One of my kids will ride anything. Me, I’m a bit more of a ride chicken, or a ride wimp as some like to call it. Some thrill rides are OK, some are not, and I like to at least have an idea what I’m getting into. If that sounds like you then please, let me give you the benefit of my experience with Cosmic Rewind. I’m going to try to keep this spoiler free, but if spoilers are what you’re looking for you can find them in Len’s review.
If You Definitely Won’t Ride
It takes a bit of effort to get onto Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, and you might wonder whether it’s worth sticking with your party to appreciate the queue and just skipping the coaster itself. There are two questions that play into that.
First of all, yes there is a chicken exit for Cosmic Rewind. If you go through the queue and preshow you will not find that you’re unable to get out except by riding the coaster. Ask a Cast Member to direct you as you exit the preshow.
I really enjoyed both the queue and the preshow. The queue had some excellently detailed sections with scale models of cities and ships as well as occasional appearances from the Guardians. It switched rooms and vantage points frequently to keep it from feeling like the same endless line. The preshow was cheesy but I thought it was fun. I don’t think I would wait in the queue a second time if I wasn’t going to ride, but I think it’s worth going through once.
If You Aren’t Sure About Riding
People who have issues with some rides but not others are usually reacting to one of a few different things. I’m going to call these out individually below.
Cosmic Rewind is extremely smooth, one of the smoothest coasters I’ve ever been on. There was no bumping or sudden jerking. If you’ve ridden Slinky Dog Dash, it’s comparable. I would actually say that Cosmic Rewind was even smoother.
The ride vehicle seats two in front and two behind, with the rear seats being slightly higher. The seats themselves are molded plastic, not a flat bench, and I found that the shaping did help to keep from sliding in either direction on the seat. Each seat has an individual lap bar, so it will be adjusted to fit you; not tighter or looser to accommodate a rider in the same row. I am not pooh-sized, but nobody would call me svelte either, and I found the seats comfortable.
A lot of this ride takes place in the dark, but it’s not complete darkness like Space Mountain. Although there are a few brief moments where there is almost no light, it’s more like being in a movie theater. If you’re sensitive to strobes, one thing to be aware of is that there are some sections (especially one near the end) that are relatively dark and then interrupted by brightly flashing lights.
There are not really any drops. Your feet don’t leave the floor, there’s no airtime. There is up-and-down motion, but it’s more like gently rolling hills than the slow-slow-slow followed by a whoosh of speed that you get with a noticeable drop.
Although there are not any really noticeable drops, the effect of the ride at several points is like you’re traveling through space. It might be totally a screen effect, but it feels like there’s empty space all around you. If you have problems with heights this might cause you some discomfort.
Cosmic Rewind is fast, with a top speed of 60 mph. But it’s so smooth that it doesn’t feel as fast as other coasters that go this speed.
Spinning / Direction
There are no inversions in Cosmic Rewind, up stays up and down stays down. The coaster does have a reverse launch (you face backwards), followed by the individual cars turning toward a show scene, and the effect is really spectacular. The turning of the cars as they are also riding on the track feels similar to a Tilt-A-Whirl, and the Teacups are a good comparison too. Unlike the Tilt-A-Whirl or the Teacups, the spinning isn’t constant — but there’s enough of it that if those rides give you motion sickness, you should be prepared that you might have some with Cosmic Rewind.
Cosmic Rewind is on the longer side at about 3 minutes or a smidgen more. This was my personal downfall, as I was really enjoying everything for the first half of the ride or so … until suddenly I was not. Since there are no drops, there are also no climbing sections that give you a breather from the motion, although some of the dark/light effects may help you to feel like you’re slowing for at least a little bit.
If You Decide to Ride
If you decide to ride, here are some tips to help minimize motion sickness – or at least, to help you manage it if you do experience it.
First, go into the ride in tip-top shape, at least on your own personal scale. No empty stomachs. Not too full either. Make sure you’re properly hydrated, because dehydration can make you more prone to nausea. And if it’s allergy season, make sure you’ve taken your antihistamines. While some older classes of antihistamines such as Benadryl and Chlor-Trimeton are known to have an antiemetic effect, just the act of clearing out your sinuses can help because stuffy or inflamed sinuses can affect your inner ear.
Second, you should know that it hasn’t escaped Disney’s notice that a higher than average number of riders are experiencing motion sickness, and airsickness bags are available from a Cast Member when boarding. Ask for one if you think you might need it.
Cast Members have also recommended the left seat in the car if you’re prone to motion sickness, and this makes sense to me. Most of the turns have the left side on the “inside” of the turn where the g-forces are less. If you’re prone to motion sickness in other places then you probably know which of the common tips work best for you, and you may be able to ask a Cast Member where in the train you should ride based on this information. If there’s no time for this, then ask to be placed in a middle car as it will offer you the opportunity to see the turns ahead by watching the cars in front of you, without being as intense as the rear cars.
Riders on Cosmic Rewind who experience motion sickness report either nausea or vertigo (or both). Even if you don’t feel like throwing up, you may find that the world is spinning a bit when you get off. There are benches placed on the end of the exit platform and at intervals all along the exit pathway, and you can sit until you feel a bit better.
If you just have garden variety nausea, you’ll be good to go as soon as you feel … good to go. But if you have vertigo, be aware that this may continue to affect your experience of other rides for a while, even after you feel fine just walking around. I rode Spaceship Earth immediately after Cosmic Rewind, and the sections with the steep ascent and descent made me uncomfortable even though they were slow-moving. If you’re prone to vertigo, you may want to buy an Individual Lightning Lane so you can have more control over when you ride, just in case.
Have you ridden Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind? Are you prone to motion sickness? Let us know what did and didn’t work for you in the comments.