We previewed Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind last week and also had the opportunity to interview three Imagineers who were part of developing the attraction – Ashley Levine (Project Estimator, Principal at Walt Disney Imagineering), Daniel Joseph (Principle Special Effects Designer and Illusion Development) and Bette Lombardi (Sr. Project Coordinator at Walt Disney Imagineering). We talk about the ride experience, music and queue effects! Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind officially opens May 27th, 2022 at Walt Disney World.
I transcribed the interview below the video.
Just FYI, before the written interview…when we arrived for our interview, we had not yet ridden Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind and the effects in the queue were not turned on yet due to the pavilion being used for interviews. So my questions were coming from someone who hadn’t experienced anything yet. After that, I rode 6 times and experienced the queue as guests would see it. My review is here. Now on to the interview, and I added a few videos we posted.
I first asked if they could explain about the queue, what we were looking at in the area around us.
Lombardi: When you first enter the Wonders of Xandar pavilion, you’re going to learn a lot about the people of Xandar and how they’re related to us here on Earth. The people of Xandar call our earth planet Terra, so it’s a lot about connectivity between the Xandarians and the Terrans, and they explore that through the people, the culture, and the history of Xandar.
Levine: The culmination of the presentation here in the queue area is a really special treat where the Nova Corps are actually sharing brand new technology called a cosmic generator. This cosmic generator creates jump points that allow travel through space and time super quickly.
Joseph: In this pavilion itself, just like World Showcase, is our first other-world pavilion, which is kind of cool. In the same kind of cadence as our World Showcase pavilions but instead of another country, a whole other culture…a whole other world that has been brought here to EPCOT that you get to come through and see.
I asked if there were Easter eggs or anything else that guests should look for in the queue.
Lombardi: I think you’ll be surprised to see a lot of Easter eggs. As I said before, there’s a lot of connectivity back to here on Earth. And of course, a big part of EPCOT is Walt Disney. So, you’ll see some introductions of him and how he influenced their motivation to come here to EPCOT. But also, this was a different attraction before this (Universe of Energy/Ellen’s Energy Adventure), so you will see some fun jokes in other parts of the attraction that kind of hint back to that.
Levine: We definitely recommend folks stay tuned for the “Good Morning, Xandar” in the Xandar Gallery. It is phenomenal and you won’t be disappointed.
Joseph: Yes, as Imagineers, we also are fans too…and because of that, we definitely injected some of those little nods and Easter Eggs into a bunch of the different areas.
I asked if they could talk about the ride experience, and what makes Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind stand out from other roller coasters.
Levine: So this is the first OmniCoaster, is what we call it. What we’ve done is really built on the Imagineers before us, and…taken the traditional Omnimover attractions that are known for rotating and pointing guests in the direction of the action and we’ve combined that with roller coaster technology. So really, we’re able to provide an action packed, thrilling experience that really immerses our guests into the galactic energy of the Guardians of the Galaxy.
Lombardi: Also, it’s Disney’s first reverse launch coaster, so that’s another fun treat as well.
Joseph: With the scale of the attraction being such a giant show building, it really does feel like the vastness of space. And believe it not, making space inside a giant building is actually really difficult. I think we’ve pulled that off in a really fun way, again, building off our ancestral previous Imagineers and some of the cool things they’ve invented over the years. We came up with some really fun new techniques to make this place really feel like space.
My last question was to find out more about the music choices.
Lombardi: Imagineers tested over 100 songs to try to find the right feel and spirit that fits both the ride movement and the story. So, to condense it down to six songs was rather difficult. But, of the six, they are all very different. They are from the same 70s/80s genres, but they all have different feels, different types of fun when you do ride with them.