It’s been a little more than 50 years since Walt Disney World opened its doors in Orlando, Florida and there are always new and exciting attractions to experience. This is especially true since the parks reopened after a COVID shutdown. In 2022, we can expect the opening of a new coaster, Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind in EPCOT, the new MagicBand+ and the highly anticipated opening of the Star Wars overnight immersive experience.
“One of the biggest changes is how Disney handles ride reservations,” says Steve Oliverez who runs the website InsanelyCheapFlights.com and visited Disney last summer with his kids, ages 7, 9 and 11. “During the pandemic, they did away with the FastPass system, which let visitors reserve a time for busier rides. It’s been replaced by Disney Genie, available as an app, through which visitors can purchase reservations for individual rides. There’s also an option to upgrade your ticket for the full day to make multiple ride reservations.” Read on for more tips from parents who’ve visited recently.
One tip all parents we spoke with shared is to make park, hotel and dining reservations ASAP! With the Happiest Celebration on Earth (Disney World’s 50th Anniversary), the 40th anniversary of EPCOT and more people traveling again as we come out of the pandemic, reservations are filling up faster than you can imagine. It’s still a great idea to stay on the property if possible since Disney has brought back early theme park entry for all Disney Resort guests. For those staying in deluxe resorts, there are extended theme park hours on certain days at certain parks. When it comes to Disney Resorts, guests can cancel 30 days or more prior to arrival so keep refreshing that browser as rooms may be released.
Disney fans everywhere are looking forward to Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, a new roller coaster coming to EPCOT. Disney describes the ride as a “storycoaster” with cars that rotate 360 degrees so riders are always focused on the action. Journey of Water inspired by Moana is a walk-through interactive experience that’s expected to debut sometime in 2022 at EPCOT. At the Magic Kingdom, all eyes (and ears!) are on a new roller coaster set to open soon—Tron Lightcycle Power Run.
ALL THINGS STAR WARS
Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser is a Star Wars–themed luxury hotel near Disney’s Hollywood Studios. It’s a 2-night experience in which you and your group embark on a Star Wars adventure. When you arrive at the Walt Disney World Terminal you’ll board a launch pod. Guests stay in cabins or suites with views of space and interact with characters as they go on a mission together. Voyages are booking now and start March 1.
MAGICBANDS, BUT BETTER
MagicBand+ will be available for purchase, including a discounted, pre-arrival price for Disney Resort guests. Current MagicBands will continue to be available, too, but the new MagicBand+ will help immerse you in Disney stories and connect with characters. The wearable device will allow you to engage with favorite Disney moments in new ways, for example, your band will light up and complement the fireworks shows including the new “Harmonious” at EPCOT and “Disney Enchantment” at Magic Kingdom.