Without a doubt my absolute favorite ride at Walt Disney World is the Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind roller coaster at Epcot.
The combination of storytelling, iconic Marvel characters, and fun music always make this ride a must-do for me.
In this rider’s guide, I’m going over all the details of this stellar thrill ride, including history, accessibility accommodations, safety requirements, a complete Cosmic Rewind song list, and more.
Let’s take a closer look so you can decide if this ride is also a must-do for your next visit.
An introduction to Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind ride
The Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind roller coaster was created by Walt Disney Imagineering and Netherlands-based attraction manufacturer, Vekoma.
Vekoma also collaborated with the Imagineering team on TRON, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, and Expedition Everest at Walt Disney World. So it’s safe to say that pretty much everything they help build is going to be a top-tier ride!
Cosmic Rewind opened on May 27, 2022, replacing Ellen’s Energy Adventure ride in what is now known as World Discovery at Disney World’s Epcot theme park.
The ride features iconic characters from the Guardians of the Galaxy film franchise, such as Peter Quill/Star-Lord, Rocket, Groot, Drax, Gamora, and Nova Prime Irani Rael.
All of the characters’ actors from the movies returned for their role, except for Vin Diesel (Groot) and Bradley Cooper (Rocket).
In addition, a brand new character, Centurion Tal Marik, played by Terry Crews, was created for the pre-show.
The ride starts off as a tour of Xandarian artifacts and technology, which is supposed to end with teleportation to Xandar to demonstrate their cosmic generator technology.
However, the generator is stolen and the Guardians are summoned to help evacuate guests.
At this point, guests are ushered to the roller coaster portion of the attraction, which is, surely to Peter Quill’s delight, set to a random selection of tunes from the 70s and 80s.
It’s a super fun ride with creative storytelling (I mean, it is a Marvel ride, after all!) and I highly recommend carving out time to ride it at least once during your visit.
And I might be biased, as it’s my #1 favorite ride at Disney World, but something tells me after you right it once, you’ll be itching to ride as many times as you can!
Now that I’ve pumped up Cosmic Rewind, let’s go over some basic info so you can decide if it is indeed a must-do ride for you!
There are a number of accommodations available for this ride, as well as a few things to consider that may prevent you from riding.
If you use a wheelchair or scooter, you must be able to transfer to the ride on your own. Cast members cannot assist with this. In addition, service animals are not allowed on this ride.
In terms of accommodations, audio descriptions, handheld captioning, and assistive listening features are all available for this ride.
The ride depends greatly on the storytelling, as well as visuals, so I’m super glad they’ve had this from the get-go!
Health & safety restrictions
Guests must be at least 42 inches to ride, which is strictly enforced before entering the queue.
Guests of certain body sizes and shapes may not be able to ride due to the over-the-shoulder restrains and seat-style. As long as you are able to sit in the seat with the restraints closed, you’re good to go.
In addition, guests with a history of neck, back, heart, or motion sickness problems are warned not to ride, as these conditions can be aggravated by the ride.
I used to get motion sickness very easily when I was a kid, but it’s far better now that I’m (much) older.
However, the first time I went on Cosmic Rewind, I got quite nauseous. Thankfully, that has been the only time!
Lastly, if you are pregnant, you are also strongly encouraged against going on the ride.
How long is Cosmic Rewind?
The ride is a little over 3 minutes long, give or take. It depends on whether there are any delays in the setup of the ride, which launches backwards.
How fast is Cosmic Rewind?
According to Roller Coaster Database, Cosmic Rewind tops out around 60 MPH. It just barely edges out TRON Lightcycle Run as the fastest roller coaster at Disney World and is also one of the fastest rides.
Is rider switch available?
Rider swap is available for Cosmic Rewind. Therefore, if someone is too short to ride or is too scared to go on, they can wait with one member of your party while the other rides.
I should note that if you’re sending your kiddos on, kids 7 and under must be supervised by someone 14 and up at all times.
So make sure whoever is waiting with any kids in that younger age group is 14 or older. Cast members are unable to babysit, even if it is only for a few minutes.
Is there a ride photo?
Yes, there is a ride photo! The photo occurs shortly after the backwards launch.
It includes the full car of 4 seats, so if you are visiting with a group, you may want to request to be in the same car.
Is Cosmic Rewind scary?
One of the most common questions I get about thrill rides at Disney World is whether they are scary.
In my opinion, this ride has a few elements that could be scary to younger guests, but not so much for older ones.
Both the pre-show and ride take place in the dark, so keep that in mind for guests who have a fear of the dark!
In addition, the villain that steals the cosmic generator in the pre-show is pretty intimidating – more so than some of the villains we’ve seen in the movies.
Other than that, the ride launches backwards and the ride vehicles twist, which can cause many guests to experience motion sickness.
While I wouldn’t say that’s scary, it is enough to “scare” many guests from riding.
Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind song list
And now we get to one of my favorite parts about this ride: the soundtrack!
The ride portion of this attraction randomly launches to one of six songs. Here’s the complete list of songs:
- One Way or Another by Blondie
- September by Earth, Wind & Fire
- Conga by Gloria Estefan
- I Ran So Far Away by A Flock of Seagulls
- Everybody Wants to Rule the World by Tears for Fears
- Disco Inferno by The Trammps
In 2022, Cosmic Rewind switching things up during the holiday season by using remixed holiday tunes.
However, it didn’t return in 2023, likely due to it being quite unpopular with guests. My guess is that it won’t be back in the future, either. At least Disney gave it a try!
How to ride Cosmic Rewind
The only thing I don’t like about Cosmic Rewind is that it’s available via virtual queue and individual lightning lane only.
That means you can’t just walk up to the ride and hop in line, at least for the time being.
So how do you go about riding Cosmic Rewind? Check out the steps below for joining a virtual queue and purchasing an individual lightning lane.
How to join the Cosmic Rewind virtual queue
You have 2-3 chances to join the Cosmic Rewind virtual queue each day.
The first queue opens at 7 AM on the dot.
If you miss that queue, your second chance is at 1 PM. However you (and your party) need to be physically in Epcot, or at least have visited it prior to 1 PM, in order to join.
Lastly, if you are attending an after hours event at Epcot or are staying at a resort that provides extended evening hours, there is a third chance at 6 PM.
It’s important to note that you can only join ONE virtual queue per day.
To join the virtual queue for Cosmic Rewind, open the My Disney Experience app and select “Join Virtual Queue” from the home screen.
From there, follow the prompts to join the queue and get ready for your intergalactic adventure!
Once you join the queue, you’ll get a boarding group number and estimated wait time.
When your group is called, you’ll get a push notification from the app. Plus, if you’re wearing a MagicBand+, your band will vibrate.
Just head to the ride and tap your MagicBand or ticket at the Virtual Queue entrance and in you go!
How to purchase an individual lightning lane for Cosmic Rewind
If you miss the virtual queue, want to ride at a specific time, or want to ride a second time, your option is to purchase an individual lightning lane.
According to Thrill Data, the price ranges between $14-17 on average.
Considering how pricey everything is at Disney World these days, I try my best to snag a virtual queue instead of paying for a lightning lane pass. ‘
However, I’ve also been known to immediately purchase a pass as I’m walking off the ride, hahaha. Surely I’m not the only one!
Anyway, here’s how to buy a lightning lane for Cosmic Rewind:
- Open the My Disney Experience app and scroll down to the section about Lightning Lanes. Tap Learn More.
- Scroll down the Lightning Lane info page until you see the box for Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind. Tap View Details.
- From here, follow the directions on the page to purchase a lightning lane pass.
A second way to purchase lightning lanes is to tap the search icon on the bottom of the app and search for Cosmic Rewind.
Tap on the name of the ride in the search results, then follow the directions to purchase a lightning lane.
Either way, once your time arrives, you’ll get a reminder from the app and on your MagicBand+.
Head to the ride and tap your band or ticket to the Lightning Lane entrance to go in. Cast members will be on hand to assist you if necessary.
Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind Tips
Before I wrap up this article, I’ll leave you with a few tips to help you enjoy the ride.
First up, if you are prone to motion sickness but really want to try this ride, prep ahead by taking antihistamines or whatever type of nausea medication your doctor suggests is best for you.
I realized after going on Cosmic Rewind a few times, I was getting nauseous at the part where the coaster circles a moon. But if I focus on the center of the moon as it’s going around, I don’t get nauseous at all!
It might also be a good idea to have ginger chews in your bag to pop in your mouth post-ride. Alternatively you could pop into Connections Eatery for some Ginger Ale.
Hustle out of the exit to get fresh air, as fresh air often helps relieve nausea on its own. But if it’s that bad, there is a bathroom along the exit route!
Lastly, if motion sickness is not an issue for you on this ride and you want to bump up the intensity, ask the cast member for row 9.
Despite experiencing motion sickness on this ride when I first went on it, I’ve rode row 9 a few times now and I’m convinced my strategies above helped me enjoy the most intense seat!
Are you ready to ride Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind?
I hope you found this rider’s guide helpful. With its face pace, stellar storytelling, fun soundtrack, and lots of twists and turns, this roller coaster is a must-do at least once!
Before you go, be sure to drop your favorite song from this ride in the comments below. At the moment, mine is a tie between Disco Inferno and Everybody Wants to Rule the World!
About the author
Meg Frost is the creator of The Park Pixie, where she covers Disney World, Disney+, and Disney fandom.
She holds an M.A. in Journalism from Northeastern University and B.S. in Communication & American Studies from University of Miami in Florida.