We’re one month into 2022, and I feel like we’ve already had a lot of Disney news pop up! Encanto (and its soundtrack) has taken the world by storm, and Disney World continues to reopen restaurants and other things that were still closed. And of course given some things that still aren’t open or were announced but haven’t happened yet, there are lots of rumors about when we might finally see those things.
- Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure in Epcot is no longer using a virtual queue – you can either join the standby line or pay for an individual lightning lane.
- Pixar’s upcoming film, Turning Red, will not see a theatrical release – instead it will go directly to Disney+.
- More restaurants are reopening in Disney World soon, including Flying Fish (reopened January 27th), Turf Club (February 3), and Jiko (February 17). Starting on February 15th, Cape May Cafe will return to being a buffet rather than a family style meal.
- In character news, Kevin from Up can now be found in Animal Kingdom once again. Over in Epcot, Donald Duck can be found in Mexico and Vanellope and Joy are at the exit area by Journey into Imagination.
- In addition, some character meet and greets have now been added to Genie+. You can reserve Lightning Lanes to see Cinderella, Tiana, and Mickey in Magic Kingdom.
- Toy Story Land in Hollywood Studios will see some new additions soon. Jessie’s Trading Post will be a new merchandise shop, and the previously announced Rodeo Round-up BBQ restaurant. While we don’t have official dates they are said to open sometime this year.
- The Disney World marathon weekend took place again this past month, and something pretty remarkable happened: one runner, Brittany Charboneau, won all four races that weekend in the women’s division – that’s the 5k, 10k, half marathon, and full marathon.
- The spa at the Grand Floridian has reopened as of January 26th.
- Typhoon Lagoon has now reopened for the first time since the closure in 2020.
- Disneyland Paris has some exciting things coming for their 30th anniversary celebration, including a special castle show, new costumes for Mickey and Minnie, a projection show, and more.
- Universal Orlando’s third theme park, Epic Universe, has been announced to be opening by summer 2025.
- The Epcot Flower and Garden Festival will be starting in March, and the Garden Rocks concert lineup has been announced.
- More entertainment is returning to the Magic Kingdom – specifically, the Festival of Fantasy parade will return on March 9th.
- Salt and Straw, the ice cream shop coming to Disney Springs, is now set to open sometime in March.
- If you’re looking for a way to get from the airport to your Disney resort, Disney now has a transportation add-on for packages.
- We Don’t Talk about Bruno – but everyone is singing about him! The catchy song from Encanto actually hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts.
Hollywood Studios // Fantasmic, one of the nighttime spectaculars at Disney World, still hasn’t reopened – but rumor is that it will make its debut soon. Overhead photos have shown that the lagoon has been filled with water once more, which means we could see this show return within a few months.
Characters // With the popularity of Encanto, Disneyland has already gotten a character sighting with Mirabel. Some people are speculating that she will come to Disney World eventually – possibly in Animal Kingdom where they’ve already put an Encanto mural up.
Dining // One of the biggest questions fans have is when dining plans will come back. According to many observations, Disney is having a hard time hiring line cooks (like many places). Until they have a full staff they won’t be able to fill restaurants completely, which means they don’t sell the dining plan if they don’t feel confident that people could actually get all the reservations they’d need.
Other Disney blogs
Over at Fairest Run of All, Jenn recaps her trip for the Disney World marathon – I love seeing all of the characters! (and if you read her trip report of the following day, I make a small guest appearance!).
Tom at the Disney Tourist Blog shares his review of this year’s Festival of the Arts, and I completely agree with him and how underrated this festival is.
Have you heard of the Electrical Water Pageant? If you’ve never seen it, then it’s worth checking out – and Shannon at WDW Prep School has all the info!
Dustin from Steps to Magic has an interesting article about Disney attractions that are showing their age – while I may not agree with all of them, there are certainly some interesting points!
What Disney news from this month are you most excited about?