If you needed a reason to start traveling again after the two years of pandemic we’ve had, the Walt Disney World Resort gives you plenty. This year, the Walt Disney World 50th Anniversary celebrations continue with new attractions and magical experiences in Orlando, Florida.
Debuting as part of the 50th anniversary and part of the ongoing EPCOT transformation is the launch of the theme park’s first roller coaster – the brand new Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, which opens May 27. Media was invited to test and ride this new roller coaster in advance of the launch. As a self-professed adrenaline junkie, I went on the ride five times — I can safely say it’s the best roller coaster at Disney World.
The family thrill roller coaster matches the fun that the blockbuster Guardians of the Galaxy films provide, featuring those legendary cosmic outlaws – Rocket, Groot, Drax, Gamora and Star-Lord (a.k.a. Peter Quill). It also happens to be the first Walt Disney World attraction to feature the Guardians of the Galaxy and the first coaster attraction at EPCOT.
As a movie addict, I loved how the ride captures the spirit of the movie franchise. Just like the Guardians of the Galaxy films, Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind ropes in classic pop music – or “poet sorcery,” as Gamora would say – into the fabric of its experience. As soon as the ride starts, the attraction’s onboard audio cranks hit tunes from the ’70s and ‘80s as guests race through the cosmos. Guests will hear one of six songs: “September,” “Disco Inferno,” “Conga,” “Everybody Wants to Rule the World,” “I Ran,” and “One Way or Another.”
It was fun to see the original cast reprise their role in sequences played throughout the ride: Chris Pratt as Star Lord, Zoe Saldana as Gamora, Dave Bautista as Drax, and Glen Close as Nova Prime Irani Rael, Bradley Cooper as Rocket and Vin Diesel as Groot. The cast were able to get together and film these sequences ahead of shooting for their next film in the franchise.
In addition to Cosmic Rewind, we had a tour of some of the new and exciting rides at Disney World that are a must if you take a trip to the theme parks. For a fully immersive experience, here’s what I recommend for your next trip to the Disney World Resort.
Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway
Based on the recent award-winning Mickey Mouse cartoon shorts, Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway is the first ride at any Disney park that stars Mickey Mouse and friends. It’s about time, eh?! It’s the cutest ride where you climb aboard a runaway railway and embark on a whirlwind ride with unexpected twists and slapstick gags at every turn.
Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance
Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance is a massive attraction with multiple ride systems that is unlike anything you’ve ever experienced at Walt Disney World. It debuted in 2019 and is truly the most mind-boggling attraction I’ve ever experienced. The Resistance needs your help as they gather recruits for a secret mission hidden in the forest outside Black Spire Outpost.
The Disney Fab 50 Character Collection is a series of 36 golden statues depicting 50 different Disney characters that were commissioned for the Walt Disney World 50th Anniversary. You can find these gold statues across the four parks: Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios. In 2022, with the debut of MagicBand+, they launched an interactive feature where tapping the new wristbands would cause the statues to play voice and music clips was activated.
50th Anniversary Sips and Bites
A 50th Anniversary Celebration isn’t complete without the classic treats. Highlights include sparkling sips and festive treats, like the EARidescent Firefly mocktail, the 50th Celebration Ice Cream Sandwich, which features vanilla ice cream sandwiched between 2 house-made double chocolate chip cookies with celebration sprinkles and a 50th anniversary chocolate Medallion; and the glorious cupcake, a vanilla cake with marshmallow cream, birthday cake mousse, and gold crisp pearls.
Magic Kingdom’s Disney Enchantment is truly a celebration of magic, imagination, joy and hope to believe in the power of dreams. This nighttime spectacular fireworks is a new and debuted as part of The World’s Most Magical Celebration—the Walt Disney World 50th Anniversary. It’s a spectacular display of stunning fireworks that light up the night sky with lighting that illuminates the Castle courtyard. This all comes to life with classic and reimagined Disney songs along with an original new song by 7-time Grammy award-winning songwriter Philip Lawrence.
There’s lots to enjoy and take in at Walt Disney World and the 50th Anniversary Celebrations add to the magic!