Let’s Talk Guardians of the Galaxy Roller Coaster!
2020 may feel like it’s dragged on forever, but New Year’s Day is just around the corner.
On that liberating morning, the horrors of the current year will end. Better yet, the 50th anniversary celebration at Walt Disney World can begin.
You may have forgotten due to all the recent horrors, but EPCOT will introduce its first pure roller coaster as part of the festivities.
Here are seven things to know about the Guardians of the Galaxy roller coaster.
The Guardians Get a Pavilion!
When the Guardians of the Galaxy debut at Walt Disney World, they’ll host a pavilion.
Well, technically, the kind people of Xandar will host it. The conceit of the Guardians of the Galaxy show building is that you’ll travel to an alien world.
Disney wants a showstopping pavilion that becomes a destination location for park guests. So, EPCOT trades the Universe of Energy for Xandar.
The premise of space travel will blend nicely with the already popular Mission: SPACE and its upcoming companion restaurant, Space 220.
You Will Visit a Galaxarium
I know that sounds like a nonsense word. So, let use a more familiar one instead.
When you enter the Xandar pavilion, you’ll eventually reach a planetarium area.
Of course, a planetarium provides a detailed model of the solar system. That’s not enough for a ride that takes place in another part of the universe.
You’re visiting a Galaxarium, a place that shows the interconnected nature of our solar system and Xandar’s.
The Galaxarium will play a pre-ride video that reveals the birth of both galaxies. It’ll employ dazzling special effects akin to a Marvel movie.
Disney wants guests to believe that they’re preparing to travel to an alien world. The Galaxarium is integral to this perception.
The Ride Will Reside in the Back
While MickeyBlog loves keeping up with all the particulars of various Disney construction projects, there’s no need with Guardians of the Galaxy.
Anyone walking around EPCOT will notice it. The building is massive, but the ride is even larger.
In fact, the show building doesn’t host the attraction, at least not most of it.
The roller coaster resides in the back in a space between the former Universe of Energy and Wonders of Life pavilions.
So, the Xandar pavilion will feature intergalactic theming based on a fictional alien race from Marvel comics and movies.
Then, once you’re done admiring the (literally) otherworldly details, you’ll walk over to the roller coaster.
The Roller Coaster Goes Backward!
At the 2019 D-23 Expo, Disney officially named this roller coaster. It’s Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind. And that name tells a story.
While you may believe the title references Peter Quill’s mixtapes, it does more than that. It also hints at the unique structure of the attraction.
This roller coaster will go backward! The premise of the ride is that you need to get launched into space.
To do that, you must board your roller coast cart and brace for exit velocity. Alas, your vehicle will travel opposite of the way that you’d expect.
The obvious comparison comes from Disney’s Animal Kingdom, where Expedition Everest thrusts guests in reverse to escape an angry Yeti.
However, Disney officials have indicated that Cosmic Rewind will work differently. Nobody’s quite sure how yet, though.
The Ride Will Spin!
Several videos of ride motion have leaked over the past two years. Each clip displays a daunting task for riders/intergalactic travelers.
Your roller coaster cart will spin! And I don’t mean that lousy Primeval Whirl kind of carnie spinning, either.
For a reason I’ll explain in the next section, Disney wants to control your line of sight during the roller coaster experience.
To do that, the cart must spin to force your perspective toward set areas on the ride.
So, you’ll feel all the shock of a thrill ride, but you also cannot control which way to look during your journey.
Instead, you’ll get whipped to the right spot, whether that’s where you want to look or not.
The Ride Will Tell a Story
Disney could have mimicked Disney California Adventure by bringing its Guardians of the Galaxy ride to EPCOT.
Park officials chose not to do that, but they did borrow one premise from that ride.
Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind will tell a story. Now, you may dismiss this as similar to the story on Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith.
On that coaster, you watch a thematic pre-show video, but then you zoom into darkness for the course of the ride.
With Cosmic Rewind, the story happens during the entire trip, akin to how Mission: BREAKOUT! shows the Guardians finding a gross alien.
So, this facet explains why the coasters spin. Imagineers need you to face the right way to know what’s happening in the story.
Otherwise, you might miss something essential and thereby feel lost for the rest of the ride.
In a way, you’ll watch a movie…while riding a roller coaster!
Guardians of the Galaxy Costs a Lot
Over the years, I’ve studied many budget estimates for various theme park attractions.
What I can say with complete sincerity is that nobody’s ever sure about anything.
Sometimes, ride developers lie downward about the cost to make it sound like they didn’t go way over budget.
In other instances, theme park operators say that a ride cost more than it did to make it sound nicer.
For whatever reason, people do view more expensive rides as better, which gives theme parks incentive to lie.
However, in some instances, the cost seems so outrageous that you wonder if something went wrong.
Cosmic Rewind probably falls into that category, although it shouldn’t.
Disney has spent a reported $450 million (!) building this ride, and some insiders suggest that it went over budget by tens of millions more.
While that total may shock you, please remember that Disney built an entire pavilion to house the attraction’s waiting area and storytelling section.
So, the project cost a lot of money. Still, it’ll be worth every penny if the entire Xandar/Guardians of the Galaxy experience reinvigorates EPCOT.
As you can see, Disney has grand ambitions for Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind. It’s the next great attraction coming to Walt Disney World.
Best of all, the roller coaster will debut at some point in 2021! It’s almost here!