Why Guardians of the Galaxy became Epcot’s first roller coaster

Starblaster ship in front of Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, with EPCOT's spaceship Earth in the background.

picture: Disneyland

Opening this summer as part of the 50th anniversary of Walt Disney World is Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind. Inspired by James Gunn at the helm Guardians of the Galaxy movie – part Marvel Cinematic Universe Franchise – This new attraction is the first story-driven roller coaster inside Epcot. Thankfully, it’s not such an intense journey that you can’t follow the story. It draws inspiration from the movie, but it also repeats Epcot By touting yourself as the first concept other World Pavilion in the park.

along with Sandal’s miracle, Disney Fantasy Engineering has found a clever way to immerse guests in the MCU with their favorite heroes.Returning the film roles for the attraction are Glenn Close as Xandarian leader Nova Prime and guardian Members Chris Pratt (Star-Lord), Zoe Saldana (Gamora) and Dave Bautista (Drax), along with voice talent Vin Diesel as Groot and Bradley Cooper as Rocket. io9 was invited to preview the attraction ahead of its opening on May 27 (check out our queue and gift shop gallery here), and had a chance to chat with visionaries Zach Riddley and Scot Drake, creative portfolio directors for parks and attractions, respectively.

Why Epcot need a new Guardians of the Galaxy adventure?

as part of EpcotThe ongoing reimagining, finding IP that still fits the theme of Walt Disney’s vision for the future remains no different.That is Guardians of the Galaxy Come in, i.e. through Peter Quill (Chris Pratt)’s connection to his memory of Earth, “In our story, Peter Quill came to Epcot He was taken to the stars when he was a kid,” explained Epcot lead Riddleythe current transformation. “So after the events of the movie, Xandarians said, ‘We want to create a showcase on Earth that shows the relationship between our cultures, using this technology to connect the formation of galaxies with the idea of ​​jumping points,’ and that’s what we Go experience. So Peter Quill said, “I have a perfect place! ” future world, because he remembers his childhood. “

Just like now, the park’s world display area is a section that showcases the food and culture of various countries. Visitors can taste (or sip, if they’re “drinking around the world”) in one place in far-flung places. Wonders of Xandarsetting cosmic rewind, which takes us even further in the park’s World Discovery area, which has other space travel-themed attractions.The ride queue is set up as if it were the first otherworldly display to immerse you in sci-fi elements guardian Films made through Xandarian culture and technology as they will be screened at Epcot. It opens with a planetarium demo connecting their worlds to ours because they come from the same space dust.

This story expands our glimpse of the planet Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.A generation As an advanced society with sustainable living and circular urban planning, its model is very reminiscent of Walt Disney’s progressive cities. In fact, the story of the Xandarians confirming that Disney is doing something was written, as a clever wink. Throughout the pavilion, you can see inspiration drawn from the park’s past, as it was informed by Quill’s experiences in the ’80s. “In the queue, you’ll see that he remembers like he was a kid. And there’s a lot more [which has] changed,” Ridley shared. “So we got some great Easter eggs.People who know Epcot I’ll appreciate it, but it’s a whole new story and it’s exciting. “

As guests get deeper in the queue they find out more about the protectors and heroes of Xandar, basically a primer on the Nova Corps and Guardians’ team-up against Ronan the Accuser during the battle of Kree. There’s displays of the Corps ranking system and models of ships like the Milano from the first film, though they fly their second ship, the Benatar, on the ride. There’s even fun Good Morning Xandar news segments where Rocket, Star-Lord, Gamora, and Drax are interviewed—and you get that Gunn-style humorous banter to fill in guests on the story from the films.

Rocket and Groot stand in front of a cosmic display

Image: Disney Parks

Why is Cosmic Rewind the first rollercoaster in Epcot at Walt Disney World?

When we reach the pre-show on a star charter above Earth before the ride, Nova Prime appears to do a technological cultural exchange with Xandar’s cosmic generator to help Terrans (people of Earth) advance their space travel through the network jump points used to move throughout the galaxy more quickly. You get the idea that this speed will come into play for the ride. For those who go to theme parks aiming to visit the worlds of fantasy within original or IP-based attractions, Cosmic Rewind does a better job at talking non-coaster folks (like me!) into leaving their comfort zones than, say, the drop tower of Mission Breakout (the West Coast Guardians ride). It’s a good gateway coaster for kids and adults who aren’t keen on that stomach-drop feeling, and was especially built with that in mind.

“I have kids, and I’ve been through all those situations as well. So I have some great stories of overcoming that fear and graduating to the next coaster or the next,” said Drake, who leads creative development on major film IP attractions at the park. “And I think that’s what we love at at Disney is this kind of rite of passage of all of our rides. You know, you graduate to the next step, you graduate to the next step. I think what’s fun about the approach taken on this attraction is we wanted to make sure that every fan of all ages, as young as possible, could experience this. But we still had to deliver on the thrill and fun of Guardians that you would expect.”

The story takes a turn when Eson the Searcher, a type of celestial referenced in the first film as having a penchant to “mow down entire civilizations,” crashes the tour and steals the cosmic generator. Hellbent on ensuring humanity never exists, Eson time-jumps back to the Big Bang in the vastness of space; the Guardians follow suit and (gulp) decide to bring us along for the ride. “Whereas some coasters may try to get thrill through inversions or top speeds, we went to story and looked at something that can put you right in the middle of the action: being chased by a villain that’s larger than a planet and right alongside the Guardians, you know, trying to reset time,” Drake explained.

The idea is that Rocket reprograms the star blaster escape shuttles—the ride vehicles which run on the park’s first omni-coaster track—and we join a chase through the jump point to keep track of Eson until the Guardians can grab the cosmic generator. The story plays out on massive screen projections; think Space Mountain: Ghost Galaxy but with cinematic action set pieces starring Rocket and friends. It’s pure spectacle that you see as the ride vehicle rotates on a smooth, thrilling track but never drops. The function is key to the experience, Drake explained. “I think that just adds to the anticipation, the thrill, the story, the fun, and puts you in the middle of it without having to be as physically hard on the body. It was an ambitious project from the very beginning, and that got taken through every part of our design. Our format asks that we deliver stories a different way. And for us the guest becomes a central figure in that story. So that’s a new paradigm.”

How involved were Disney Studios and the filmmakers behind the MCU?

The theme park cinematic universe is vast and can get tricky on the East Coast, but Marvel’s Kevin Feige and company were definitely involved in guiding Cosmic Rewind’s story. Drake revealed, “We have an incredible relationship and collaboration with the studios. Kevin Feige is a huge fan of the parks. Epcot is one of his favorites, if not his favorite park. So getting to work on this with him and recognizing that excitement, and putting everything that they’ve done to date in this amazing legacy of how they’ve built the Guardians franchise… to tell the next chapter of that story and getting to expand the universe is awesome.”

From queue to the end of the ride you know you’re in the universe from the mind of director James Gunn, and that’s because Disney Imagineers were on the set of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 to film with the cast for this new attraction. “We try to go after what is, you know, essential to each one of these characters and what they stand for and how we would all react in any of these situations. And so that kind of is our driving force: what [do] How do these characters represent how we interact with them? Drake talks about collecting the 75 minutes of original content you’ll see throughout the attraction. Composer Tyler Bates also scored over two hours of original music.

Fans will recognize not only a few well-placed Easter eggs, but also the intersection of big movie moments, like Nova Corps’ star blasters linking up in the same energy-barrier web formation as they’re trying to stop the accusers Luo. as the south did dark aster Warship during his Kerry invasion.Since you’re part of the story, it’s for a more successful outcome – your disembarkation experience is that the crew named you Honorary Guardian of the Galaxy. So while the ride doesn’t necessarily transition into the expansion phase of the movie, it takes you on an adventure of your own, as an imaginary like Drake would expect. “The great thing about these stories is that they take place in our world. So once you step into the attraction, it unfolds today. So there is no timeline. We don’t put you in a time and place. It Right here and now. And you’re in the middle of the story.”

No, they haven’t forgotten an important part of the Guardian’s adventure.

what songs are there cosmic rewind Great combo?

You must have a great combo and ride cosmic rewind Contains one of six songs from its exclusive mixtape. “Obviously, what James Gunn has done for the film and the musical choices he brings to the franchise has been a key driver in everything we do, and has been a key driver of what people stand for the Guardians and what they’re listening to. Musical expectations set the tone to that,” Drake said. He shared that while Gunn was actively involved, Imagineering didn’t have a moment when it might be possible to pick a song from a future movie. They have hundreds of songs to choose from because narrowing down the mixtape comes down to riding ability. “We have a very specific use of music in our attractions, it needs to tell the story and the journey we’re on. [We] Literally, riding through hundreds of songs found an awesome mix for our park experience. So everything you experience and flexibility on every ride is a result of that. “

Random selections – you won’t know what you’ll hear until the Guardian hits play – including “September” by Earth, Wind & Fire; “Disco Inferno” by Trammps; “Disco Inferno” by Gloria Estefan Conga”; “Everybody Wants to Rule the World”, “Tears of Fear”; “I Run” by a flock of seagulls; and “One Way or another” by Blondie. They are both songs that are best suited to the various motion curves on the bike, and each song changes (sadly the story doesn’t) and gives it enough distinction to keep fans coming back to ride each version. Imagineers hope they will, at least. “Touch anything in Epcot Means you need to come back with something incredible—[we] It was needed to make a whole new innovative coaster and then deliver the Guardians,” Drake said of what Disney hopes to build from cosmic rewind More future attractions. “And I think it’s fantasy engineering at its best, going all-in on these challenges.”

They do it because I want to go back and get all the songs. I am two out of six!

Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind Opening May 27 at Epcot Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida.

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