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Disneyland Article
What Is On Tap For 2022 And What Is Still Missing

Main Street Electrical Light Parade
Orange County Register
Brady Macdonald
December 21, 2021
December 31, 2021
The phased reopening of Disneyland and Disney California Adventure that has slowly but steadily unfolded over the past eight months and will continue to roll out through 2022 could eventually stretch into 2023 and beyond.

Disneyland and DCA’s entertainment lineup for 2022 offers a glimpse at how long it could take for the Anaheim theme parks to return to a pre-pandemic normal following the yearlong coronavirus closures.

The COVID-19 pandemic put fireworks, nighttime spectaculars, parades and live shows on hold during the phased reopening of Disneyland and Disney California Adventure due to the large crowds they attract. Since the parks returned in late April, Disneyland has brought back fireworks in time for the Fourth of July and resumed the first parade as part of DCA’s Oogie Boogie Bash in early September.

Let’s take a closer look at what will be returning in the short term, what’s on tap further out in the calendar and what still remains unknown for Disneyland and Disney California Adventure.

Disney has announced dates for the returning Lunar New Year event celebrating Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese cultures and traditions which will run Jan. 21 through Feb. 13.

Sweethearts’ Nite — the first of three separate-admission after-hours events announced for 2022 — will run on Feb. 1, 3, 8, 10 and 14 at Disneyland.

Celebrate Gospel will relocate from DCA’s Hollywood Land to Disneyland’s Fantasyland Theatre in February. Live choirs featuring local singers will celebrate Black History Month — which runs throughout February. Firm dates have not yet been set for the multiday Celebrate Gospel event.

Disney has also announced dates for another returning seasonal event — the DCA Food & Wine Festival featuring local, celebrity and Disney chefs on March 4 through April 26.

Villains Nite — the second batch of the separate-admission, after-hours parties — will take place on March 8 and 10 at Disney California Adventure.

Mickey’s Toontown will close in March 2022 for construction and won’t reopen until sometime in 2023 as Walt Disney Imagineering reimagines the cartoon themed land ahead of the launch of the new Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway attraction.

The “Tale of the Lion King” will be moving from DCA to the Fantasyland Theatre at Disneyland sometime in the spring — which could be anytime between late March and late June.

The “Fantasmic” and “World of Color” spectaculars as well as the “Disneyland Forever” fireworks show will also return in spring — which likely translates to late March or early April in time to absorb Spring Break crowds.

Disney California Adventure has begun refilling Paradise Bay following an extended refurbishment of the fountains, mist screens and flamethrowers used in the “World of Color” nighttime spectacular. The “Fantasmic” fountains and mist screens have also undergone an extensive refurbishment in the Rivers of America at Disneyland.

Will both nighttime spectaculars come back on the same date? A springtime entertainment package featuring “Fantasmic” and “World of Color” could help drum up interest in the parks while fans await the launch of the re-themed Splash Mountain and the addition of the new Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway.

Star Wars Nite — the third of the separate-admission, after-hours parties — will run on May 3, 4 and 27 at Disneyland.

Why the big gap between the dates for Star Wars Nites?

The first pair of dates fall on the eve and day of the unofficial commemorative date celebrating the Star Wars franchise — as in May the Fourth Be With You.

The third Star Wars Nite falls during the Star Wars Celebration — which runs at the Anaheim Convention Center on May 26-29 in 2022.

The Main Street Electrical Parade will return once again to Disneyland in time for the venerable nighttime parade’s 50th anniversary — which falls on June 17.

The Disney Auditions website — which currently has no casting calls posted for Disneyland or Disney California Adventure — will offer the first hint when the Main Street Electrical Parade, “Tale of the Lion King” show and “Fantasmic” nighttime spectacular will debut in 2022.

The D23 Expo fan convention also planned for the Anaheim Convention Center will be held Sept. 9-11.

What’s still missing from the pre-pandemic lineup?

The Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway dark ride planned for Mickey’s Toontown has had its initially announced 2022 opening date pushed back to 2023.

The other big attraction in the pipeline — the transformation of Splash Mountain with a “Princess and the Frog” theme — doesn’t yet have an announced opening date. The Splash Mountain makeover was notably absent from Disneyland’s recently announced 2022 lineup.

Also missing from the 2022 entertainment lineup was the Magic Happens parade — which debuted in late February 2020 just a few weeks before the COVID-19 pandemic forced the 13-month closure of Disneyland.

The Hyperion Theater — which was last home to the “Frozen Live” Broadway-style show — was also left off the 2022 entertainment lineup.

The same goes for the smaller Royal Theater in Disneyland that offered up witty and fast-paced versions of the “Tangled” and “Beauty and the Beast” tales.
Attractions Referenced


Fantasyland Theatre

Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway

Royal Theatre

Splash Mountain

Tianas Bayou Adventure

Parades Referenced

Magic Happens

Main Street Electrical Light Parade

Lands Referenced

Toon Town

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