Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind officially opens at EPCOT today bringing the park its first roller coaster style attraction and its first pavilion ‘sponsored’ by another planet.
As the attraction greets its first guests, we realize not everyone is as familiar with the Guardians of the Galaxy movies as we are. So we wanted to give an introductory primer to the ride and its place within the Disney pantheon of thrill rides.
Update: We just received a video from Disney with behind the scenes footage from the filming of Cosmic Rewind!
We recently talked with Imagineer Ben Bowser. As principal design manager he was responsible for making sure the project had all the resources and materials needed to meet project milestones in an efficient manner.
We had a wonderful conversation where we discussed the backstory of how the Xandarians came to choose EPCOT, the DNA of the attraction and how it fits within the pantheon of other great attractions like Space Mountain and Haunted Mansion. We also went over some of the important need to know facts for the ride
Watch our conversation with Ben here:
A big thanks to Ben Bowser at Walt Disney Imagineering for giving us that great introduction to Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind.
Cosmic Rewind Easter Eggs
I also talked with a number of different Imagineers who worked on the project about some of the fun Easter Eggs and tributes you can find throughout the attraction.
There are two audio tributes to Universe of Energy on the attraction itself. The first is the Ellen’s theme from the Universe of Energy attraction. It’s playing from the Milano right before your ride vehicle launches backward. Only it’s a rock’n’roll version of the theme song.
The queue and pre-show makes a couple different references to the “Big Bang” which was also discussed in the Universe of Energy. When you’re on the ride, listen for Drax calling it the “ding dang,” which is the term Ellen used with Bill Nye on the Universe of Energy. I think that’s the second audio tribute to the show.
The queue is full of Easter Eggs. In addition to a segment of Walt Disney talking about EPCOT, there is a section where Peter Quill talks about his fond memories of EPCOT. You’ll find this section in the gallery portion of the queue.
There are some different variances you’ll get at on the ride depending on which song you have. One features the old adage that EPCOT really stands for “Every Person Comes Out Tired.”
We did find one hidden Mickey. Look inside the Xandarian City model in the queue. The Hidden Mickey is three small domes in a familiar shape.
I’m told that on the same display where Walt talks about EPCOT, there is a weather pattern displayed that resembles a Maelstrom. If you recall, that was the name of the attraction in the Norway Pavilion before Frozen moved in.
There’s probably many more than that as Imagineers are pretty cagy about this stuff. We will update this article as we learn new secret design elements.
Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind – Fun Facts
We love to learn more details about Cosmic Rewind as we think the fun facts provided by Disney embiggen the experience. Your mileage may vary, but we think these are pretty cool.
- A Starblaster ship rests in a docking stand outside the Wonders of Xandar pavilion, the first full-size version of this Xandarian ship ever built.
- Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind is the longest fully enclosed coaster in any Disney theme park and one of the longest enclosed coasters in the world.
- The attraction covers more than 200,000 square feet, with its main show building stretching longer than an American football field. This massive structure’s foundation contains more than 80 miles of rebar and 9,000-plus cubic yards of concrete. By volume, four Spaceship Earths would fit inside this show building.
- Academy Award nominee Glenn Close reprises her role from “Guardians of the Galaxy” as Nova Prime Irani Rael, the leader of Xandar and commander of the Nova Corps.
- Disney Imagineers were on the set of “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3” to film with the Guardians for this new attraction.
- Composer Tyler Bates from the “Guardians of the Galaxy” films created more than two hours of new music for the attraction’s score.
- Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind features more than 75 minutes of original content.
- For those trying to fit Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind in the overall Marvel Cinematic Universe timeline, good luck. The ride takes place outside the official canon and timeline. Imagineering wanted to give the broadest appeal to the characters, which is why Groot is a full grown version, despite having had to be regrown after the end of the first movie.
Who Are the Guardians of the Galaxy?
The Guardians of the Galaxy are a group of intergalactic outlaws who became unlikely heroes of Xandar when they defended the planet from utter destruction. Now pardoned as thanks for their brave and selfless acts, the Guardians travel the galaxy in search of new missions. They are:
- Star-Lord (a.k.a. Peter Quill) – Originally from Earth, the leader of the Guardians of the Galaxy brings a snarky sense of humor to protecting the universe from any and all threats
- Drax – A brutally honest warrior with superior strength and combat skills (and very little regard for metaphor), ready to destroy any enemies of the galaxy
- Gamora – Raised as a living weapon, she seeks redemption as a member of the Guardians, putting her extraordinary fighting abilities to good use
- Groot – The sentient tree-like creature known as a Flora colossus whose vocabulistics are limited to “I” and “am” and “Groot” (exclusively in that order) branches out of his comfort zone to help the Guardians keep the universe safe
- Rocket – The genetically enhanced creature is the Guardians’ weapons and tactical expert, risking his hide to defend the cosmos one wisecrack at a time
Glossary of Cool Terms and People
Andromeda Galaxy – Spiral galaxy home to the Xandar system; galaxy nearest the Milky Way
Xandar – Paradise-like planet in the Andromeda Galaxy home to a diverse, peace-loving population
Terra – Xandarian term for Earth, home to Terrans (residents of Earth)
Wonders of Xandar Pavilion – First “other-world” showcase pavilion at EPCOT, where the people of Terra can learn more about Xandarians and their technologies, as well as the commonalities between the two cultures
Galaxarium – Sweeping planetarium-style space showcasing planets, stars and other intergalactic wonders that connect Terra and Xandar
Worldmind – Xandarian supercomputer that narrates the Galaxarium; holds the collective knowledge, memory and experience of all the Xandarian people
Xandar Gallery – Showcase of Xandarian people, culture and history – including the heroes of Xandar – through specially crafted displays
“Good Morning Xandar” – Popular news program on Xandar, often featuring interviews with famous personalities
Phase Chamber – Xandarian teleportation room used to instantaneously transport people from Terra’s surface to an orbiting ship
Treasures of Xandar – Retail shop at the Wonders of Xandar pavilion, operated by The Broker
Jump Points – Artificial tunnels in space allowing for rapid travel between two different points separated by a vast distance
Cosmic Generator – Xandarian technology that creates jump points, linking distant points in space to one another
Nova Corps – Defense and peacekeeping force for Xandar and the Andromeda Galaxy
Nova Prime Irani Rael – Leader of the Nova Corps, charged with protecting the Xandarian people from threats while serving as an emissary of peace through understanding across the galaxy
Centurion Tal Marik – Commander of the Starcharter, leader of the Nova Corps peacekeeping efforts, and close advisor to Nova Prime (this is the character’s first appearance, as he was created for Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind)
Starblaster – Nova Corps short-range patrol craft, notable for its eight pointy fins that look like a star; can connect with other Starblasters to form a physical barrier
Starcharter – Large Nova Corps cruiser
Starjumper – Small escape shuttle that launches from a Nova Corps Starcharter
M-Ship – Class of personal spacecraft owned by Peter Quill, serving as base of operations for the Guardians of the Galaxy
Celestial – A cosmic being of immense power whose size and scope defy human perception
Eson – A Celestial watching over Earth for eons, growing increasingly frustrated with the course of human history
I am Groot.
If you get a chance to ride Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, we hope this primer gives you a good understanding of the attraction and how it fits into EPCOT and the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Follow all our Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind coverage on The Disney Blog.