Splash Mountain (reopens Feb. 10, 2022
This Magic Kingdom log flume ride closed for refurbishment on Jan. 10, 2022, and is scheduled to reopen on Feb. 10, 2022. If you’re thinking this closure means Disney’s plan to switch the ride’s theme to “The Princess and the Frog” is underway, think again. Splash Mountain closes every year around this time for an annual refurbishment and Disney has yet to announce any timeline for the re-theme.
Walt Disney World Railroad
The Walt Disney World Railroad has been closed since December 2018 to make way for the upcoming Tron Lightcycle Power Run coaster in Magic Kingdom’s Tomorrowland.
The coaster, originally announced in 2017, was scheduled to open in time for the kickoff of Disney’s 50th Anniversary celebration in 2021. Progress has been delayed because of the pandemic and no new opening date has been announced. For now, the Main Street station just inside the entrance to Magic Kingdom is a great spot for photos and to see characters throughout the day.
Enchanted Tales with Belle
When Disney reopened in July 2020 after its closure at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, certain attractions did not come back online, including Enchanted Tales with Belle.
In this case, it’s likely because of the close interaction between guests and costumed characters. Disney has yet to share a reopening date, but you can visit the nearby Princess Fairytale Hall to meet Cinderella and other surprise princesses. (From a safe distance, of course.)
Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique and Harmony Barbershop
If you were planning a royal makeover for your child or a memorable first haircut for your toddler on your next Disney World vacation, you may still be out of luck. Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique locations and Magic Kingdom’s Harmony Barbershop have yet to reopen, and a timeline hasn’t been announced.
However, the announcement that the Grand Floridian Spa (formerly Senses – A Disney Spa) will open on Jan. 26, 2022, may bode well for Disney’s other spa and salon locations.
Star Wars Launch Bay
Over at Hollywood Studios, Star Wars Launch Bay also has a galaxy-sized question mark hanging over it. It was shut down during Disney’s COVID-19 park closure, and no reopening date has been announced. Luckily, you can take a short walk toward the back of the park and get your fill of all things Jedi at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, Disney’s immersive Star Wars-themed land.
‘Voyage of the Little Mermaid’
Also at Hollywood Studios, this indoor stage show has yet to reopen, and a timeline for bringing back this attraction hasn’t been announced.
Many of Disney World’s live shows had to be retooled to comply with COVID-19 health and safety protocols before reopening. We don’t know when the “Voyage of the Little Mermaid” will reopen, but we do know you can get your Mermaid fix over at Magic Kingdom’s Under the Sea — Journey of The Little Mermaid ride.
Expedition Everest (reopening April 2022
Easily the biggest attraction on this list, along with Splash Mountain, is Animal Kingdom’s Expedition Everest. It closed for refurbishment on Jan. 4, 2022, and isn’t expected to reopen until mid-April 2022. It’s Animal Kingdom’s only roller coaster and normally one the two individually purchased Lightning Lane attractions in the park.
After they had finally worked up the courage and wanted to ride it on an upcoming spring break trip, TPG’s director of travel content, Summer Hull, had to break the sad news to her kids that the ride wouldn’t be open during their next visit. While still disappointing, it’s much better to know in advance than get all hyped up to ride only to be met with a closed sign.
Festival of Fantasy Parade
Josh D’Amaro, Chairman of Disney Parks, Experience, and Products, announced during Nov. 2021’s Destination D23 event that the Festival of Fantasy Parade will return to Magic Kingdom in early 2022.
This will mark the first parade to roll down the streets of any Disney World park during regular operating hours since the start of COVID-19, with the exception of Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade, which guests who paid extra for Mickey’s Very Merriest After Hours party were treated to during their visit.
‘Mickey’s Magical Friendship Faire’
“Mickey’s Royal Friendship Faire” was a live stage show that was held multiple times daily on the stage in front of Magic Kingdom’s Cinderella Castle. It has yet to reopen, but Disney announced at the same D23 event that a new iteration titled “Mickey’s Magical Friendship Faire” will take to the Cinderella Castle Forecourt Stage in early 2022.
“Fantasmic” is still closed as of now, but will return to Disney’s Hollywood Studios sometime in 2022. No hard date has been given, but Disney also shared that an all-new sequence would be added to the fan-favorite lagoon show that takes place in the Hollywood Hills Amphitheater.
Jedi Training Academy: Trials of the Temple
Unlike the entertainment offerings we’ve already mentioned, this one has not received a reopening date. It’s such a unique experience for the whole family, so we’re crossing our fingers for a reopening date to be announced soon — your kids will never forget the day they fought (and bested) Darth Vader or Kylo Ren.
‘Star Wars: Galactic Spectacular’
Hollywood Studios has multiple options for nighttime entertainment, but “Star Wars: Galactic Spectacular” has yet to make its comeback. In lieu of this show that features fireworks, music and projections, you can see the park’s “Wonderful World of Animation” show nightly, which utilizes similar theatrical elements.
‘Finding Nemo – The Musical’ (permanently closed)
Don’t get too upset when we tell you this show won’t be returning to Animal Kingdom’s Theater in the Wild. An all-new version of the show, “Finding Nemo: The Big Blue… and Beyond!,” is set to debut sometime in 2022. The updated version will have many of the same songs and characters as before, but also new songs and a new storyline.
Until then, you can simply walk straight across from the theater to see the “KiteTails” show at the park’s outdoor Discovery River Theater.
You still can’t hug Mickey Mouse (his health is of the utmost importance, after all), but there are modified opportunities for meeting your favorite characters. You can meet Mickey at Magic Kingdom’s Town Square Theater, Minnie at Hollywood Studios on Commissary Lane at Red Carpet Dreams, Disney Junior characters at Hollywood Studios’ Animation Courtyard and a rotating lineup of princesses at Magic Kingdom’s Fairytale Hall.
There are also a number of character meals available for booking that allow your kids a socially-distanced interaction with Disney favorites (more on that later).
Blizzard Beach Water Park
Luckily, Blizzard Beach Water Park’s annual refurbishment closure on Jan. 2, 2022, coincided with Typhoon Lagoon Water Park’s reopening. Just how long the ski resort-themed water park will be closed is unknown, but we expect it to be a multi-month closure. In the meantime, Typhoon Lagoon is open for wet and wild fun.
The good news is that most Disney World Restaurants are again open for business, even if some of them are operating a bit differently than they were in pre-pandemic times.
Character dining has been modified so characters and guests can keep a safe distance, dinner shows like the Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort and the “Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show” at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort have yet to reopen, and Magic Kingdom’s Be Our Guest Restaurant is no longer serving its quick-service breakfast and lunch is no longer a la carte.
A few in-park restaurants, including Restaurant Marrakesh, Akershus Royal Banquet Hall, Monsieur Paul, Takumi-Tei and Tangierine Cafè at Epcot and Tomorrowland Terrace at Magic Kingdom remain closed for the time being, with no reopening date in sight.
At Disney’s on-site hotels, here’s a quick snapshot of when some fan-favorite dining spots are set to reopen:
- Flying Fish at Disney’s BoardWalk: Jan. 27.
- Saratoga Springs’ The Turf Club Bar and Grill: Feb. 3.
- Jiko – The Cooking Place at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge: Feb. 17.
The popular breakfast buffets at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort’s Ale & Compass Restaurant and Disney’s Beach Club Resort’s Cape May Café are returning on Jan. 31, 2022, and Feb. 15, 2022, respectively.
The best way to find out which restaurants may still be closed during your visit is by entering the dates of your trip on Disney World’s dining page. You can see a full list of restaurants at Disney’s theme parks and resort hotels and at Disney Springs, including which are open, which are closed and which have upcoming reopening dates.
Certain Disney World tours remain unavailable, but a few have returned.
Disney’s Keys to the Kingdom tour at Magic Kingdom and the Wild Africa Trek, Up Close with Rhinos, Savor the Savanna and Caring for Giants at Disney’s Animal Kingdom will all resume on Feb. 16, 2022, and booking is currently open.
Private VIP tours are also available, including a new expensive but fascinating-sounding tour designed exclusively for the park’s 50th anniversary.
When Disney’s All-Star Sports Resort reopens on March 31, it will be the final Disney World resort hotel to return since the pandemic closures. Even so, you may want to call your chosen resort or check Disney’s website to check on any pool, dining or public area refurbishments taking place during your visit.