Planning a return to the Magic Kingdom in 2022? You might want to bookmark this handy little guide so you know what to expect for your Disneyland trip. After the restrictions of the last couple of years, you’ll be pleased to know that Disney is back in a big way.

The Main Street Electrical Parade and Fireworks Shows are Back

As any true Disney fan knows, one of the hardest parts of pandemic restrictions to stomach was the cessation of the Disney parades, particularly the beloved Main Street Electrical parade and fireworks. We can report the parade is back nightly. As a bonus, a new Encanto-themed float has also joined the festivities!

Character Meet & Greet Experiences are Back

Another tough pill to swallow at the height of the pandemic was the suspension of character experiences. A Disneyland visit wouldn’t be complete without these wandering ambassadors, causing kids of all ages to thrill in their presence. While not all roving characters are back, Disney park executives have promised a slow rollout over the rest of the summer. So, you should see a steady increase as we get further into the summer months.

Vaccinated Guests No Longer Need Masks in Most Settings

Face coverings are now optional for the vaccinated. The unvaccinated (over 2-years in age) are still required to wear masks in all indoor locations. This includes indoor rides and lines to board them.

First Aid Stations and Disney Shuttles require masks for all visitors, regardless of vaccination status.

Guests are not required to show proof of vaccination. This is an honor system that the California government takes very seriously.

Park Hopping Remains Restricted

Prior to the pandemic, Park Hopper ticket holders were free to bounce freely from Disneyland to Disney California Adventure. These days, you’ll be in for a rude awakening if that’s your plan.

The way it works now, Park Hopper ticket holders need to designate which park they would like to start in. Then, at 1pm, you head to the other side. That’s right – for the foreseeable future this policy will remain intact. As long as you know the drill, this won’t cramp your style. Just make sure you have a park “plan of attack” so you can maximize your time in both parks.

You Will Require a Reservation and a Ticket for Entry to Disneyland

Reservations must be made in conjunction with ticket purchase and can be obtained 120 days in advance. Annual passholders (now known as Magic Key Holders) must also be made advance reservations. This is all in service of Disneyland managing capacity in the parks.

The Parking Trams are Back

You may not know this, but parents of small children (after a long day in the park), missed this “ride” the most during the last couple of years. If you’ve parked in the Mickey and Friends or Pixar Pals parking garages, you no longer have to hoof it to your car!

The Disney App and Disney Genie+ Are Essential

If you’ve been to any of the Disney parks in recent years, you know that the Disney App makes a lot of park logistics simple. The App has now been paired with the Disney Genie+, and we can vouch for the fact that you don’t want to be without it.

Not only will you need it for Fast Pass options, but concessions ordering at restaurants is now almost exclusively handled through the app.

Disneyland Hotel Reservations

There’s always some bad news that comes with the good, right? Even though Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, Paradise Pier and Disneyland Hotel are all open for business, capacity is stretched thin, which has made summer prices pretty high.

If you’ve ever been tempted to just stay at a different smaller property, this is the year to do it. Save your money for the parks, and stay at one of the more affordable properties all around the park. And if you book your hotel through CheapAir.com, we have plenty of 3 and 4* properties near the parks under $300/night.

Disneyland Airfare Tips

We always recommend shopping early for tickets, but this year it’s critical. We also highly advise looking into SNA (Orange County) as well as Long Beach (LGB), Los Angeles (LAX) and even Burbank (BUR) to make sure you’re getting the best bang for your buck.

And if all else fails, you can also Fly Now and Pay Later for your flights and hotels with our flexible monthly monthly payment plans.

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