- Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, an indoor coaster, is opening at Disney World in 2022.
- The attraction and pavilion, where guests will learn about the planet of Xandar, will be in Epcot.
- Insider toured the still in-progress ride. Its story will not be tied to “Guardians Vol. 3.”
Peter Quill and the Guardians are coming to Walt Disney World next year.
A new roller coaster, Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, will open at the resort’s Epcot theme park sometime in 2022 (Disney Parks declined to confirm a specific month expected for the opening). The announcement came ahead of Disney World’s 50th anniversary celebration, which kicked off on Friday and is set to last for 18 months. The highly-anticipated ride is one piece of Epcot’s major, years-long overhaul.
First announced in 2017, the attraction will feature the park’s first reverse-launch coaster, sending guests on a “race through time and space” with the Marvel characters.
In addition, a new pavilion, themed around the fictional planet Xandar, will also allow Marvel fans to learn more about the planet introduced in 2014’s “Guardians of the Galaxy.”
On Wednesday, Insider toured the currently under construction Cosmic Rewind attraction, and on Thursday, we spoke with senior creative director Alex Wright about it.
Here’s everything we learned about the upcoming coaster and Epcot’s newest showcase pavilion.
The Cosmic Rewind attraction will be a massive indoor roller coaster
A Disney Imagineer oversees “push/pull” testing of vehicles on the track for Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind.
Disney Parks, which began construction on a large structure to house the attraction in 2018, previously announced Cosmic Rewind would be one of the world’s longest enclosed coasters. They weren’t kidding — when Insider toured the construction site on Wednesday, the Imagineers there told us it was only about half-built. That half is already mammoth in size.
“The length of the track is a byproduct of the story we wanted to tell,” Wright told Insider.
The “omnicoaster,” developed specifically for Cosmic Rewind, will be able to rotate 360 degrees as it moves along the track, immersing fans in the story. The way it was described sounds similar to the Doom Buggies, another omnimover type of system that allows the seats to swivel around, in Magic Kingdom’s Haunted Mansion.
The attraction features a programmable roller coaster ride system, where guests can be rotated along the ride track in any direction while traveling at high speeds.
Courtesy Disney Parks
“We’ve got a history with attractions that use an omnimover system,” Wright said. “It’s a device that allows us to turn people toward the story and kind of bring them into the scene.”
Of course, Cosmic Rewind, described as a “high-speed attraction,” will be much faster than the Haunted Mansion.
“We wanted to have that same sort of control capability with a high-speed attraction,” Wright said. “That was something that didn’t exist in our repertoire and we had to kind of work on how to make that play out so that we could do that at high-speed and bank turns.”
Here’s a closer look at the Cosmic Rewind cars. They looked pretty slick in person.
The ride’s story will focus on the fictional planet of Xandar, as its people join Epcot’s World Showcase
If you’ve ever visited Epcot, you’ll know the World Showcase features different countries, including China, Japan, France, and Mexico, where you can sample foods and experiences from each culture.
Next year, MCU’s Xandar joins the showcase as the first “other-world” pavilion.
Before you even get to the Cosmic Rewind attraction, guests will make their way through the Wonders of Xandar pavilion, which replaces the previous Universe of Energy Pavilion.
“The planet of Xandar has come here to Epcot just like many of our countries around the world,” Wright told Insider. “It’s a cultural exchange. It’s for them to tell us about themselves, their people, including their advanced technologies.”
Wonders of Xandar wasn’t necessarily always going to be Epcot’s first “other-world” pavilion.
In 2019, Disney had also announced plans for a Play! Pavilion where fans could interact with Disney and Pixar characters, which was at that point expected to open “in time for the 50th anniversary of Walt Disney World.”
But it’s unclear what the status of the Play! Pavilion is now or when it’s currently expected to debut — there were no updates on it as part of the 50th anniversary media event, so we’re guessing it’ll most likely open after Wonders of Xandar, if at all.
What about the ride itself? The Guardians will interrupt the tour as guests are learning about Xandar, sending them on a space chase
As part of Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, guests will walk through the Xandarian Galaxarium inside the theme park’s Wonders of Xandar pavilion.
The attraction is not tied to Marvel’s upcoming “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.”
“It is not connected to a particular film,” Wright told Insider when asked whether the ride is set at a specific point in the MCU. “It’s clearly connected to the ‘Guardians’ films, but it does exist within its own kind of story timeline.”
Instead, Cosmic Rewind will guide guests through a planetarium-like exhibit called the Galaxarium, where you learn more about Xandar.
Naturally, the tour doesn’t go off without a hitch.
“We learn about the Xandarians. That leads to some events that pull us into the adventure and put us onto the ride experience,” Wright told Insider.
In Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, the new Epcot attraction opening in 2022 at Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., guests will join the Guardians on an intergalactic chase through space and time.
The Guardians of the Galaxy will interrupt the experience, sending park guests on “an intergalactic chase through space and time.”
In 2017, Insider learned the Guardians are coming to Epcot because it’s a place Peter Quill conveniently visited and loved during his short time on Earth.
Disney Parks previously opened a different “Guardians”-themed attraction at Disneyland Resort in 2017, replacing Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. It’s now part of Avengers Campus, which opened in June 2021.
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