Disney World's Newest Ride Is Already Getting A Huge Update

Footage from ride cam on Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind 2022
(Image credit: Walt Disney World Parks)

It’s only been about a month since Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind opened at Walt Disney World’s Epcot, but the brand new roller coaster is already set to get a major update, if only for a couple months. Today, Disney Parks announced several things that will be arriving at both Disneyland and Disney World during the holiday season, and that includes a holiday overlay for the ride that will include appropriate music.

Guests who visit Epcot right now will get one of several classic pop tracks playing on Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, assuming they can get on the new Marvel roller coaster, which fits with the style created by James Gunn and the Guardians of the Galaxy movies set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. If you visit the attraction in November or December, however, you’ll hear something else. Disney says riders will hear a “mash-up of seasonal jams” on the ride. There will likely be some aesthetic changes made to the ride, and possibly the pre-shows as well, to give the entire experience more of a holiday feel, but nothing has been confirmed. 

It’s beginning to look a lot like a Guardians of the Galaxy Christmas. In addition to the changes to the ride, we will be getting the Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special on Disney+ later this year. Technically, the Epcot ride’s story is not part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and so there is likely no direct connection between the two from a story perspective, but the theme park ride will likely help promote the special and vice versa. 

This marks the second holiday season overlay for the second Guardians of the Galaxy attraction at a Disney theme park. During Halloween at Disney California Adventure, the Guardians of the Galaxy - Mission: Breakout attraction becomes Guardians of the Galaxy: Monsters After Dark when the sun goes down. This version of the ride functions as a sort of sequel to the standard ride, with a slightly different story and music.

Overlays are something of a mixed bag at the Disney Parks, not everybody loves that Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion spends four months of the year with a holiday theme. While they can add variety and offer a bit of re-rideability to an attraction, a lot of fans don’t love that the “normal” version of the ride goes away. If you’re somebody who has already planned a holiday season visit to Walt Disney World in hopes of experiencing Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, you’ll now have to plan a second trip in order to experience the standard version of the ride. Disney is obviously just fine with this, but not all guests will likely feel the same.

Exactly when Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind will make the switch to its holiday theme is unclear, but Epcot’s International Festival of the Holidays is set to begin November 25, so that seems like a safe bet. However, holiday festivities at Disney World as a whole will be starting as early as November 8, with the first Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, so the switch could happen as early as that. 

Dirk Libbey
Content Producer/Theme Park Beat

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian. Armchair Imagineer. Epcot Stan. Future Club 33 Member.