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The latest new ride at Disney World is getting ready to open! Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind is long anticipated, and the time is now upon us.
This post takes a look at what we know so far about the Guardians of the Galaxy ride. As the ride opens, it will morph into more specific information about the ride experience, as well as tips for getting on the ride.
I do have a preview reservation in May. My excitement level for the preview is huge. I can’t wait to ride it.
When Will the Guardians of the Galaxy Ride Open?
Let’s face it, the most important piece of information right now is the Guardians of the Galaxy ride opening date.
Well, wonder no longer, Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind opens on May 27, 2022.
However, not everyone has to wait until May 27 in order to get on the ride. Cast Member previews are just beginning now.
Also, Disney Vacation Club Members and Annual Passholders who were lucky enough to get a reservation can get on the ride from around May 8 – May 21.
General Information about Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind
This is Disney World’s first Marvel based attraction. While Disneyland has it’s share of Marvel attractions, this is an exciting first for Disney World.
Cosmic Rewind is based off of the popular Guardians of the Galaxy movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Considering that the Guardians of the Galaxy movies my favorite out of all the Marvel movies, I’m sure you can understand my excitement for this ride.
The Guardians of the Galaxy ride is classified as a thrill ride. It is in fact a roller coaster with a one of a kind new ride vehicle.
The vehicle is designed to rotate 360 degrees while going along the track.
Here is a video that Disney released back in 2020. It demonstrates the tests being done on the ride vehicles.
This gives you a feel for how the rotating cars work. It also makes the ride look extremely smooth.
This ride is also the first ever reverse launch coaster at any Disney park. And on top of all of that, Cosmic Rewind is one of the largest enclosed roller coasters in the world.
Guardians of the Galaxy Ride Location
This is Epcot’s very first roller coaster!
Cosmic Rewind is located in the newly labeled “World Discovery” area of Epcot. With the Epcot re-imagining that’s been going on, seemingly forever, Disney renamed the different lands of Epcot.
World Discovery is a land focusing on science, technology, and intergalactic travel. You’ll find Space 220, Mission: Space, and Test Track in this area.
Specifically, Cosmic Rewind is housed in the old Universe of Energy building. That building is now called the Wonders of Xandar Pavilion.
Disney’s justification of this rather “otherworldy” addition to a park that traditionally focused on more earthly concerns, is that Peter Quill took a family vacation to Epcot back in the day before he was kidnapped.
I kid you not.
As you can see from this map, the Guardians of the Galaxy ride is located quite close to the main entrance of Epcot.
This will give guests entering there a huge advantage. In contrast, look at how far of a walk it is from the International Gateway.
IF you are looking at a rope drop situation, you want to enter through Main Entrance. But I imagine at least at first, Guardians of the Galaxy will be done via virtual queue.
But more on that later.
Guardians of the Galaxy Ride Height
There is a ride height requirement for Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind. All guests must be at least 42″ in order to ride.
This is described as a family ride. However, an Imagineer has stated that the intensity of the ride comes in between Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and Rock n Roller coaster.
Guardians of the Galaxy Ride Details
As mentioned, we know that the Guardians of the Galaxy ride is a roller coaster with a reverse launch.
We also know that the ride experience/queue is set to start in the Galaxarium. This is a planetarium like experience designed to help earthlings learn more about Xandar and their resources.
We don’t yet know how much of this is the queue, and how much is the pre-show, but either way, I bet this queue is pretty detailed and interesting.
Backstory for the Ride
As I mentioned above, Peter Quill, aka “Star-Lord” visited Epcot with his mom when he was a kid. That is the basic justification.
Xandarians have built an outpost on earth located in Epcot. That particular outpost is now under some kind of threat.
This is a teaser video which Disney released a couple of weeks ago. And following is the summary provided by Disney about what you just saw:
- Someone shouts, “This is an SOS from Nova Corps … Our outpost on Earth’s EPCOT is in danger!” The Nova Corps is Xandar’s peacekeeping team serving as protectors of their planet and the broader Andromeda Galaxy, which is where Xandar is located. This must be a Nova Corps officer alerting us to an urgent situation.
- Clearly the Xandarians have come to EPCOT to oversee the Wonders of Xandar pavilion. I can tell because Spaceship Earth is visible outside the window, gleaming in all its glory. Oh, and because it says “EPCOT – Walt Disney World Resort” right there on the screen (nothing gets by me, I tell ya). But something is amiss because …
- Someone who appears to be a Nova Corps soldier shouts out, “Everything is disappearing!” And, yep, we see things – people, clouds, you name it – literally zipping backward out of existence. Rewinding, perhaps? Hmm …
- The officer is holding up a viewscreen communicator, and then we flash to the other end of that line … to the familiar confines of an M-Ship cockpit, where Peter Quill, a.k.a. Star-Lord, and a few of our other favorite Guardians of the Galaxy are relaxing between missions.
- Rocket is absorbed in apparently trying to “fix” Quill’s Awesome Mix tape. Thankfully, Groot is at least paying some passing attention to what’s happening on the screen in front of them and unmutes the volume – just in time to hear a distress call …
- “Help the galaxy – before it’s too late!” the officer urges – and then she, too, disappears … along with Spaceship Earth! Now we have Rocket’s attention, too, even if Star-Lord is peacefully snoozing away. (He’s been asleep this whole time? Typical.)
- Always considering himself the captain of the ship anyway, Rocket promptly takes the controls and decides to blast off for EPCOT. Because, as he says, “It’s save the galaxy time – again.”
- This is where we’ll come in, I think. As Rocket fires up the ship, we see other people zooming around the screen in Starjumpers, a type of Xandarian spacecraft. And just as the clip ends, Rocket takes the M-Ship into a jump point – the technology that allows Xandarians to travel vast distances of space in mere moments. And that’s it!
On April 27, Disney released the first teaser video for the ride. It gives just enough of a glimpse to make you pretty excited about the ride, but not enough to truly spoil it.
The teaser gives you a glimpse of the reverse launch, as well as the bad guy of this story, Eson the Celestial.
Song List for Guardians of the Galaxy Ride
Anyone who has seen the Guardians of the Galaxy movies knows that the soundtrack is an important piece. The same is true for the ride.
Disney released the 6 songs they decided to include during the ride experience.
They started with a list of over 100 possible songs and finally narrowed it down to these:
- “September” by Earth Wind and Fire
- “Disco Inferno” by The Trammps
- “Conga” by Gloria Estefan
- “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” by Tears for Fears
- “I Ran” by A Flock of Seagulls
- “One Way or Another” by Blondie
The team in charge of narrowing down the songs to just the right ones had the “onerous” task of riding the ride over and over again with all 100+ songs.
That must have been a rough job.
One very important feature is the fact that you don’t know which of the songs will play in your vehicle until you launch.
This gives the ride an extra measure of spontaneity, as well as giving you 6 different ride experiences.
How to Ride Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind
Disney announced that Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind will be available to ride in two ways: via virtual queue, and with a Lightning Lane reservation.
This means there is no option to use a standby line to get on the ride. If you are unable to reserve a boarding pass via the virtual queue or a Lightning Lane reservation, you cannot ride.
Clearly, understanding these processes is pretty darn important. Let’s take a look at what they are.
What is a virtual queue?
A virtual queue allows you to get a spot in line, without having to physically wait in the line.
You get this spot on line by accessing the reservation system on your My Disney Experience app.
The system has gone through some changes since it was originally released. The virtual queue is a fairly straightforward process, but it’s highly competitive so you have to be on your game.
Using the Guardians of the Galaxy Ride Virtual Queue
For right now, this is supposition based on how the virtual queue worked for both Rise of the Resistance and Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure.
Typically, the virtual queue opens up two times a day, once at 7:00a and again at 1:00p. In the past, the 7:00a time was the more competitive of the two.
That’s not to say that getting a boarding group is easy at 1:00p, because it isn’t. You access the virtual queue system via the My Disney Experience app on your phone.
All guests who want a Guardians of the Galaxy boarding group must have a valid park ticket for that day, as well as a park pass reservation.
Once the ride opens, I will post an update for how exactly the Guardians of the Galaxy virtual queue works.
For now, read through this old post all about using the Rise of the Resistance virtual queue. This gives you an idea of how the system has worked in the past.
Considering how similar the virtual queue was for Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure, I expect the virtual queue for Guardians of the Galaxy to work in a very similar way.
There might be some basic tweaks, but by reading the guide for the Rise of the Resistance virtual queue, it will give you a fighting chance of getting a boarding group.
That post is also full of tips to help maximize your chances.
Lightning Lane Reservations for Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind
The other way to get on the Guardians of the Galaxy ride is by paying extra money to use Disney’s ride reservation system: Lightning Lane.
To be clear, just because you are willing to pay extra money to ride, doesn’t mean you’ll successfully reserve a slot.
The booking process for the top individual Lightning Lane access rides has been highly competitive and a bit of a hot mess.
The ability to book Lightning Lane access also opens up at 7:00a. This means that if the virtual queue booking time remains the same, you have to choose one or the other to attempt.
Because I can promise you, all of the available slots for both will fill up within seconds.
With this in mind, it makes me wonder of Disney will open the virtual queue at a different time in the morning. Time will tell.
To learn more about Lightning Lane access, make sure to take a look at my guide to Disney Genie, Disney Genie+, and Lightning Lane.
I think this ride will wind up being a smash hit. It will also be insanely popular, in a park that desperately needs more rides.
Because of that, the popularity of Guardians will be huge.
I will share as much as I can about the ride as soon as I get myself on it. Seriously. Can’t. Wait.
Are you as excited about the Guardians of the Galaxy ride as I am? Or maybe roller coasters aren’t your thing. Let me know in the comments below.