|Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind
|A promotional poster for Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind
|Wonders of Xandar
|May 27, 2022
|Disney Genie +
|No (Lighting Lane Exclusive)
A Guardians of the Galaxy themed attraction was originally announced on July 1t, 2017 as a replacement for Epcot's Universe of Energy pavilion . At the time, Disney stated that the new ride would be an E-ticket attraction based on the "rockin’ and action-packed world of Guardians of the Galaxy", that would open in time for Walt Disney World's 50th anniversary in 2021 .
On August 13, 2017, the Universe of Energy pavilion was closed and subsequently walled off from guests . Although Disney decided to build a completely new show building for the new Guardians attraction, much of the original Universe of Energy building was saved, and reused as the new attraction's queue and preshow area .
Over the next two years, work continued on the Guardians of the Galaxy attraction. During this time, Disney announced that the attraction would be one of the world's largest indoor roller coasters, and that it would feature a unique ride system that allowed Imagineers to have each individual ride vehicle turn on demand. This allowed Imagineering to focus guests attention on specific scenes, and improved their storytelling ability. When commenting on the new ride vehicles, Walt Disney CEO Bob Chapek explained:
"On most coasters, the vehicles point straight ahead throughout the ride,” Bob explained. “But on this attraction, each individual cab will be programmed to direct your eye to the story happening around you. That means instead of whizzing by the action, you’ll be fully immersed in the story from the minute you launch." 
On August 25, 2019, Disney announced that the name of the attraction would be Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind. At this time, Disney gave a basic outline of the attraction stating, "The adventure starts in the “Galaxarium,” a planetarium-like exhibition that explores the similarities and mysteries of the formation of Earth’s galaxy and Xandar. Guests will be invited to learn more about the treasures Xandar has to share – until the moment when the Guardians of the Galaxy arrive, and adventures across the cosmos ensue."
Although Disney had originally planned on Cosmic Rewind being ready for Walt Disney World's 50th Anniversary, as 2021 approached, it began to become clear that the attraction would not open on time. Perhaps due to the 2020 COVID pandemic and subsequent budget adjustments, construction on the ride needed to continue throughout 2021 .
In October 2021, director James Gunn disclosed that filming on Cosmic Rewind was underway. To get the new footage, Disney Imagineers visited the set of Guardians of the Galaxy 3. When commenting on the filming, Imagineer Christopher Smith noted:
"We had a great opportunity to tie in with the third film for our shoot here. So, we have some of the familiar faces that you'll notice. Peter Quill, Star-Lord, as he likes to be called, and some others are back and we got to work with that team putting that together. So they were all fantastic. We got so much fun stuff to see here, in multiple areas of the ride. I don't want to spoil it. You'll have to come and see it. "
On May 27, 2022, Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind officially opened to guests, along with the rest of the the Wonders of Xandar pavilion . Since opening, the attraction has not seen any major changes, although Disney has announced that the attraction will receive a holiday soundtrack, likely beginning November 11, 2022 .
Upon entering the Wonders of Xandar pavilion, guests find themselves in the Galaxarium— a planetarium-like exhibition showcasing the similarities and differences between Xandar and Terra (Earth's) galaxies. Hosted by Worldmind, a Xandarian super computer, who explains that the Xandarians have come to EPCOT to learn about the people of Terra. The goal of the Xandarians is to learn from the Terrans and promote understanding. In the Galaxarium, guests also learn a series of similarities and differences between Xandar and Terra. These include:
- How the planets were initially formed. While Terra travels around the Sun, Xandar actually orbits three stars. The two galaxies are moving closer to each other, and in four million years, the galaxies will merge.
- The Big Bang is what created the Andromeda galaxy and the Milky Way. Because of this, there is a similarity between the stars of the two galaxies.
- On Xandar, for much of the year, the planet's suns are seen close together. This creates a day and night pattern, albeit with three sunsets and sunrises. As the planet continues along its orbit, the suns grow farther apart until they reach a point where it is daylight all the time.
- Xandar is famous for its Universal neural teleportation network, which generates artificial wormholes in the space-time continuum. Xandarians call these "jump points" and they allow for fast travel throughout space.
- Xandar is known as a peaceful paradise in the stars, which is dominates by water. From space, one can see Maelstroms, which the Xandarians use for power, and the coral reefs they use for sustainable farming. Like Terra, Xandar has an atmosphere that sustains life.
- Xandarians have explored many planets and seen their life forms. In the past, Terrans have referred to Xandarian ships as UFOs. Worldmind also gives a history of Terra's space voyagers. Which not only send back data, but also have greetings recorded for other species they may bump into.
Moving on past the Galaxarium, guests enter the Xandar Gallery. Here, guests can see a full-scale model of the Xandar City Centre, a models of various star ships and even uniforms worn by various Nova Corps officers. This section of the queue also features a tribute to Walt Disney and his original plans for EPCOT. When Walt and his plans are shown, Worldmind notes:
“We recently learned that your Terran visionary, Walt Disney, had a similar role in mind with his early concepts for the experimental prototype community of tomorrow. We appreciate the value and good design for better living and are proud to share our Xandarian story with you.
As they move through the Xandar Gallery, guests watch clips of the Guardians of the Galaxy on Good Morning Xandar. On the show, The Guardians recap their heroics on Xandar and Peter explains that it was his idea for the Xandarians to set up their showcase on Terra, and specifically Epcot. Quill notes:
“That was totally my idea, and EPCOT too. Because I love that place – it’s awesome! I went there as a kid and I cannot wait to go back and ride Horizons and see the Energy dinosaurs and hear the Veggie, Veggie, Fruit, Fruit – it’s the best!
Gamora, Drax, Peter, Rocket and Groot also argue about who the real hero of Xandar was. With Rocket declaring himself the captain of the team, and both Gamora and Rocket imploring the interviewer not call Peter Quill Star-Lord. Eventually, the Guardians admit that it was Peter's idea to save Xandar.
After passing through the Xandar Gallery, guests enter the attraction's preshow room. Here, they are greeted by Commander of the Nova Corp, Nova Prime Irani Rael, who welcomes guests on behalf of all Xandarians. She then gives a brief recap of Xandar and Terra's joint history, and introduces the Cosmic Generator, a piece of Xandarian technology.
"As you have seen your world and ours were born at the same moment, one which you refer to as the Big Bang. As such, we are all galactic neighbors in a vast universe, which we and countless others share. For you to travel to Xandar would take 2.5 million years, assuming you had a ship that could fly at the speed of light. So we decided to come to you. But even we could not have reached you so easily were it not for the Cosmic Generator, an advanced piece of Xandarian technology that creates jump points, artificial tunnels that act as shortcuts, linking distant points in space. It is our desire to share this wondrous technology with your people, so that together, we might explore new worlds and create a brighter tomorrow.
And now, as a culmination of the Wonders of Xandar, you will be teleported a Nova Ship above your planet, for demonstration of the Cosmic Generator. I trust that you will find it an unforgettable experience.
At this point, guests are Welcomed as "Epcot Terrans" and given a brief safety spiel by Centurion Tal Marik. Everyone then enter the where phase chamber they are teleported to the Nova Ship. Tal Marik warns guests that this is the first time that Terrans will be teleported, which will work as long as everyone stands where they are told.
After teleporting to the Nova Ship, Nova Prime shows off the Cosmic Generator, which is located in front of guests. At this moment, the power goes out in the ship and the Cosmic Generator is stolen. The Guardians of the Galaxy are then called in. As they try to figure out what happened, the Celestial Eson appears out the ship's main window and creates a Jump Point with the stolen Cosmic Generator. As the Eson enters the portal he ominously states that he is going to "fix a mistake".
Peter Quill and the Guardians then tell Terry Crews to follow Eson, but he informs them that they cannot, because the Nova Ship's power is out, and he has to escort guests to escape shuttles to safety. Rocket interjects at this moment, stating that he has reprogrammed the shuttles to follow the celestial through the Jump Point. Guests then go into the next room where they board their ride vehicles, beginning the attraction.
As guests leave the load area, the begin to travel to the jumppoint. Here, the Guardians of the Galaxy appear on screen and inform them that they have locked onto their ship's coordinates and will be right behind them. Rocket, although the one who suggested the plan, casually informs his teammates that "this will never work".
After entering the jumppoint guests find themselves face to face with Eson, who tells them that "it was useless to follow me". With Earth shinning in the background, Eson holds the Cosmic Generator in his hands. At this point, the Guardians arrive and shoot the Cosmic Generator out of the Celestial's hands. The ensuing explosion sends guests flying backwards (both literally and figuratively) in time, all the way to the Big Bang. As the ships are blown backwards, a randomized rock n roll song begins to play. The Guardians and Terrans then chase Eson through a series of Jump Points, until the Nova Corp arrives and helps to recover the Cosmic Generator from Eson. Having once again saved the universe, the Guardians lead the Terrans through a series of Jump Points that takes them to the Milky Way, and then Earth's moon before arriving back on Earth. As guests return to the Wonders of Xandar pavilion, Peter Quill welcomes them as (honorary) Guardians of the Galaxy.
When guests are shot backwards in Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, one of six randomized songs plays for the duration of the space fight. The possible songs are:
- September- Earth, Wind and Fire
- Disco Inferno-the Trammps
- Everybody Wants to Rule the World- Tears for Fears
- One Way or Another- Blondie
- I Ran (So Far Away)- A Flock of Seagulls
- Conga-Gloria Estefan
- Peter Quill- Chris Pratt
- Gamora- Zoe Saldana
- Drax the Destroyer- Dave Bautista
- Nova Prime Irani Rael- Glenn Close
- Centurion Tal Marik- Terry Crew
Fun Facts and Trivia
- Star-Lord's Awesome Mixtape can be seen floating in space from the Galaxarium
- In the queue, guests can see a Maelstrom warning appear on a screen. This is a reference to the former Maelstrom attraction .
- In Guardians of the Galaxy Cosmic Rewind, Drax appears with a shirt on, rather than his traditional shirtless look. This is due to actor Dave Bautista feeling uncomfortable with continuing to play the character shirtless .
- Two pipes below a guest walkway that passes over the ride path, have references to Ellen's Energy Adventure inscribed in Xandarian on them. The left pipe features the words "ELN" and "E=MC", while the right pipe says "ALX" an "DINO". The left pipe refers to the Ellen and her Jeopardy answer E=MC2, while the right pipe refers to Alex Trebek and the dinosaurs that were formally featured on the ride .
- Both in the queue and just before the backward launch, guests can hear an instrumental version of the Universe of Energy theme song .
- In the attraction's queue, guests can find the Universe of Energy logo on one of the Xandar Gallery's counsels .
- During the launch backward, guests can hear dialogue between Star-Lord and Drax where Drax, where the later asks "was that the Ding Dang" this is a nod to one of Ellen's incorrect names for the Big Bang on Ellen's Energy Adventure .
- In the Galaxarium guests can see a turkey leg floating through space. When it appears on screen Worldmind notes "“I am discovering more about you Terrans, such as your fascination with eating the turkey leg. Why only eat the leg? What about the rest of this creature?” .
- Composer Tyler Bates, who composed the music for the “Guardians of the Galaxy” films, created more than two hours of new music for the attraction’s score .