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Our Thank You to Disney for a Magical 2022

With 2023 right around the corner, we decided to look back at all the magic we enjoyed in 2022 at Walt Disney World. One of the reasons we continue to head back to Walt Disney World each year is because of all the new and exciting magical experiences that come every year.

From delicious new dining options to thrilling new rides, the magic continues to come to Walt Disney World every year, and 2022 once again showed us that. Let’s take a trip down memory lane by looking at all that showed up in 2022 at Walt Disney World.

Credit: Disney

Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind

The most considerable excitement of 2022 for Guests traveling to Walt Disney World was the opening of the new thrilling coaster Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind. This indoor coaster was highly anticipated by Guests and lived up to the hype.

Featuring the first-ever reverse launch in Disney, Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind takes Guests on a high-speed race through space. Featuring the new omicoaster ride vehicles, Guests are constantly in the middle of the action.

Guests love the excitement and thrill of this new coaster. Even more exciting for Guests is that it is just the beginning of the changes coming to EPCOT.

connections eatery
Credit: Disney Park Blog

Connections Cafe and Eatery

Another exciting opening in EPCOT during 2022 was Connections Cafe & Eatery. With the closing of the Electic Umbrella, EPCOT needed a prominent quick service location at the front of the Park. Luckily Connections Cafe & Eatery was a perfect solution.

Offering both comfort foods for kids and flavorful options for adventurous eaters, this new quick-service location has quickly become a top dining location for Guests visiting EPCOT.

Credit: Disney

All-Star Sports Opens

At the end of March, we finally saw the opening of All-Star Sports. This was the last Disney Resort to open following the shutdown of 2020. After two years of being closed, Guests finally had all their beloved Disney Resorts opened again.

All-Star Sports continues to get refurbishment throughout the rooms. If you are planning on staying here in 2023, make sure to request a newly updated room.

Credit: DLP Report

Character Hugs Return

Throughout the phased reopening, we were impressed with how Disney adjusted. We appreciated how they could get characters out and about in the Disney Parks for Guests to see during their vacations.

Although we appreciate this effort by Disney, tears came when we were again able to hug our favorite characters. In April, Guests could again embrace their beloved Disney characters and get autographs.

As you can imagine, many tears were shed as these magical hugs returned throughout Walt Disney World.

Mickey and Minnie in Christmas sweaters
credit: Disney

Return of Holiday Parties

2022 saw the return of the favorite holiday parties. Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party returned to Magic Kingdom in full magic.

With full fireworks, parades, and stage shows, Guests were thrilled to have these magical experiences back for the holiday season. Even with the increase in the price of the ticket, these holiday parties booked up quickly. Guests were thrilled to see the headless horseman, grave diggers, toy soldiers, and of course, Santa!

Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party started at the end of August and ran on select evenings through October. Magic Kingdom quickly switched into winter mode with Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party starting in early November and running through December. We saw most parties sell out, showing how excited Guests were to have these parties back again.


Characters Return to Dining

During 2022 we saw our favorite character meals return throughout Walt Disney World. Crystal Palace welcomed back Winnie the Pooh and his friends. Ohana saw the return of Lilo and Stitch, and just recently, we saw the princesses return to Akershus in Norway.

Having these character meals again throughout the Walt Disney World Resort has brought magic back to these dining locations.

Mickey Tusker House

Buffets Offered Once Again

Many dining locations known for their buffets were adjusted with the reopening. Some offered family-style meals, whereas others provided a prie-fix menu. As 2022 continued, we saw many of these locations return to offering buffets.

Tusker House at Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Boma at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge are both back to buffets. Over at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Hollywood and Vine saw the return of buffets as Guests enjoy the Disney Junior characters for breakfast or Minnie and friends for lunch and dinner.

Crystal Palace in Magic Kingdom transitioned back to a buffet as Winnie the Pooh and his friends returned. And we were told that Chef Mickey’s would be back to a buffet to start the new year.

Although some might have mixed feelings about buffets, it is a sign of moving forward following the shutdown.

rooms at caribbean beach

Little Mermaid Rooms

Over at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, we have seen the transition of the pirate-themed rooms into Little Mermaid-themed rooms. Although the work continues, the rooms that are complete look fantastic.

With a bright, fresh look, these rooms offer a lot more storage for Guests and a nice, welcomed update to rooms that needed it.

We can’t wait to see more of these rooms in 2023.

2022 brought many changes for Walt Disney World, just like most years. It was exciting to experience thrills on the new Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind while enjoying some old favorites.

We were happy to have character hugs, buffets, and multiple dining areas back to normal in 2022. It brought us such joy and happiness. We can’t wait to see what 2023 will bring.






Jennifer Retzlaff

Jennifer became a lifelong Disney fan during her first trip to Walt Disney World in 6th grade. From that moment, Disney became a big part of her life. She quickly started to introduce her love of Disney to her family with a Disney honeymoon and then family trips when her youngest was 18 months old. She loves the magic that Disney brings to people through theme parks, cruises, and adventures. As a teacher, she tries to bring Disney magic into her classroom to help kids believe that “If You Can Dream It, You Can Do It.” She is also part of the Magic Vacation Planner team as a personal travel advisor. With this team, she can now help others plan magical vacations. She loves bringing her love to Disney to readers with How to Disney.

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