We have some Disney Parks news to share that was announced by Disney Parks, Experiences and Products Chairman Josh D’Amaro at Destination D23 on the morning of Saturday, Nov. 20, 2021.
While there wasn’t as much news as we had initially anticipated, there are several new and returning items to look forward to at Walt Disney World, Disneyland Resort, Disney Cruise Line, and other Disney resorts across the globe.
Let’s take a look at the latest announcements, along with what wasn’t announced like we had hoped.
Walt Disney World
First and most importantly, Festival of Fantasy parade is making its comeback at Magic Kingdom in early 2022!
Also, Fantasmic! is finally returning to Hollywood Studios (and with a new sequence featuring characters that have never part of the show before).
A 50th anniversary edition of Mickey’s Royal Friendship Faire is coming to the Cinderella Castle Forecourt Stage at Magic Kingdom in early 2022.
It’s called “Mickey’s Magical Friendship Faire” and will incorporate favorite scenes from the previous version of the show, plus a new opening and a new finale with Mickey Mouse and all his friends in their sparkling, EARidescent costumes.
There’s even an all-new, original song called “Where the Magic Feels Like Home.”
Better yet, a brand new cavalcade called “Disney Adventure Friends Cavalcade” will debut at Magic Kingdom later this winter.
The cavalcade “will feature the most characters of any cavalcade to date,” like Nick and Judy from Zootopia, Baloo and King Louie from The Jungle Book, José Carioca and Panchito from The Three Caballeros, Miguel from Coco, plus Merida, Moana, The Incredibles, and more!
In September, Disney announced that “Finding Nemo: The Musical” at Animal Kingdom would be returning sometime in 2022, but in a reimagined way with new storylines and the return of songs from the original show, including “In the Big Blue World” and “Go with the Flow.”
Well, we learned that the updated show is called “Finding Nemo: The Big Blue… and Beyond” and will be set in the timeline of the movie Finding Dory.
The audience will find themselves at the Marine Life Institute and they’ll “catch up with the fish from Dr. P. Sherman’s office in Finding Nemo, who have made their way across the ocean to California.”
A new Epcot quick service location will open next to the Creations Shop in World Celebration called Connections Café and Eatery. This replaces the old Electric Umbrella.
We still don’t have an exact opening date for Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, but we learned that Glenn Close will reprise her role as Nova Prime for the attraction.
Plus, new concept art was released — and the ride will open in summer 2022!
If you’re a Star Wars fan, you’ll be excited to see this sneak peek of the lightsaber training that will be on board Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser when it launches on March 1, 2022.
Walt Disney World Resort will also welcome Make-A-Wish children and their families as some of the very first guests to experience the all-immersive voyage.
We’ve known about the statue of Walt Disney that’s coming to Epcot’s new area called “Dreamers Point” located near Spaceship Earth.
Well, we learned that Disney Imagineers are now working to bring this new statue to life.
First of all, World of Color and Fantasmic! are both returning to Disneyland in 2022, along with the Main Street Electrical Parade returning in time to celebrate its 50th anniversary.
They even showed a sneak peek of the pool area coming to the new proposed Disney Vacation Club tower at the Disneyland Hotel.
Here is also a first look at some of the rooms that are inspired by Sleeping Beauty.
The next evolution of Downtown Disney District is being planned with work starting in January 2022.
The multi-year project to reimagine Downtown Disney will include an even broader collection of shopping, dining and entertainment experiences.
This means that the AMC Theater, Earl of Sandwich, Sugarboo, and Starbucks West End coffee shop will close and will also be demolished as a result, according to Orange County Register.
More details are coming in 2022.
Oh, and guess what? The MagicBand is finally coming to Disneyland!
The next-generation MagicBand+ wearable technology (that was first announced in September 2021) and “Hey, Disney!” voice assistant (that was also previously announced in September) will arrive at Disneyland in 2022.
Walt Disney World guests (as we already knew) will also have access to MagicBand+ and “Hey, Disney!”
As previously announced, Mickey’s Toontown will be reimagined with new play experiences and grassy areas. The land will close in March 2022 and is set to reopen in 2023.
Disney Cruise Line
There are 2 new stage shows coming to the Disney Wish.
- A new theatrical adaptation of a The Little Mermaid called “Disney The Little Mermaid” with a reimagined script and score. A modern twist on a young women learning the power of her voice will e featured. The show will include dazzling special effects, innovative theatrical design, and artistic choreography.
- There’s also “Disney Seas the Adventure,” which will follow Goofy as he discovers his own inner captain with the help of Captain Minnie and an all-star cast of Disney and Pixar characters.
Avengers Campus will open in summer 2022 at Disneyland Paris!
The 30th Anniversary Celebration at Disneyland Paris will begin March 6 with a new, limited time show at the Castle Hub. Disneyland Paris is bringing back classic shows and parades, including “Disney Stars of Parade” and “Disney Illuminations” for the celebration.
A new themed port called Fantasy Springs is coming to Tokyo DisneySea. Fantasy Springs will be the park’s 8th and largest port when it opens about 2 years from now.
Hong Kong Disneyland
Here is a look at how the new Frozen-themed area Hong Kong Disneyland is taking shape. There will also be two thrill rides here.
Shanghai Disney Resort
The park’s 5th anniversary is being celebrated during its “Year of Magical Surprises” and work is progressing on a Zootopia-themed land – the first-ever land themed after the movie. New footage of the new Audio-Animatronic figures, including Yax the yak, was also shown.
What Wasn’t Announced
There are still quite a few things that weren’t announced (as we initially thought or heard through the rumor mill).
- Paint the Night coming to Walt Disney World, as reported by BlogMickey.com
- An opening date for TRON at Magic Kingdom (all we know is that it’s “coming soon”)
- The return of Disney Dining Plans at Walt Disney World (Disney previously confirmed they would be returning)
- Additional character sightings (like Tinker Bell at Town Square Theater in Magic Kingdom)
- The reopening of the Walt Disney World Railroad (has been closed due to TRON’s construction)
- The return of parking trams at Walt Disney World (parking trams are returning to Disneyland in early 2022)
- Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular return at Hollywood Studios
- Typhoon Lagoon reopening (at this time only Blizzard Beach is operational)
Of course, we could hear about any of these items (and possibly even more) at any point in time. As always, we’ll update you if or when more announcements are shared by Disney.
The following products and services give us a commission on sales.
Get our free Quick Start Guide
Have our guide delivered right to your inbox with our 6-step Disney World planning process to make it less overwhelming. Snag our free guide ➡️
Take our course
Check out our course that will help you learn all about Walt Disney World planning with dozens of videos and downloadables for each step along the way. Get access now ➡️
Our recommend travel agency
We partner with Small World Vacations, Diamond Level Authorized Disney Vacations Planners in business since 1996. Get a quote now ➡️
Want to stay deluxe on a moderate budget?
It’s 1 of our top fave ways to save! By renting DVC points, you can stay in deluxe accommodations for a fraction of the price. Check availability ➡️
Private car service
Quicksilver Tours will transport you in style. They assist with luggage at the airport, provide car seats, and include a free grocery stop. Book your car ➡️
Need a stroller, wheelchair, or scooter?
Buena Vista Scooters is a company with a great reputation who offers in-person resort drop off and pick up of strollers, scooters, and wheelchairs. Book your rental ➡️
- 2023 Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party Food (exclusive treats, dining options) - November 10, 2023
- Where to find the Characters at Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party - November 10, 2023
- Gingerbread houses at Disney World for Christmas 2023 (plus resort trees and other decor) - November 3, 2023