Early Difficulties Riding Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind at EPCOT

    As we look toward the summer season at Walt Disney World, we wanted to take a look at preliminary experiences from the opening weekend of Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind. Cosmic Rewind is Disney World’s newest attraction, and the shiny new object is meant to encourage summer visitation and continue the 18-month 50th Anniversary Celebration. In this article, we’re going to examine the early difficulty that guests have had with securing a ride on Cosmic Rewind. This article is meant to examine just the opening holiday weekend experience. We hope that as the newness of the attraction fades and crowds normalize, it will be easier to get a spot to ride Cosmic Rewind.

    Virtual Queue Availability

    As a recap, there are two ways to experience Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind – Virtual Queue and Individual Lightning Lane. Virtual Queue is the free option, and Individual Lightning Lane is the paid, skip-the-line option.

    The most difficult way to secure a Cosmic Rewind ride is via the Virtual Queue. Well, sort of, but more on the Individual Lightning Lane in a bit.

    Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind Ride at EPCOT
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    All EPCOT guests are eligible to join the Virtual Queue starting at 7am on the day of their visit. If guests fail to secure a Virtual Queue spot at 7am, there is another distribution window that opens at 1pm. The difference between the 7am drop and the 1pm drop is that guests are required to have entered EPCOT before 1pm to be eligible for the 1pm distribution window.

    In our observation, both the 7am distribution window and 1pm distribution window fill up in seconds, with the 7am window being slightly quicker. This morning, the 7am distribution window filled up in less than 2.5 seconds.

    In our opinion, this is absurd. We’ll probably put together a larger opinion article about the virtual queue, but suffice it to say that we’re not fans of it – especially for an attraction as efficient as Cosmic Rewind is proving to be.

    Individual Lightning Lane Availability

    For guests with more money than time, an Individual Lightning Lane skip-the-line pass is available for purchase. The massive caveat here is that it is selling out so quickly, that the vast majority of visitors to Walt Disney World won’t even have the opportunity to purchase it. Here are the rules for when guests can purchase Individual Lightning Lanes:

    • Guests of a Disney Resort Hotel and Other Select Hotels: These Guests can make their first purchase starting at 7:00 AM on the day of their visit. Available to Disney Resort hotel Guests and Guests of Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotels and Shades of Green.
    • All Other Guests: These Guests can make their first purchase when the park opens.

    In the case of the opening weekend for Cosmic Rewind, Individual Lightning Lane availability has not made to park opening (reliably). There have been instances where availability has briefly popped up in the app after park open, but not reliably enough for us to suggest Individual Lightning Lane as a sure thing if you’re not staying on site.

    7:12am “refill” of Individual Lightning Lane availability

    If you’re eligible for purchasing Individual Lightning Lane at 7am, we recommend trying for a Virtual Queue first, and then trying to secure a Lightning Lane second. Preliminary data suggests that if you miss out on the 7am drop for Individual Lightning Lane, there is an inventory refill at 7:12am that is generally reliable. You’ll also likely have between 3-5 minutes to purchase an initial Individual Lightning Lane at 7am and with Virtual Queue spaces filling within seconds, 3-5 minutes is essentially an eternity for you to make a purchase should you miss out on Virtual Queue (or should you want to ride twice in a day).

    We’ll continue to keep an eye on the operations of Cosmic Rewind as we exit a holiday weekend and head into the summer months.

    As always, keep checking back with us here at BlogMickey.com as we continue to bring you the latest news, photos, and info from around the Disney Parks!

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