Epcot’s “Guardians of the Galaxy” Ride will be a Roller Coaster Attraction

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I wish I had better news, but it seems the replacement of the Universe of Energy at Epcot in favor of a “Guardians of the Galaxy” ride is indeed imminent. Today, we are finding out more about what exactly guests may find instead of a slow-moving ride through Dinosaurs and film clips when the blockbuster MARVEL property breaks into the Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow (if that even still means that anymore).

Guardians of the Galaxy
Guardians of the Galaxy

Rumor has it that the Guardians of the Galaxy ride at Epcot will be a roller coaster attraction. This attraction would already be historic as it would be the first Future World attraction to break way from the fundamental “edutainment” theme the park has had for nearly 35 years now. However, it could now be an even more profound statement as it would be the very first roller coaster in the park’s history and only the 6th ride that could be categorized under “thrill”.

Apparently the ride would feature both elaborate scenes and a long roller coaster portion, very similar to the rumored plans for a Captain America roller coaster once-slated for the new land at Disney California Adventure. The existing Universe of Energy building and attraction would be demolished.

The one interesting wrinkle is that the words “MARVEL” nor “Guardians of the Galaxy” appear in any renderings of the attraction that exist so far. This is of course a product of the legal restrictions still in place on Walt Disney World by the parameters of the MARVEL/Universal Studios theme park deal.

Sources seem convinced that this attraction will be announced before the end of 2016, possibly by Bob Chapek at the upcoming Destination D event at Walt Disney World. With that being said, it does sound like the project has been approved and will be moving forward barring any unseen problems.

About the author

Tom Corless

Tom has been regularly visiting the Walt Disney World® Resort from the time he was 4 months old. While he has made countless visits in the last 28 years, he did not become a truly active member in the Disney fan community until the summer of 2007, when he decided to launch the WDW News Today website and podcast. Tom has since become an Orlando-local and is a published author on Walt Disney World.
Contact Tom at [email protected]

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Michel Lichand
Guest
Michel Lichand

“The Universe of Energy building will be demolished.”

Hrm.

B Edwards (@usuallybedwards)
Guest
B Edwards (@usuallybedwards)

Who’s to say that it WON’T have an educational component? This is Disney we’re talking about, not Universal. They’re aware of their legacy. They aren’t going to just shoehorn in characters without tying it into the existing theme or intention of the park. And EPCOT needs a shot in the arm. I could totally see them making this a ride/show about the wonders of outer space. A planetarium visit that turns into a roller coaster THROUGH space, which would be amazing. They get the benefit of the doubt from me.

Michael
Guest
Michael

Idk, the frozen ride isn’t very educational. It belongs at magic kindom, in my opinion. While I’ll admit it’s technology is pretty cool, the ride is an abomination to the Epcot name. But I am hopeful that guardians of the galaxy can be educational.

Judy
Guest
Judy

^^THIS^^

Jessie
Guest
Jessie

The ride is not an “abomination,” to the Epcot name, and if you think it is you’re missing the point. Epcot is dedicated to the explorer in all of us, the world showcase is focused on sharing the culture, as in food, language, customs, etc. Of each country represented. Tell me, what did you ACTUALLY learn from Maelstrom? What literally did you learn? Because the ride told you the facets of Norwegian people ends with trolls and Vikings. The ride tells you there’s oil rigs in the north sea. There was nothing educational about Maelstrom, it was just pretending to… Read more »

Standard Staples
Guest
Standard Staples

Damn, Jessie… Game. Set. Match.

Michael
Guest
Michael

yeah, but last I checked trolls and the such were part of Norse mythology, and “frozen” is just a fairytale loosely based on the fairytale “the snow queen”, which is loosely based on some norse mythos. Look, I get it though. Epcot needs a shot in the arm. The ride is enjoyable. My daughter enjoyed it tons. But, the ride would have made more sense in fantasyland. This is my opinion. You can’t sway me.

Standard Staples
Guest
Standard Staples

Is there no value in spreading things around a bit? FEA would be a fine attraction in Fantasyland, but that’s a land that just got a huge overhaul within a park that is already loaded with these types of attractions. Does anyone really need another reason to bring small children to the Magic Kingdom? I think Disney was wise to leverage a globally successful IP with the existing Norway pavilion to draw more families to Epcot. Frozen is based in Norway, and Disney put it in a space in Epcot dedicated to Norway. Is it perfect? No. But is it… Read more »

Colton
Guest
Colton

I expect the coaster to dive deep and educate my future children about acceptance of talking rodents, dancing trees, and green aliens.

R
Guest
R

“talking rodents”
like Mickey Mouse?

colton1106
Guest
colton1106

Exactly. It’s 2016 and we’re just now hearing rumors of a Mickey attraction. We’re finally embracing talking rodents.

Scott Ladewig (@Ladewig)
Guest
Scott Ladewig (@Ladewig)

I wouldn’t expect them to announce it at Destination D. That’s not exactly the crowd that is going to be receptive to this project if it goes forward.

flanaganid
Guest
flanaganid

We should be honest with ourselves here and admit that Future World has not been focused on “edutainment” in many years. Starting in 1996 with the closing of the World of Motion to create Test Track, through the demolishing of Horizons in favor of Mission:Space, the virtual abandonment of the Wonders of Life, the overt branding of the Living Seas, and the sad state of Innoventions over the last few years (plus the addition of The Sum of All Thrills within), it’s clear that Future World has been evolving into the sort of park where a branded thrill ride could… Read more »

Marc
Guest
Marc

Why is this such a bad thing? Parks need to evolve. Its not 1986 anymore. The name of the game is profit.

Chris
Guest
Chris

I think it’s a bad thing because edutainment is what set Epcot apart form the rest. There are plenty of places to go for thrill rides. You go (or used to go!) to Epcot for a different type of fun–for the sense of optimism for the future. The “future” happens so quickly now, I can imagine it’s difficult for Disney to keep up–but I don’t think roller coasters are the answer.

Rob
Guest
Rob

I agree, its a shame what is happening to Epcot, but Epcot is so far gone, they really need to reimagine it. I used to go in the beginning, I thought the park was incredible, World showcase not so much at my age then, but a park about the future gets old really quick when technology moves so fast. I think all of future world should be changed to thrill world and built up with serious rides that will rival the worlds other thrill parks. This is something sorely missing at Disney. Teenagers want to go to Busch Gardens and… Read more »

Scott
Guest
Scott

Exactly Marc. EPCOT was never what Walt intended so that argument is mute. This is a great move forward for EPCOT.

Austin
Guest
Austin

“Communities Of Tomorrow” need thrill rides too. Besides, Guardians dates back to the era of the ghost town known as Future World. What’s old is new again

J
Guest
J

Sounds great. Too bad a lot of Disney nerds can’t get over their childhood and accept change and new things. Have fun crying in your Dole Whip while I enjoy what will probably be a very entertaining ride.

K
Guest
K

So because “Disney Nerds” have an opinion about this that differ maybe from a “Marvel Nerd” or anyone else, it’s wrong? Gotcha….

Brad W
Guest
Brad W

My only issue with this is that Wonders of life is sitting empty and could be used instead.

Chelsee01
Guest
Chelsee01

It’s used a lot more than guests really know.

Melissa Liming
Guest
Melissa Liming

Freaking fantastic! I am excited for this. People need to get over their attitudes. More thrill rides and more roller coasters are fantastic. You can keep the same damn park for 40 years, you have to change and innovate to keep crowds coming in.

Mr. Magic
Guest
Mr. Magic

I’m super excited about this. Times have changed. Yes I will still be nostalgic about the old Epcot but let’s embrace what’s new and refreshing.

Armando
Guest
Armando

Cool idea and news break on the site, and since cross promotes, it might happen. If they’re not making money, this rumor is a bust. The parks are busting at the seams. Uncomfortably. Update universe of energy and expand Epcot for some more foot space if you ask me. I know profit is all that matters and they could care less how fun it is, but it’s starting to suck at the parks with the overcrowding, and them shutting areas down for constant refurb, rather than any growth. Disney Dole Whip line at 40 minutes yesterday with one of 4… Read more »

Michael
Guest
Michael

Want to know a secret? You can get a dole whip at fun spot in Orlando. Off of I drive.

Yolanda
Guest
Yolanda

Great find..I didn’t know this!! Once, not long ago, Fun Spot was a laughing spot for locals like myself. Now, it and Universal are higher scoring in satisfaction than Disney. Amazing how times change.

Redo Epcot
Guest
Redo Epcot

I think this will be good and can become a big part of EPCOT in the future. With Innoventions pretty much closing as well I can see an entire Marvel land forming in future world as I see the Marvel property being a big part of the Walt Disney Company’s future.

Yolanda
Guest
Yolanda

A lot of Marvel restrictions west of the Mississippi. When they bought it, Universal Orlando (Comcast) maintains rights for decades for the characters and Marvel rides. Disney wanted Marvel movies, which one good movie makes a month at the parks profits look silly in higher profit from toy sales alone. Disney doens’t care as much about theme parks, rides or attractions (in recent history) as Comcast. They signed agreement with no pushback on the heavy restrictions on rides.

Aidan
Guest
Aidan

Why don’t they use wonders of life pavilion smh

Con
Guest
Con

The wonders of life pavilion has become a glorified function space. The can rent it out or hold events there. They also use it for food and wine and the flower show. Why would they reopen it when they can keep it closed and still make money off of the space and not have to staff the building every day.

kylejohnmorgan
Guest
kylejohnmorgan

Could be cool. I love Guardians but I am a little sad to see the edutainment go. Here’s hoping Chris Pratt talks to me about the speed of light or something. I would prefer that they do something with wonders of life first, though. I also think that Mission Space is an unpleasant abomination that should be erased from existence before anything else, except for an imagination refurb. Hopefully they are at least able to create references to the style of the former attraction in the new one. I will be very sad if they demolish imagination though, I just… Read more »

Heidi
Guest
Heidi

Though I’ll miss it, the Universe of Energy is outdated & Disney needs to overhaul it some way. I have no problem adding a roller coaster (even though I don’t ride them). My feeling is the Guardians belong in Hollywood Studios & Frozen should be in MK. Each park has a distinct “flavor” & now that the lines are blurring, I feel something is being lost. Chapek is clearly sticking to his merchandising roots. I’d rather see a roller coaster where you’re shrunk down to the size of an electron & the ride is about energy/energies, etc. And if you… Read more »

Steve
Guest
Steve

I think it’s absolutely possible to mourn the (further) passing of EPCOT Center of old, and be excited for a new ride. The two aren’t mutually exclusive. I accept that things change, and I bet the ride will be cool – still, there’s a part of me that loved how EPCOT was different from other theme parks.

Michael Warbux (@MichaelWarbux)
Guest
Michael Warbux (@MichaelWarbux)

It’s ONE ride. Some of you are acting like they’re demolishing all of EPCOT and starting over haha! Calm down. The EPCOT is all about learning and innovating, and when it actually innovates itself, you get mad. It’s not like they’re putting the coaster inside Spaceship Earth. That would be something to have a meltdown over!

Michael Warbux (@MichaelWarbux)
Guest
Michael Warbux (@MichaelWarbux)

*The EPCOT park

Yolanda
Guest
Yolanda

If Spaceship Earth didn’t have $$MILLIONS behind it from Siemens, you BET it would be on the cutting block. It was facing closure when phone company (as I recall was AT&T) dropped it. If it doesn’t directly profit or heavily cross promote other Disney products, based on the last decade of activity,I wouldn’t form an attachment to it. Higher efficiency. Lower individual guest concerns. Higher profit margin are now requirements. I’m all for updates and change. These just aren’t being done with a ‘happy guest’ in mind. At all! There’s tons of other space for expansion and contractors availble to… Read more »

Jeff
Guest
Jeff

Saying Spaceship Earth was facing closure is patently false.
Saying it could end up on the cutting block again is just stupid.
Those are things that trolls like yourself love to spit out despite serious Disney Insiders denials.
Don’t let your overtly negative attitude towards Disney make you fall even further out of touch from reality.

MARK JR
Guest
MARK JR

EPCOT was fully demolished the day Walter Elias Disney died…. as far as rides being replaced, walt always said disneyland will never me finished and he intended it to be the same with EPCOT.

Joe Turnes
Guest
Joe Turnes

That’s already been done!!! Look at Eurosat —> http://www.themeparktourist.com/features/20140415/17544/10-most-blatant-knock-offs-disney-theme-park-attractions?page=1 Don’t think Disney won’t do it too! It’s VERY EXPENSIVE to maintain that very old ride system & all those animatronics. Disney always actually wanted his parks full of coasters? Didn’t he? Most of the coaster route(downward) doesn’t even need electricity! THINK about it. & i BET Disney is comparing ridership of the 2 rides! Guess who loves roller coasters & would hate the New York World’s Fair if they went back in time. & they don’t care that the coasters are less than 3 min long vs. 20min for Spaceship… Read more »

Stitch is Life
Guest
Stitch is Life

Because of what is going on in Tomorrowlnd with the eh new Wreck it Ralph ride they should retheme mission space to Stitch and make Universe of Energy along with Innoventions Marvel which with these changes would bring a whole new demographic of younger thrill seeking IP loving visitors as well as making Epcot an all day park for kids with younger children because let’s face it, most young kids don’t walk around world showcase and all they do is Nemo, Figment, Frozen and maybe Soarin’ and Test Track

JimV
Guest
JimV

It’s interesting how Disney tries to avoid breaching the Universal-Marvel agreement. Now, they avoid saying the Guardians of the Galaxy name. The agreement gives Universal an exclusive. It says nothing about Marvel using their own non-Universal characters in their own theme parks. It’s a big loophole in the agreement. I would think that if Marvel did own its own theme parks when the agreement was drawn up, Universal would never do the license as written with them knowing there is competition. Then again, it’s interesting that Disney allowed Star Wars to be installed in Lego-Land and Star Wars is clearly… Read more »