Paula K

New Rides

2022 will be even more exciting as we have learned that Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind will open this summer.

This new indoor roller coaster will be the first reverse launch coaster in Walt Disney World. The omnicoaster will rotate Guests 360 degrees so that they will always face the action around them.

Testing has started on Cosmic Rewind, and we are thrilled for this to come to EPCOT in 2022.


credit: Disney

credit: Disney

New Hotel Experience

‘Star Wars’ fans are thrilled that the newest hotel will be opening in March 2022.  Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser will start welcoming Guests in early March 2022, and reservations are already booked solid.

This two-night experience will take Guests on board (think of it as a cruise) where they will be a part of the ‘Star Wars’ story like they have never been before.

From lightsaber training to visiting Batuu for a ride on Rise of the Resistance and Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run, Guests will have a fantastic time.

Guests who want to stay at the Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser will have to pay a lot to stay here, so keep that in mind if it is a bucket list item.

Credit: Paula K

Dining Experiences Continue to Open

We are thrilled that Walt Disney World continues to open new and exciting dining options throughout the Theme Parks and Resorts, giving us even more outstanding choices.

Space 220 Restaurant has been a huge hit in EPCOT, giving Guests not only outstanding cuisine but also providing a dining experience in space.

Dining reservations have gone quickly for Space 220 Restaurant, but you can now book the lounge, giving Guests more options to try this unique dining experience.

Another new dining option that has Guests extremely happy is Steakhouse 71, found in Disney’s Contemporary Resort.

Replacing The Wave, Steakhouse 71 has quickly become a Guest favorite after opening in time for the 50th Anniversary Celebration on October 1st.

Finally, two dining choices opened in EPCOT with La Creperie de Paris.  If Guests are looking to try both sweet and savory crepes, they can do so at both the walk up window and sit-down location in France.

We have also learned that a new quick service location will be coming to EPCOT in the future.  Connections Cafe and Eatery will replace Electric Umbrella.

Connections Cafe will be a great addition to EPCOT, and even though no official date has been announced for opening, we are hoping it will be sooner rather than later.

It is exciting to see new dining locations open throughout Walt Disney World.  If you are traveling in 2022, consider these new options!

Entertainment Returns

We were thrilled to learn that more entertainment will be returning to Walt Disney World in 2022.

Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade will be back in Magic Kingdom, bringing Guests a full non-holiday parade for the first time since 2020.

If you want to see this parade during your 2022 vacation, make sure you are prepared, as we assume crowds will be large since Guests will be excited to see it return.

We are also happy that an updated version of Mickey’s Royal Friendship Faire will be back on the Magic Kingdom stage once again.

Over in Disney’s Animal Kingdom, an updated version of Finding Nemo: the Musical is coming.  This new version will focus on Dory, but will continue to feature some of your favorite songs.

Fantasmic, the beloved nighttime event in Disney’s Hollywood Studios, will also be returning with changes in 2022.

We are so excited to see all the magic that will be coming to Walt Disney World in 2022.  From new dining and entertainment to Disney Genie, Walt Disney World is constantly changing, and we look forward to the fun that these changes bring.

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.