It's raucous, it's vast, and it's like no other roller coaster you've been on before. Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, which opened in 2022, took five years to finish, and it instantly became the most popular thrill at Epcot.
Unlike most Disney rides, you can't see how it works from the sidewalk, but don't let that scare you. It happens entirely indoors, in the air conditioning. The tone is light and playful, and your ride will be accompanied by one of six randomly selected '80s-era tunes like Miami Sound Machine's "Conga!" or “Disco Inferno” by The Trammps. This innovative ride system is a true roller coaster, but with a twist: Each individual car in the train rotates to gently turn you in one direction or another, usually so you can face projections that go fleeting past. While the forward motion is fast and swervy, the rotating is controlled and careful, which goes a long way toward mitigating stress on the back and neck.
Although the sensations are intense, even most people with an aversion to spinny rides like Mad Tea Party find they can have a good time—but maybe don't drink much alcohol before you ride. Expect lots of giddy swooping in the darkness, but no big drops or loops or maneuvers intended to terrify. In fact, the height requirement is 42 inches, which is shorter than Space Mountain or Expedition Everest, so younger kids can try it despite its adult physical sensations. The ride portion takes about 3 minutes and 30 seconds, but there are some fun special effects to enjoy while you wait to ride, too.
The "story" of the ride is has to do with an alien world that has set up an exhibition at Epcot to educate Earthlings about intergalactic lives, and after something goes wrong with their method of connecting with us (cue actors Glenn Close and Terry Crews in video performances), the Guardians of the Galaxy, some of Marvel's silliest and sassiest movie heroes, arrive to help. You may wonder what that has to do with the area called World Discovery or even with the original theme of Epcot, but it's so much fun that you might not care how much it sticks out. If you like thrill rides, this is one not to miss at Walt Disney World.
Strategy: During the first months of a new ride's debut, Disney uses the Virtual Queue for all passengers. Reservations are distributed very early in the morning via the Disney World app, and there may be no Standby queue available at all. Make sure you find out the situation before the day of your visit so you can join the lottery if necessary. In our opinion, the back car (rows 9 and 10) delivers the biggest sensations.