'Sup! Welcome to Tad's toadally awesome list of what's coming to Walt Disney World Resort, Universal Orlando Resort and the other Florida theme parks in 2022 and beyond! As the Frog Family’s resident thrill seeker, tech junkie and head frog videographer — thank you very much — I live to keep tabs on all of the attractions and experiences heading to the Orlando theme parks, and I've been doing it for a few years. After a couple of unusual years for theme parks, with temporary closures due to COVID-19, some openings and projects were delayed or postponed indefinitely. But there are a lot of exciting things to look forward to in 2022 and beyond, including the launch of Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind May 27 at EPCOT!
2022 has already proven to be a toadally amazing year, with the return of the Disney Festival of Fantasy parade at Magic Kingdom and the upcoming return of Fantasmic! at Disney's Hollywood Studios. While not an opening, we're just as excited about traditional character meet and greets returning, as of April 17 at both Disney World and Disneyland. And the party won't stop — the Walt Disney World's 50th anniversary continues all year long!
But that's not all! SeaWorld Orlando and Busch Gardens Tampa Bay have launched their respective roller coasters, Ice Breaker and Iron Gwazi, which opened with rave reviews! Plus the very first Peppa Pig Theme Park opened Feb. 24, 2022, and became a hit among tadpoles, including my sister, Lily.
If you're curious about all of the Universal Orlando and Disney World construction around the parks, you're at the right place. Be sure to bookmark this page because I add to it as new rides, shows and other hoppenings are announced! (Hop here to see what opened in 2021 and previous years.) And with great openings comes great crowds, so if you're wondering about the best times to visit Disney World and Universal Orlando, this post should help as you plan your trip, whether you want to be first in line or avoid the elevated crowds.
What's Coming to Disney World and Universal Orlando in 2022 and Beyond
Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind — May 27, 2022 —
Planned to be one of the world's longest enclosed roller coasters, the ride will feature a unique story by Walt Disney Imagineering and will include a new, innovative ride system that’s guaranteed to wow guests. The experience begins in the "Galaxarium," a planetarium-like exhibition that highlights the formation of Earth's galaxy and Xandar. But then the Guardians of the Galaxy arrive, and you're whisked away on an adventure across the cosmos. Glenn Close reprises her role as "Nova Prime," the leader of Xandar and commander of the Nova Corps. It will be a storytelling coaster that rotates 360 degrees so you can focus on the action and will include the first reverse launch on a Disney coaster.
Reimagined main entrance — in progress — EPCOT's main plaza will include new pathways, green spaces and a reimagined fountain (which is now complete!). The Leave A Legacy photos have moved just outside the park's gateway in a new, multi-colored display. There will be additional redevelopment to the area between Spaceship Earth and World Showcase Promenade, which includes several unique gardens, united by a central planter based on the five-ring EPCOT logo. Special lighting will provide a different experience at night.
Journey of Water, Inspired by “Moana” — date TBD — This brand-new walkthrough attraction will "let guests interact with magical, living water in a beautiful and inspiring setting," and you'll get to learn about the importance of the natural water cycle.
Connections Cafe and Eatery — now open — The new quick-service restaurant is now serving up sandwiches, burgers, pizzas, salads and more in World Celebration. Connections Cafe serves as the new Starbucks location.
Dreamers Point — date TBD — Near the exit of Spaceship Earth, a new statue that celebrates the legacy of Walt Disney will be placed alongside natural environments. It will include a wishing tree and a story fountain that plays iconic music from Disney storytelling.
PLAY! pavilion — date TBD — Originally slated to open in time for Walt Disney World's 50th anniversary, this new pavilion in the former Wonders of Life location will showcase first-of-its-kind experiences devoted to play and fun, including an interactive city where guests will be able to interact with characters. Help Edna Mode on a fashionable quest to rid the world of uninspired style, or compete in a water-balloon fight with Huey, Dewey, Louie and Webby.
"Wondrous China" film — date TBD — This World Showcase pavilion will receive a new film that is presented in a seamless 360-degree format.
CommuniCore Plaza and CommuniCore Hall — date TBD — This new multi-use facility and outdoor event space will support EPCOT's festivals. The plaza will have an outdoor stage to host musical performances, and the hall will be an exhibition and gallery space, featuring experiences that highlight art, live music and food (complete with a demonstration kitchen). Also, a permanent Mickey & Friends location will find its home right next to CommuniCore Hall.
Mary Poppins attraction — postponed — At this time, development for this attraction has been postponed indefinitely. The United Kingdom pavilion was set to host the first attraction inspired by Mary Poppins, allowing guests to stroll along Cherry Tree Lane, past Admiral Boom's house, and enter Number 17, the Banks family's home.
Magic Kingdom Park
Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade — now showing — The full-length parade is back! Dozens of Disney characters from your favorite stories are marching down Main Street once more.
Mickey's Magical Friendship Faire — now showing — The Cinderella Castle stage show has returned with a new opening and finale featuring Mickey Mouse and his friends in their EARidescent outfits. The show features an all-new song, "Where the Magic Feels Like Home."
Disney Adventure Friends Cavalcade — now hoppening — This new cavalcade features the most Disney characters of any cavalcade since reopening in July 2020. Catch Nick and Judy from "Zootopia," Baloo and King Louie from "The Jungle Book," José Carioca and Panchito from "The Three Caballeros, Miguel from "Coco," Merida, Moana, The Incredibles and more!
TRON Lightcycle Run — date TBD — Imported from Shanghai Disneyland, Tron Lightcycle Run will be a coaster-style attraction where riders board a train of two-wheeled Lightcycles. The ride pushes you into the energy, lights and excitement of TRON’s high-tech universe.
Splash Mountain retheming — date TBD — Splash Mountain will be getting a total makeover in the coming years. Inspired by "The Princess and the Frog," the popular log flume ride's new storyline will pick up after the final kiss, and follow Princess Tiana and Louis on a musical adventure. The current version is still open, and a specific timeline has yet to be announced.
Disney's Animal Kingdom
Finding Nemo: The Big Blue ... and Beyond! — 2022 — As a reimagined version of "Finding Nemo: The Musical," the show will be set during the timeline of "Finding Dory." The story follows how the fish from Dr. P Sherman's office have made their way across the ocean to the Marine Life Institute.
Disney's Hollywood Studios
Fantasmic! — 2022 — The nighttime spectacular will reopen an all-new sequence featuring live performers, stunts, special effects and more!
Roundup Rodeo BBQ — 2022 — A table-service restaurant is coming to Toy Story Land in 2022! Themed to feel like a rodeo run by Andy's toys, this immersive restaurant will have toys, games and playsets scattered around, including toy versions of Jessie riding on the back of a Trixie pull-toy and Bo Peep and her sheep performing in the rodeo together.
Walt Disney World Resort Hotels
Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser — now open — Debuting as part of the new Disney 360 vacation concept, this hotel becomes a living adventure that allows guests to immerse themselves in an entirely new form of Disney storytelling. Guests check-in for a two-night adventure aboard a starship, The Halcyon. You become a citizen of the galaxy and experience all that entails, including dressing up in the proper attire. Once you leave Earth, you discover a starship alive with characters, stories and adventures that unfold all around you. It is 100 percent immersive, and the story touches every single minute of your day. It culminates in a unique journey for every person who visits. Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser is located near Hollywood Studios, with easy access to Galaxy's Edge! It debuted March 1, 2022, and general bookings opened Oct. 28, 2021.
MagicBand+ — summer 2022 — As part of Disney World's 50th-anniversary celebration, a new-and-improved version of the MagicBand will debut with some toadally magical features! After you enter the park, MagicBand+ will light up, vibrate and interact in certain areas, such as Disney Fab 50 Character Collection statues and Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge, as well as during nighttime spectaculars.
Reflections: A Disney Lakeside Lodge — date TBD — Disney's 16th Disney Vacation Club property is in the works at the former site of River Country water park. Originally slated to open in 2022, the nature-themed deluxe hotel will be located between Disney’s Wilderness Lodge and Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground. The project has likely been postponed.
Salt & Straw — now open — A new ice cream parlor will make its way to Disney Springs sometime in 2022. Salt & Straw is known for its unique flavors that make up its ever-changing menu.
Local Green Orlando — now open — This new food truck will bring healthy, affordable food that "tastes good and helps you feel good" to Disney Springs.
Beatrix — date TBD — We're excited that this new restaurant coming to Disney Springs' West Side will feature healthy food options, including vegetarian, gluten-free and vegan menu items. Beatrix is your neighborhood restaurant, coffeehouse and grab-and-go market all rolled in one. It will also feature a bakery and full-service bar with beer, wine and fresh-squeezed juice cocktails.
Universal Orlando Resort
Universal's Epic Universe — summer 2025 — Universal Orlando Resort announced that it's building a brand-new theme park called Universal's Epic Universe. Little is known about the themed lands, but Universal says it will be its most immersive and innovative theme park yet. In addition to the lands, it will feature an entertainment center, hotels, shops, restaurants and more. Located about 12 minutes away from its existing properties, Universal's Epic Universe will nearly double Universal's total available acreage! Check out the latest developments in our Universal's Epic Universe guide.
Due to COVID-19, further development had been postponed, but construction has restarted and it's been confirmed that the park's completion will hoppen by summer 2025.
Super Nintendo World at Universal's Epic Universe — summer 2025 — Universal has partnered with Nintendo to bring to life experiences based on Nintendo's games, characters and worlds. It has been confirmed that Super Nintendo World will be one of the themed lands at Universal's Epic Universe. The very first Super Nintendo World (which will likely be similar to the future Orlando version) opened at Universal Studios Japan on March 18, 2021.
What's Coming to Other Florida Theme Parks in 2022 and Beyond
Ice Breaker — now open — SeaWorld's first multi-directional launched roller coaster is here! It features four launches — both forwards and backward — that ultimately launch you into the steepest vertical drop in Florida at 100 degrees, followed by lots of twists, turns and airtime!
Busch Gardens Tampa
Iron Gwazi — now open — Gwazi is getting a makeover! The former wooden coaster that closed in 2015 has been converted into a hybrid steel-wooden coaster, manufactured by Rocky Mountain Construction. It features all-new thrills and restored elements from Gwazi. Standing at 210 feet tall, it is North America's tallest and the world's fastest and steepest hybrid coaster. Iron Gwazi also has three inversions, including a 180-degree stall that keeps riders upside down for a few seconds while moving forward.
LEGOLAND Florida Resort
Peppa Pig Theme Park — now open — Peppa Pig has arrived at LEGOLAND Florida Resort! Based on the popular Nick Jr. TV show for tadpoles, Peppa Pig Theme Park features rides, live shows, character interactions, themed play areas and water-play areas with “muddy puddles." While it operates as part of LEGOLAND Florida Resort, guests enter through a separate gate.
I hope you've enjoyed this look at what's coming to Disney World and Universal in 2022 and beyond. Make sure to come back to see what's been added as you get closer to your visit. Hop on over to our When to Visit Orlando page for more planning tips, part of our Orlando Planning Timeline!
Related: Best Time To Visit Disney World