7 Exciting Changes Coming to the Disney Universe In 2022

Happy New Year, friends! 

2021 is now the past, and all of 2022 stretches out before us. On this week’s episode of the Celebrations Podcast, our regular gang of merrymakers chatted about their Disney resolutions for the coming year: attractions we hope to experience, restaurants we want to try, and movies we want to watch.

As it turns out though, we aren’t the only ones looking ahead. D23, Disney’s official fan club, recently released a list of Disney magic debuting in 2022, and it looks like it’s going to be quite a year. Here’s a look at some of the highlights headed our way.



Hocus Pocus 2

Hocus Pocus 2

Twenty-nine years ago, the world met the incomparable Sanderson Sisters. Portrayed by Bette Midler, Kathy Najimy, and Sarah Jessica Parker, the trio has become some of the most beloved villains in the Disney canon. You might even say they put a spell on us. Depending on your tolerance for terrible jokes.

Lucky for us, the Sanderson’s are returning to the big screen this year in Hocus Pocus 2. Doug Jones, who portrayed Billy Butcherson in the original film, will also reprise his role.

I don’t want to say I’m embarrassingly excited about this movie, but it’s worth mentioning that I have my very own black flame candle, which is burning atop my bookcase as I write these words.   



Turning Red

Turning Red

In March, Pixar will introduce the world to Mei Lee (voiced by Rosalie Chiang). The movie tells the story of a plucky 13-year-old girl. As though the changes of adolescence weren’t inconvenient enough, Lee develops a rather curious condition. Any time she gets overly emotional she transforms into a red panda. 

Based on the trailer, this will be as charming and brilliants as we’ve come to expect from Pixar. Plus, it features a big red panda. Who doesn’t love pandas?



Dr. Strange and the Multiverse of Madness

Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness

While there are a few other Disney films slated for release this year, let’s cap it off with the next installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe: Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness. Coming on May 6, the story returns viewers to the surreal world of Stephen Strange. Directed by Sam Rami (director of Evil Dead, Spider-Man, and Oz the Great and Powerful, among others) it looks to be the darkest and most frightening Marvel film to date, filled with Lovecraftian horrors and mind-bending surprises. 

Along with Doctor Strange, the movie will feature Wanda Maximoff after the events of WandaVision in Westview. Fan-favorite Benedict Wong will return, as will Chiwetel Ejiofor in the role of Baron Mordo.



Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind

Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind

While we’re on the subject of Marvel, we have to mention the fact that Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind will open in Epcot this year. Featuring the first-ever reverse launch, and ride vehicles that can rotate 360 degrees, this hair-raising roller coaster will take Guests on a journey across the cosmos.

It begins as you tour the Galaxarium, a facility somewhat reminiscent of a planetarium. As you move along, you’ll learn about the planet Xandar and some of its technological wonders. However, before you reach the end of the tour things begin to go wrong. Your only hope is to help the Guardians of the Galaxy save the day. 

Call it a hunch, but you’ll probably want to eat lunch after riding this coaster. Just to be safe. 



Galactic Star Cruiser

Star Wars: Galactic Star Cruiser

We took an in-depth look at the Star Wars: Galactic Star Cruiser experience last week. With that in mind, we won’t take up too much space recapping here, but I feel compelled to mention it one more time. 

This two-night experience promises to be a Star Wars fan’s dream come true, fulling immersing Guests in an interstellar journey aboard the star cruiser Halcyon. If you’ve ever dreamt of stepping into the world of Luke Skywalker, Yoda, Rey, and General Organa, this is probably as close as you’ll ever get. 

Am I humming the Star Wars theme right now? Mind your own business.



Hey. Disney!

Hey, Disney!

In the fall of 2021, Disney announced the creation of a new voice assistant called, “Hey, Disney!”. Utilizing the Amazon Echo, the app will be available at home on personal devices, as well as in Walt Disney World hotel rooms. 

According to Amazon, Hey, Disney! will allow you to access interactive storytelling experiences featuring Disney characters, including those from Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, and more. It will also let you play games and hear jokes all set in Walt Disney World. On a more pragmatic note, it will help you to do things like set alarms and check the weather.  It can also assist in your hotel experience, allowing you to request things like more towels for your room.



Typhoon Lagoon

Typhoon Lagoon

Okay. Technically this isn’t new, and it wasn’t on D23’s list, but it’s been so long since we’ve been able to step foot in Typhoon Lagoon that it might as well be. As of January 2, the water park is re-opened, after a closure of two years. Guests can once again experience the Humunga Kowabunga, the Crush ‘n Gusher, the Typhoon Lagoon Surf Pool, and all the other aquatic delights in the park (need I mention Castaway Creek? I could live in the lazy river…). 


A Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow

These are just a handful of the exciting things happening in the Disney universe this year. It’s hard to say what we’re most enthused about. There’s so much to look forward to, so much magic to experience. It’s an exciting time.

Here’s to a wonder-filled 2022.   

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