Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind FAQ
Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind at Epcot is the most highly-anticipated attraction at Walt Disney World in years. The new thrill ride is in previews now and opens May 27, and we’re already receiving lots of questions about it. This post answers the most frequently asked ones about intensity, motion sickness, lines, pre-shows, and more.
In case you’re unfamiliar with it, Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind is a “storytelling” roller coaster, which is to say it’s a mild thrill ride with show scenes. It’s a family-friendly attraction suitable for a majority of visitors and ages, but it’ll still have a height requirement and characteristics that’ll exclude some rides.
Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind is located in the old Universe of Energy pavilion, near the front of the park between Spaceship Earth, Connections Cafe & Eatery, and Play Pavilion. The attraction itself is inside what’s called the Wonders of Xandar Pavilion, and is in the World Discovery neighborhood of Epcot.
Does Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind have a physical standby line?
Cosmic Rewind replaces the standby line (for now) with a virtual queue. You’ll be able to join the queue via My Disney Experience, pending availability. (Note: the virtual queue is its own beast, and we’ll have a separate ‘how to’ guide for scoring spots in that.)
Does Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind have a Lightning Lane?
Cosmic Rewind is part of the “paid FastPass” system at Walt Disney World, and line-skipping access will be sold on an a la carte basis via the Individual Lightning Lane (ILL)–meaning it will not be bookable via the Genie+ system. See our Guide to Genie+ at Walt Disney World & Lightning Lane FAQ for all of the foundational need-to-know info about this replacement for free FastPass+.
Can we join both the virtual queue and buy an Individual Lightning Lane for Cosmic Rewind?
In theory, yes.
In practice, this will be exceedingly difficult. You’ll need two people up at 7 am, one trying for each. It’s highly likely that both options will fill up within seconds.
Is it possible to purchase an Individual Lightning Lane for Cosmic Rewind without an EPCOT Park Pass?
It should be, yes.
If you have reservations for a different park and plan on hopping to EPCOT, the system should simply move your return time to after 2 pm.
How much will Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind Individual Lightning Lane access cost?
That hasn’t been announced yet, but our guess is $20 per person. That would make it $5 more expensive than Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, which is currently the most expensive ILL.
Even if it ends up being $25 or $30 per person, Cosmic Rewind Individual Lightning Lanes will likely sell out quickly each day for the foreseeable future.
Does Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind accommodate Disability Access Service (DAS) card?
Yes, but it’ll be first come, first served.
That means everyone must join the virtual queue first, even those using DAS. To take advantage of DAS, go to the Lightning Lane once your boarding group is called. If you don’t get into the virtual queue, you won’t be able to experience Cosmic Rewind with DAS.
What about Rider Switch?
Yep, same process as above.
What’s the height requirement?
You must be at least 42″ tall to ride Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind.
Does Cosmic Rewind offer a Single Rider line?
Is Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind open for Early Entry or Extended Evening Hours at EPCOT?
No to Early Entry, at least while the virtual queue is in use.
Yes to Extended Evening Hours, but with the caveat that you need to join the virtual queue at 6 pm.
Can we join the virtual queue during the day and for Extended Evening Hours?
You can join the virtual queue once during the regular operating hours at Epcot, and once during Extended Evening Hours. In theory, you could also purchase an Individual Lightning Lane–for a total of 3 rides the same day. Achieving success all three times might require the stars to align–or the computing speed of Worldmind, the Xandarian supercomputer.
What kind of ride is Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind?
Fundamentally, a roller coaster.
Walt Disney World has been calling Cosmic Rewind a “storytelling coaster,” which is to say it’s a roller coaster with show scenes. Imagineering has dubbed this roller coaster as an OmniCoaster ride system, which is a nod to Omnimover dark rides like Haunted Mansion. Cosmic Rewind’s ride vehicles slowly rotate 360 degrees and do a reverse launch, which is a first for Walt Disney World.
How intense is Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind?
In short, it’s a family-friendly roller coaster that’s suitable for most guests and thrill levels.
If you’re able to experience Seven Dwarfs Mine Train at Magic Kingdom, you will likely be fine doing Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind at least once. It’s definitely more intense, but is similarly smooth and doesn’t punish the body in the same ways that many roller coasters do. Thanks to the fluid motion, we’d say it’s slightly less intense than Slinky Dog Dash or Big Thunder Mountain Railroad–but still pretty comparable to both.
Does Cosmic Rewind go upside down?
There’s a lot of banked twists and turns, moderate drops, and generally mild thrills. Cosmic Rewind does not even have any major drops; mostly just a lot of fluid movement that complements the soundtrack quite nicely. It’s a satisfying coaster, but not an overly intense one in any way.
How intense is the reverse launch?
Less intense (slower) than the one on Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, but it does pack a bit of a punch.
Does Cosmic Rewind cause motion sickness?
It’s less about intensity and more about the rotating of the ride vehicle coupled with screens, which may make Cosmic Rewind disorienting for some people. However, the aforementioned OmniCoaster vehicles do a good job of directing rider attention where it needs to be, and the action usually moves in tandem with the roller coaster trains. This makes the likelihood of feeling queasy due to the different motion low–it’s not jarring or disorienting.
Sarah is totally fine with Cosmic Rewind and even Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure makes her uncomfortable. With that said, different attractions affect different people differently, so it’s something of a fool’s errand to say this is suitable or not suitable for X or Y guests. (I’m trying to convince Sarah to write an article about motion sickness at Walt Disney World, so stay tuned for that…maybe?)
That still sounds too intense–is there a ‘chicken exit’?
Yes, and we’d highly encourage you to utilize it, as over half of the attraction occurs before boarding a ride vehicle.
If you don’t want to ride, simply notify a Cast Member at the point where they’re assigning rows. They will direct you to the exit at that point.
Does Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind use 3D glasses?
The screens and projections are all conventional 2D. There are no 3D effects nor are glasses worn for any segment of the attraction.
Is Cosmic Rewind scary?
It depends. Some might say the process for accessing Cosmic Rewind–attempting to score spots in the virtual queue or buy an Individual Lightning Lane before it sells out in seconds–is the stuff of vacation planners’ nightmares. But that’s probably not what you mean.
In typical Marvel fashion, there’s a Thanos-like villain, but he’s not defined by any overtly or outwardly evil characteristics. (Of course, his goals aren’t exactly benevolent, but he doesn’t look particularly scary.)
The ride does take place in near darkness–outer space is the setting–much like Space Mountain. This has been known to scare some kids, but probably not anyone tall enough to ride the attraction…except maybe those with Nyctophobia, I guess?
Which prior rides are similar to Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind?
There’s no 1:1 comparison that exists at Walt Disney World. This uses a new ride system and that plus its use of media, motion, and ride profile makes it unlike anything else in the parks.
With that said, Cosmic Rewind is like Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy meets Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin meets Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission Breakout. That might be utter nonsense to anyone who hasn’t experienced those attractions. Even if you have, it’s an amalgamation of three fundamentally different attractions.
For a much more apt comparison, it’s like the next-generation of Space Fantasy – The Ride, but like 3 of you will get the reference.
Does Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind have pre-shows?
There are two pre-shows that set the stage for the roller coaster action in Cosmic Rewind. These are like a cross between the pre-shows in Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster and Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, skewing more towards the former but with a couple of wow moments like the latter.
Are there any Audio Animatronics in the Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind pre-shows?
No, which is why it’s more akin to Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster.
During the pre-shows and throughout the ride itself, the characters appear in video screens and via projections. This is all quite effective, although Audio Animatronics of Rocket the Raccoon, Groot AA, or about a dozen dinosaurs definitely would’ve been welcome additions.
So EPCOT is still dinosaur-free?!
Our long national nightmare of a dinosaur-less EPCOT persists. For all this talk about optimism, curiosity, discovery and the magic of possibility…EPCOT’s vision of a world that future generations will inherit is depressingly dinosaur-free. (Perhaps a petition is needed?)
Does the Lightning Lane skip anything?
The Lightning Lane passes through the Galaxarium, albeit on a higher tier and at a faster speed than the regular queue. That means you’ll miss part of that lengthy loop, which is not essential to the story.
The Lightning Lane entirely skips the Wonders of Xandar gallery, which is jam-packed with Easter Eggs, nods to Walt Disney World, and Guardians of the Galaxy humor. However, this is also not critical to the attraction’s story. (With that said, we would recommend experiencing Cosmic Rewind for the first time via the normal/virtual queue.)
What (and where) are the Easter Eggs in Cosmic Rewind?
There are a ton of them, literally all over the place. These begin outside the attraction with references to Universe of Energy and continue through every single section of the queue and attraction itself, encompassing everything from Alex Trebek to turkey legs to Walt Disney’s original vision for an Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow.
A comprehensive list of Easter Eggs is well beyond the scope of this post, and might be unhelpful anyway, as some won’t be possible to hear/see during one pass-through of the attraction due to changing dialogue and long loops in the pre-shows. Others are buried deep, and require a Xandarian language cipher to decode. Fortunately, some are quite obvious and will be spotted without any effort on your first experience.
How long is Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind?
Combined, the pre-shows last about 7 minutes.
The ride duration from leaving the station to returning to the unload station is roughly 3.5 minutes.
Does Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind have an Awesome Mix Playlist?
Yes! Music is a huge part of the attraction. Each ride-through is highlighted by one of six songs, which is played at random via on-board audio. There’s also music in the queue, exit area, and outside the attraction.
For more about the music, see Song List for Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind.
Which seats are the best?
If you’re concerned about Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind being too intense, request one of the first two rows. That’s the least thrilling and jarring. If you want the best seat from a storytelling perspective, anywhere in the middle is going to be ideal.
If you want the most thrills, rows 9 or 10 will be your best bet. From there, you can crank it up a notch by fixating on every single show scene and object long after you pass. Think of this as the Big Thunder “goat trick,” but for an entire ride.
Can I request a row?
It never hurts to ask, and most roller coasters at Walt Disney World allow people to wait longer for the front row.
Whether that’s an option Cosmic Rewind will likely You can always ask a Cast Member at the load station, and if available, they may be able to seat you in a preferred row.
Are there lockers or storage for backpacks or personal items?
There’s a small pouch on the seatback, but it’s so tiny that we’re not really sure what purpose it actually serves. Maybe it’s a stylistic flourish?
In any case, larger items can be stored at your feet. They’re not going anywhere.
Is there an on-ride photo?
To get your Cosmic Rewind on-ride photo in your My Disney Experience account, enable Bluetooth for the app before you ride (there’s also a QR code you can scan in the queue). Alternatively, wear a MagicBand linked to your MDX account while riding.
Will Cosmic Rewind close in the rain like Test Track?
Unlike Test Track, this thrill ride is entirely indoors and won’t close due to inclimate weather.
Is it going to have problems like Test Track or Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance?
Every new attraction is bound to be shaky out of the gate, especially those that aren’t cloned from other parks, have novel ride systems, or a lot of moving parts that need to sync up. Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind has all of the above. As such, some amount of downtime is to be expected.
However, we have seen nothing to suggest that Cosmic Rewind will be plagued by the same persistent issues as those attractions. Although not comparable in any other way, it should be more akin to Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway.
On another positive note, Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind is a people-eater, with an theoretical hourly capacity of around 2,500 riders. That doesn’t mean lines will be short or the virtual queue will last longer–quite the contrary, as demand will easily surpass supply for a while.
Will I like this if I’m not a huge Marvel fan?
Much like you can enjoy Splash Mountain without ever seeing Song of the South, Flight of Passage without ever seeing Avatar, or Rise of the Resistance without ever seeing a single Star Wars film, you can enjoy Cosmic Rewind without seeing any Guardians of the Galaxy movies.
Fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe will likely get more out of the attraction, but the ride works on multiple levels; the plot is simple and requires no prior knowledge to understand. The best of the ‘storytelling’ is humor that’s universally understandable. You might not find them funny, but you’ll at least “get” the jokes.
Is Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind the best ride at Walt Disney World?
It’s very good and a ton of fun, but not #1. Although very different in nature, we’d liken it to Avatar Flight of Passage. It’s a great addition and likely will become the top-rated ride at EPCOT. For more read our Spoiler-Free Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind Ride Review.
Is Cosmic Rewind the best Chris Pratt attraction?
A recent study conducted at the DTB headquarters revealed that the fastest-growing category of rides in the themed entertainment industry are those featuring Chris Pratt. Orlando has two, Southern California has two–and who knows where he’ll pop up next now that he’s the Warp Pipe plumber.
Whether this is the best Chris Pratt attraction is a matter of personal preference. They are all very good, 9/10 or better rides. While there’s no consensus now, someday the top Chris Pratt attraction will be the forthcoming Who Framed Burt Macklin for Stealing the President’s Rubies? – The Ride!
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Do you have any questions this FAQ failed to answer? If you’ve done Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, do you think there’s anything else first-timers should know? Are you excited for Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind? If you’ve experienced Cosmic Rewind, what did you think of the attraction? Any other Disney or Universal rides to which you’d compare it? Thoughts on intensity and its likelihood of causing motion sickness? Do you agree or disagree with any of our thoughts? Any questions we can help you answer? Hearing your feedback–even when you disagree with us–is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts below in the comments!
Avatar is nothing like Guardians of the Galaxy. both are good but Avatar is more thrilling, ‘feels’ faster staging is good with the former. which would I queue for first Avatar!
Any updates on how quickly the ILLs and virtual queues are selling out lately? We’re starting to think about strategy for mid-Aug. I would also love to know how long the average line time is with virtual queue once you’re called to return. Thanks!
From what I can see on MDE, the 1pm virtual queue is staying open for hours now. It looks like it’s still open now (almost 5:30pm!) Does this mean Epcot park hoppers can easily take advantage of the queue after 2pm?
We just came home from Disney yesterday and were able to ride Cosmic Rewind. I am a wimp when it comes to roller coasters because I hate drops and get motion sickness. The only rides I don’t do at Disney are Everest, Aerosmith coaster, and Tower of Terror. I am fine with everything else. I used motion sickness patches this go around and never had problems. However, Cosmic Rewind was the most intense ride by far I’ve been on. I had my eyes closed the whole time, and it felt like there were quite a few drops. It is nothing like Slinky Dog or Thunder Mountain. Those are a walk in the park compared to this coaster.
110% agreement Nicole. While it may not be a true roller coaster, it’s pretty intense. My legs were shaking for quite some time after leaving the ride. Both my friend and I had our eyes closed the entire time and my friend couldn’t eat for a while. Thunder Mountain is a walk in the park in comparison. I rode that and barely closed my eyes. This ride was in constant motion so never had time to follow any of the story. If you don’t like roller coasters, stay far away. I wish Disney had followed Universal’s lead and copy two of the Harry Potter ride setups with where you’re in a chair that simulates some of the feelings with a video screen. Only part of the review I would agree with is that the coaster is fluid and doesn’t have any real jerky movements that hurt the body.
You say that Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind is not the best ride at Walt Disney World. So, if it is not, what is the best ride at WDW? I rode it on the 18th and I think it is the best at Walt Disney World, and by far. I can’t think of one that comes close to it honestly.
Here are my current attraction rankings for Walt Disney World, pre-Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind – https://www.disneytouristblog.com/ride-rankings-disney-world/
Due to recency bias, I tend to wait a few months before adding new attractions. With that said, Cosmic Rewind will definitely make the top 10 and probably the top 5.
Thanks for the quick reply Tom! I haven’t ridden Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance yet, I kind of forgot about that one! I am a Star Wars fan but my family is not and they are not interested in waiting that long to get on a ride like that unfortunately…
Adding myself to the virtual queue for Sarah’s motion sickness post! I love all Sarah posts + I am a motion sickness sufferer.
Tell Sarah I’ll be waiting on that motion sickness post…
Great shout out to Burt Macklin…now that would be an awesome ride! Maybe it could incorporate your vehicle “sliding” over a reception desk to steal some documents? Thanks for all your reviews and humor, Tom. I love reading your blog!
My dad and I rode it last week, I LOVED it (i LOVE roller coasters) and my dad can usually handle roller coasters, but only once, like expedition everest he can usually only do once… He said Guardians was way too intense for him. We did Remy earlier in the day for the 1st time and I had a hard time with that one, but he loved it. I’m thinking it might’ve been because we aren’t used to intense humid Florida summer weather. Someone in line with us said he rode Guardians two weeks ago using his annual pass and there were no umbrellas outside and no queue outside of the building, so we thought maybe it was because of weather too… who knows?!
We too did it during the DVC and AP previews – and while I thought it was the best rollercoaster I’ve ever been on- my Wife had vertigo ( not nausea) for almost 5 hours afterwards (She didn’t do it a second time, while I did). She was not alone in this – several ( non-GotG castmembers also mentioned having vertigo after riding this coaster). My wife can ride every other ride at WDW and Universal without any problems ( including Remy and Mission Space). Her vertigo ruined the day for her – having to sit in Connections for about 40″ afterwards, and even then being too “sick” to enjoy Soarin ‘ ( she had to close her eyes once the movie banked over the pyramids) and couldn’t really think of eating for 5 hours. She will never go on it again.
I highly recommend that anyone who is even a tiny bit worried about motion sickness do this ride at the end of their day so that if they do experience problems, then it does not ruin your day.
Why does the process to ride sound impossible? We can’t stand in line and we can’t use Genie+. So where exactly are we supposed to get LL tixs or get in a virtual line? Are both of these options in MDE? Or we have to go to the park at 7AM and try logging into something g else.
We were able to get in the virtual que through the my Disney app. I was on at 6:58 and kept refreshing. I joined virtual que for 4 and got in. They open virtual ques at 7am and 1pm.
For those wondering about motion sickness, I can’t do Star Tours, Remy, Space Mountain or Expediton Everest. Flight of Passage and Rockin Rollercoaster I can do once.
I could do this one, but I did take three bonine and wore my relief band that buzzes my wrist. I felt fine afterward. Would I do it multiple times in a row? No, but it was smooth like slinky, so much better for me than SM and EE.
Also, I’ve never seen the Guardians movies, but do have an awareness of the MCU because let’s be honest, you can’t escape it and the movies are always on TV, I thoroughly enjoyed the ride and didn’t feel like I had to have any real prior knowledge.
We rode it May 19. Adult son was fine, husband was a bit disoriented and I was a little light headed. Husband was very thankful we hadn’t eaten yet that morning.
I described it to a friend it was like Space Mountain was an overtired toddler on steriods and crack, with comfortable seats, and a buttered vechicle on a hot angled skillet. It felt fast. My ride photo shows my ponytail at a 90° angle from top of my head. 2 out 3 of us loved it!
I watched a pov of space fantasy the ride and it’s kind of funny how similar it is to cosmic rewind. Like there’s a point where you’re going under large red rings similar to the start of cosmic rewind, the ride takes place in a very immersive Star field , you encircle planets etc
Tom, you were in true form with this one. I raise my snake juice in a toast to your wit.
We rode it this week and thought it was awesome. As for the motion sickness, sometimes my wife will experience it and keeps children’s Dramamine on hand just in case. She had some slight effect from it so took a Dramamine after the ride and was fine. We went on to ride Ratatouille. I felt it more in my head – just a slight momentary dizziness.
Can you fix the formatting?
Should be fixed now–sorry about that!