It’s save the galaxy time with Starlord and company! Only this time you’ll have to do it in central Florida. This weekend, Disney Parks debuts its ‘Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind’ attraction at Walt Disney World’s EPCOT — based on the Guardians of the Galaxy films. It’s one of the longest enclosed roller coasters in the world and took almost six years to complete.
“We start you off feeling like you’re on a very conventional, roller coaster-type experience,” says Disney imagineer Tom Fitzgerald, telling ABC Audio it’s a far cry from the typical theme park ride, launching backward and catapulting riders into a 360-degree spin. “Without you even realizing it, we very subtly turn all the vehicles around and suddenly, if you’re in the first car, you’re in the back car!”
There’s also that trademark Disney storytelling attached as you board the ride. “Our hook is Peter Quill [Starlord] came to EPCOT when he was a kid, back in the ’80s,” says Zach Riddley, lead creative executive for EPCOT. “The Xandarians say, ‘Hey, we want to bring a message of our culture, technology to Earth. What’s the one place?’ And they went to Starlord and he said, ‘EPCOT.’”
And it wouldn’t be Guardians without a killer soundtrack. Six songs are showcased on Cosmic Rewind, including Blondie’s “One Way or Another” and Earth, Wind and Fire’s “September.” Choosing the playlist was no small feat, imagineer Spencer Lynn tells ABC Audio. But a fun one nonetheless. “We tested over 100 songs — we would watch the cast members operating the attraction and if they were dancing, we were like, ‘Let’s keep that one, it’s probably going to be good in the long run!’”
Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind opens May 27 at EPCOT. Disney is the parent company of Disney Parks and ABC News.
Copyright © 2022, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.