PlanningThe Parks

Saying Good-bye To 2021 and Hello to 2022 in Walt Disney World

As we start the new year it is with excitement and anticipation as we prepare for all the fun and new experiences that will be coming in 2022 to Walt Disney World.

Join us as we say good-bye to 2021 and hello to 2022 in Walt Disney World.

First let’s take a moment to say good-bye to those things we lost in 2021.

Contemporary Resort Bus

Magical Express

Those that travel to a Walt Disney World Resort hotel were typically able to use Disney’s Magical Express.  This was a free motor coach service that picked Guests up at Orlando International Airport and took them to their Walt Disney World Resort hotel.

As of January 1st, 2022, this service from Magical Express is no longer offered and Guests need to figure out how they are going to get to their hotel when visiting Walt Disney World in 2022.

Mears, the company that ran Magical Express, is offering two different options for Guests to choose from.  They have either a standard, shared service or an express,  more private and direct service.  The price ranges from $16 for a one way service to $200 for the Express service round trip.

Sunshine Flyer is another motor coach service that is going to be offered starting in February 2022.  This is a fun, train themed service that has similar pricing to Mears Connect.

Guests can also choose to use rideshare, rent a car or hire a private transportation system.

As we say good-bye to Magical Express, we can say hello to new transportation options.

Castle FastPass


When Walt Disney World opened back up in July 2020, it was without Fastpass+ the free service that allowed Guests to bypass the standby lines for popular attractions.

With lower crowd levels, fasptass+ wasn’t needed at first; however, as the 2021 year continues and crowd levels increased, Guests started to wonder when fastpass+ would return.

It was surprising to everyone when Disney announced the fastpass+ wouldn’t be returning, but would instead be replaced by Disney Genie.

Credit: Inside the Magic
Credit: Inside the Magic

Disney Genie is a free planning service that Guests can use in the My Disney Experience app while touring the Parks.

As part of Disney Genie, Guests can choose to purchase Genie+ for $15/day/person.  This allows Guests to bypass the standby lines in over 40 attractions throughout the four Walt Disney World Theme Parks.

Although we said good-bye to fastpass+, we are thrilled to see what Disney Genie, including Genie+, has to offer.

Primevil Whirl

Primeval Whirl

Over in Disney’s Animal Kingdom, we said good-bye to Primeval Whirl in Dinoland USA.  We didn’t know it at the time; however, when Disney’s Animal Kingdom closed in March 2020 that was the last time Primeval Whirl welcomed Guests.

When the Park reopened in July 2020, it was without Primeval Whirl and Disney later announced that it would be closed forever.

We quickly saw construction walls go up and the ride vehicles removed from the area.

It is sad to see the construction walls; however, we look forward to what can come in the future.

credit: Disney

Finding Nemo: The Musical

When the Theme Parks reopened, it was without a lot of the live performances and shows.  Finding Nemo: The Musical, in Disney’s Animal Kingdom, was one of these shows that had yet to return to the Park.

It was shocking to many when Disney announced at the end of 2021 that Finding Nemo: The Musical would not be returning.  We were quickly reassured though that a new show titled Finding Nemo:  The Big Blue and Beyond would be coming in the future to Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

This new show would continue to use some of the beloved songs from the original musical as well as the beautiful puppets, but it will focus more on Dory.

We are sad to see the original show go, but we can’t wait to see what new adventures Nemo and Dory go on in the new musical.

Those are some of the big experiences we said good-bye to in 2021, but let’s now look forward to what we have coming in 2022.

credit: Disney

Guardians of the Galaxy Cosmic Rewind

We are so excited for the new coaster Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind coming to EPCOT in summer 2022.  This new onicoaster will be an experience like we have never had before in Walt Disney World.

The coaster will have the first reverse launch as well as ride vehicles that move riders 360 degrees towards the action at all times.

We can’t wait for this new attraction to open in EPCOT for summer 2022.

credit: Disney

More Entertainment

In 2022 we will also be saying hello to more entertainment.  Disney’s Hollywood Studios saw Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular open in December of 2021 and Disney has announced that more entertainment will be returning in 2022.

credit: Disney

Magic Kingdom will see both the Festival of Fantasy Parade return to the streets in 2022 as well as Mickey’s Magical Friendship Faire hit the castle stage as well bringing us singing and dancing throughout the day as we visit.

credit: Disney

Over at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, we have been told that the nighttime show Fantasmic will be back in 2022.  Although we don’t have a specific date yet, we are so thrilled to have this amazing show back again.

credit: Disney

Star Wars:  Galactic Starcruiser

Finally, we are beyond thrilled to have Disney’s newest hotel open with Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser.  Guests will start their adventures on March 1st, 2022 and we can’t wait to see and hear how amazing this immersive experience will be.

This two-night all immersive experience will have Guests experiencing Star Wars like never before.  More like a cruise, those staying at the hotel will remain on board the cruiser except when docked in Batuu for a visit.

Once again, it looks like Disney has hit this experience out of the ballpark and we can’t wait to see it this year.

Even though it is sad to say good-bye to some of our favorites in Walt Disney World, the excitement and thrill of having new ones to look forward to always helps.

What new experience are you looking forward to in 2022?

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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