Park of the Week: Islands of Adventure

Guardians of the Galaxy to Open in 2022 at Disney World

September 30, 2021, 8:34 AM · Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind will open in 2022, Walt Disney Imagineering's Zach Riddley announced this morning.

As part of its "The World's Most Magical Celebration" press event yesterday afternoon, the Walt Disney World Resort allowed invited reporters into the building for the under-construction Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind roller coaster in Epcot's World Discovery land. Imagineers also showed scenes from inside the ride during an online press conference this morning.

The former Universe of Energy pavilion provides just the entrance to the sprawling show building behind it - the home to Epcot's first "other-world" showcase pavilion, in Disney's description.

If you've ever seen an indoor coaster such as Space Mountain or Revenge of the Mummy with the lights on, you've got an idea of what it looks like inside the Guardians coaster building. Just expand what you've seen to galactic scale. This is going to be a big one.

The building includes not just coaster track, but also projection domes and practical props, including an alien world. Here is the announcement from this morning's video press event, including some looks at the new lighting effects on Spaceship Earth, which are featured in the new Beacon of Magic moment on Epcot's icon.

And here is the latest description of the attraction, from Disney's 50th anniversary event press release.

"The family-friendly adventure starts in the Galaxarium, a planetarium-like exhibition that explores the similarities and mysteries of the formation of Earth’s galaxy and Xandar. Guests will learn more about the treasures Xandar has to share – until the moment when the Guardians of the Galaxy arrive, and guests go on an intergalactic chase through space and time. The attraction will feature a new innovation from Walt Disney Imagineering – a storytelling coaster that rotates 360 degrees to focus guests on the action, including the first reverse launch on a Disney coaster."

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Replies (31)

September 30, 2021 at 8:42 AM

Opening during the back half of WDW’s 18-month long 50th Celebration. BRAVO! Now let’s get TRON open during the 50th as well. Hopefully we can read about this announcement in Robert’s report tomorrow. Go get ‘em Robert!

September 30, 2021 at 8:46 AM

Does "family-friendly adventure" concern anyone else as much as it does me?

September 30, 2021 at 8:54 AM

I am hoping that means "height requirement under 48 inches" and not "totally detuned coaster experience."

September 30, 2021 at 8:59 AM

I have a planned trip next summer, so I hope it means Summer 2022 and not December 2022. On a previous trip, I literally left the same day Toy Story Land opened, so I have a track record of missing openings.

September 30, 2021 at 9:13 AM

FWIW, October 1, 2022 is the 40th anniversary of Epcot. That might make a nice opening date. Based on construction progress, I would guess an opening later in the year rather than earlier. But who knows at this point?

October 1, 2021 at 10:58 AM

This was expected, and it begs the question: when on earth is TRON opening? 2023 is pretty late. I thought the construction of that ride was more advanced than Guardians when the pandemic hit.

October 1, 2021 at 3:04 PM

From the You Tube material it looks like they have many physical set pieces now which is great!. You can see in the background with Tom Fitzgerald sheetrock and nothing looks anything close to completion. Those are parts of the project I can seecompleted relatively fast. I saw some suggestions in the comments that the video is several weeks old which means the progress is alot further along. GMA's sneak peak really was nothing.

Why do I get the feeling they are going to blow past October 1st 2022 (EPCOT 40th) and open late November early December...? Disney seems to be putting alot of openings in the last 3 months of the year. (Maybe they tie these to the fiscal year now?)

October 2, 2021 at 8:00 AM

Still a Fan: "This was expected, and it begs the question: when on earth is TRON opening? 2023 is pretty late."

Me: No. It actually makes perfect sense. 2023 will be the 100th anniversary of the Walt Disney Company. Adding TRON that year would be a smart move.

October 2, 2021 at 8:07 AM

So the current timeline for WDW is:

2021 - WDW 50th, Ratatouille, Harmonious, Enchantmemt, Space Restaurant.
2022 - EPCOT 40th, Guardians
2023 - WDC 100th, TRON

And the current UO timeline:

2026 - UEU

October 2, 2021 at 3:15 PM

Who cares what's a "smart move" for the company? This is a fan site, and waiting that long to open TRON is a disservice to the fans. It looked half completed in 2019, when I was there last. Now it's opening four years later? Crappy.

October 2, 2021 at 4:03 PM

Stilly Guy: "Who cares what's a 'smart move' for the company?"

Me: So you're saying the company should do something that's not a "smart move"? To quote the legendary color commentator Pepper Brooks : "It's a bold strategy, Cotton. Let's see if it pays off for 'em."

October 2, 2021 at 9:38 PM

Is there gonna be a celebration for the 100th year of the company? Or is Disney just gonna offer a couple of LE pins and some specialty food items in the parks as a nod to the 100th, both of which will still be better than the lousy Harmonious?

October 3, 2021 at 1:22 AM

All these attractions should be opened when they're ready. They're apparently pushing TRON back by a couple years. That's a disservice to the fans.

October 3, 2021 at 4:03 AM

@ Still: You have offered up no qualified source definitively reporting that the ride (and the park, for that matter) are "ready".

October 3, 2021 at 4:10 AM

I feel like a lot of people are fed up with the Disney company right now. It’s new model of anti consumer policies the company has taken surely hasn’t helped.

I’m excited for this coaster and believe it’ll be really innovative and a great addition to the resort, but I can’t help but think that Disney has really been pushing this and Tron back. I feel like it was forever ago when the rumors started and construction began for both coasters. Honestly, I was convinced that Tron was going to open first but I guess GOTG caught up and Tron severely slowed down the construction process.

October 3, 2021 at 8:02 PM

Postcott: "I feel like a lot of people are fed up with the Disney company right now. It’s new model of anti consumer policies the company has taken surely hasn’t helped."

Me: I concur. But what is the real impact? The 50/40/100 strategy will continue to draw guests by the tens of millions.

Postcott: "... I can’t help but think that Disney has really been pushing this and Tron back."

Me: Why? The opening of an attraction is more than just finishing construction. There are pre-opening ride testing, engineering and maintenance requirements. The opening of a "gate-crasher" impacts the budgets of every department in a park - from the front gate to the restaurants, retail outlets, custodial etc. And while your motivations may be different than others, there are on-line Disney haters who will always default to a conclusion that Disney is acting improperly -- whether it comes to opening a new attraction or a new themed popsicle in Tomorrowland.

It would be refreshing if some were to admit that while they are uniformed, a decision to open TRON in 2023 is rational and reasonable and ... "smart".

October 3, 2021 at 8:58 PM

Wow, TH, you agree with yourself and you think you're smart! Congrats. Finally you found someone who will slavishly agree with everything you say. Just try not to get a cramp while patting yourself on the back...
It's blatantly obvious that Disney is holding TRON back. 2023 or later? That's ridiculous, it doesn't take five freakin' years to build one ride, especially a clone. The ride was supposed to open this year.
This isn't a court of law, we don't need incontrovertible proof. There's something called common sense. In October 2019, I passed a TRON sign in front of the Magic Kingdom, it said "now programming." "Now", really? So why is the ride opening four years later (or is it 2024?).

October 4, 2021 at 5:19 AM

@Still The One: I didn't say I was "smart" I was referencing my post saying holding off until the 100th anniversary was a "smart move" That's when you said "who cares if it's a smart move"? To which I asked "So you're saying the company should do something that's not a "smart move"?

If it makes you feel better I'll go ahead and say you are smarter than me. :o)

Still Standing notes: "In October 2019, I passed a TRON sign in front of the Magic Kingdom, it said "now programming."

I Respond: I think we both know that is a reference to the IP (film) and not a reference to ride or system programing.

Also there was the pandemic which caused construction to be paused due to COVID. From WDW News one year ago (10/19/20): "As we’ve seen over the past few weeks, work on the canopy and sealing the “Grid” show building continues—however that’s the extent of work that is to be done for now. Trade workers are still on site to finish (seal) the show building enclosure (a must given Florida weather) and erect the canopy, however the canopy’s lights and cover are reportedly on hold at this moment. This all also means that work on the attraction’s interior is at a standstill as well."

As for your reference to TRON being a "clone", the assumption that building the same ride is somehow easier than building a new attraction isn't not always accurate. Especially an attraction as unique as TRON. I am not sure what experience you have in commercial construction management (or attraction development), but there are many variables that undermine the assumptions about the relative ease of building "clones". Specifically, for the MKP version of TRON, the park's steam train had to be shut down and re-worked. The underground work for utilities (bringing the site up to code) was, no doubt, very substantial and by no means a quick fix. Then there's ride testing that could easily last a year. The suggestion that WDI could simply photocopy drawings and specs and go to work is off target.

And, again, the opening of a "gate-crasher" impacts the budgets of every department in a park - from the front gate to the restaurants, retail outlets, custodial etc.

So ... There ya go!

October 4, 2021 at 8:53 AM

TH, the lengths you’ll go to defend the Disney Company is astounding. You are wrong, however, but only in part.
First off, the plandemic cannot be used as an excuse for why Disney did not complete TRON in a timely manner. UC had the same parameters as Disney did yet still opened an original (not clone) E-ticket attraction in VelociCoaster.
The delayed opening of TRON is obviously a cost reallocation decision made by Bob Chapek to help stabilize the stock price. Plain and simple. That has been Chapek’s primary focus when he took over for Iger, and that’s understandable. Financial stability is key, especially during a plandemic. With a TRON opening, why should the parks division have more costs added to MK, Disney’s most successful park in terms of attendance and most importantly revenue, unless it’s supported by an accompanying price increase for theme park tickets? The addition of TRON merchandise at WDW most likely won’t make up the difference in added costs. A price increase on theme park tickets is more tangible. But how would the general public react if TRON were opened (Yeah!) but the price on theme park tickets were increased another 5%-10% (What, again?!)? Not favorably for sure. So delaying the opening of a new E-ticket in Disney’s most successful theme park is the answer. Also remember, TRON is an Iger approved project that was carried over to Chapek, so Chapek will do what he feels is best for the financial stability of the company first and foremost, including delaying the opening of a world-class theme park attraction.

October 4, 2021 at 8:34 AM

How am I "defending" the Disney company on this topic?

October 4, 2021 at 9:03 AM

You’re offering excuses as to why Disney didn’t open TRON yet. By doing so, you are defending Disney.
A+B=C you later. I thought that was obvious.

October 4, 2021 at 11:00 AM

No. I'm really not.

Robert Niles wrote, "FWIW, October 1, 2022 is the 40th anniversary of Epcot. That might make a nice opening date."

I followed suit indicating 2023 would dovetail nicely with the company's 100th anniversary -- indicating that I think it would be a "smart move". And by the way, no one in this discussion has refuted either Mr. Niles or myself as it relates to the wisdom of opening attractions when they coincide with anniversary marketing strategies.

As for whether or not Disney could open the attraction sooner, let's at least acknowledge that no one on this thread has offered any solid information regarding construction progress -- either before work was paused or since it's restarted. Absent that information, any assessment regarding whether or not the attraction could be finished before 2023 is, at best, conjecture.

Additionally, I never offered "excuses" for anything. I accurately noted that construction was paused which might delay the opening. Without being on the project and having zero information on the status of production there's no telling whether or not the pandemic delayed the opening of the attraction.

Finally, the suggestion that Disney plans to open TRON in 2024, 2023, 2022 or next week is also an exercise in conjecture as the company has not made any official announcement.

October 4, 2021 at 11:25 AM

Keith, your credibility just went out the window with this "plandemic" nonsense. We don't need conspiracy nuts on this forum. There are plenty of conspiracy nut websites on which you can post that crap.

October 4, 2021 at 11:27 AM

Opening GotG for EPCOT’s 40th makes sense. Opening TRON for the company’s 100th does not. There is no correlation. But with Disney, no correlation is needed, just watch the new Harmonius show.

NEXT!

October 4, 2021 at 11:31 AM

Still a fan, the world is not all sunshine and rainbows. Do not be afraid to open your eyes to this. Your heart will forgive you.

October 4, 2021 at 12:11 PM

I know you prefer to live in your fantasy world of conspiracies and pseudo-science, because the real world is so scary. But spare us that drivel, please.

October 4, 2021 at 1:30 PM

Yeah, Schneider! Around here, dealing in "drivel" is MY job!

October 4, 2021 at 2:55 PM

Still a fan, go and try to cancel someone else. This is America!

“O say can you see, by the dawn's early light,
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming,
Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming?
And the rocket's red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there;
O say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.”

AMERICA!

October 4, 2021 at 1:34 PM

LOL! Love it, TH. Drivel. Or is it DRIVEL!

October 4, 2021 at 1:46 PM

This isn't America, this is a website. And people like you are a joke.

October 4, 2021 at 2:55 PM

Still a fan, how about this one, then:

“America, spread your golden wings
Sail on freedom's wind, across the sky.
Great bird, with your golden dreams
Flying high, flying high.
Restless one in a world of change,
Keeping dreams aloft in the rain.
Spirit free, soaring through the clouds
Of time, of time.
America, you must keep dreaming now
Dreaming the promised vow of your pioneers
America, keep on flying now.
Keep your spirit free.
Facing new frontiers.
America, spread your golden wings
Sail on freedom's wind across the sky.
Great bird with your golden dreams,
Flying high, flying high,
Flying high, flying high!”

AMERICA!

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