Summer is one of the busiest times of the year at Disney World and not just for crowds – there are always lots of new things to see and do. With families ready for summer vacation and the phased reopening of Disney World still gathering steam, expect this summer to be packed with new rides, special events and the return of some favorite theme park entertainment.
As you prepare to visit Disney World this summer, pay close attention. Here are the most exciting new events, activities and attractions coming to the most magical place on Earth in the coming months.
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1. H2O Glow after hours at Typhoon Lagoon
If visiting a Disney water park is on your bucket list for vacation ideas for the whole family, the summer of 2022 might be the time to do it. The popular H2O Glow After Hours is back at Typhoon Lagoon every Saturday through August 27. With limited attendance and tickets, this event offers guests the opportunity to experience popular attractions with a shorter wait, plus the chance to see Typhoon Lagoon fully lit up at night. A DJ dance party and temporary exclusive snacks add to the fun.
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2. Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind
Disney’s latest thrill ride just celebrated its official opening at EPCOT. Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind is a family-friendly indoor roller coaster with an extraordinary soundtrack, reverse launch and of course the Guardians of the Galaxy itself.
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Currently, guests can only access the attraction through virtual queues either through Boarding Groups (available every day at 7:00 AM and 1:00 PM and again at 6:00 PM on select dates for eligible guests to attend the park’s extended evening hours ) or through an individual Lightning Lane purchase (prices vary).
3. Finding Nemo: The Big Blue… and beyond!
The just-launched “Finding Nemo: The Big Blue…and Beyond!” is a 25-minute show featuring puppets and other performers at Disney’s Animal Kingdom park. The production will feature tracks from Disney’s original “Finding Nemo” musical, including “In the Big Blue World” and “Go With the Flow,” along with new set pieces and an LED video wall.
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4. Reopening of Hoop Dee Doo Revue at Fort Wilderness
After closing in 2020, the fan-loved Hoop Dee Doo Revue will reopen on June 23. This beloved dinner show lasts approximately two hours and is located in Pioneer Hall at one of the most popular places to stay in Disney World, Disney’s Fort Wilderness Refuge. The menu includes fried chicken, smoked BBQ ribs and strawberry shortcake.
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According to Disney, guests can look forward to “a few updates to the script and scenery” while enjoying this classic show that has been enthralling diners for nearly 50 years. Advanced dinner reservations are now available for Hoop Dee Doo, with doors opening at 4:00 PM, 6:15 PM and 8:30 PM. The show is dark on Mondays and Tuesdays.
5. Return of the EPCOT International Food and Wine Festival
One of Disney World’s flagship events, the EPCOT International Food and Wine Festival, returns on July 14 and runs through November 19. This year’s event includes all the familiar features from years past, including over 25 food stalls in the Global Marketplace, Remy’s Ratatouille Hide and Squeak scavenger hunt, Emile’s Fromage Montage cheese crawl and plenty of festival merchandise to fill your luggage with.
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The summer and fall festival also brings the return of the Eat to the Beat Concert Series, with a lineup of acts including Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, Hoobastank, Hanson and Boyz II Men.
6. Return of the full version of ‘Festival of the Lion King’
After the temporary closure of Disney World in 2020, entertainment slowly but steadily returned to the parks. In order to enable safe social distancing, a modified version of the favorite show Festival of the Lion King debuted in 2021 at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
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That modified show, “A Celebration of Festival of the Lion King,” will last perform on July 4, so the full version of the park’s long-running music show can return from July 16. to welcome back the Festival of the Lion King you know and love, this summer is the time to do it.
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7. The launch of Disney World’s new MagicBand+
File it under things likely to happen at Disney World this summer. While no official date has been announced for the full rollout of Disney’s new MagicBand+, a select few of Disney’s next-generation wearable technology have already hit store shelves. And with MagicBand+ seemingly in “soft launch” mode right now, we can expect the full launch to take place later this summer.
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If you’re visiting Disney World, keep your eyes peeled for the option to purchase a MagicBand+ in stores or online prior to your visit. Once the full MagicBand+ launch kicks off, park guests will be able to experience a new wave of digital wristbands with light-up features and technology that allow the wearer to interact with their environment, including the Disney Fab 50 Golden Character Statues.
Although Disney World no longer offers free MagicBands prior to your visit, you can reuse an old MagicBand at no extra cost, or you can use MagicMobile, which offers the same features as MagicBand on your mobile device.
Look out for additional reopenings this summer, including Harmony Barber Shop at the Magic Kingdom on July 31. We may also see the reopening of the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutiques soon, giving young princesses and princes the chance to undergo a royal transformation.
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