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How to ride Guardians of the Galaxy Cosmic Rewind at Epcot

Flour, Eggs and Yeast

This week has been another busy one for Disney, both for the people attending the parks and Disney fans around the world enjoying Disney+ show updates and announcements as well as some hybrid theme park excitement like the first broadcast of the Harmonious fireworks which was just as cool on TV. During our very recent visit we noted Epcot has continued to inch closer to being done with construction but does seem to have a long way to go. We were definitely excited to see some of the paths have been reopened which make navigation a bit easier and less congested in many parts of the park. There was one part of the park that the masses seemed to be heading towards and lingering, the World Discovery area which has some of the latest and greatest Epcot has to offer. 

The opening of the Connection's Quick Service eatery and the brand-new Starbucks store are both welcomed and located close to the newest thrill ride at Epcot called Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind. What we have been doing is grabbing a coffee in the AM and returning for an iced beverage before riding Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind as the line queue moves but can take a while. Why not enjoy a drink while we wait?

Guardians of the Galaxy ride entrance at EpcotImage credit: Camillo Vitale

So you may be wondering what Cosmic Rewind is and how can you ride it. The easy answer is, it's a brand new thrill ride and long waited expansion of the Epcot ride catalog that everyone is talking about. Disney describes the ride as a dark thrill ride that takes you on an intergalactic chase through space and time with the Guardians of the Galaxy. Which doesn't exactly describe the ride and what to expect. After getting off the ride for the first time I understood not only the difficulty in describing it but I also knew I needed to ride it again to fully appreciate the genius. For those who have had the luxury of riding Cosmic Rewind even once may have recognized bits and pieces of rides that have come before it in a new and modern way. 

Our first ride on Guardians of the GalaxyImage credit: Disney Photopass

Rather than give a play by play of the actual attraction, I think it is more important to explain how to ride Cosmic Rewind on your own should you wish to do so.

At the time of this article, there are two ways to experience the ride and neither one require you to arrive before the park opens and run to the attraction. As fun as that may have been, it is not yet on the table. In lieu of the mad dash due to the extreme interest and demand, Disney has in place the same virtual queue in place previously for Rise of The Resistance in Hollywood Studios and more recently Ratatouille in Epcot. Disney for its part puts this system in place not to frustrate you but to be mindful of your time in the park while an attraction is at the highest demand. It is easy to get frustrated if you aren't one of the lucky ones in the virtual queue process, but it sure beats standing in line for 5 or 6 hours. You have 2 opportunities to join the Virtual Queue and in our experience, your best chance is at 7am with a park reservation through the My Disney Experience App. You do not have to be in the park which is nice and it allows you to plan around your estimated ride time. If you miss the 7am opportunity as time slots fill very quickly, usually under 1 minute, do not despair as you have another chance at 2pm as long as you are actually inside of Epcot. We recommend traveling past Spaceship Earth aka the Golf Ball if possible, but again the 2pm slots fill quickly.

Inside the Guardians of the Galaxy waiting to boardImage credit: Camillo Vitale

The good news is you aren't completely out of luck, there is another option. Disney has added the option to use the Individual Lightning Lane for purchase. Please be advised this is separate from Genie+, so you have the option of paying to just obtain access to this attraction once inside the park. While it does say while supply lasts we haven't heard of anyone being denied the ability to board the ride with this option yet. As it was explained to us by a cast member, Disney basically looks at the capacity of the ride vs capacity at the park and is able to determine how many people can ride in a given day and a very small percentage of that is held for purchase. The Lightning Lane for this attraction also buys a shorter queue time with priority boarding lanes opposed to the virtual queue riders. In the end it comes down to a time is money choice. While the price to use the Guardians of the Galaxy attraction can vary from day to day depending on capacity, potential users have to make a decision as to how to use their time in the park. Is $15 too much to save waiting in line using hours of park time? That will come down to the individual and the scenario on the day, while we prefer to use the free options whenever possible, in some cases it makes sense to spend the money to save time and gain access. 

Inside the Guardians of the Galaxy waiting to boardImage credit: Camillo Vitale

Inside the Guardians of the Galaxy waiting to boardImage credit: Camillo Vitale

So now that you have your options to make the ride possible, a couple of quick notes and helpful hints. The first is this ride is windy, make sure you secure hats, sunglasses or anything else that may fly away. This ride spins quite a bit at times to enhance the ride experience, and there are also some drops but nothing too crazy. In any case, you should not underestimate the stairs upon exit which require you to cross over the track to return to Epcot. There is a good chance you may need a few moments to re-balance after the first ride depending on your equilibrium. There is an elevator available in case it is needed for any reason. So far thankfully we have not witnessed anyone getting sick in a visual way.  I will say it is worth riding this attraction more than once. We saw or noticed additional details on the 2nd pass riding the ride. There may also be a chance to hear different songs during your voyage as well which for many is driving additional interest and bragging rights. This ride is fun and engaging even if you are not familiar with the movies or the backstory.

We really enjoyed this experience and hope you do as well. As you read this we are plotting our return to Epcot and will report on all of the changes as necessary as the park grows and evolves into a whole new world.

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We have deep rooted connections with food, travel and friends. Drawing on our experiences, follow us as we keep you up to date on local news, openings and events of all kinds. In addition we will share food, drink reviews and recipes you can enjoy out and about or at home. Look forward to cookies, cakes, seasonal treats including cocktails, and visiting theme parks like Disney, Universal, SeaWorld and Busch Gardens to share some of the best foods of their limited time events throughout the year. We are ready to share tips, tricks and the best places to visit when you're in Orlando! Kindly, Theresa and Cam

Orlando, FL

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