Disney’s latest Marvel-themed coaster makes it big with screens. Really big. Bigger than a football field. But you might not realize it when you’re driving because you’re too busy yelling about your vehicle constantly spinning in different directions on the track as you whiz through time and space.
We got an early preview of Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, located at Epcot at Walt Disney World in Florida. The ride will officially open on May 27th. It’s one of the largest indoor roller coasters, and Disney hasn’t held back from employing new tech tricks to give the Marvel misfit heroes a hit attraction that could eclipse Disney’s other Marvel rides — all with a Goofy, Epcot- centered story.
We give you a glimpse of the experience in the video embedded above (be careful trying to avoid spoilers). And I can tell you, some of the best technology is already there before you get in the vehicle. Special effects in the pre-show literally transport you into a new Guardians adventure, in which you travel back in time to stop a space monster thing from destroying Earth and, uh, everything as we know it.
Disney calls this reverse-launch roller coaster an omnicoaster. Vehicles make controlled rotations so you always have an eye on what’s happening. The real G-forces can be felt as your coaster hurtles down the track in one direction and you look to the side. There are no loops or upside-down flips, but boy will you feel like it’s intense at certain points.
The whole time you’re flitting around, the Guardians gang are cracking jokes as you face certain doom. And the classic pop music that Star-Lord loves blasts out of your car’s speakers. The Disney Imagineers team tested more than 100 potential songs for the attraction, but it was narrowed down to six. Guests will randomly play one of these songs when it starts: “September”, “Disco Inferno”, “Conga”, “Everybody Wants to Rule the World”, “I Ran” or “One Way or Another”.
This ride has no audio-animatronic characters – instead, guests are flung around planets in spaceships and big action is projected onto multiple surfaces to make it appear as if you’re in outer space. According to Disney Imagineer Wyatt Winter, senior producer of Cosmic Rewind, one of these screens is larger than a football field. In an interview during our press preview, he explained that the team wanted to make sure guests who didn’t know much about Marvel could still enjoy this story – and fill in the gaps while you wait.
Epcot is a park about celebrating the cultures of the world and imagining the possibilities of future technologies. And somehow, the humor style for the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise allowed Disney to bring a bunch of space adventurers to this park.
As they wait in the winding line, guests learn the complex backstory: Star-Lord, the retro music-loving leader of the Guardians, played by Chris Pratt, visited Epcot theme park as a child. And he’s quite famous among Xandarians, an alien race that looks just like us. The Xandarians traveled from their world to Epcot to build a pavilion to teach us about their planet and share their advanced technologies. But something goes wrong when a Celestial steals a technology to destroy Earth.
are you still following As someone who’s a bit fuzzy on the Nova Corps (like Xandar’s space police) and I know nothing about Celestials (universal god things from the Eternals movie that I haven’t seen yet), I found the adventure easy to understand, because I was familiar with the Guardians characters.
Epcot fans will also find hidden clues to the ride that once stood on this site: The Universe of Energy. (Star-Lord was a big fan of the ride with all the animatronic dinosaurs.)
My family and I have been to Epcot many times and like Star-Lord, I’m a fan of the classic park rides. I was worried about how a talking raccoon with a laser gun might feel like it belonged in the park – and it got it just right. Epcot isn’t always the star theme park at Walt Disney World, mostly because there aren’t as many big rides. As this is Epcot’s first major roller coaster, families could make sure Epcot fits into their vacation plans.
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