Guardians of the Galaxy Cosmic Rewind lives up to the hype

Spoilers ahead – read on if you want the scoop on the hottest new E-ticket!

I scored a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for an almost private trip into space on the new roller coaster at Epcot, and wow, oh wow, oh wow! Currently, there is no standby line for this indoor coaster. If you’re very lucky, you can join the Virtual Queue at 7 a.m. or purchase an Individual Lightning Lane entry. Individual Lightning Lane prices can vary, but generally are around $15 per rider.

This time I was very, very lucky. Acting on a tip from my Uber driver, he said that they key to getting into the Virtual Queue is not to hit the button on the My Disney Experience app before exactly 7 a.m. . Starting at 6:58 or 6:59 and hoping to get in on the refresh will just end up putting you behind the game. So I waited like the cat ready to pounce on the mouse hole (à la Lucifer in Cinderella), and struck at my prey -the “join queue” button – the moment my phone said 7 a.m. I was rewarded not with a far-distant boarding group that would require me to be at Epcot all day (I had park hopping plans), but boarding group 4. FOUR – Which required a scramble to get on the bus for the park. Right. NOW!

Virtual Queue Success

We were staying at a Disney Resort, so we had early access to the park that day. We breezed through security and tickets and passed by anxious non-resort guests waiting for rope drop. We were just a few minutes ahead of park opening and headed straight to the main event. We did not stop at Starbucks. Really. That’s how focused we were.

Once we got over to Guardians, it looked like they were waiting until rope drop to call the boarding groups, so we seized an opportunity for Test Track. We headed for the single rider line – standby was already backed up out of the building – and walked on. Wait time of zero. (I told you we had some incredible luck.)

As soon as we exited Test Track (what a way to start the day), the boarding groups were called for Cosmic Rewind. Just steps away from our current location, there was nobody in front of us at the gate

So we bolted to the entrance and got the ever-so-satisfying dopamine hit of watching the Magic Band Mickey on the turnstile turn to green and feeling the little buzz of excitement on our wrists with the happy chime that signaled we were about to step into a new world of wonder that few have experienced. There was nobody in front of us.

We made our way through a spacious, glowing blue and violet queuing area and wound our way around the graceful curves of the first room, past the Xandar artifacts and into the final waiting room. We kept looking over our shoulder, and no one was there! We waited in the final room just a few moments before the preshow began. Finally one other couple joined us, but that was it! No pictures are permitted after the preshow, so you’ll have to experience the rest for yourself!

We were escorted to the spacious loading area and had our pick of seats. We were about to climb into row 1 of the train, but the Cast Member clued us in to the best experience being in row 9. So we headed for the back and strapped in for the ride of a lifetime. So why is row 9 so much fun? Well, Cosmic Rewind is a reverse launch coaster, and all the vehicles rotate… so once we left the station we spun around and were facing the back for the reverse launch… which was a lot like Rockin’ Roller Coaster, except backwards.

The story plays out on massive screens that surround the coaster. In classic Guardians of the Galaxy fashion, we have an important mission – to go back in time and save the birth of rock & roll! Like Mission Breakout at Disney’s California Adventure, the soundtrack is randomized. We got Blondie’s One Way or Another as we swooped and swiveled through space.

The ride itself was incredibly smooth. There was at least one inversion… and with the ride being in the dark, you could never anticipate what was coming. It was really a rush of cosmic proportions, and would be worth just about any wait in line. I can’t wait to go back to Epcot to experience this again during the Wine and Dine weekend! 5 out of 5!!!!

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