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11 Aug 2022

10 things you need to know about the new Guardians Of The Galaxy roller coaster

10 things you need to know about the new Guardians Of The Galaxy roller coaster

The family-friendly Guardians Of The Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind roller coaster is now open to the public, from Friday, May 27. Sitting pretty in the newly renamed World Discovery neighbourhood of EPCOT, as part of Walt Disney World’s 50th anniversary celebrations, fans of the dysfunctional Marvel superheroes are in for a pulse-quickening treat.

The first attraction at the Florida resort to feature Star-Lord (Chris Pratt), Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Drax the Destroyer (Dave Bautista), Rocket (voiced by Bradley Cooper) and Groot (voiced by Vin Diesel) will become one of the hottest tickets in Orlando, and not just for a glimpse of the full-size Xandarian Starblaster ship docked outside the ride’s entrance.

1. Housed inside the hulking Wonders Of Xandar pavilion, which could comfortably contain four Spaceship Earth attractions, Guardians Of The Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind is the longest fully enclosed roller coaster in any Disney theme park and one of the longest rides of its kind on the third rock from the sun. There is a 42-inch height requirement, slightly less than Space Mountain and Avatar Flight Of Passage.

2. To manage wait times and crowds, the ride will operate a virtual queue system through the My Disney Experience app, limited to one virtual queue, per group, per day. You can request to join at either 7am or 1pm and if lucky, you’ll be designated an entry time via the app. Individual Lightning Lane entry can also be purchased daily, but availability is limited.

3. The ride queue snakes through the pavilion and is divided into three sections: a planetarium-style Galaxarium with narration courtesy of the Xandarian supercomputer Worldmind; a Xandar Gallery of models and exhibits (which includes an excerpt from an episode of Good Morning Xandar, in which Star-Lord reminisces fondly about a 1980s childhood visit to EPCOT); and the Phase Chamber, which magically teleports human visitors – referred to as Terrans – to a Nova Corps Starcharter cruiser orbiting Earth under the control of Centurion Tal Marik (Terry Crews).

4. Eight-time Academy Award nominee Glenn Close reprises her role from the first Guardians Of The Galaxy film as Irani Rael, commander of the Nova Corps. She explains that the journey to Xandar would normally take two and a half million years “assuming you had a ship that could fly at the speed of light” but this can be accomplished in seconds using an advanced piece of Xandarian technology called a Cosmic Generator that creates artificial tunnels – or jump points – in space.

5. During a demonstration of the Cosmic Generator – which delivers one of the ride’s jaw-dropping surprises – a hulking Celestial called Eson, who has been watching Terrans for eons, steals the device. “Your time is over,” booms the intergalactic villain. The Guardians answer the Code Red distress call from Irani Rael and Rocket reprograms the Starcharter’s evacuation shuttles to follow Eson through the jump point. Food-obsessed Drax is distracted by off-handed mentions of cake and toast. “This plan is making me so hungry,” he growls.

6. The white-knuckle ride lasts just over three minutes and is the resort’s first omnicoaster, which focuses the attention of 20 riders at a time on giant digital screens, using controlled rotations of vehicles as they careen along the track. Motion sickness could be an issue for a few guests. After my first ride, I exited with a mix of exhilaration and dizzying disorientation, similar to Crush’s Coaster at Disneyland Paris. A second ride in quick session left me feeling slightly nauseous, but there should be plenty of recovery time with Cosmic Rewind’s virtual queue system.

7. Disney’s creative wizards, known as Imagineers, collaborated closely with the cast and crew of Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3 led by writer-director James Gunn as the third film was being made. More than 75 minutes of exclusive footage and audio are incorporated into the queue, pre-show and main ride.

8. The first reverse launch on a Disney roller coaster, it isn’t as extreme as Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith in Disney’s Hollywood Studios, which accelerates from 0 to 57mph in just under three seconds but Guardians Of The Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind is still one of the fastest attractions at the Orlando resort, feeding the need for speed alongside neighbouring EPCOT ride Test Track and Expedition Everest in Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

9. Star-Lord’s Awesome Mix Vol. 1 cassette tape, compiled by his late mother, plays a prominent role in the first Guardians Of The Galaxy film and the new ride relies on music to heighten the adrenaline rush. Designers whittled down a shortlist of more than 100 songs to original versions of six tracks from the 1970s and 1980s: Conga by Miami Sound Machine, Disco Inferno by The Trammps, Everybody Wants To Rule The World by Tears For Fears, I Ran by A Flock Of Seagulls, One Way Or Another by Blondie and September by Earth, Wind & Fire. One song plays at random when each train of Starjumper evacuation shuttles blasts back into time and space.

10. Imagineers are notoriously sneaky, often concealing Mickey Mouse’s silhouette formed from three circles in the designs of rides, attractions and resort hotels. The total number of motifs has never been officially confirmed but over 1,000 hidden Mickeys are documented. Eagle-eyed riders of Cosmic Rewind can glimpse one blue Mickey shape embedded in the green space of a model of a Xandarian city in the Xandar Gallery. Don’t be surprised to find another on the surface of the moon as the roller coaster slingshots around planet Earth’s only natural satellite. Hold on tight!

To learn more about Guardians Of The Galaxy: Comic Rewind, visit www.disneyworld.co.uk/attractions/epcot/guardians-of-the-galaxy-cosmic-rewind/.

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