If you’re headed to Walt Disney World this weekend you better make sure to make plenty of time to visit Epcot Center!
Friday, May 27th Epcot will launch a brand new attraction, the Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind ride, which incorporates the legendary cosmic outlaws from Marvel’s ‘Guardians of the Galaxy,’ characters Rocket, Groot, Drax, Gamora and Star-Lord (a.k.a. Peter Quill) and is the longest fully enclosed coaster in any Disney theme park. It’s a HUGE deal (big enough to fit FOUR Spaceship Earths) and the ride itself puts a unique twist on what we’ve come to expect from roller coasters.
Guardians Of The Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind Is The First Disney Omnicoaster
The innovative attraction is one of the major milestones in the ongoing transformation of EPCOT and it’s making its debut right on time as part of the Walt Disney World 50th Anniversary celebration. The ride is located in the park’s newly renamed World Discovery neighborhood. Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind is part of the Wonders of Xandar pavilion, the first “other-world” showcase pavilion at EPCOT. We’ll get a little deeper into the origin story, but we know you’re dying to know about the ride so we’ll try to weave everything in for you!
Before you enter the Wonders of Xandar pavilion you’ll first lay eyes on a Starblaster ship resting in a docking stand outside. It’s actually the first full-size version of this Xandarian ship ever built!
According to Disney lore (or press release), Star-Lord visited EPCOT as a child and loved the experience so much, he suggested the Disney park as the perfect place for Xandarians to connect with Terrans. Xandarians traveled from their homeworld in the Andromeda Galaxy to Earth – or Terra, as they call it – to create the Wonders of Xandar pavilion, inviting EPCOT guests to learn more about their people and their advanced technologies.
“From the front door, all the way to the exit, we’ve spent a lot of time looking at the detail and the quality behind it because we want you guys to pick up on the detail,” Liz Diaz, Ride Development Engineer told Global Grind. “We always love to leave little easter eggs for you to find, so we’d like you to keep coming back for more and experience it over and over again and hope that you find something new.”
The Wonders Of Xandar Educates And Entertains You During Your Wait
The Wonders of Xandar pavilion features three main sections:
• The Galaxarium is a sweeping planetarium-style space showcasing planets, stars and other intergalactic wonders that connect Terra and Xandar – reinforcing the notion that we’re all born of the same space dust. The Xandarian supercomputer, Worldmind, provides narration in the Galaxarium and gives context to the stunning visuals.
• In the Xandar Gallery, guests learn more about the Xandarian people, culture and history – including the heroes of Xandar – through specially crafted displays including models of starships and a Xandarian city. The gallery also features excerpts from “Good Morning Xandar,” where a host interviews the Guardians of the Galaxy about their heroic deeds.
Just to break it down for you a little more clearly — even if the line is long, you won’t be bored because the geniuses at Epcot have filled the entrance to the ride with some pretty incredible exhibits that ‘Guardians’ buffs and space lovers will enjoy. The Galaxarium and Xandar Gallery are just the beginning though.
Once you get past the exhibit, fans of the ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ franchise will be thrilled to see their favorite characters up on a screen. In addition to the main characters, you’ll get a stellar performance from Academy Award® nominee Glenn Close who reprises her role from ‘Guardians’ as Nova Prime Irani Rael, the leader of Xandar and commander of the Nova Corps.
It’s at this point, as you wait outside the Starcharter that something starts to happen… A massive being appears outside the ship. It’s Eson, a Celestial, who has been watching earth for eons and intends to use the Cosmic Generator to jump back in time and change the course of humanity. Nova Prime Irani Rael commands her top officer, Centurion Tal Marik (Terry Cruise), to contact the Guardians of the Galaxy right away and ask for their assistance (again). At this point, you’re rewarded for your patience! It’s time for the Terrans (aka you and whoever is lucky enough to be riding with you) to evacuate the ship via Starjumper ships.
When the Guardians arrive on the scene, they reprogram the Starjumpers so guests can help them track down Eson, following the Celestial through a jump point on an intergalactic chase to save the galaxy. As Drax so matter-of-factly points out as guests prepare for their journey … if they can’t help stop Eson, “then you are likely doomed.” And now the real fun begins!
Before stepping foot on the Cosmic Rewind, we were told that the ride was hard to describe and better to experience. We’ll say this — it can EASILY compete with ANY of your favorite Disney rides. We’ll also add that if you experience motion sickness, don’t like heights, and are afraid of the dark, think hard before riding this one. For the thrill-seekers, we highly recommend riding toward the back of the ride!
Rock Out While You Ride
One of the most fun parts of Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind is the sonic accompaniment! Just like the “Guardians of the Galaxy” films, Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind weaves in classic pop music – or “poet sorcery,” as Gamora would say! Disney Imagineers tested over 100 potential songs for the attraction and chose six classics from the ’70’s and ’80’s: “September,” “Disco Inferno,” “Conga”,“Everybody Wants to Rule the World,” “I Ran”, “One Way or Another.” Buckle up, because if you’ve never danced on a roller coaster before — this would be the time!
So what is the ride like? It’s not nearly as bumpy as most of the roller coasters you’ve been on before — definitely more smooth than Space Mountain, but not quite as refreshing as Flight of Passage — but you will feel like you are FLYING, forward, backward and yes, upside down.
“We took this concept of our omnimovers, where it rotates you back and forth and points you to the show sets,” Liz Diaz told Global Grind. “Think of Haunted Mansion, for example, it rotates you here to look at this show set, then rotates you back to look at another one. We took this concept and we put it on top of a roller coaster and that effect allows you to do our first-ever reverse launch at Disney.”
“It allows us the opportunity to make it feel like you’re truly flying in space but you’re actually on a coaster,” Diaz continued. “It’s a smooth ride, it’s an amazing ride. You’re floating, you’re flying through space and all it took was just a slight tweak of technology. It was challenging to get to this point but it was a simple concept of ‘let’s smash the two together.'”
If it sounds incredible, that’s because it is!
And of course, the fun doesn’t have to stop there. Right outside of the ride, guests can hunt for Guardians of the Galaxy-themed fashions, accessories, home décor, collectibles, and toys at the Treasures of Xandar shop.
Hope that answers any questions you might have about this thrilling new omnicoaster experience! If you make it to ‘Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind,’ please hop in the comments and let us know what you think about it!
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