Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind will bring family-friendly thrills to EPCOT beginning in 2022

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — As EPCOT and Walt Disney World continue to look forward to the future as part of the resort’s 50th anniversary, Imagineers are also looking to rewind — Cosmic Rewind, that is.

Disney on Thursday officially announced that the latest family-friendly thrill ride Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, based on the irreverent Marvel movies, will officially open at EPCOT sometime in 2022.

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Guests will visit an “otherworld showcase pavilion” of Xandar, one of the main worlds seen in the “Guardians” movies before taking off on a high-speed, indoor roller coaster adventure that will feature the first reverse launch on a coaster in Disney’s history.

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Along the way, guests can expect to see some of their favorite characters, humor and of course hear some of the iconic music from “Guardians of the Galaxy.”

“They gave us great inspiration to draw from,” said senior creative director Alex Wright. “The characters … have such humor and such personality, so we definitely want to present that as part of our story. There are a lot of flavors from the movies that make their way into the attraction.”

Channel 9 got a sneak peek inside the massive building that houses the roller coaster portion of Cosmic Rewind. No recording was allowed. Roller coaster track snakes through the entire facility, utilizing almost all of of the space.

And that was only “half” the ride, Imagineers said.

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Wright said it’s one of the longest enclosed roller coasters in the world, and “pretty much the biggest Disney attraction we’ve built.”

“It is on a different scale,” Wright said. “It goes beyond any of our comparables that we’re aware of. To pack all the energy and exuberance and the imagery and and the music and all of the excitement of a “Guardians” ride experience into that building, it had to turn into a pretty big building.”

Another thrill factor: Cosmic Rewind will be an “omnicoaster” ride system, building off the same ride system as The Haunted Mansion to allow guests to rotate 360 degrees to experience different parts of the ride’s story.

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“We can do this on a high-speed roller coaster experience, and it brings a whole new dimension to the storytelling in that regard,” Wright said. “Even as we’re traveling high-speed around turns and banks, we can orient you toward the show scenes and bring them to you in a different way than we’ve been able to do on any coaster in the past.”

Wright said Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind will have plenty of thrills, but still “play really well to a broad family audience.” He said it will be more thrilling than Seven Dwarfs Mine Train in Magic Kingdom but not as intense as Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

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Adam Poulisse, WFTV.com

Adam Poulisse joined WFTV in November 2019.