Disney claimed the best new theme park attraction of the year with this month’s debut of Guardians of the Galaxy Cosmic Rewind at the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida.
Epcot’s first roller coaster is Disney’s second themed attraction in Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy franchise, following Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: Breakout at Disney California Adventure. Mission Breakout revamped the old Twilight Zone Tower of Terror drop tower at DCA, and Cosmic Rewind redoes the old Energy Universe Pavilion at Epcot, which most recently housed Ellen’s Energy Adventure.
Disney didn’t repurpose this ride’s old mobile cinema system, opting instead to gut the old universe structure of energy and build a massive new show building behind it to accommodate the longer indoor roller coaster. of the company. The result is a playful Space Mountain, with cars that use controlled rotations to create a unique driving feel while focusing your attention on the ride’s handful of projected scenes. Cosmic Rewind also borrows the Mission Breakout shtick of using one of six different Gen X pop tracks for the ride’s soundtrack, complete with sassy Guardians banter.
The thrill of the roller coaster amplifies the feeling of joy in Cosmic Rewind without overwhelming you. This is the best new attraction I’ve been on since the pandemic began – one that will keep you smiling and laughing throughout.
Guardians of the Galaxy Cosmic Rewind also provides a great example of how the right setup can pay off with an enhanced driving experience. It’s the latest step in an industry trend to blur the line between pre-show and main attraction.
The attraction initially stands as the “Wonders of Xandar” pavilion in Epcot’s World of Discovery. A planetarium-like ceiling projection welcomes visitors to the lobby, from which guests head into the Xandar Gallery to learn about the planet from the original “Guardians of the Galaxy” film. Scale models and video screens fill the gallery, creating a modern museum experience. As one of my YouTube commenters said, “Why is this a better space pavilion than Mission: Space?” referring to Epcot’s NASA-themed exhibit next door.
The gallery leads to a small theater, where Glenn Close as Nova Prime appears onscreen, telling us that we’ll be beaming down to a Nova Corps Starcharter cruiser orbiting Earth for a demonstration of hyperspace travel technology. from Xandar. This is where it all goes terribly wrong, as it should at all major theme park attractions.
The walk through the Xandar Gallery erases our disbelief for this extravagant premise, helping visitors better enjoy the adventures to come. But not all visitors will experience this vital configuration. Disney arranged Lightning Lane for this attraction to avoid the Xandar Gallery. The Disney Imagineers have poured immense talent and money into creating an immersive new experience, only to have the company instruct visitors to ignore it.
Is spending the extra money to save time really worth missing out on the experiences you paid to see in the first place?