Skip to main content

Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind – 2 Big Things That Surprised Me About The New Disney World Ride (And 2 That Didn’t)

By now, the reviews for Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind are rolling in and people are really getting the opportunity to try it for the first time ahead of the GOTG coaster's official May 27th opening date. Ahead of riding Epcot's latest attraction for the first time, I felt I knew a fair amount about the ride. It had garnered a few comparisons to Space Mountain (not to mention compared to Universal's own big VelociCoaster release), and early look footage sort of showed a bit about what the storyline and Xandar components would be like. However, there were a few parts that really stood out when I hopped on the ride, some surprising, some not quite as much. 

Surprise, The Very Last Row On Cosmic Rewind Isn’t The Best

Remember two seconds ago when I was talking about how flipping cool the reverse launch is? OK, so that actually makes it a little tricky to figure out where you want to be on the ride, which is not something I factored in the first time I got on. You board Guardians of the Galaxy in the normal way, but in order to hit that reverse launch, you quickly flip around. But here’s the tricky part, it’s a 360 flip per cart, so for the reverse launch the front row IS NOT actually the back. If you want to be in the front during the reverse launch, you actually need to be in Row 9. Likewise, if you want to be in the back for the reverse launch, Row 2 is the deal. You spend more time forwards and sideways than backwards though, so really, there’s not a bad seat in the house. 

You’re welcome. 

Not A Surprise: Reverse Launch Is As Flipping Cool As It Sounds 

We'll get into the reverse launch next, but for now just know the way the coaster kicks off makes it a little tricky to figure out where you want to be on the ride, which is not something I factored in the first time I got on. You board Guardians of the Galaxy in the normal way, but in order to hit that reverse launch, you quickly flip around. But here’s the tricky part, it’s a 360 flip per cart, so for the reverse launch the front row IS NOT actually the back. If you want to be in the front during the reverse launch, you actually need to be in Row 9. Likewise, if you want to be in the back for the reverse launch, Row 2 is the deal. You spend more time forwards and sideways than backwards though, so really, there’s not a bad seat in the house. 

You’re welcome. 

The coaster portion of Guardians of the Galaxy Cosmic Rewind

(Image credit: Disney)

Not A Surprise: The Music Really Changes The Experience 

We’ve known for a while that Cosmic Rewind would have a mixtape of six songs (after imagineers tested more than 100) that are meant to be favorites of Peter Quill. In addition, the other Guardians of the Galaxy ride in Disneyland, Mission: Breakout, also features six songs that totally make each ride experience a little different from one another. In that case, the song makes the ride too. While not remotely a surprise, I was definitely more zen on the Epcot coaster when I caught “Everybody Wants To Rule The World” by Tears for Fears than when I rode with “Disco Inferno” as the backdrop. It’s a gamble every time you hop on, but like certain other attractions -- including Star Tours -- that’s half the fun. 

Surprise, 360 Degree Rotation Is Easier On The Stomach Than Expected And It Gives You Totally Unique Views

When I thought of 360 degree rotation ahead of riding this coaster, I honestly thought that meant the ride would be shifting a ton, perhaps in a way that might be upsetting to my stomach. (This is a thing that happens from time to time.) Instead, Cosmic Rewind is a medium ride when it comes to intensity and the main purpose of the 360 degree rotation seems to be to give the rider the best vantage point at any given moment. 

So if the starjumper is gliding past a planet, the ride will shift to give parkgoers the best view. Likewise, if the Guardians are trying to steal a cosmic generator from a big baddie all while bantering amongst each other, you’ll both hear and see the best view at the same time. This was definitely a surprise, and a pleasant one, though to note your experience may vary depending on whether or not you are a coaster person.

Ride Pre-show on Cosmic Rewind

(Image credit: Jessica Rawden)

Know Before You Go On Guardians Of The Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind

The good news? Epcot is is in the middle of a huge expansion that has including updates to the France Pavilion like Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure, a new fountain at the entrance to the park, the addition of fun dining experience Space 220 and, of course, the new Guardians of the Galaxy coaster, which opens on May 27th. Fastpass may not be making a comeback, but the futuristic park certainly is. 

Amazing Race & Top Chef superfan with a pinch of Disney fairy dust thrown in. If you’ve created a rom-com I’ve probably watched it.