We’re just about to enter the summer months at Walt Disney World.
However, we’ve already witnessed a startling transformation at the parks.
The Walt Disney Company somehow survived the pandemic and even thrived. Now, it’s ready to take a victory lap, especially in Orlando.
Here’s what you should expect at Walt Disney World the rest of the year.
While the thought may seem impossible now, Central Florida experienced a massive COVID-19 outbreak in early January.
If not for that setback, the parks would have enjoyed a near-perfect start to 2022.
During February, the parks claimed more guests than at any point during the pandemic.
Somehow, March’s numbers bested February’s. So, Disney parks have just had their best two months in more than two years.
Also, January’s numbers vastly surpassed those from 2021, and that’s despite the outbreak.
For whatever reason, there’s a narrative on social media that people aren’t visiting the theme parks as much for various reasons.
The data emphatically indicates that such beliefs aren’t based in fact. Instead, people spent two years cooped inside their houses.
Now that the pandemic has ended, they’re ready to go someplace, and Walt Disney World tops the list of best destinations.
You shouldn’t expect that trend to end anytime soon, either. Disney cleverly set up Walt Disney World’s 50th anniversary celebration as an 18-month affair.
So, guests will enjoy the same amenities if they visit in December 2022 that they did on October 1St2021.
People want to do that, and it’ll keep the parks crowded for the rest of the year.
At this point, I’m not certain Walt Disney World will best its 2019 attendance of 58.8 million, but I’m also not ruling it out.
Given the way 2022 started, even coming close to that total would be a remarkable feat.
Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind won’t have technically opened by the time you read this, but it’s a matter of semantics.
Many Disney fans have already experienced the latest Disney roller coaster, and they’re head over heels in love with it.
Imagineers promised the first storytelling coaster in the world. Somehow, they’ve pulled off that feat by creating a legitimate Marvel superhero ride.
You meet the Guardians, face off against a Celestial, and listen to some of Peter Quill’s favorite music. What could be more Marvel than that?
Remarkably, Cosmic Rewind might not even take the title of best new Disney roller coaster of 2022.
Magic Kingdom will introduce Tron Lightcycle Power Run later this year. The Shanghai Disneyland version of this attraction has wowed guests for years.
Now, American fans can save themselves a 20-hour flight riding the Walt Disney World version instead.
This one-two punch of new roller coasters is borderline unprecedented in the history of Walt Disney World.
The parks only host a handful of roller coasters as it is. Introducing two more in six months represents an embarrassment of riches for Disney fans.
Disney also recently opened the so-called Star Wars Hotel, Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser.
Park officials have indicated that this resort has sold for its first four months, which says everything about the quality of the experience.
In short, Walt Disney World will be better than ever for the rest of this year.
Disney isn’t merely opening new attractions this year. Some of your favorite amenities from years past will finally return.
Most of them remained on hiatus during the pandemic. Now, Disney has prepared to bring them back.
For example, Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party (MNSSHP) returns in August. Last year, Disney had hosted a lesser version called Disney After Hours – Boo Bash.
We didn’t even have the Boo to You Parade at this event! Thankfully, Disney has given the people what they want by restoring the magic of MNSSHP.
Similarly, Disney’s Hollywood Studios will reintroduce Fantasmic! in a few months. Park officials have even promised a new sequence featuring many fan favorites like Elsa and Moana!
Once Fantasmic! returns, all of Walt Disney World’s nighttime presentations will be back in business.
If you’re more of a character greetings fan, there’s other terrible news at Hollywood Studios. Star Wars Launch Bay is coming back soon!
You can go back to hanging out with BB-8 and having the cast members interpret what it said!
Meanwhile, Disney’s Animal Kingdom will bring back something that walks the line between old and new.
The park closed the former Finding Nemo show but is replacing it with Finding Nemo: The Big Blue… and Beyond! This one should come back during the summer.
We’ve also heard hints that Disney may bring back the Disney Dining Plan and annual passes for out-of-state guests soon.
I don’t have any official updates on that, but Disney promised the dining plan would return in 2022. So, that should happen soon…ish.
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Feature Photo” Photo: Disney