Everything You Need to Know about Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind at EPCOT

Cosmic Rewind is one of the largest fully enclosed coasters in the world and features the first reverse launch for a roller coaster at Walt Disney World.
Guardians of the Galaxy ride (Photo: Kent Phillips)
Guardians of the Galaxy ride (Photo: Kent Phillips)

Disney’s new Guardians of the Galaxy ride at EPCOT is one of the most highly anticipated attractions to open at the Orlando theme parks in years. The Marvel-themed roller coaster, called Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, is set to debut at EPCOT on May 27, and guests are in for a thrilling, action-packed, musical adventure with the Guardians’ motley crew. The coaster is one of the largest fully enclosed coasters in the world and features the first reverse launch for a roller coaster at Walt Disney World.

After getting the chance to experience the attraction for myself in a media preview, I can honestly say there’s nothing else like it at any theme park I’ve ever been to. Here’s everything you need to know about the Guardians of the Galaxy ride at EPCOT.

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Before You Board the the Guardians of the Galaxy Ride at EPCOT

The first full-size Starblaster ever built stands outside the Guardians of the Galaxy ride (Photo: Disney)
The first full-size Starblaster ever built stands outside the Guardians of the Galaxy ride (Photo: Disney)

The gallery rooms are filled with easter eggs, including one featuring Walt Disney himself sharing the original plans for EPCOT. Tom Fitzgerald, Portfolio Creative Executive for Walt Disney Imagineering, tells FamilyVacationist there are plenty of other easter eggs around the queue and on the attraction as well. “You may find reference in some dialogue, and you may even hear a musical guitar riff that will bring you back to the Universe of Energy song,” he says.

Be on the lookout for Star-Lord raving about the EPCOT he knows from the 80s as you get close to the first pre-show space. This is also where you’ll learn more about Xandar, the fictional planet from the movies. EPCOT fans will love that the educational part of the park is still on full display in the Galxarium and throughout the Wonders of Xandar pavilion. “We talked about the formation of our galaxies, our Milky Way, their Andromeda, and how stars are born. There’s a lot of science and EPCOT-ian things in that,” says Fitzgerald.

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The Guardians of the Galaxy ride’s pre-show is funny and witty without being overly cheesy. Glenn Close reprises her role as Nova Prime Irani Rael, and Terry Crews plays a member of the Nova Corps, Centurion Tal Marik. Both roles are integral to the storyline of the Guardians of the Galaxy ride so be sure to listen during both pre-show areas.

The second pre-show room is where the action starts to heat up within the story of the attraction. The anticipation builds knowing that in just a few moments you’ll be working with Star-Lord and the rest of the Guardians to save the galaxy, again. 

What to Expect on the Guardians of the Galaxy Ride

EPCOT's Guardians of the Galaxy ride is Disney's first reverse launch roller copaster (Photo: Disney)
EPCOT’s Guardians of the Galaxy ride is Disney World’s first reverse launch roller coaster (Photo: Disney)

Boarding the Guardians of the Galaxy ride vehicles is easy, and each seat is spacious and comfortable. The lap bar has two handles on the top to hold onto while whizzing through the coaster, but I’m sure you’ll be dancing throughout the attraction. Why? Because each time you get on the attraction you have the chance to get one of six different 70s or 80s hit songs that were specially chosen by Walt Disney Imagineering for the Awesome Mix of the attraction. The completely random songs are: 

  • “September”
  • “Disco Inferno”
  • “Conga”
  • “Everybody Wants to Rule the World”
  • “I Ran”
  • “One Way or Another”

Along with the songs is an iconic score from Tyler Bates, who scored the first two Guardians of the Galaxy films. According to Fitzgerald, the team who worked on the attraction listened to 150 songs they thought would fit the ride, then rode the coaster with 100 of them. “What was fascinating was we learned that no matter how much you thought something could work, listening to the song, thinking of how it worked, watching against a video animatics, until you physically rode it, you couldn’t decide,” says Fitzgerald. “Now the good news is all that labor didn’t go to waste because in the exit corridor of the attraction all the songs that were listened to that didn’t make the ride are there.”

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After getting the chance to ride Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind 10 times, I was able to get all six-song options. Each is incredibly fun and gives the attraction a unique personality depending on which song you get. My personal favorites are “Conga” and “September” because of how fun and upbeat the songs are, but you’ll have to ride for yourself to pick your favorite. 

Without giving too much of the storyline away, you’ll also want to listen to the background dialogue from the Guardians. It’s witty and funny, and completely in theme. For instance, when you return to EPCOT at the end of the ride, you may hear Gamora say, “Locking coordinates for EPCOAT.” It’s obvious Gamora never went to EPCOT as a kid as Peter Quill did in the early 80s.

Overall the Guardians of the Galaxy ride is very smooth, even with big drops, spins, and large screen-based elements. With the attraction comes a new type of roller coaster technology, which Walt Disney Imagineers are calling an omni-coaster. Think of the Haunted Mansion attraction at Magic Kingdom with its always moving ride vehicles that can be turned and pointed in any direction combined with a fast-paced roller coaster. 

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Things to Know Before Riding Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind

Exploring the Galaxarium on the Guardians of the Galaxy ride (Photo Kent Phillips)
Exploring the Galaxarium on the Guardians of the Galaxy ride (Photo Kent Phillips)

Here are answers to the most frequently asked questions about the Guardians of the Galaxy roller coaster at EPCOT.

Does the Guardians of the Galaxy Ride Have a Height Requirement? 

Yes, every rider must be 42 inches or taller to ride Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind.

Will the Guardians of the Galaxy Ride Use a Virtual Queue?

When Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind opens it will utilize a virtual queue system where you can join through the MyDisneyExperience app. This system was previously in place for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure at EPCOT

Individual Lightning Lane purchases will also be available when the attraction opens. A standby queue will not be available when the Guardians of the Galaxy ride opens though. 

Where Is Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind Located?

The attraction takes the place of the now-defunct Ellen’s Energy Adventure attraction in World Discovery at EPCOT. World Discovery is also where you’ll find Test Track and Mission: Space. 

Will I Get Motion Sick on the Guardians of the Galaxy Ride?

If you’re prone to motion sickness you may want to consider preventative action by taking a medication or using whatever works best for you to lower the impact of motion before riding Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind. 

Is There Disability Access for Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind? 

Yes, if you need more time to get on or off the attraction because of a disability there is disability access for the ride. Be sure to tell the Cast Member at the front of the attraction that you have a DAS pass and what assistance your group will need. Those who need more room to get on and off of the ride vehicle will be able to ride in row 10, the last row of the ride vehicle, which has been specially designed for the door to open more fully to allow riders to room to transfer from an EVC or wheelchair to the ride vehicle. 

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Megan duBois
Megan duBois is a freelance writer who covers theme parks, cruising, food and drink, and family travel. Her work has appeared on Buzzfeed, Popsugar, Insider, Orbitz, The Daily Meal, Family Vacation Critic, TravelPulse, and more. Megan has been quoted as an expert and thought leader on theme parks for Forbes and other outlets. Follow her on Instagram @MinglingwithMickey and Twitter @Megand513 for theme park travel tips and tricks, and email her at megand513 [at] gmail [dot] com for story ideas.

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