My wife and I recently had the opportunity to ride Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind at Epcot for the very first time. Despite our oath to never purchases Lightening Lane, we made an exception (one that I fear will become an addiction) for a guaranteed spot in line! As we approached the portal, we scanned our bands and proceeded to walk through the turnstile. What happened next… we never expect…
Ride Through Vids
First, allow me to say… I am a huge fan of ride through videos on YouTube. If you’re unfamiliar, almost any and every Walt Disney World ride (attraction, show, resort, parade, and dining experience) has been recorded, reviewed, and uploaded to YouTube. While some fans view these as the ultimate SPOILER – others see them as a way to relive the magic over and over. We choose to see them as an opportunity to fill that castle shaped hole in our hearts until our next trip back to the most magical place on Earth.
I’m not gonna lie – we have picked up the phone and booked future Walt Disney World vacations through Traveling Mouse Company whilst binging many a-Disney ride throughs.
That being said, we didn’t watch ONE single Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind ride throughs. It wasn’t easy – but it WAS worth the wait!
Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind is the longest fully enclosed coaster in any Disney theme park and one of the longest enclosed coasters in the world. If you love the intergalactic aesthetic of Space Mountain, the high-octane rush of Rock-n-Rollercoaster, and the ease of the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train ride vehicles… than you’re going to go absolutely nuts for Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind.
Billed as a “story coaster”, Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind is fast and thrilling. Filled with twists and turns – this ride never feels erratic or jerky like the outdated like some aging tracks (COUGH COUGH Space Mountain COUGH COUGH). While still remaining true to its “coaster” roots and layout, there is a smoothness to each twist and turn that almost feels like flying.
Screens, Screens, and more Screens!
If you don’t like screens (heavily used at Universal Studios Orlando) then there is a chance that Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind might turn you off. Despite our not having seen the ride though prior to our first hand experience, the word on the street regarding the overuse of screens did have us a bit concerned.
However, we are pleased to announce that we had zero motion sickness and the screen element was just an added bonus to the attraction. Sure, it pushed the plot along and helped add another wrinkle in theme park storytelling… but nothing compared to the ride vehicle’s ability to take the coaster experience to a new level.
A Modern Classic?
In many ways, Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind feels like a classic dark ride made for the modern ages. Though I personally prefer the WDI-classics (The Pirates of the Caribbean, The Haunted Mansion), there is something about Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind that feels almost like a coming of age story for the parks – not too dissimilar to that of how the Eisner-era’s Twilight Zone Tower of Terror presented a bit of old school meets new school approach. Perhaps that’s what you get when a well-themed pre-show and crazy backstory mix well with new and innovative ride technology.
No Idea Dies at Disney
There is an special effect used in the queue pre-show that is somewhat reminiscent of something you experience on Figment… albeit, spruced up quite a bit. Meanwhile, the transportation from one location to another harkens back to Rise of the Resistance.
In short, it would seem that Disney analysts have put some real time into looking back to discover what makes a great NEW Disney attraction – going forward.
One Small Complaint
If I had one complaint…
Our Lightening Lane got us into our ride vehicles within 15 minutes! Meanwhile, half of that time was pre-show. So, what’s the big deal?
We missed most of the queue experience – some of which we know had golden age of Epcot throwbacks. This has been an ongoing gripe of ours regarding Fast Pass + (and now Lightening Lane) for years now. It seems a shame that these “lanes” are constructed in a way that forces guests to breeze through some of the Imagineers most immersive work. Especially after having paid $$$ to experience the attraction in it’s totality.
To add insult to injury, these “lanes” appeared to have little more than painted walls to keep the theme in tact. While it may not be realistic to have an Avatar floating in a glass tube in both the Standby and Lightening Lane a Flight of Passage… but a little something extra would be nice!
So, What Makes The Queue So Special?
If you’re an EPCOT nerd… this queue will really delight you.
- The queue makes a references to the “Big Bang” which was also a focal point in the Universe of Energy.
- When you’re on the ride, listen for Drax calling it the “ding dang,” which is the term Ellen used with Bill Nye on the Universe of Energy.
- There is a section where Peter Quill talks about his fond memories of EPCOT.
Just the Facts
- Cosmic Rewind is located in EPCOT, the previously site of Universe of Energy.
- You must be 3′ 6″ or taller to ride this attraction.
- The total duration of this attraction (once aboard your ride vehicle) is roughly 3 minutes, 25 seconds.
There are 6 Songs Featured On Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind
- September by Earth, Wind & Fire
- Everybody Wants to Rule the World by Tears for Fears
- Conga by Gloria Estefan
- One Way or Another by Blondie
- I Ran (So Far Away) by A Flock of Seagulls
- Disco Inferno by The Trammps
Frankly, we smiled and cheered the entire ride… we couldn’t help ourselves! It was perhaps the most “freeing” feeling we have ever felt on the theme park ride. For 3+ minutes we forgot about life and were immersed in this completely exhilarating new attraction. I guess you could say we got lost in space? And isn’t that what Walt Disney World is all about?