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Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind | Epcot’s Roller Coaster Ride

Get ready for your favorite space-based superheroes to invade Disney World with Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind now open in EPCOT. This new Marvel-based roller coaster is the park’s newest attraction and will bring you on a ride like you’ve never experienced in this galaxy!

Guardians of the Galaxy Cosmic Rewind roller coaster in Epcot

Ever since this Guardians of the Galaxy roller coaster was announced in 2017, we have been extremely excited to see what Imagineers have dreamt up for guests when experiencing EPCOT’s newest E-Ticket attraction. Now that it’s finally open, you can have a chance to experience it yourself!

(UPDATE) – Disney has announced that a holiday overlay is coming to Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind starting this holiday season.

Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind officially opened on May 27, 2022. It uses the Virtual Queue and Individual Lightning Lane for guest access and will not have a standby queue for the time being. Read the Updates section below for more details.

In this post, we are going to share everything you need to know and the latest updates about the Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind ride including the location, story, ride vehicles, and the one-of-a-kind, revolutionary new ride system.

We’ll also talk about a touring strategy for Cosmic Rewind including Genie+ and Lightning Lane information, tips, crowds, wait times the best time to visit, and a walkthrough of the attraction so you know what to expect when you ride.

Nova Ship at entrance of Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind

Since we’ve had a chance to ride it many times, we’ll do our best to answer any questions you have about the Cosmic Rewind ride. We’ve also included a full review and all our thoughts about the ride so far, and what it might look like moving forward.

We’ve had the Guardians of the Galaxy roller coaster on our list of Disney World’s best new and upcoming rides for a long time, and we think that overall it’s an incredible addition to EPCOT.

A lot of people were pretty negative about it coming to EPCOT, but so far it’s had huge success and quickly jumped close to the top of the list of everyone’s favorite attractions.

Before we get started, please read our guide to the Virtual Queue and Boarding Groups for Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind for a look at what guests will need to do to ride this amazing new attraction.

(If you want to skip over some of the basic info, you can jump down to our Full Walkthrough Tour of Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind and see what it was like on our visit.)

If you want to get the latest updates about this amazing new ride, don’t forget to sign up for our FREE Weekly E-Mail Newsletter. We’ll send you the latest news about Cosmic Rewind and any other Disney vacation planning tips. You can sign up here: Join our E-Mail Newsletter!

Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind Overview

  • Location: EPCOT Park, Walt Disney World
  • Status: NOW OPEN (Opened May 27, 2022)
  • Ride Type: Roller Coaster, Indoor
  • Thrill Level: High
  • Virtual Queue: Yes
  • Lightning Lane: Yes, as an individual attraction purchase
  • Ride Length: Approximately 3 minutes 20 seconds
  • Height Requirement: 42 inches
  • Capacity: 4 riders per vehicle, 5 cars per train. (Approximate Hourly Capacity: 2,400)

(UPDATE) Holiday Overlay Coming to Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind in 2022

With a Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special coming to Disney+ in 2022, many people have been wondering if Cosmic Rewind in EPCOT is going to get some kind of special holiday treatment. We now know the answer to that is yes.

During the 2022 holiday season, Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind is getting a holiday overlay and adding a “mash-up of seasonal jams.”

According to Disney “Guests will blast off to the tune of an awesome holiday single, bringing joy to Xandar and Terra, too.” Disney has yet to reveal what songs are going to be in the overlay or how many it will have.

Here is a video from the Disney Parks TikTok page showing a preview of the holiday overlay:

@disneyparks

🚨BREAKING!🚨 Guardians trade in their classic hits playlist for a mash up of seasonal jams this holiday season at Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind this year 📼❄️ #Disney #DisneyParks #DisneyWorld #EPCOT #HalfwayToTheHolidays #Holidays #Mixtape #GuardiansOfTheGalaxy

♬ original sound – Disney Parks

Of course, the music track that plays any time you ride Cosmic Rewind greatly affects your ride experience, so we are eager to see what the difference is with a holiday overlay.

We’ll update you as soon as we know more so stay tuned.

(UPDATE) Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind Now Open & First Impressions

After years of anticipation, the day we’ve been waiting for is finally here! Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind is now open in EPCOT. Technically, it was already open during preview events for Cast Members, Annual Passholders, and others for about a month before the official opening.

outside Guardians of the Galaxy Cosmic Rewind building

Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind officially opened to the public on May 27, 2022, and guest reactions of this groundbreaking ride are out-of-this-world! It’s located in the newly renamed World Discovery area of EPCOT and so far guests are flooding in to ride it.

We got a chance to ride during the Annual Passholder previews and again since it’s opened, and we really like it. In fact, most reviews from Cast Members and guests have been overwhelmingly positive so far. We’d compare it to a crazier, more fun version of Space Mountain.

Even though it sounds scary, it is not overly intense and it’s somewhere on the same level as the Slinky Dog Dash launch, and not as strong as the Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster.

We expect it to be extremely popular during the next few months as visitors come to the Disney parks during the busy Summer season. We think it will immediately be the most popular ride in the park, and probably the 2nd most popular ride at Walt Disney World, just behind Rise of the Resistance.

I don’t know about you, but we can’t wait to ride it again! Stay tuned for more updates in the coming days and keep reading for our full review.

(UPDATE) Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind Riding Options

With the opening of EPCOT’s newest E-Ticket attraction, crowds of people are flocking to Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind to ride it. But it’s not as simple as that. You won’t be able to just walk up to it and get in the queue like other attractions, it’s a bit more complicated than a normal attraction.

Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind opening concept art

Cosmic Rewind is the reason many people will be visiting EPCOT this year and staying on top of the latest riding procedure is crucial to getting a chance to ride it.

We’ll go into them in more detail later on in this post, but right now there are 2 ways to ride Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind:

  1. Virtual Queue Instead of waiting in a traditional queue, guests use the My Disney Experience app to get a boarding pass for a spot in the Virtual Queue. You can do other activities until your turn is called, where you will then show up and enter the queue to ride.
  2. Individual Lightning Lane This is a paid replacement for FastPass and lets each guest purchase a one-time pass that lets them skip the standby queue and get on the ride without much waiting.

The ONLY FREE way to ride Cosmic Rewing at the moment is by using the Virtual Queue. At the moment there is NO STANDBY QUEUE available for this ride so you can’t just show up and get in line, you need a reservation ahead of time.

join the virtual queue

We know many people have used the Virtual Queue on other Disney World attractions in the past, and the system for Cosmic Rewind works the same way. It will be extremely hard to get a boarding group and it often sells out in seconds as it did with Rise of the Resistance and Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure.

If you can’t get into the Virtual Queue, there is a pay-to-ride option available to guests. Remember, not too long ago, Disney eliminated the old FastPass+ system and replaced it with the Genie+ and Lightning Lane system.

Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind uses Individual Lightning Lane entry where guests can make a one-time purchase to ride.

The Lightning Lane at Cosmic Rewind will cost $17 per person for Memorial Day Weekend (May 27 through May 30) and then will cost $14 per person from May 31 on. Up until now, Rise of the Resistance was the most expensive Lightning Lane attraction at Walt Disney World at $15.

Individual Lightning Lane selections

While this is good news for some, only so many people can ride per day, and using the Lightning Lane takes away from other guests who could otherwise use the Virtual Queue to get a reservation for free. This was inevitable however since Disney has made it a priority to use the pay-to-ride system throughout the parks.

At this time we don’t know for how long Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind will use the Virtual Queue. It will likely be a few months, and then switch to a standby queue, but we don’t have an exact timeframe right now. We will update you as soon as things change.

Make sure to read our guide to Riding Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind with the Virtual Queue. There you will find step-by-step instructions and all the tips to give you the best possible chance to ride!

What is Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind?

Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind Roller Coaster model Epcot

Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind is an indoor roller coaster based on the popular Marvel MCU franchise “Guardians of the Galaxy.” In fact, this is one of the longest indoor roller coasters in the world!

Not only that, but it also features the first-ever backward launch into space on special ride vehicles which allow for side to side and 360-degree movement.

What’s perhaps even more impressive than the thrills, is this is a ride that’s completely different than anything you’ve ever seen before with a totally new concept. This is not your traditional roller coaster. Cosmic Rewind will bring guests on an adventure in what Disney is calling a “storytelling coaster.”

Built inside the first “Other-World Showcase” pavilion at EPCOT, Cosmic Rewind is being described as a “family thrill coaster,” though it is more intense than the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train over at Disney’s Magic Kingdom.

Galaxarium in Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind

Cosmic Rewind also features the cast of the MCU’s Guardians of the Galaxy film, so you’ll be witness to all sorts of galactic mischief throughout the ride. Again, if you are familiar with Mission: BREAKOUT and know what a light-hearted, fun ride that is, you can expect something similar here. Disney calls it “an intergalactic chase through space and time!”

You are going to be incredibly interested to see what kind of unique story Disney tells with this revolutionary ride system while still keeping it connected to EPCOT. I think it is perfect timing for the Walt Disney World 50th Anniversary!

We have no doubt that an E-Ticket attraction based on the world of Guardians of the Galaxy is going to be a home run with guests and instantly become one of the most popular attractions in Disney World. Think about what an amazing job the Imagineers did with Mission: BREAKOUT in California Adventure, and how much they were able to do now starting on a blank canvas.

Where is it Located?

Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind is located in Epcot

Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind is located in the new World Discovery area of EPCOT, in what is currently Future World East. It’s on the same side of the park as Test Track, Mission: SPACE, and the upcoming Play Pavilion.

The Guardians coaster takes over the Universe of Energy pavilion where the attraction’s entrance, queue, pre-show rooms, and loading area are held. This is now the first ‘other-world’ showcase pavilion at EPCOT.

The actual attraction is in an all-new “gravity building” behind the pre-show building and is where the roller coaster track is held.

The ride fits in well in World Discovery since that area of EPCOT is focused on exploration, science, and technology. It wouldn’t fit in at all in the other two neighborhoods World Celebration or World Nature, and we think it’s found a pretty decent location.

Is this the Same Ride as in Disney California Adventure?

While there is another Guardians of the Galaxy ride in Disney California Adventure, the Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind ride is completely different.

Mission: BREAKOUT in Disneyland is a remodel built on the old Tower of Terror attraction ride system. Cosmic Rewind, on the other hand, is a roller coaster. The two attractions use many of the same characters, but they are not connected through the story and the rides themselves are not the same.

What Attraction Did the Guardians of the Galaxy Coaster Replace?

Guardians of the Galaxy Roller Coaster in the old Universe of Energy building

If you are a long-time Epcot visitor, then you know the Guardians coaster was built where the old Universe of Energy building once stood.

This building has now been home to three attractions, Universe of Energy (from opening day on October 1, 1982, through 1996), Ellen’s Energy Adventure (1996 – 2017), and now Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind (May 27, 2022 – Present).

The former Universe of Energy building only holds the queue, pre-show, and ride vehicle loading areas. The majority of the roller coaster is in a separate, newly constructed building. The old building has been completely gutted and will look totally different than how it did for the previous attraction.

Before it was announced, there were all sorts of rumors as to where the Guardians of the Galaxy ride would go. The popular thought was that it would also take over the Tower of Terror ride in Disney’s Hollywood Studios. It also looked like it could possibly take over for Aerosmith in the Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster.

Disney eventually decided that it would be a perfect fit in EPCOT and since Ellen’s Energy Adventure had seen better days, this move made the most sense.

Why Did Disney Build a Guardians of the Galaxy Ride in EPCOT?

Guardians of the Galaxy ride coming to Epcot sign

Let’s be realistic, EPCOT needs attractions. The park was let go for so long and has been struggling to stay relevant over the past decade, aside from its annual festivals. Even more than ever, visitors are looking for rides that are engaging and ones that young people can relate to.

EPCOT has never had a roller coaster in its almost 40-year history, so this is a very drastic change, breaking away from the park’s original vision from the 1980s.

However, EPCOT has been trying to make the park more relevant for young people in recent years adding Frozen Ever After, Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure, and now the Guardians of the Galaxy roller coaster.

The Guardians of the Galaxy and the Marvel brand are extremely popular across all age groups, and it happens to be one of the only Marvel franchises that can be built in Walt Disney World. This and the fact that they deal with space travel, make it a logical pick for EPCOT’s World Discovery area.

What Is the Ride About?  Story?

Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind story with Peter Quill

What makes the Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind so different from traditional roller coasters is the fact that it heavily emphasizes the element of storytelling.

Everything about Cosmic Rewind is laid out in a way so guests will feel like they are being taken through a long and intricate story, fully immersing you in the action, even before you are launched away onto your adventure.

The story for Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind starts out as guests enter the “Galaxarium,” which is a “planetarium-like exhibition,” where they will witness a presentation showing them the formation of the galaxy, as well as the planet Xandar, one of the many fictional planets in the MCU universe, and its connection to Terra (Earth).

Galaxarium in Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind

In fact, Xandar’s presence is made known before you even enter the queue for the ride as a Nova Corps ship is parked right outside the front entrance. Later on, we learn that the Xandarians have come to EPCOT to oversee the Wonders of Xandar pavilion. You can even see Spaceship Earth through the window outside in the commercial.

Guests are then invited to learn more about the treasures of Xandar, in a museum-like experience. This is a nod to EPCOT’s original mission statement and its focus on Edutainment, helping enlighten guests, while also entertaining them.

Later you teleport from EPCOT to a Nova Corps Starcharter cruiser orbiting Earth and learn about the Cosmic Generator. This unique piece of Xandarian technology creates artificial tunnels in space called jump points which allow for rapid travel across vast distances.

Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind Model of Xandar City

Of course, things go wrong, and Eson, a Celestial, who has been watching Earth for eons, wants to use the Cosmic Generator to jump back in time and change the course of humanity.

This is where the Guardians come in. The presentation is interrupted by an SOS from Nova Corps and the Guardians of the Galaxy respond to the call.

As described, guests will “rocket back to the Big Bang with the Guardians of the Galaxy,” which makes sense since the word “rewind” is included in the title. Your job is to help the Guardians track down Eson using the jump points and ultimately save the galaxy! Ironically, the Big Bang was also featured in the former Ellen’s Energy Adventure, the exact location of Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind.

In the commercial for the ride, Rocket takes the controls of the ship and decides to blast off for EPCOT as he says, “It’s save the galaxy time – again.” This is where the story picks up at Cosmic Rewind once you get in the queue.

Ride Length

So far, it sounds like a very cool attraction, but how long is the ride time for Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind?

From our experience, the ride length for the Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind attraction is about 3 minutes and 20 seconds. It definitely isn’t as long as its predecessor, Ellen’s Energy Adventure which start-to-finish ran 45 minutes long.

Most of the roller coasters in Walt Disney World are from 2 to 2 1/2 minutes long. Big Thunder Mountain is the longest in the four parks and comes in at a cool 3 min 25 sec.

This calculation is from the time the ride vehicle leaves the station until arriving at the unloading area after all show scenes on the ride are over. This doesn’t take into consideration the pre-show area which is considerably longer and has extended show scenes that add to the overall experience. But the ride itself is just under 3 and a half minutes long.

In any event, the track is estimated to be around 5,000 feet long which makes this ride one of the longest indoor rollercoasters in the world.

What Type of Ride System Does it Have?

Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind Roller Coaster car

Even though everything leading up to the ride is cool, the ride system is why guests are going to fall in love with it. Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind features a ground-breaking new ride system that allows guests to spin around 360 degrees. It also is the first Disney coaster to feature a backward launch.

Think about it. Most roller coasters stick you in a train that then takes you up high, takes you on some drops, curves, and maybe upside down. Then your ride is over. Even when the way the roller coaster does have some story to it, the vehicle points straight ahead, and you never get a chance to actually see what’s going on.

Cosmic Rewind uses what Disney is calling an “OmniCoaster ride system” to guide the guests on their galactic journey. There have been roller coasters that tell a story and coasters that tell a story but never done in a way where the cars are programmed to turn and focus your attention on the story elements like this.

Expect to find plenty of lasers, screens, lights, and animatronic figures throughout the ride, which you’ll actually be able to enjoy thanks to this revolutionary ride system.

Ride Vehicle

Guardians of the Galaxy Roller Coaster Ride Vehicle concept art

Now that we are actually able to ride it, we now have a first look at the ride vehicles for the Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind coaster in EPCOT.

Of course, to make all this magic happen on this new ride system, it takes an equally revolutionary ride vehicle. Concept art images of the new ride vehicles were first shared in 2019 and you won’t believe what they can do!

The Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind ride vehicles are called “Starjumpers.”

Ride Vehicles for Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind

They were designed in collaboration with Vekoma and are modeled after the Guardians of the Galaxy’s starship the Milano. They can rotate a full 360 degrees at any time and even launch riders backward at the beginning of the ride.

Each roller coaster train holds 5 cars of 4 riders each (2 rows of 2) for a total of 20 riders per train.

Guardians fo the Galaxy Cosmic Rewind ride vehicles

Disney Imagineer Zach Riddley also posted some pictures on his Instagram account showing the new revolutionary ride vehicles when they arrived at Walt Disney World and the engineers working on them.

Disney showed off concept art for the Cosmic Rewind ride vehicles over two years ago, and they are truly one-of-a-kind. They may look like regular roller coaster trains, but they are specially designed and allow for 360-degree rotation along the track.

This allows Disney unique storytelling opportunities as they can direct the guests’ attention to various show scenes throughout the ride. The launch for example in Cosmic Rewind will rotate backward!

This is what Riddley had to say:

“Here is an exclusive sneak peek of two of our ride engineers as they prep some of EPCOT’s Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind vehicles at our warehouse in Florida. If you look closely at the colorful paint design on the vehicles (called coaches in roller coaster engineering parlance), each one is unique with different wear patterns and impact marks.

Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind Ride Vehicles

Imagineers were inspired by markings that appear on NASA Space Shuttles and their spacecraft upon re-entry into Earth’s atmosphere.”

We also got a look at these revolutionary new ride vehicles being tested out on the track before the ride opened and their spinning capacity is really showcased:

Guardians of the Galaxy Cosmic Rewind ride vehicle turning

You can see how guests are able to be directed toward whatever show elements are installed.

Guardians of the Galaxy Cosmic Rewind ride vehicle on the track
Guardians of the Galaxy Cosmic Rewind ride vehicle flying around a corner

This video shows the ride vehicles in action and how they will react when in motion:

The only problem with getting the cars to rotate is they need a power source which is a very complicated process for a whole train full of cars. In order to get the ride vehicles to swivel and rotate on command the way Imagineers wanted them to, a new power source was required on each vehicle to perform their movements.

The design Disney has come up with allows the vehicle to use both the bus bar charging system for when the vehicle is in motion and a track-based capacitor while it’s at the loading station. Essentially charging up and then storing that energy to make movements when needed on the go.

All of this points to a ride system that Disney Imagineers are saying is unlike anything guests have ever experienced before.

What Type of Passenger Restraint Does the Ride Vehicle Have?

Train at Loading Platform of Cosmic Rewind

There are individual lap bars that pull down for each seat on Cosmic Rewind.  The bar pulls down across your stomach and locks into place there.  The adjustment is easy and the bar clicks into place without any problems.

There are grab handles on top of each lap bar.  There are no shoulder restraints in the ride vehicles as it’s not intense enough to warrant them.

Is there On-Board Audio?

Inside the ride vehicle for Cosmic Rewind

Yes, there is, and it’s one of our favorite features of the ride.

Just like Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind has multiple speakers behind each seat through which the ride’s soundtrack plays during your ride.  The volume level is high so you won’t have a hard time hearing the music.

Is It Better to Sit in the Front or the Back?

Because of the revolutionary ride system that it has, every seat on Cosmic Rewind gives guests a great view of the action. Since the cars rotate to face the show scenes, it doesn’t matter if you are sitting in the front, the back, or the middle, all seats give an enjoyable experience.

How Scary is the Guardians of the Galaxy Roller Coaster?

Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind poster

While Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind is not on the same level of intensity as Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster or the Tower of Terror, it definitely is a thrill ride. Just how many thrills depends on your level of tolerance.

We consider Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind a moderately scary ride. Disney has designed Cosmic Rewind to be family-friendly and it will attract a variety of park guests in the same way that Flight of Passage does. It’s not as scary as some other rides at Disney World, but it is intense enough that not all guests will be able to handle it.

At the end of the day, Cosmic Rewind is still a dark roller coaster with a backward launch shooting you up to a height of 120 feet, which then spins you around in every direction throughout the ride.

Disney is describing it as a “family thrill coaster,” but a bit more intense than the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train over at Disney’s Magic Kingdom.

From our experience, it falls somewhere between Expedition Everest and Slinky Dog Dash in scariness. While not super scary, it definitely isn’t for the faint of heart or whoever has a fear of heights and doesn’t like riding in the dark.

Is the Ride in Total Darkness?

Cosmic Rewind is definitely dark, but it is not pitch black like Space Mountain.  The ride is full of video projections and screens which light up some of your surrounding areas.

Does the Guardians of the Galaxy Roller Coaster Go Upside Down?

Cosmic Rewind is a roller coaster, but it does not have any loops, inversions, or corkscrews in it. Think of it as a more modern version of Space Mountain with heavy show scene elements and it does not go upside down.

Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind on ride going through jump points

How Fast is the Guardians of the Galaxy Ride?

Disney hasn’t given an official top speed yet for Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind but our estimates put it at approximately 40 mph or slightly under.

Since Disney wanted to keep it family-friendly, Cosmic Rewind isn’t as fast as the Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster or the TRON coaster, both reaching speeds of around 60 mph. It’s faster than Space Mountain which tops out at 27 mph, but it doesn’t quite feel as fast as Slinky Dog Dash which reaches 40 mph.

How Tall are the Drops on Cosmic Rewind?

There aren’t any real drops on Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, nothing that feels like a free fall or that gives you any airtime.  This is surprising considering the immense size of the ride building.

The drops on Cosmic Rewind are mild and comparable to Space Mountain’s, only not quite as steep.  The tallest drop comes at the end but is very small.  You also will not get that feeling of your stomach dropping on this ride.

What is the Backward Launch Like?

Special effects Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind

The scariest part of the ride is the backward launch and it was what we were most worried about before it opened.  After having done it, we can say that it is intense but not as bad as we were originally thinking it would be.

The launch is similar in intensity to Slinky Dog Dash, just facing backward instead of forward.  It really depends on your orientation to facing backward and how intense that normally feels to you.  While it doesn’t bother us, some guests have commented it’s disorienting and if you are more sensitive to backward motion you should keep it in mind.

The Ride is Super-Smooth

One thing we love about Cosmic Rewind is how smooth the ride is.  While it naturally draws comparisons to Space Mountain, the cars glide smoothly around each turn and are not jerky or bumpy.

If a ride is too bumpy we often get a headache, but that is no problem here and it might be the smoothest roller coaster we’ve ever been on.

Who Will Like Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind?

Everyone from kids to adults should really enjoy Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind. It is a family-friendly ride, but we expect it to be especially fun for teenagers and those who like a few thrills in their attractions.

Guests loading into Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind

Safety Information

Our opinion of Cosmic Rewind could be totally different from yours, that’s why it’s important to read the safety information before riding.  Disney has a sign posted outside the ride entrance that reads:

“Be aware that you will be transported to a Nova cruiser orbiting Terra for a demonstration which will consist of thrilling high-speed turbulent – what you Terrans would call a “roller coaster-type ride” that goes forward and backward through the dark. It includes sharp turns, sudden drops, and stops.”

Can I Opt-Out of Riding Once in the Queue?

If for some reason you get in the attraction queue and change your mind about riding Cosmic Rewind, you can opt out and tell a Cast Member there at the end that you prefer not to ride.

If you decide to back out of the ride once you get to the loading area, at least it will give you an opportunity to see the Galaxarium, the pre-shows, and all the other relics in the Xandar Gallery.

Will Cosmic Rewind Make Me Sick?

Model of Nova Corps Starship Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind

With thoughts of riding and spinning in the dark, one of the biggest questions on people’s minds is: “Will Cosmic Rewind make me sick?” The answer depends on your personal level of tolerance, but there is a chance that it will.

If you don’t like spinning or going backward, then Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind is not the ride for you. It doesn’t spin around continuously like the Mad Tea Party or anything, but the ride vehicles do rotate often, and almost at 360 degrees.

The hardest part is that you are in the dark so you can’t see the track or where exactly you are going. Top that off with the vehicle twisting and rotating and you not knowing which way to look all the time, and it can create a tough time for some guests.

From our experience riding Cosmic Rewind, doing it once or twice in a row is ok, but if we did more than that it would be pushing it. Overall we haven’t heard too many complaints about it, but some people we have ridden with were slightly affected.

The majority of guests won’t have a problem, and it’s nowhere near the level of Mission: Space, but if you are prone to motion sickness or get nauseous easily, this ride might make you sick.

Is It Better to Sit in the Front or the Back for Least Motion Sickness?

Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind motion sickness

Like any roller coaster, sitting in the front, back, or middle can greatly alter your experience on the ride, making it more or less intense.  So where is the best place to sit on Cosmic Rewind to be affected as little as possible by motion sickness?

From our experience and the recommendation from Cast Members, the middle rows are the best location on the train to avoid motion sickness.  We’ve sat in the front, back, and middle, and we feel fewer G’s in the middle cars.

The back row offers a more intense ride, although you can see the track better and anticipate which direction the train is going to be moving next.  If you need to be able to see where you are going to avoid motion sickness, the back is a good place to be.

The front row is less intense than the back but you can’t see as much from there.

Also, we’ve noticed from our time riding Cosmic Rewind that the left side of the car offers a slightly less intense experience than sitting in the right seat.  Again, there are fewer G-forces on the left from the way the cars and track turn.

If you can get the left seat in one of the middle rows, this will provide you the best opportunity to avoid motion sickness while on Cosmic Rewind.

Tips to Prevent Motion Sickness on Cosmic Rewind

Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind

This is a personal preference, but having something to eat before riding Cosmic Rewind may help you avoid motion sickness on the ride.  From our experience, we light to have a light snack before going on as it helps settle our stomach.

I’m not talking about having a full meal or anything, you may lose it if you eat too much, but something small like some chips or splitting a pretzel can help your stomach from being too queasy.  Of course, if you are used to roller coasters, you probably know if it’s better to eat or not before going on, but it’s something to keep in mind.

The Connections Café and Eatery is located right next door and you can get something small there before going on.

Height Requirement

Height Restrictions for Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind

The official height requirement for Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind is 42 inches. This number makes sense when looking at other similar attractions around Disney World.

Let’s look at the facts. It’s an indoor roller coaster, one of the biggest in the world. It reaches heights of over 100ft. It’s expected to be a fast but not too fast coaster, with speeds between 30 and 40 mph. And oh yeah, it has a backward launch.

Judging by that description, it sounds like Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind is a pretty thrilling ride. I would have thought with a backward launch it would even have as much as a 44″ height restriction, but ultimately Disney settled in at 42 inches which is what was rumored for some time.

Height Measuring stick at Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind Entrance

Before Cosmic Rewind there were no attractions at Disney World with a 42″ height requirement, it is the first one.

To give you an idea, Disney World attractions with a 40″ height requirement include Big Thunder Mountain, Splash Mountain, and Dinosaur. 44″ inches is what Expedition Everest and Space Mountain have in terms of thrills, which seems right.

48″ would be the same as the Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster and the expected height requirement of the TRON coaster in the Magic Kingdom. Cosmic Rewind is not nearly that scary.

You can compare Cosmic Rewind with all the other attractions in our list of Disney World Attraction Height Requirements.

Boarding Groups & Virtual Queue

suit from Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind Roller Coaster

Another popular question is if the Guardians of the Galaxy roller coaster uses boarding groups and the virtual queue? The answer is yes, it does.

Due to the extreme popularity of the ride, Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind uses the virtual queue and boarding groups. This has been the trend recently with new E-Ticket attractions at Walt Disney World and seems to be the company’s favorite choice when they open.

It worked when we were using boarding groups for Rise of the Resistance and more recently Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure used the virtual queue too. It seems like Disney will continue to use them this way in new attractions moving forward and it’s even been rumored that Disney will use the virtual queues in more existing attractions in the future.

Right now we know Cosmic Rewind will use the Virtual Queue in the beginning, and it will probably stay around at least for the first couple of months of operation.

Current Virtual Queue Distribution Times are:

  • 7:00 am
  • 1:00 pm
  • 6:00 pm (on select days for Deluxe Disney World Resort guests only)

Check out our guide to boarding groups and the Virtual Queue for Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind to see a Step-by-Step guide to how it works and all the tips you need to successfully book it.

You can also read our post on the Disney Virtual Queue which explains how to use it and the benefits of boarding groups. We’ll update you when they decide what they are going to do with Cosmic Rewind.

Does the Guardians of the Galaxy Ride Have Disney Genie+ or Lightning Lane?

Lightning Lane entrance Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind

You may have heard that the old FastPass+ system has been retired, and the Disney Genie service has taken its place. This is Disney’s new pay-to-ride service that lets you skip the lines at your favorite attractions, including this one.

Just like every other major Disney World attraction, the Guardians coaster will have one of the two pay-to-ride systems and the demand will be incredibly high for it. Which one does it use?

As of this writing, Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind is an individual Lightning Lane attraction and it is not included in the regular lineup of Genie+ attractions at EPCOT.

Disney knew Cosmic Rewind would instantly become EPCOT’s most popular ride when opening, so that’s why they decided to make it an individual Lightning Lane attraction. This follows the same pattern as the other parks in making their best two attractions individual pay rides.

If you don’t get a boarding pass or if you choose to pay to ride, Cosmic Rewind should be your #1 priority. Even paid reservations for this ride will sell out in minutes each day and you should do everything you can to get a reservation.

Read our post on How to Purchase Individual Lightning Lane Attractions for an easy step-by-step guide.

How Much Does Lightning Lane Cost for Cosmic Rewind?

Here is the latest pricing for Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind when using the Individual Lightning Lane:

  • May 27 – May 30: $17 per person
  • May 31 and after: $14 per person

Remember, you are limited to one Lightning Lane reservation per day for Cosmic Rewind, so you can’t book it more than once.

Do I Have to Pay to Ride Cosmic Rewind?

No, you don’t, but right now it will be harder to ride without paying.  Remember, Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind isn’t using a standby queue at the moment, so the only other option besides buying a Lightning Lane pass is using the Virtual Queue.

If you can’t get a boarding group in the virtual queue, you have no choice but to pay for an Individual Lightning Lane selection, if they are still available when you try.

Does It Have a Single Rider Line?

Nova starship and Spaceship Earth outside Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind

At this time Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind does not have a Single Rider line. Usually, Disney includes Single Rider with all new E-Ticket attractions but they decided not to use one here.

Usually, the Single Rider line is a great option for families with only one person going on the ride or when making a trip to WDW solo. It allows the guest to enter through the Lightning Lane queue instead of having to wait through the whole length in the regular attraction queue.

It’s possible they will make the Single Rider option available for Cosmic Rewind at some point in the future, but it is not available at this time and even single riders need to get a boarding group and go through the queue like the rest of the guests.

Does it Have Rider Switch?

For parents visiting Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind with small children, Disney offers the Rider Switch program (also called “Child Swap”) to allow both adults to ride.

Rider Switch is a great program for parents with small kids who both want to experience a thrill attraction that they can’t bring little kids on. This allows you to take turns with one person going on the ride and the other staying behind with your little ones and then switching, all the while not having to wait the full time in queue.

When you arrive, see a Cast Member for more assistance and tell them you want to use the Rider Switch program. One person will still need to wait in the standby queue as usual, but the other person will go through the Lightning Lane queue for a much quicker entrance.

How Long is the Attraction Queue?

Attraction Queue for Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind

When using the virtual queue the time from getting into the queue for Cosmic Rewind is not long at all and it should take between 30 and 45 minutes on average.

Thankfully, Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind has a very interesting and detailed queue and it is very entertaining while you wait.  The Galaxarium will have you looking up at the projection of the galaxy while you are in that room, plus there are 2 pre-shows and a whole treasure trove of relics in the Wonders of Xandar Gallery.

Most of the time waiting in the queue is done inside the building in traditional switchback lines so you don’t have to worry about getting burned by the sun.  There could be some waiting outside however depending on if the ride is having any maintenance issues that day.

If you are going through the Lightning Lane it should only take 15 to 20 minutes. The wait is less because after the Galaxarium it skips over most of the Xandar Gallery and goes to the pre-shows more quickly.

Guest Accessibility

Guest accessibility Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind

Disney has to have some kind of guest accessibility option available for all its attractions, and that is still the same for the Guardians of the Galaxy coaster too.

Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind is accessible for guests with ECVs, Wheelchairs, and any other accessibility device. Guests can use ECVs (scooters, essentially) and wheelchairs up until boarding the ride vehicle and then must transfer to the actual ride vehicle.

We noticed that the queue is a bit wider than in most attractions, giving plenty of space for scooters, ECVs, and the like.

During the ride queue and pre-shows, guests can comfortably stay in their wheelchairs, scooters, or other accessibility devices up until the ride vehicle portion of the attraction.

  • Just ask for assistance from a Cast Member and they will then direct you to the loading area.

If you’re unable to transfer from your ECV you can still enjoy the in-queue interactivity and pre-shows, this is your last chance to exit before boarding the actual ride.

The last row of the roller coaster train (Row 10) is used for accessibility and the vehicle even opens up if more space is needed.

Is It Comfortable for Larger Guests?

The Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind ride vehicles are very spacious and can easily accommodate most guest sizes.  

Both tall and Pooh-sized guests shouldn’t have a hard time being comfortable in the seats.  There is plenty of room even for guests with extra long legs and the seats are nice and wide.

Some guests may have difficulty with some of the Universal coasters for example, but Cosmic Rewind is much more accommodating.  Even if you carry your weight in your stomach, the guest restraints have lots of space for most guests and you should remain comfortable the entire ride.

If you can ride Expedition Everest, you won’t have a problem riding Cosmic Rewind as there is even more space than that.

Does Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind Accommodate Disability Access Service (DAS)?

Disability Access Service is designed to accommodate guests who aren’t able to wait in a conventional queue environment due to a disability (including non-apparent disabilities).

DAS is accepted on Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind but there are a limited amount of riders it will take each day.

There are a few changes to the DAS system recently that you need to be aware of:

  1. Guests now have the option of pre-arrival DAS registration before their vacation begins, as well as the traditional registrations at Walt Disney World
  2. Booking ride reservations from My Disney Experience instead of in-person at the attraction entrance.
  3. Up to 2 bonus ride reservations for each day of your trip made ahead of time.

Guests using DAS can make a reservation at any time throughout the day, as long as there are still reservations available.  Rides with DAS tend to book up very quickly, however, so make your top rides a priority.

Keep in mind, that every member of your group must be present in EPCOT before you can make a reservation, so you can’t send one person to the park to book ahead for the rest of the group.  Make sure everyone who wants to ride shows up when the park opens so you don’t miss your window.

Once your return time is called, go to the Lightning Lane queue and you will be able to enter the attraction queue.

What Characters are in the Guardians of the Galaxy Coaster?

Guardians of the Galaxy Mission:BREAKOUT show scene

It wouldn’t be a Guardians of the Galaxy roller coaster without….you know, the Guardians of the Galaxy, so expect to find most of your favorite characters from the franchise on this ride. Just like in Mission: BREAKOUT in DCA, Disney has brought the actual actors from the Guardians movies to film and motion capture their movements for their role in the ride.

The following characters are in the Cosmic Rewind attraction in some way:

  • Star-Lord
  • Gamora
  • Groot
  • Rocket
  • Drax
  • Nova Prime
  • Eson the Celestial
  • Centurion Tal Marik

We know Rocket and Groot show up during the mission briefing, while the rest of the group shows up during the hilarious interviews on “Good Morning Xandar” in the Xandar Gallery.

Interestingly, Rocket is not voiced by Bradley Cooper, and Groot is not voiced by Vin Diesel in Cosmic Rewind. It was probably a budget issue and management likely felt it wasn’t as important to get the originals for two characters that are 100% digital.

Academy Award nominee Glen Close is reprising her role as Nova Prime, leader of Xandar, and commander of the Nova Corps. There will also be plenty of Nova Corps soldiers.

Here is a sneak peek of what she will be doing in the attraction:

Terry Marik is playing a new role as Centurion Tal Marik, Commander of the Starcharter. In fact, when things go wrong on Xandar, Marik is the one who calls upon the Guardians of the Galaxy for help.

Centurion Tal Marik Commander of the Starcharter

The villain of Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind is the Celestial Eson from the first Guardians of the Galaxy movie.

If you recall, Eson was once in possession of the Power Stone, one of the six Infinity Stones, and we even saw him use it in the film to wipe out a planet. He has a new evil plan to wipe out humanity, and your job throughout the ride is to help the Guardians stop him.

Eson Celestial Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind Concept Art

Marvel.com shared a little of Eson’s backstory for the ride:

“Visitors hoping to explore and learn a little bit about the first-ever Other-World Showcase Pavilion in the area will get more than they expected when Eson, a Celestial that has been watching Earth for eons, makes a startling appearance. The Celestial is looking “to right a wrong in a big way,” and the Guardians of the Galaxy — Star-Lord, Gamora, Drax, Rocket, and Groot — step in to help save the day. But, they can’t do it alone and need our help to stop him from completing his grand plan!”

Unfortunately, Nebula and Mantis are not in the attraction. Other smaller characters from the franchise like Yondu or The Collector are also not included.

Guardians of the Galaxy Coaster Songs

Guardians of the Galaxy awesome mix tape

Now let’s talk about what everyone wants to know…”What about the music? The Guardians of the Galaxy films are almost as famous for the soundtracks as the story, so naturally, we want to know which songs will be in the ride.

Disney has now announced the songs that are going to be included in the Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind coaster, and by the looks of it, it’s an incredible soundtrack with hit songs from the ’70s and ’80s.

Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind in EPCOT has 6 songs that rotate including:

  • “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” by Tears for Fears
  • “Conga” by Gloria Estefan
  • “I ran (so far away)” by a Flock of Seagulls
  • “Disco Inferno” by the Trammps
  • “One Way or Another” by Blondie
  • “September” by Earth Wind and Fire

The “Awesome Mix” song list for Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind works in a similar way to Mission: BREAKOUT and will be randomized, giving you a slightly different ride experience each time.

The team behind the song choices brainstormed and tested a group of over 150 songs before deciding on the final list. All 6 songs bring a unique energy to the ride making for a different experience each time you ride. This is inviting for guests to ride over and over and complete the setlist.

While we thought all 6 songs are good, our favorites are “I Ran” and “September.” Those two get us grooving the entire time and we think the rhythm flows with the movements of the ride better than the others. Obviously, this is very subjective and you will likely get a different answer from each person.

Some of the 150 songs that didn’t make the final cut are playing in the ride exit. For example, Dolly Parton’s “Nine to Five” is part of the exit loop once you are off the ride.

Can I Choose the Songs on Cosmic Rewind?

No, you can’t.  Song choice on Cosmic Rewind is totally randomized and picked from one of the 6 songs and cannot be chosen by the riders themselves.  

The song choice is also not tied to a specific train like it is in Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster and all 6 songs are possible for each train.

Cast Member Costumes

Before the ride opened, Disney shared a first look at the Cast Member costumes for Cosmic Rewind.

Cosmic Rewind Cast Member Costumes

Imagineer Zach Riddley said on Instagram: “Like all our experiences, our Cast have a role in our story. In this experience our Cast will be emissaries of Xandar as members of the Nova Corps, helping Guests along their adventure through the attraction.”

Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind Cast Member Costume

“The costumes pull from style, color, and iconography we have only gotten glimpses of within the Nova Corps and the world of Xandar. Now we get to step into this world for the very first time.”

Here is a look at the hat with the Nova Corps symbol:

Cosmic Rewind Cast Member Costumes Hat
Shoulder Pad of Cosmic Rewind Cast Member Costume

The Nova Corps symbol is also on the arm sleeve.

Sleeve of Cosmic Rewind Cast Member Costume

Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind Ride Layout & Walkthrough

Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind is a vast ride and also includes a very detailed ride queue which means there is much to see even before getting on the roller coaster itself.

We’re going to give you a walkthrough of the entire Cosmic Rewind attraction and share details and photos of every show scene in the queue and on the ride.

  • WARNING: Below is a very detailed description of the ride queue and the attraction that contains spoilers. If you don’t want to know the story or see what happens, now is the time to back out. You can skip down to here for general touring strategies without spoilers.

Ok, everyone ready? Let’s get started…

Thanks to a special presentation by Disney before the ride opened, we got a first look inside the Cosmic Rewind attraction building to see what the track looks like.

Inside of Guardians of the Galaxy Cosmic Rewind attraction building track

This is one of the longest indoor roller coasters in the world, and we can see all the twists and turns happening in this massive show building.

The building itself is more than 12 stories high, and what you can see in the photo is only a very small part of it.

Cosmic Rewind Track

There are plenty of projection effects, screens, and other tricks that Disney uses to tell this immersive story set in the Marvel universe. Let’s head to the ride…

Outside/Entrance

Outside Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind

The attraction is called the “Wonders of Xandar” pavilion and it is located in World Discovery, one of the new 4 neighborhoods of EPCOT. Here at the “Wonders of Xandar” pavilion is where your journey will begin.

Even though the attraction is brand new, guests will immediately recognize the outside of the building as the former home of the Universe of Energy. While the basic shape of the building is the same, it underwent a complete overhaul to the inside and outside.

The basic story around the pavilion is that Xandarians have traveled from their homeworld all the way down to Earth, or Terra as they call it, to create this one-of-a-kind “other world” showcase pavilion in EPCOT called: “Wonders of Xandar.”

Nova Starship outside Cosmic Rewind with Spaceship Earth in background

The motivation behind this pavilion is to teach Terrans more about, the Xandarian people, their home, culture, and history, including their heroes like … the Guardians of the Galaxy! As a guest you are here to learn about Xandar, that is of course until things go terribly wrong and you are forced to save the galaxy.

First, we need to find the end of the queue to get in line. Most likely, when you arrive it will be outside the building before going through the tap points at the entrance. Just look for the Cast Member holding up a sign indicating the end of the line.

While you are still on the outside of the building, take some time to admire the beautiful courtyard. Here is a before and after comparison:

Courtyard outside Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind

Nova Corps Starblaster Ship

Of course, the first thing you will notice is the Nova Corps Starblaster ship parked right outside the entrance to Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind. That will come into play the further you go into the experience.

Nova Ship Guardians of the Galaxy Cosmic Rewind

Its size really stands out as you get closer. This is the first full-sized version of this ship that’s ever been built!

The ship is huge and stands 51 feet tall installed on its landing pad area. It is the traditional gold and blue colors from the ships in the Guardians of the Galaxy film and they really pop and draw people into the attraction.

Here is a photo of when the ship was still under construction and first being installed:

Nova Ship Guardians of the Galaxy Cosmic Rewind

Here is what it looked like behind construction walls:

Guardians of the Galaxy Nova Corps Ship construction

And now it’s complete!

Guardians of the Galaxy Nova Corps Ship

We have to say, it looks pretty incredible!

Nova Ship from Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind

Let’s take a closer look at some of the details of the cockpit:

Nova Ship Guardians of the Galaxy Cosmic Rewind

Take a look at the lines on this thing…

Nova Ship Guardians of the Galaxy Cosmic Rewind

I especially like the honed finish on the paint, giving it an authentic look.

Nova Ship Guardians of the Galaxy Cosmic Rewind

Here is a look at the back of the ship:

backside of Nova Starship

This ship is the signature icon of the Wonders of Xandar pavilion and immediately establishes the Xandarian storyline guests will discover inside this new attraction.

Nova Ship Guardians of the Galaxy Cosmic Rewind

Once you spend some time in the courtyard, move forward to the entrance.

Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind entrance

Queue

When you arrive toward the front of the building you will see the Lightning Lane and Standby queue entrances.

Entrance queues to Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind
Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind queues

The display above the queue shows the estimated wait time and other information.

Welcome Terrans outside Cosmic Rewind

You’ll notice the sign with safety warnings for the attraction:

Safety Warning for Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind

There is also a height requirement measure so you know if your little ones are tall enough to ride.

Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind height requirement

And you can see the fancy Wonders of Xandar logo on the tap points at the Lightning Lane entrance.

Tap points for Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind entrance

As you head through the door, the star-shaped “Wonders of Xandar” sign is the first thing you see and it looks like something out of an old-school EPCOT attraction. The Wonders of Xandar Pavilion is made to help guests get acclimated to the atmosphere and prepare for their journey.

Wonders of Xandar sign in queue

Here you enter the first of 3 spaces inside the pavilion on your way to the ride.

beginning of queue at Cosmic Rewind

“Galaxarium”

Galaxarium entrance Cosmic Rewind

Once you walk through the door, you enter the attraction’s first elaborate show building called the “Galaxarium.” This is the first area of the attraction queue you will see when you enter the building.

The “Galaxarium” is an observatory of the entire galaxy where your adventure starts. Here this planetarium-like exhibition explores the similarities and mysteries of the formation of Earth’s galaxy and Xandar.

Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind Galaxarium

It is a key part of the queue and tells part of the story leading up to the Cosmic Rewind ride and where the Xandarians will introduce guests to their world and technology.

Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind Galaxarium

The Galaxarium is a large, open room with a high ceiling. The unique part about it is its huge overhead big display using projections here in the Galaxarium. This gigantic video screen on the top of the ceiling lets guests look out into space just like you would in a planetarium.

video screen on the ceiling of Galaxarium

Since we are going “back to the Big Bang with the Guardians of the Galaxy,” it makes sense that we first get to witness the creation of the galaxy.

Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind Queue Galaxarium

The room has ramps taking you up the structure’s multiple levels, with multiple galleries and showrooms further ahead. One side of the room is the virtual queue, and the other side is for the Lightning Lane.

ramps around the side of the Galaxarium

The attraction queue winds around the room, through the middle, and then out the other side. No matter where you are in the room you get a different view of the Galaxarium and almost all of them are stunning!

Besides planets and stars flying by, you also will see a giant version of the Guardians of the Galaxy Mix Tape, a preview of the audio tracks to come during the ride.

Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind Galaxarium Queue

The entire time you are waiting, the Xandarian supercomputer, Worldmind, gives narration and context to the incredible visuals you are watching.

The entire video reel inside the Galaxarium is more than 30 minutes long, so even if you are stuck here for a while, you will always be watching something different.

Video reel in Galaxarium in Cosmic Rewind

A description from Disney reads: “The Xandarian supercomputer, Worldmind, provides narration in the Galaxarium and gives context to the stunning visuals.”

From our time there we were really blown away. It looks pretty amazing, giving off some classic EPCOT Center vibes. It also feels similar to the explanation The Collector gives the Guardians of the Galaxy about the Infinity Stones in the first film.

Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind Galaxarium

Once you are finished in the Galaxarium, head up the ramp to the Xandar Gallery.

heading up the ramp into the Xandar Gallery

The Xandar Gallery

Next, you enter the Xander Gallery which is sure to bring back memories from the first Guardians of the Galaxy film. It is here that you begin to learn more about the Xandarian people with relics from their history and culture on display to see.

Going into the Xandar Gallery in Cosmic Rewind

It’s not quite as entertaining as the Mission: BREAKOUT one is, but it’s very “Guardians of the Galaxy” with easter eggs all over the place from the Guardians films and MCU! This is the most “museum-like” section of the queue.

Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind Xandar Gallery

First, we see the grand model of a Xandarian city. There is an audio explanation of how they are able to provide sustainable energy to the planet. This is very “old-school EPCOT” in design and feel.

Model of Xandarian City in Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind

The cityscape model is really gorgeous and meticulously detailed. Make sure to examine it carefully as you pass by.

Cosmic Rewind Xandar Cityscape model
details of Xandarian city model

On the walls are elaborate video displays sharing information about the planet Xandar and how the people were able to build and run the cities there, as well as the climate, plant life, and animals.

Video display in Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind
Cosmic Rewind Xandar Gallery hallways

Here is a look at the queue space in the Xandar Gallery:

Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind ride queue

Nova Corps uniforms are on display in the windows of the gallery:

Nova Corps uniforms

After that, we see a specially-crafted model of the Nova Corps Starblaster ship like the one outside:

Nova Corps Starblaster ship
Nova Corps Starblaster ship Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind queue

Another highlight, and definitely the funniest part of the queue is the video program “Good Morning Xandar.” Here you will see a host who interviews the various members of the Guardians of the Galaxy about their heroic deeds.

Good Morning Xandar in Cosmic Rewind queue

Here is where you can see Star-Lord talk about his time at EPCOT as a child and his love for certain attractions that are no longer around. Horizons, the Universe of Energy dinosaurs, and “Veggie Veggie Fruit Fruit” from the Kitchen Kabaret are all mentioned.

Star-Lord talking about EPCOT history in Cosmic Rewind

Gamora, Groot, Rocket, and Drax are also interviewed.

Rocket and Groot in Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind queue

After passing the videos, we get another model of a starship, this time the Guardians’ ship the Milano:

Milano Ship Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind
Guardians of the Galaxy Milano Starship

There are also curved screens inside the gallery queue with the Guardians of the Galaxy and Nova Corps on display:

Curved screens in Xandar Gallery Cosmic Rewind

Fans will like the tribute to Walt Disney and the EPCOT project. The video explains how Walt’s original vision for EPCOT is similar to that of the Xandarians for their own planet and how they both “appreciate the value of good design and better living.”

Keep in mind that this whole area is only viewable to guests in the virtual queue or standby queue. If you enter the attraction using the Lightning Lane, you will skip past the Xandar Gallery so you might want to come back again to see it.

Pre-Show Scene 1 – Welcome Center

Once you leave the Xandar Gallery, there are 2 main pre-show areas that will start off the story for the mission are about to go on.

The first one is called the Welcome Center and it’s a big open room where guests gather to hear the first instructions for their mission. This is essentially a holding room before moving on.

Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind Pre-Show Welcome Center

It is here in the Welcome Center that Glen Close reprises her role as Nova Prime, the leader of Xandar, and commander of the Nova Corps from the Guardians of the Galaxy films.

Glen Close as Nova Prime Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind

She talks to guests from the giant video screen above the room during the first part of the show:

Cosmic Rewind Pre-Show video

She explains how our world and theirs were both born at the same moment in the “Big Bang” and that we are all galactic neighbors. Since our worlds are 2,500,000 years apart, Xandarians created the “Cosmic Generator” which creates jump ports linking distant points in space and can be used to travel the galaxy in seconds.

Jumping through portals in Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind

She explains how you are now going to be transported to a Nova ship above Earth for a demonstration of the Cosmic Generator.

Once she is done, Centurion Tal Marik, Commander of the Starcharter played by Terry Marik fills you in on the next part of the experience.

Centurion Tal Marik Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind

Once the doors open, head into the Phase Chamber teleportation room.

Pre-Show Scene 2 – Phase Chamber

The second pre-show room is called the Phase Chamber.  Here you are teleported to the Xandarian ship for a demonstration of the Cosmic Generator.

The chamber is pretty impressive and one of the cooler pre-show rooms you will see.

Phase Chamber Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind

Apparently, they have never teleported humans before, but it shouldn’t be a problem because we have more or less the same genetic makeup. That doesn’t sound very good…

When the teleportation process starts the room goes dark, and despite the long odds, it works and you arrive on the ship!

Second Pre Show Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind

The special effects here are amazing and the way that the walls move sending you from one space to another is pretty mind-blowing. It’s a really impressive trick that Disney Imagineers were able to pull off.

Once you are on the ship the cosmic generator is revealed to you as well as some windows looking out into space. But things don’t go as planned. The generator disappears from the ship and Nova Prime tells Tal Marik to go to code red and call the Guardians of the Galaxy for help.

Cosmic Generator stolen in Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind

The Guardians arrive but so does the villain of the story, Eson the Celestial.

Eson the Celestial in Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind

After saying that he “intends to use the Cosmic Generator to jump back in time and change the course of humanity” time is up, Eson leaves through one of the jump points.

Eson the Celestial escaping in Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind

Not to worry, Rocket has a plan. He says you need to board an escape shuttle and follow Eson until the Guardians of the Galaxy are able to catch up and save humanity. Once that scene is over, you leave the room through a hallway toward the loading area.

Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind Pre-Show without the cosmic generator

No Audio-Animatronics?

Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind concept art with Groot and Rocket

During the construction, it appeared that there were going to be Rocket and Groot audio-animatronic figures in one of the pre-show areas. You can see what that would have looked like in the concept art above.

In the end, they never were built and therefore there are no animatronics in the Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind attraction. In fact, the whole show scene is much different than what Disney made in the concept art. The Milano ship and Rocket and Groot don’t appear at all like that and instead, we got the scene with Eson the Celestial.

Unfortunately, all of the characters you see throughout the attraction are on video screens or projections, and the animatronic versions of them never came to fruition.

Loading Station

Concept art for Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind Loading Area

The Loading Station is next and is located down the hall.  There are dual load stations for 2 trains to load simultaneously.  Each train holds 20 passengers with 5 cars of 4 people each.

Head through the doorway and down the narrow hallway.

Leaving the Phase Chamber Pre-Show Room

On the wall, you see a cool model of the ship.

Model of the Nova Starship in lights on the wall of Cosmic Rewind

If you look closely at the backstage ship, you can see its tribute to the classic Universe of Energy ride.

Classic Universe of Energy symbol in Cosmic Rewind queue

Continue down the hallway and up the ramp.

going up the hallway toward loading station

In case you missed it before, there is another warning sign posted on the wall with all safety requirements and recommendations.

Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind Warning Sign

Follow the narrow hallway which leads to the loading stations on your left and right.

Bridge over the loading station in Cosmic Rewind

Guests walk down the ramp from the hallway above and make their way toward the loading platform.

Heading down the ramp in Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind Loading area

The first thing you’ll notice is the similarities between the Cosmic Rewind loading area and the one in WEB SLINGERS: A Spider-Man Adventure at Disney California Adventure.

Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind Loading Platform

The loading station has a very urban industrial look and feel to it and the metallic surfaces plus the colors are all very similar to WEB SLINGERS, as well as the long shape of the area.

One of our favorite details is the Nova Corps star symbol on the wall above the ramp.

Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind queue

“Much of the Nova Corps designs are inspired by their star symbol and that symbol makes several appearances in the space in striking illuminated graphics.”

Nova Corps star symbol Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind

On the loading platform, there are 10 loading bays, one for each row of the train.

Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind Loading Station with 10 bays

There is a holding area for guests requesting a front-row seat or guests with accessibility needs.

Holding area for accessibility Cosmic Rewind

One of the ways that Disney helps tell the story is by infusing details into all the various functional items that make up an attraction and Cosmic Rewind is no different.

Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind station gates

Imagineer Zach Riddley describes: “Angular designs, striking use of colors, and materials all help tell the story of a Nova Corps facility. The railings, station gates, and floor markings (yes, the floor is pretty cool too) are all used to convey the experience in ways that might not be as obvious or apparent, but every detail is a choice that supports our story.”

Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind details on the ceiling

“Our station gates have a weight and scale to them to help convey the industrial nature of the area. Handrails made from stainless steel give a sturdy and durable feel and show the precision craftsmanship of the Nova Corps.”

Loading gates at Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind

Now let’s look at the trains. These of course are not just any old roller coaster trains, they are Starjumper shuttles, small escape pods you use to take off from the Starcharter cruiser and go with the Guardians of the Galaxy on a race through time and space!

Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind ride vehicle at loading station

The cool part is that these unique ride vehicles allow guests to spin in different directions throughout the ride which will enhance the storytelling and help them to see the show elements more clearly.

Here’s a closeup of the Starjumper ride vehicles:

Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind ride vehicle train

There are two rows in each vehicle for a total of 4 people in each.

Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind Ride Vehicles

You can see the large and spacious seats available on each vehicle.

Seats in ride vehicle Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind

The speakers are located in the middle of the two seats and provide audio for both guests.

Speakers in ride vehicle Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind

Here is a look at the lap bar with handles.

Lap bar in ride vehicle Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind

There is even a storage bag to put your glasses or any other loose valuables in.

Once you get in the ride vehicle, pull the lap bar down and you are ready to go!

Ride Vehicle leaving the station Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind

The Ride

The launch tunnel brings passengers from the initial show building and launches them to the main attraction (Gravity) building.

The train slowly moves over to a tunnel where you get a few last words from the Guardians before the launch. Rocket doesn’t seem to have much faith in the plan and says “it’s never gonna work!”

Going up the ramp on Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind

The two buildings are connected by the launch tunnel in the same manner as the Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster is, only this time the launch tunnel is on an incline and propels riders into the gravity building backward, up to the attraction’s peak height of 133 feet.

Launch Ramp Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind

This is the first backward-launch coaster Disney has ever created and the effects here are awesome!

Backward Launch Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind

The ride vehicles don’t travel backward throughout the entire ride, but they turn around and from side to side so you can see all the storytelling elements better.

Riding Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind

All throughout the ride, there is a ton of action taking place 360 degrees around you. You’ll follow Eason through the jump ports and save the galaxy. The special effects on the ride are top-notch, even if they are all screens.

Moon in Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind

Once the ride is finished, there is one more scene at the end where the Guardians of the Galaxy congratulate you on a mission complete!

Guardians of the Galaxy at end of the ride on Cosmic Rewind

Once your ride is over, the train returns back to the initial show building and guests unload and return downstairs.

Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind Exit Platform

Follow the hallway until you are outside.

VIDEO: Full Ride POV

If you don’t mind spoilers and want to see this attraction in action, then watch this Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind Full Ride POV Video. In the video, you can see each show scene and all the surprises.

Treasures of Xandar Gift Shop

Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind Gift Shop

Just like any good Disney attraction, there is always a gift shop close by and in this case, “Treasures of Xandar” is the official gift shop for Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind.  However, the ride doesn’t empty out into the gift shop, instead, it’s located on the far right side of the building near the exit.

You do not have to ride Cosmic Rewind to enter the gift shop, and if your friends or family are riding and you stayed behind, it might be a nice opportunity to see what’s there.  As you can expect, you will find merchandise themed to the Guardians of the Galaxy, and it has some of our favorite items in the whole park so check it out!

When Will Guardians of the Galaxy Coaster Open?

Cosmic Rewind Roller Coaster Model at Epcot Experience

All of this sounds incredible, but when is the Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind opening? Thankfully, you don’t have to wait anymore…

  • Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind officially opened on Friday, May 27, 2022, at EPCOT park in Walt Disney World.

That means there is no more waiting and it will be open during your next trip to EPCOT.

The original plan was to open Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind sometime in 2021, in time for Walt Disney World’s 50th Anniversary. This ride, along with others, was supposed to be the headline attraction that would bring record crowds back to the theme parks during the festivities.

However, with the Disney World closure in 2020, those plans for Cosmic Rewind were changed and the ride was delayed by more than a year. Thankfully, it wasn’t part of the now-famous budget cuts to new attractions coming to the Disney parks, and cutting the project altogether just didn’t make sense.

Guardians of the Galaxy Star-Lord and Gamora

The construction on the ride was so far along when they started making cuts, that it didn’t make sense to not see it through until the end. The entire gravity building and roller coaster track had already been installed and Disney was not going to leave it unfinished.

Still, many months passed with no construction on the project, and even when it started back up, things moved slowly for some time. Disney World’s 50th officially started on October 1, 2021, and there was no way to get the job done in time.

May was a good choice to open Cosmic Rewind. Memorial Day 2022 is what we were thinking before this latest update and we had actually guessed Friday, May 27, 2022, as the exact opening date so it was no shock when the announcement was made official.

Guardians of the Galaxy Cosmic Rewind Concept Art ride poster

A Winter or Spring of 2022 would have been too early since the Star Wars Hotel just opened in March, and there was no way Disney would also open Cosmic Rewind the same month. They wouldn’t open both major projects super close to each other, they need to spread out the good press.

The funny part was the accidental announcement made by Chief Corporate Affairs Officer Geoff Morrell on Twitter a couple of months before the opening, before Disney had given any dates. Once the mistake was seen, he promptly deleted the tweet. Here is what it looked like:

Guardians of the Galaxy Cosmic Rewind opening Memorial Day 2022

Even though the opening was well into the 50th celebration, Disney is still able to package the ride as part of the 50th because the actual celebration is taking place over an 18-month period, leaving plenty of room for interpretation.

We are just happy it will already be open by October 1, 2022. That is the 40th anniversary of EPCOT, and it will be a great way to celebrate.

With attendance coming back strong, EPCOT needs another good attraction to eat the crowds. Having a headliner attraction like this will really help to keep guests satisfied over the next 2 to 3 years. The yearly festivals aren’t going to cut it, and Cosmic Rewind will give Disney and Marvel fans alike something new and exciting to make the trip for.

ride vehicle for Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind Roller Coaster

Construction

Guardians of the Galaxy Nova Corps Ship

Construction on Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind started in late August 2017. Demolition started on the former Universe of Energy building, as well as preparation for the new gravity building where the roller coaster track is held.

This has been a historic construction project due to the sheer size of the building. In fact, it took 960 truckloads of concrete to construct the foundation for the gravity building!

Disney Imagineers inside the Galaxarium

Not only was the show building completely redone on the outside and inside, but solar panels were also installed on the roof. The new attraction queue building was built as well as the roller coaster track and all the displays and special effect features inside of it.

The courtyard in front of the building was re-done and now holds a Xandarian ship awaiting guests as they arrive.

Disney Imagineers in Cosmic Rewind Loading Area

You can follow older updates in the construction of the Guardians of the Galaxy coaster in our blog post. There we have pictures of the latest work.

If you want to see the progress on more projects going on around property, check out our Walt Disney World Construction guide.

Annual Passholder Previews

Sometimes when Disney opens new attractions, it has soft openings to let some guests try them before the main public. These preview events usually include members of the Media, Cast Members, and at times there are even Annual Passholder preview events where AP holders come for a special event letting them ride the attraction.

The opening for Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind has come and gone but there were preview events in April and May 2022 for Cast Members, Media, Club 33 Members, DVC Members, Golden Oak Club Members, D23 Gold Members, and Disney World Annual Passholders.

Just like Disney did for the Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure preview events, each registered guest had a specific date and return time where they were able to ride Cosmic Rewind.

Cosmic Rewind Holiday Mode?

Sometimes Disney creates alternate “holiday modes” for its attractions to give guests something different when riding during the holiday season.  The popular choices here are during Halloween and Christmas.

For example, Disney has a holiday overlay for Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout in Disney California Adventure and it is perhaps even more popular than the regular version of the ride.

In fact, Disney has just announced a holiday overlay coming to Cosmic Rewind this holiday season. It will include a “mash-up of seasonal jams,” creating a unique ride experience. According to Disney “Guests will blast off to the tune of an awesome holiday single, bringing joy to Xandar and Terra, too.”

This should be really easy to do since the majority of the ride is just screens and projections so there aren’t many physical sets they would have to modify. Just change the songs, add some seasonal effects and it is all set.

We are mildly surprised with the announcement since Walt Disney World isn’t as into holiday versions of rides as Disneyland is, but I guess they decided to go for it.  We’ll keep you updated once we hear more from Disney including the song list.

Wait Times and Crowds (Touring Strategy)

crowds for Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind

Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind has already proven to be a popular attraction, so how long are the wait times and what type of touring strategy should you use to ride it?

There was a lot of controversy around Cosmic Rewind before it opened with many EPCOT purists claiming it would ruin the park and that it doesn’t belong. Even if some of the critiques against the attraction may be true, or if you are not Guardians of the Galaxy fans, this is a must-do attraction and you definitely don’t want to skip it.

I’m not sure Cosmic Rewind will see the same level of hype as Rise of the Resistance got, but it is up there with the most popular new rides of the past 10 years. It will be stiff competition between this and the TRON coaster, which should open soon.

Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind is already attracting huge crowds and it’s going to be difficult to get into the virtual queue or even get a Lightning Lane pass for some time. A bump in attendance happens with almost every new attraction, but we think this is going to be particularly evident with this ride.

Just think, EPCOT has never seen a new ride of this magnitude come to the park and it has instantly become the most popular ride there, and one of a handful in Disney World.

Cosmic Rewind Roller Coaster wait times

That’s why to be successful you need to have a good plan. Of course, we’ll have more strategies for you as the months go by and we are able to see what sort of long-term effect Cosmic Rewind will have on EPCOT.

If you are going to be in Disney World in the coming months and want to ride Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, you basically have two options:

Right now there is no standby queue for Cosmic Rewind, though we expect there to be one at some point in the future. When it eventually goes to a standby queue, the long lines that occurred for Frozen Ever After, Test Track, and Soarin’ won’t be anything compared to this.

So far this year, Walt Disney World crowd levels as a whole have been extremely high, and we expect that to continue for the rest of the year. With Cosmic Rewind open, people have been flocking to EPCOT to ride this and it might take over Hollywood Studios as the busiest park in Disney World at some point.

Because of all this, we think Cosmic Rewind has big staying power and will be one of the best attractions in EPCOT for years to come.

Expect similar crowds that came out for Rise of the Resistance, with boarding groups selling out early in the morning each day, as well as the Individual Lightning Lanes.

Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind Pre-Show

All these changes have drastically modified any touring strategy you might have previously used, and have made keeping up with it an almost daily occurrence. That’s why we’ve come up with some good tips and strategies to help you ride it as easily as possible.

For this guide, we are basing our plan on the fact that Cosmic Rewind is a Lightning Lane purchase and that it will also have the Virtual Queue.

  • The best advice we can give is to make Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind your number one priority of the day. Getting a spot in the virtual queue would be our recommended option since it’s free. If you can get a boarding group you are golden and can concentrate on other attractions.

Make sure to read our guide on How to Ride Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind with the virtual queue. That will give you your best chance at a boarding group.

If you can’t get a boarding pass, your only alternative is to pay to ride.

Also, we are working on an EPCOT Touring Plans Guide where you can see specific 1 and 2-Day Itineraries for visiting the park. Stay tuned for that soon.

Using the Lightning Lane

Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind Lightning Lane Entrance

Since FastPass+ was been discontinued in the parks, getting paid access through the Individual Lightning Lanes is the only way to skip the line without getting into the Virtual Queue. Cosmic Rewind is not included among the group of Genie+ attractions in the park, but it’s a separate pay-to-ride service.

Individual Lightning Lane selections can save you some serious time and can be worth it for some of the most popular rides. Right now, Cosmic Rewind is listed as the only attraction in EPCOT using the Lightning Lane, until Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure moves back from Genie+.

Lightning Lane reservations can sell out within minutes, or sometimes seconds of opening up each day.

Since you can only have one Lightning Lane attraction at a time, you will be forced to choose which one to book first. Cosmic Rewind will have by far the longest wait times, so you want it as your first Lightning Lane+ selection. If you are able to make a second one, go ahead after booking Cosmic Rewind.

Time & Price

Starship in front of Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind

Lightning Lane purchases for Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind open each day at 7:00 am, but only for guests staying at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel or partner hotels. Guests staying at an off-site hotel can start making reservations at the park opening (8:00 am or 9:00 am).

Lightning Lane selections for Cosmic Rewind sell out early each morning so depending on how crowded the park is that day, you may not be able to get one when you go. It is especially difficult for guests staying off-site to get one since they can’t book until 9:00 am, and by then there may not be any Lightning Lane selections left.

To ride Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind with an Individual Lightning Lane will cost $17 per person from May 27-30 and $14 per person from May 31 and beyond. If you are a family of 4 it will cost you between $68 and $56.

Even though we don’t normally recommend spending the extra money on Genie+ or the Individual Lightning Lanes (especially not at EPCOT), Cosmic Rewind is the exception and it often is worth the extra cost.

Remember, if you can’t get into the Virtual Queue on the day you visit, an Individual Lightning Lane selection is your ONLY other choice. It’s the safest way to make sure you get to ride it, and if it’s your first time, you definitely don’t want to miss it.

  • TIP: If you get a Lightning Lane or boarding group reservation for Cosmic Rewind, you should still rope drop one of the other 3 popular attractions. At that point, one of the two big World Showcase attractions (Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure or Frozen Ever After) or Test Track will be your best bet.

Step-by-Step Booking Individual Lightning Lane for Cosmic Rewind

Here is what you need to do to give you the best chance to score an Individual Lightning Lane for Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind:

  1. Log in to My Disney Experience 5 minutes before 7:00 am on the day you are going to the park. (9:00 am if you are not staying at a Disney World Resort hotel)
  2. Once you enter the app, navigate to the Menu button at the bottom of the screen and click “Tip Board”.
  3. Make sure EPCOT is the selected park for that day. If it is not, click the “Change Park” button and select EPCOT.
  4. Find Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind in the list of attractions. At 7:00 am, click the box for “Individual Lightning Lane.” There is shows the next available return window and purchase price.
  5. On the next screen, select your preferred return time and select all members of your party who will be riding Cosmic Rewind. If they are not there, click the “Edit” button to add them in.
  6. Once your party is confirmed click “Continue” at the bottom of the screen.
  7. On the final screen, check the “Terms and Conditions” box and then click the “Purchase” button to finalize the acquisition.
  8. You will then see your Lightning Lane reservation for Cosmic Rewind in the “Tip Board” or under “My Day.”
  9. Once your return window arrives, you have a one-hour window to ride the attraction. If your return time says 1:00 pm, that means you have from 1:00-2:00 pm to return.

All of these tips should give you the best opportunity to do Cosmic Rewind and put you in a position to get more done in EPCOT that day.

I know it’s not fun to wake up before 7:00 am to make reservations, but it’s necessary to give yourself the best chance to ride. At least you don’t have to leave your hotel room to book it. Just wake up a few minutes before 7:00 am and jump on your phone.

We are working on a Guide to Genie+ and Lighting Lanes at EPCOT right now, so stay tuned for more tips once we get that finished.

If You Can’t Get a Reservation at All

There is a chance that you won’t be able to get either a boarding group or a Lightning Lane reservation. With the way crowds have been lately, we think that is highly possible, especially if it becomes as popular as Rise of the Resistance.

If you can’t get a Lightning Lane or boarding pass for Cosmic Rewind, then you are going to have to plan another day at EPCOT. We will likely recommend planning to visit EPCOT twice during your trip just to make sure you have the best chance to ride Cosmic Rewind.

Rope-Dropping Cosmic Rewind and How Early You Need to Be There

concept art of Epcot remodel

This part is valid once Cosmic Rewind goes to a standby queue, and in that case, a rope drop strategy is your best option. We’re going to give you a general strategy for rope-dropping Cosmic Rewind and what time you should arrive.

If you aren’t familiar with the term, “rope dropping” is basically showing up to a theme park before the park actually opens. You are there when the “rope drops.”

This is always the best strategy for getting the highest number of attractions done in a day when visiting any Disney theme park. It allows you to ride some of the most popular attractions first thing in the morning before the majority of visitors arrive, and it will save you some major time.

You can rope drop EPCOT in 2 ways:

  • Normal Rope Drop
  • Early Theme Park Entry

Whether or not you are able to make a reservation for Cosmic Rewind, we still recommend rope-dropping EPCOT. Even though you don’t need to run over to the new ride, it will help you get the other attractions done here in a more efficient way.

When It Uses a Standby Queue

Rope Dropping Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind

Right now there is no standby queue for Cosmic Rewind, but eventually, it will use one, even if we have to wait a while. What should you do when that happens?

With a standby queue, normal crowd levels, and using the Lightning Lane system, expect Cosmic Rewind wait times have normal wait times in the 2 to 3-hour range and as much as 4 or 5 hours on busy days. It wouldn’t surprise us if it followed in the footsteps of Flight of Passage and kept long wait times years after opening.

At most attractions, we see a big slowdown later in the day, but this will likely not be the case with Cosmic Rewind. Long wait times will start in the morning, continue throughout the entire day, and last up until late in the evening.

Guests lining up early in the morning for Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind

To rope drop Cosmic Rewind, you are going to start at the EPCOT main entrance and follow the red signs to the left of Spaceship Earth leading you to World Discovery. This will bring you right to the entrance of Cosmic Rewind where there is sure to be an enormous line waiting outside the attraction.

We don’t recommend coming to EPCOT through the International Gateway to rope drop this ride as it puts you on the exact opposite side of EPCOT from the Guardians of the Galaxy coaster. The walk is too long and you wouldn’t be one of the first people there, which is the objective.

That means riding the Disney Skyliner is not a good option for this attraction and it is better to ride the bus from your hotel, take a car, the monorail, or a ride-sharing service like Uber.

Normal Rope Drop

Cosmic Rewind Rope Drop EPCOT

A normal rope drop is showing up in time to be one of the first few hundred guests before the official opening of the park that day and then riding a bunch of attractions in the first hour of opening. The problem is that this doesn’t work nearly as well since Disney introduced Early Theme Park Entry.

Guests using a normal rope drop strategy will arrive at the park that already has thousands of guests inside and in line for the best attractions. And in EPCOT that means a huge percentage of people are running straight for Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind.

If you aren’t staying at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel, you can’t use Early Theme Park Entry, and any advantage you had by rope-dropping the park has essentially vanished.

We will update our strategy for riding this once it actually opens which will give us more insight into exact crowd levels, wait times, and the best rope dropping strategy.

Early Theme Park Entry

Early Theme Park Entry for Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind

Back in September 2021, Disney introduced the Early Theme Park Entry program. This replaced Extra Magic Hours and offers a big advantage to Walt Disney World Resort hotel guests who are willing to show up early at the parks.

Instead of letting guests into each theme park 1 hour early once per week, this change lets guests into all 4 theme parks 30 minutes early, every day of the week.

For Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, that means you can show up at EPCOT before the official park opening, run straight for Cosmic Rewind and get there before the majority of other guests (when it’s using the standby queue).

This is a big reason why we recommend staying at a Disney World Resort hotel, even if many of the other advantages have disappeared in recent years.

What Time Should You Get In Line?

Guests outside EPCOT to ride Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind

We know you can’t currently rope drop Cosmic Rewind and that you need a reservation to ride, but you still should rope drop EPCOT to get the highest number of attractions done that day.

There is no need to show up at 5:00 am like when Rise of the Resistance first opened and people were in line at 5:00 am. However, you still should plan on getting an early start if you want to take advantage of rope drop.

Early Theme Park Entry at EPCOT should open 30 minutes before the official listed opening time, but they really start letting guests in the gate much earlier than that. From our experience, it’s more like 45 minutes earlier than the listed time.

Whenever we are suggesting a rope drop strategy for the Disney parks, we recommend getting there 90 minutes before park opening. When Cosmic Rewind starts using a traditional stand-by queue, that might not even be enough time, at least not at first.

I know that sounds like a lot to get in line that early for an attraction, but being one of the first people in line for the park will really help you to make the most out of your day, getting on the most popular attractions before the crowds get even larger later on in the morning.

The real advantage of rope drop is being one of the first few hundred people in the park, the early risers will have much more success than even guests who show up only 30 minutes before opening. This will make a huge difference, trust us.

We’ll keep an eye on this and continue to update our updated rope-dropping strategy for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance in the weeks to come.

What to Do If Cosmic Rewind Breaks Down

Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind Ride Vehicles

Unfortunately, from time to time attractions break down unexpectedly, even new ones.  It’s a complicated ride system and it can happen.

So what should you do if Cosmic Rewind breaks down while you are there?  The answer depends on if you are in the Virtual Queue or if you have a Lightning Lane pass.

If you have a boarding group and you were already called but didn’t get to ride yet, just return once the ride goes back online and get in line.  If your group hadn’t been called when it went down, boarding groups will continue from where they left off when it went down.  Once it’s your group’s turn you can get in line.

If you are in line with a Lightning Lane pass when it breaks down, you will be automatically given another pass to ride at any time during that same day.  Once the ride opens back up, you can return at any time and get in the Lightning Lane once again.  The pass gets linked to your account in My Disney Experience.

Kids riding an amusement cart at Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind.

We suggest grabbing a snack over at the new Connections Café and Eatery while you are waiting since it’s close by.  You can also take a stroll through the countries and try some of EPCOT’s best snacks or try our Drinking Around the World challenge.

If for some reason Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind never reopens that day you will be given a full refund for your Individual Lightning Lane purchase.  If it reopens and you don’t come back and ride, you will not be refunded your money.  This is the case even if you miss coming back for a dining reservation or any other booked experience.

While we have seen Cosmic Rewind experience downtime while we have been in the park, thankfully, it doesn’t seem like it has nearly as many problems as Rise of the Resistance.  Therefore we don’t see this being a huge problem where it is down multiple times per week for hours at a time.

We’ll keep our eye on this and see how well the ride runs over the coming weeks and months.

Bonus Tips & Touring Strategies

Plan Multiple Days at EPCOT

Let’s face it, if you haven’t ridden Cosmic Rewind before, it’s likely to be pretty high up on your list of things to do when you visit Disney World, if not the number one priority.  If that is the case, you need to do everything you possibly can to give yourself the best chance of going on it.

outside EPCOT waiting in line for Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind

The absolute safest way to make sure you ride Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind is to visit EPCOT multiple days during your trip.  Even if you don’t normally visit EPCOT on multiple days we recommend it here, at least 2 partial days.

If it’s a high priority to you and you only plan one day at EPCOT, there is too much going on right now that can prevent you from riding it.  Remember, at the moment it doesn’t have a standby queue, so if you can’t get a boarding group or an Individual Lightning Lane selection that day, it means you won’t get to ride it.  

Going 2 days gives you twice the opportunity to make a reservation and it’s not likely you will get shut out twice.

If your budget allows, you can either add on an additional day in EPCOT, or you can get tickets with the park hopper add-on which allows you to visit 2 parks on the same day.  Just make sure EPCOT is the park of choice in the morning on both days because that’s when you are more likely to get a boarding pass or Lightning Lane pass.

Stay in a Walt Disney World Resort Hotel

Staying at Disney's Boardwalk Inn Resort

We know the benefits of staying in a Walt Disney World Resort hotel have lessened over the years, but when you are trying to ride Cosmic Rewind it can be a big help.

Right now there is a big advantage for booking Individual Lightning Lane selections for Disney World Hotel guests since they can start making reservations at 7:00 am each morning.  If you are staying off-site you must wait until the park officially opens to make your reservations and since Cosmic Rewind is so popular, there is a good chance all Lightning Lanes for that day will be sold out by then.

Another big plus is that Disney World Resort hotel guests get to participate in Extended Evening Theme Park Hours on select nights. This means they can still ride Cosmic Rewind after many guests have gone home.

This third Virtual Queue distribution time for Cosmic Rewind opens at 6:00 pm on days when Extended Evening Theme Park Hours are running. How many reservations are available will depend on how well the ride was running throughout the day and if they are behind loading boarding groups.

Disney World hotel guests also have another advantage when Cosmic Rewind moves over to a standby queue.  In that case, they can take advantage of Early Theme Park Entry which gives access to the parks 30 minutes before other guests.  Again, this means you will have fewer people in front of you in the queue and your wait time will be less.

Use Two Phones

Galaxarium Ceiling Screen Cosmic Rewind

Both getting into the Virtual Queue and getting a Lightning Lane selection for Cosmic Rewind can be a very stressful situation, and it’s even more stressful if you are the only one doing all the work.

If you are trying to book it alone, there are too many things that can go wrong and prevent you from getting a reservation.  That’s why for both services we recommend having two people trying to book the attraction instead of one.  Since you are fighting thousands of other people at the exact same time, this will increase your chances of a reservation.

If you go for the free Virtual Queue first and don’t end up getting in, you then have to rush over to get a Lightning Lane selection and if you hesitate, you may lose your chance.

If you decide to also use Genie+ during your visit to EPCOT, you can assign one person to book Cosmic Rewind, and the other person to book one of the high priority Genie+ selections like Frozen Ever After or Test Track so you get an earlier time.

Make an Afternoon Lightning Lane Reservation

Wall texture in Galaxarium on Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind

If you get into the system right away at 7:00 am to book Cosmic Rewind, you will have many return times open to choose from including morning, afternoon, and evening.

We recommend booking a Lightning Lane reservation for Cosmic Rewind in the early afternoon and to avoid booking it too early in the morning or late in the evening.

If you book it in the morning, you are wasting valuable rope drop time that you could instead use to ride one of the other attractions you don’t have a reservation for.  Remember, the first 2 hours is when crowd levels are lowest so it’s a perfect time to do other rides.

If you make the reservation too late in the day, there is a chance the ride could break down and not reopen again.  So far, Cosmic Rewind doesn’t have as many mechanical problems as Rise of the Resistance, but it still breaks down from time to time, and if this is your only time to ride it you don’t want to take a chance of missing it.

Of course, if there aren’t a bunch of return times available when you go to book it, take whatever one is left.  Beggars can’t be choosers after all.

Get In Line at the End of the Night

Video Screen in Xandar Gallery Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind

(This applies to when Cosmic Rewind switches over to a standby queue.)

One of our touring secrets for riding a popular attraction is to stick around until park closing and ride it at the end of the night as your last attraction.

This is a great strategy for people that don’t like to wake up early in the morning, or if you are trying to squeeze in as many rides as possible during your visit.

Oftentimes at the end of the night, Disney posts longer wait times than what they actually are to discourage guests from getting in line.  However, when you go through the line you find out the actual wait time is a fraction of what is listed outside.

We always recommend a rope drop strategy, but unless you are one of the first few hundred people in the park, you still are going to have a long wait to get on a new ride like Cosmic Rewind.  Sometimes that can still mean 1 or two hours, even early in the morning.

Xandarian City Model Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind

So an alternative is to rope drop EPCOT, but instead of running to Cosmic Rewind like all the other sheep, you can use that time to ride other popular rides like Frozen Ever After, Test Track, or Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure.

Since Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind is the “new kid on the block,” visitors are likely going to concentrate over there, leaving these other rides with much shorter wait times.  In that case, you can knock out 2 or 3 of them in the first hour the park is open and then come back to Cosmic Rewind at the end of the night when people are watching the fireworks.

If EPCOT closes at 9:00 pm when you visit, try getting in line for Cosmic Rewind at 8:55 pm for best results.  Of course, this means you will miss the Disney Harmonious fireworks, but for some guests, it’s not important or they have already seen it many times where this strategy makes sense.

Review

Milano Starship Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind

Right away, I will tell you that after years of following the progress of an attraction, it’s hard for it to actually live up to all the hype that you had for it ahead of time.  However, Disney managed to do it on this ride.

The hype around Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind is real, and we absolutely LOVE this ride!

There were plenty of people who did not want to see this attraction come to EPCOT, yet we firmly believe that the park is a better place today because it’s here.

That doesn’t mean that it’s a perfect ride, it’s not.  Let’s take a look at the things we enjoyed about Cosmic Rewind and what we didn’t like…

What We Love About Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind

Pre-Show with Eson in Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind

The positives definitely outweigh the negatives with Cosmic Rewind:

Attraction Queue – The queue is one of the highlights of the attraction, even if there were a few parts that could have been done better.  The Galaxarium is an impressive entrance to the ride, but the Xandar Gallery and pre-show rooms are where it really shines.

We loved all the relics from Xandar and seeing the model of the city and listening to the speech about urban planning gave us an old-school EPCOT feel.  The videos of the Guardians are hilarious as you would expect and it’s like being in a Guardians movie.

The best part was the last pre-show when the room transforms and the cosmic generator disappears.  This is truly a “wow moment” and lets you know that Disney Imagineering has still got it.

Ride Vehicles in Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind

Ride Vehicles/System – The brand new OmniCoaster ride system is a game-changer and works flawlessly.  It reminds me of something from dark rides like the Haunted Mansion, only way more intense.  This thing is silky-smooth and there is zero jerkiness or shaking happening during the whole ride.  

This is probably the smoothest-feeling coaster I’ve ever been on which makes for a very pleasurable ride experience.  The ride vehicles themselves are also revolutionary and the way they turn you toward the scenes is incredible.

We feel like this is the future of storytelling in Disney attractions and we can’t wait to see what other uses Walt Disney Imagineering can come up with for it.

Special Effects on Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind

Special Effects – Even though they are done with projections and screens, the entire ride is full of some of the best special effects Disney has ever created.  We aren’t usually big fans of screens, but we have to admit they really work here.

Disney continues to get better and better with its implementation of projection technology and Cosmic Rewind is lightyears ahead of Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway, which doesn’t even attempt to hide how they are doing the projections.  That is a non-issue on Cosmic Rewind.

All the ships going through the jump points is especially fun to watch.  We would have liked to see more physical sets during the ride (the times they did have them were the best parts of the ride) but there is no denying that they did an A+ job even without using many of them.

Riding Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind

Music – The music is one of the most underrated factors of any attraction, but there is no doubt it’s a highlight on Cosmic Rewind.  Just like in Mission: BREAKOUT!, the music on Cosmic Rewind is what makes the ride so much fun.

We weren’t sure about the song choice when it was released and how well they would fit it, but we have to admit that after hearing all 6 tracks, they all go along well with the ride and are energetic enough to get you into it.  You’ll find yourself grooving to the beat the entire ride.  The only thing that would be better is if you could choose your own song!

Repeatability – Since there are 6 different music tracks on Cosmic Rewind, it’s almost like getting a completely different ride each time.  There is also a lot going on during the ride and even with the turning ride vehicles, you are not likely to notice all the special effects on your first ride.

That plus the fact that it is a ton of fun leads to big repeatability.  We don’t anticipate guests getting tired of this one anytime soon.  Even if they do, Disney can change the projections and special effects at any time it’s deemed necessary.

Riding Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind

Fun Factor – Let’s face it, the best part about Cosmic Rewind is that it’s just a flat-out fun time!  Disney Imagineers do an incredible job of making you feel like you have been dropped right in the middle of a Guardians of the Galaxy film and it’s non-stop fun from start to finish.

The way they were able to incorporate the characters, music, impressive show scenes, and special effects together is truly remarkable and every time I ride it, I don’t think there is even one moment when I’m not smiling.

What Could Have Been Better

Groot and Rocket in pre-show for Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind

Missing Audio-Animatronics – While the projections and screens are all amazing to see, we’re sorry that there aren’t any audio animatronics worked into the ride.  We hate to sound like old-timers here, but audio-animatronics are what made us fall in love with the Disney parks and they would have made an incredible ride even better.

We have to think that this was strictly a budget concern more than a lack of creativity.  The original concept art included figures of both Rocket and Groot, only that they never made the final cut.  Oh to think what could have been…

Some of the Performances Feel Forced – If you’ve seen a Guardians movie, you know how funny they are and how much they are always cracking jokes.  90% of the time in Cosmic Rewind we thought the characters did a great job and were hilarious, however, some of the performances felt a little forced.

We liked that Peter Quill mentioned his past experience in EPCOT and his love for classic attractions like Horizons, but the way he delivered those lines didn’t feel genuine to us but more like it was something thrown in to appease fans.  This is a minor critique though since for the most part they were excellent.

Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind Attraction Queue

Difficulty to Ride It – This is a problem with new E-Ticket attractions in general at the Disney parks lately and not a complaint about Cosmic Rewind itself.  Ever since Rise of the Resistance opened, Disney has been using the Virtual Queue for many of its new rides, but the system is hard to use for many and results in disappointed guests who aren’t able to ride.

If you don’t get a boarding pass you can pay-to-ride, but not even that is always possible because it sells out each day.  At least with a standby queue, you can get in line in the morning and stay there until it’s your turn to ride, thus guaranteeing you actually get to go on it.  Right now there is no such guarantee.

Motion Sickness – Even though the ride system is groundbreaking, unfortunately, it can make some guests when riding.  The combination of turning cars, curved tracks, and the fact that almost the entire ride takes place in the dark can be difficult for those who are prone to motion sickness.

The vast majority of people can handle it and are fine, but that is not the case for everyone.  Yes, all thrill rides have some risk of causing motion sickness, but it’s higher here than in most Disney attractions.

Overall

Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind Xandar City Model

We are not surprised by Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind and it is precisely what we envisioned it being.  EPCOT has a shortage of must-do attractions and this fills a significant hole.

There is no doubt that Cosmic Rewind is among the very best attractions in Walt Disney World.  Is it the absolute best? No, I firmly believe it is not.  But it is up there among the best, and that is saying something.

As much as I love Soarin”, Cosmic Rewind is now without a doubt the best ride in EPCOT.  I hate to be a prisoner of the moment, but I think that time and guest demand are going to prove this in the long run.  No, you won’t walk out of Cosmic Rewind like you would from a classic EPCOT Center ride from the 80s, those days are over.

However, what  Disney was able to do with this ride is truly special.  It’s a non-stop good time and it might be the most fun you will ever have on an attraction.  Guests are going to love it and we are sure that it’s going to be THE headliner attraction in the park for years to come.

Is It Worth It?

Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind Loading Area

After reading everything that’s required just to ride Cosmic Rewind, is it really worth all the effort?  Is it that good of an attraction?

Disney has hit it out of the park recently with new attractions (Flight of Passage, Rise of the Resistance) and Cosmic Rewind is right up there in their company.  Even if there are some unique procedures you have to follow just to ride it, we think it’s worth it.

For example, waking up early for many people is never a good thing, especially on vacation.  However, it’s worth it to get a reservation for this ride, it’s THAT good.  We strongly feel you need to do whatever it takes to experience Cosmic Rewind during your trip and it shouldn’t be missed!

Will I Like Cosmic Rewind Even If I Don’t Like Guardians of the Galaxy?

Even if you haven’t seen the Guardians of the Galaxy films before, that’s ok. You don’t need to have any knowledge of the story from the films in order to understand or enjoy this new ride in EPCOT. Everything you need to know is included during the attraction experience and having seen the movies is not required.

Obviously, if you are a fan of the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise or of the MCU in general, you will appreciate this ride on a whole other level as Imagineers have put in all sorts of hidden gems you will enjoy.

Cosmic Rewind vs Space Mountain

Space Mountain train loading area Magic Kingdom

The ride that Cosmic Rewind gets compared to the most is naturally Space Mountain.  In many ways, this is a more modern version of the classic Disney coaster.  They are both indoors and take place mostly in the dark.  They also both have guests zipping through outer space in starship-like ride vehicles.

There are also some key differences between the two:

  1. Ride Systems – Yeah, they are both roller coasters, but the comparison ends there.  Space Mountain uses a bobsled-like ride vehicle which is super uncomfortable, while Cosmic Rewind uses state-of-the-art vehicles that are huge and spin almost 360 degrees.
  2. Smooth vs Rough Ride – Space Mountain is 50 years old and when riding it you can certainly tell.  It’s bumpy, jerky, and many guests refuse to ride because of how rough it is.  Cosmic Rewind is perhaps the smoothest roller coaster we’ve been on and you feel like you are gliding through space.
  3. Special Effects – It’s not Space Mountain’s fault, but the shooting stars passing overhead and the red and blue tunnels don’t hold a candle to what Cosmic Rewind can throw at you.
  4. Size and Scope – Even though they are both in the dark, you can tell that Cosmic Rewind is a much longer and grander attraction.  Space Mountain feels tiny in comparison.
  5. Queue – The Space Mountain queue was fascinating as a kid, but besides looking in some windows at planets and stars, there isn’t much to it.  Cosmic Rewind’s queue is much more elaborate and it actually has a story behind it with a mission.

If we had to choose one, Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind is the clear winner here.  It’s a superior attraction in almost every way, which again is to be expected since it’s 50 years newer.  

Space Mountain has the nostalgia factor, and it’s a Disney classic, but to be honest, it’s such a rough ride that most of my family doesn’t want to ride it anymore, and when we do, we are sore for days after the way it jostles you around.

The thrill factor is about equal.  The drops are about the same height, there are no inversions on either of them, and the speed is slightly faster on Cosmic Rewind.

While I love both of them, Cosmic Rewind is the better ride.

Cosmic Rewind vs. Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster

Single Ride Rock 'n' Roller Coaster Hollywood Studios 1-Day touring plan

There are also lots of comparisons between Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster and Cosmic Rewind.  Again, the fact that they are both roller coasters and take place in the dark is obvious.

Cosmic Rewind is a much calmer ride though and doesn’t bring you close to the level of intensity that Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster has.  The speed is much lower and there are no inversions or loops.

One thing they both have that Space Mountain doesn’t have is a launch at the beginning of the ride.  Cosmic Rewind has a backward one, while Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster is facing forward.  The launch on RNRC though is much faster and more intense.

We think Cosmic Rewind is the better overall attraction.  The queue is much longer and more detailed, and the story is worlds better.  

The ride is also much more do-able than Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster for the majority of guests.  You couldn’t pay my mom to ride RNRC but she was laughing all throughout Cosmic Rewind.  Cosmic Rewind is smoother, the effects are better and it’s just a better overall experience.

Cosmic Rewind vs. Rise of the Resistance

Rise of the Resistance ending scene

Since these are two of the newest E-Ticket attractions, it’s only normal they will get compared.  Honestly, though, they are completely different experience and there isn’t a ton of similarities.

Cosmic Rewind is a pure roller coaster, even if it has a story behind it and incredible special effects.  It’s super fun, but it is a roller coaster that in the end only lasts a little over 3 minutes.

Rise of the Resistance on the other hand is the premier theme park experience and the finest attraction ever made imo.  The huge build-up, detailed show scenes, and multiple ride systems make separate this from anything else you can see in a theme park.

You won’t be surprised then when we tell you that we think Rise of the Resistance is hands-down the better attraction, even though they both are amazing.

Cosmic Rewind vs. Tron Lightcycle Run

TRON Lightcycle Run concept art

We can’t fully compare these two rides yet since Tron Lightcycle Run isn’t even open yet, but since they are two roller coasters and announced at the same time, it’s obvious people will compare them.

The attractions are similar but there is a huge difference in the ride vehicles, even though both are especially unique.  The Light Cycle bikes are like riding a motorcycle and offer a more intense, speed-based experience.

The Cosmic Rewind ride vehicles are slower, more comfortable, and focused on telling a story rather than straight thrills.

Each ride serves a different purpose and targets slightly different people.  People who lean more toward thrills will like TRON better, and people who want a fun ride but aimed more at storytelling will enjoy Cosmic Rewind more. 

In any case, both of these rides were built simultaneously and represent Disney’s next-generation of attractions that will be the must-rides for each of their respective parks for years to come.

Should I Visit Disney World for Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind in 2022?

Model from D23 of Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind Roller Coaster

This is going to be an easy answer, Yes! We definitely think you should plan a trip to Disney World to experience Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind in 2022 if possible. Unlike Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure, this is a true E-Ticket attraction and merits a visit to see it as soon as you can.

It will be open for any trip after May 27, 2022, so if you are going in June or after, you are all set!

A great time to visit will be on October 1, 2022. This is EPCOT’s 40th anniversary, and it will definitely be open by then, plus the celebration makes it extra special.

You could visit in 2023 or beyond, but we highly recommend coming in 2022 to see it when it’s still brand new. The reason we say that is that 99% of the time, you will never see a given attraction running better than within the first few months of its opening.

Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind Exit

In 2022, all the special effects should be running perfectly, and sad to say, that is not always the case 1 year or more later. That’s why we always make sure to experience a new attraction as soon as possible. And even for the casual Disney World-goer, we think that Cosmic Rewind will be worth a special trip to ride.

Of course, by 2022, Disney World will have all sorts of new attractions open in celebration of the resort’s 50th anniversary. Rides like Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure, plus all the Galaxy’s Edge stuff will all be open by then, and TRON Lightcycle Run might be as well. If you haven’t seen any of these attractions, it will be a great time to go.

To get a better understanding of which of these two years you should come, read our post on Visiting Disney World in 2022 vs 2023, Which is Better? There we’ll break down all the pros and cons to help you make the best decision.

Will Guardians of the Galaxy Ruin EPCOT?

Will Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind ruin Epcot?

For months before the Cosmic Rewind ride was even officially announced, EPCOT purists were outraged at even the idea of a super hero franchise infiltrating their beloved park, and ruining its original vision. Once it was actually announced at D23 Expo 2017, fans were up in arms over the decision.

What they failed to realize is that vision is long dead and buried, and it’s not coming back.

Not Consistent Theming with EPCOT

I too consider myself a fan of the original EPCOT. I grew up in the 1980s and visited EPCOT every year. I loved everything about it, the promise of a better tomorrow through human invention, exploration, and ingenuity. There is no doubt it was brilliantly executed and was able to reach wide audiences in a way that had never been done.

However, I’ve accepted that the 1980s version of EPCOT is never coming back again. Times have changed and I’m not sure you can do edutainment in the same way as you could decades ago. People today, for good or bad, have short attention spans.

Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind in EPCOT

On my most recent ride through Spaceship Earth, the girl in front of me was literally on her phone the ENTIRE ride, not even looking at the scenes once. I was outraged since it’s one of my favorite rides, but that is the audience that Disney is now forced to entertain.

While you can make the argument that the Guardians are just being thrown into EPCOT without an intelligent plan behind it, for today’s day and age, I think it fits in fine. As Disney Imagineer Tom Fitzgerald said: “The Guardians are going to take our guests on an out of this world adventure. But it will still be very rooted in an EPCOT story.”

While it’s not some huge edutainment attraction like Living with the Land, there are quite a few parts in the ride queue that tie the attraction into the theming of the park, including the funny “Good Morning Xandar” interview with Star-Lord where he reminisces about his childhood trips to EPCOT. Even Walt Disney himself makes an appearance in the gallery.

new changes coming to Epcot sign

Yes, it would be nice to have uniform theming across the park with each pavilion tying in perfectly with the next. Are the Guardians of the Galaxy a perfect fit in World Discovery, going along with some larger, over-arching theme of Epcot as a park. No, they aren’t.

Use of Characters

Another big negative with fans is characters continually being inserted into EPCOT. I wasn’t crazy about characters coming into the park, but I’ve realized that Disney is going to add them because that’s what the majority of people want, and if done right, they can actually be a big plus.

What’s more important than the theme or the franchise Disney chooses to use for its attractions, is that it’s done well. Disney may be using some IP that you and I don’t care about in the attractions here, but if done well, they can open a world of new storytelling and transport us to that world.

I hate the movie Avatar for example, but you can’t pull me out of Pandora in Disney’s Animal Kingdom. It’s currently my favorite Disney “land” in any park and is executed brilliantly. As long as Disney can do something similar with other future attractions, that’s what actually counts, not if we like super heroes or feel they don’t belong in EPCOT.

Giant Building Size

Guardians of the Galaxy huge Gravity building

Simply put, the Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind show building is gigantic, and that is an understatement. Maybe “it blots out the sun” is a more correct description of the gravity building which houses the roller coaster track.

The building itself is approximately 130 feet tall and is easily the biggest structure in World Discovery. It’s not quite as tall as Spaceship Earth which stands at 180 feet, but the Guardians of the Galaxy coaster has a significantly bigger footprint than Spaceship Earth. In fact, some say that it’s big enough to hold the volume of four Spaceship Earths.

When first looking at the size and scope of the project, I was a bit worried it would become the main focus on the skyline and take attention away from Spaceship Earth. Disney has tried hard to mask this by painting the building blue and green, trying to blend it into its natural surroundings.

Yes, the building is still visible from many areas of the park, but I don’t feel it’s as bad as it was when it first went up and Spaceship Earth still is the dominant fixture on the skyline. Honestly, those awful barges and fountains in the middle of World Showcase Lagoon are 10x more distracting in my opinion.

Does it Fit In?

Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind Model

I am not in the group of Disney fans that didn’t want Guardians to come to EPCOT, I am actually really excited about it.  Since we’ve been able to finally ride it, we think Cosmic Rewind turned out to be an incredible new ride and it has instantly become the most popular ride in the park.

Just like when people didn’t want Mission: BREAKOUT, Avatar, or Star Wars entering their parks, those people will be the same ones scrambling to get a reservation in the morning to make sure they get to ride it on every visit.

Ultimately, it comes down to FUN. Every time we go on Cosmic Rewind we have a huge smile on our faces and that is what really counts. It’s obvious Disney put in the time necessary to develop Cosmic Rewind, and it has become one of the best attractions in Disney World and in our opinion will not ruin EPCOT at all.

FAQs

Is the Guardians of the Galaxy Ride in EPCOT Open?

Yes, Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind is Now Open at EPCOT in Walt Disney World.  It officially opened on May 27, 2022.

Is Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind a Roller Coaster?

Yes, it is.  The new Guardians of the Galaxy ride is one of the longest indoor roller coasters in the world and is uses a special OmniCoaster ride system that turns this into a “Story Coaster.”

Does Cosmic Rewind Use the Virtual Queue?

Yes, it does.  Like many new E-Ticket attractions at Walt Disney World, Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind uses the virtual queue and boarding groups.  It will likely have a standby line sometime in the future.

Does it Have Genie+?

Access to Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind is not included when you buy Genie+ but it does use Individual Lightning Lanes as a pay-to-ride option.  This allows you to skip the line as long as you are willing to pay the extra money.  

Is Cosmic Rewind Scary?

Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind may be scary for some guests even though Disney is calling it a “family coaster.”  It’s not on the same level of intensity as Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster or Tower of Terror, but it’s still a thrill ride and some people will want to avoid it, especially if you don’t like being in the dark.

Is Cosmic Rewind Kid-Friendly?

It appeals to guests of all ages, including kids.  It will especially appeal to teenagers and kids who like thrills.  It may be a bit too scary for very young children and it has a height requirement of 42 inches.

Will Cosmic Rewind Make Me Sick?

That depends on how prone to motion sickness you are. While it’s not as bad as the Mad Tea Party or Mission Space, some guests have been affected by the spinning nature of the ride vehicles. Unless you get motion sickness very, very easily, we recommend you at least try it once.

Is Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind Only in EPCOT?

The only location in the world for Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind is EPCOT.  However, there is another Guardians of the Galaxy-themed ride in Disney California Adventure, “Mission: BREAKOUT!” which is also incredibly fun.

Is there a Single Rider Line?

Unfortunately, at this time there is not a Single Rider option for guests at Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind.  This may change in the future, but for now, it is not available.

Is Cosmic Rewind 3D?

No, Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind is not a 3D attraction.  It does heavily utilize screens in many of the scenes throughout the attraction which makes for a very realistic experience, but no 3D glasses are required.

Does Cosmic Rewind Use Audio-Animatronics?

There are no audio animatronics in any part of the Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind attraction or pre-show.  Originally, there were audio animatronics planned for the pre-show but those plans were canceled likely due to budget constraints.  All the characters in the attraction appear on video screens and projections.

Does Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind Have PhotoPass?

Yes, it does.  Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind has both on-ride photos and a PhotoPass location outside the attraction.  There are PhotoPass photographers stationed in front of the 51-foot tall Nova Corps ship at the entrance to the ride and this is a popular photo spot with guests. Scan the datacube in the queue to link the on-ride photos to your Disney account.

Does Cosmic Rewind Close for Bad Weather?

This is an indoor attraction and it does not close where there is bad weather, when it’s raining, or when there are thunderstorms.  There are no outdoor sections of the ride so the only reason it would close down is due to maintenance issues.

Overall we are extremely excited about the Guardians of the Galaxy roller coaster coming to EPCOT, which is happening over Memorial Day Weekend 2022. We think it is a fantastic addition to the park, finally giving it another big E-Ticket attraction it desperately needs.

Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind is going to be a huge hit for years to come, the centerpiece of the huge EPCOT transformation currently underway. We look forward to this next chapter in this beloved park and are eager to see what else Disney can do.

Further Reading:

Stay tuned for more updates on this attraction soon!

Your Thoughts

I want to know what you think about the Guardians of the Galaxy roller coaster in EPCOT…

  • Are you looking forward to this new ride?
  • Do you think it belongs in EPCOT?

Let us know in the comments section below!

If you enjoyed this article, as always I appreciate it if you’d share it with others via social media.  I work hard at making this website into a useful resource for you and your family to plan your visit to the Disney Parks and I hope it can help you! Thanks 🙂

Meet the Author of Ziggy Knows Disney!

Heidi

Sunday 24th of July 2022

Rode it yesterday ... Warning for anyone with heart or back or motion sickness issues: Don't. Just don't. I was fine in initial seconds but then after the first backwards move had to close eyes to make it through. Disney does have first aid staff that are very attentive (stayed with me with ice packs and water, etc.). I misjudged what my body could take. Once I made it back to the resort, my teenager asked staff for a wheelchair to help me to my room. The cast members told me they've had multiple guests coming back from Epcot with same issues. One said his dad had vomited during the ride (imagine projectile vomiting at high rate of speed). They also said the G Force levels are pretty high. Obviously I am an adult and made a decision to go on this ride, but I wish more warnings had been posted. I probably would not have risked it. Still recovering in hotel room and taking a breather day. All that said, my son is doing it again and loved it, so that says something for the ride. Disney staff are highly attentive and helpful, so that balanced out any negativity I was feeling.

George Mells

Saturday 28th of May 2022

I have just read the initial post so it may be that a correction has been posted but I found a major error in the naming of the actor playing Centurion Tal Marik. His name is Terry Crewes, not TYerry Marik.

On another topic, it seems that every month the Disney attractions become more of a wealthy persons place. The annual increase in the admission prices are understandable but all the extra optional costs are starting to remind me of the days of the ticket books and the famous "E" ticket. The charge for the Genie priority access was bad enough but know we have the case of selling what I am guessing is front of the line access called Lightning Lanes at $14 per ride. I know entertainment venues have always had a pay for access concept, down front center theater tickets cost more than back of the room but Disney is starting to do it too much. I have to admit to having bought things like a VIP ticket to Universal Hollywood but I think that has a somewhat limited effect on the rest of the park attendees.

I must say that the new attraction sounds great. I wonder if, as the Disney financial picture improves, we might see either some animatronics added or even some of the holographic units like in the new Star Wars hotel.

Byron

Saturday 2nd of April 2022

The Marvel superhero academy at Disneyland is next to Cosmic rewind. If Disney can negotiate the right to use Marvel super heroes in Florida from Universal, will they build the Marvel Superhero Academy in Epcot near Guardian of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind?

George

Sunday 21st of November 2021

To those complaining about the placing of Cosmic Rewind in EPCOT I repeat what the author said, EPCOT never was a version of its original plan and has changed a lot over the years. I feel that as long as the World Showcase continues to exist which makes the park somewhat unique I have little concern about the rest of the park. The new area designations seem to make sense and may well rejuvenate the whole place.

On the subject of the ride itself, I wonder if Disney will have a pocket in front of each seat for a barf bag. The linear and spinning movements will be tough on some people and I expect that then rides movements may under go changes just like Space Mountain did. I happened to be at the Magic Kingdom on the day Space Mountain opened up and the ride was a lot more bumpy and active than it was in later years.

George

Saturday 2nd of October 2021

I have been on a smaller roller coaster with rotating cars but it did not have programmed cars or a story line. It is the Krazy Koaster at Idaho's Silverwood Theme Park and is a low intensity ride that is kind of a cross between a roller coaster and a TiltaWhirl. Although the cars don't turn the ride concept sounds a bit like the Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride at Universal Hollywood. It sounds interesting. https://marvel-b1-cdn.bc0a.com/f00000000078081/www.silverwoodthemepark.com/images/rides/med/krazy-koaster.jpg