Step-by-Step: How to Ride Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind

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When Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind opened at EPCOT on May 27th, it didn’t have a standby line. If you’re going to Disney World and you want to experience this attraction, you’ll need either a Virtual Queue Boarding Group or a paid Individual Lightning Lane Reservation. Below, we’ll walk you through the process no matter which option you choose.

Click on any of the links below to skip directly to that section, and know that you can click on any image to enlarge it.

Getting an Individual Lightning Lane reservation for Cosmic Rewind 
Getting a Boarding Group for Cosmic Rewind 
Using Disability Access Service (DAS) with a Cosmic Rewind Boarding Group
Frequently Asked Questions

What You Need to Get Started:

Whether you’re looking for an ILL or a Boarding Group, you’ll need the following before you can begin.

  • The My Disney Experience App
  • Updated Family & Friends List on the My Disney Experience App

You and everyone who wants to ride with you will also need:

  • Valid Park Admission
  • A Park Pass for EPCOT on That Day or a Park Pass for a different park and a Park Hopper ticket or Annual Pass.
    (Note: for a Boarding Group you will almost certainly need a Park Pass; don’t rely on reservations still being available when Park Hopping begins at 2 p.m.)

Getting an Individual Lightning Lane Reservation

The good news is that making an Individual Lightning Lane (ILL) reservation for Cosmic Rewind is exactly the same as the process for booking any other ILL. If you’ve ever done it before, you already know how to do it.

Guests at eligible Disney resort hotels can begin booking at 7 a.m. All other guests can make ILL reservations for this ride when EPCOT opens for the day. You do not need to be inside the park to make an ILL reservation. GotG: Cosmic Rewind ILLs have been frequently selling out before park opening; if you’re not eligible to book at 7 a.m. you shouldn’t rely on getting one as part of your touring strategy.

Getting Genie Ready

You’ll want to set up Genie in advance of your eligibility time if you’re planning to get an ILL for Cosmic Rewind. You can begin from either of two places: the MDE Home Screen, or through the Hamburger Menu.

Notice the park reservations at the top in the third panel – if you don’t have a Park Pass reservation, you won’t be able to proceed at the next step

In the next few screens you’ll select your park and the date, and indicate who you’ll be touring with.

The order of the screens after the steps above can vary a bit, and you may or may not be offered the opportunity to purchase Genie+ as part of the sequence. Don’t worry, if you click it away here you’ll have another chance later.

Most of these screens are self-explanatory (and you can go back and change your choices later), but one that isn’t so obvious is the Top Picks screen. Make sure to select Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind if you can. You might not be able to select it if your Park Pass is not for EPCOT, but this will put the listing for Cosmic Rewind right at the top when you’re using the Tip Board later. Those few seconds of scrolling you’ll save may count for a lot when trying to make your ILL.

If it’s after 7 a.m., you’ll see Genie’s recommendations for your day in the final screen.

You can set up Genie for days in the future, and if you are trying to get an ILL for Cosmic Rewind we recommend setting it up before you are eligible to reserve so that you’ll be all ready to go.

Booking Your ILL

On the day of your visit, just before you are eligible make sure that your Tip Board is showing EPCOT. As soon as your window opens pull down hard on the top of the screen to refresh the Tip Board, then click the panel for Cosmic Rewind. For an ILL reservation you can select the time, but if reservations have been booking up quickly you may not want to take too long browsing for the perfect time. As usual, you can select to include all or only some of your group.

On the Review Details page, make sure to check the time of the reservation; it’s not uncommon for it to be different from what you selected. If the time is wildly inappropriate for you, you can go back and search for a different time — but if reservations have been booking up in only a few minutes, know that going back might cost you your chance to get one at all. After clicking purchase you’ll see a confirmation screen, and clicking through will bring you back to Genie where you’ll see your reservation in the “My Day” section.

If your park reservation is not for EPCOT and you have chosen a time before park hopping opens, your reservation time will automatically be adjusted to after 2 p.m.

Using the Virtual Queue to Get A Boarding Group

The process for getting a Boarding Group is very similar to previous Virtual Queues that were in use for Rise of the Resistance and Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure. There are a few changes and tweaks, but if you’ve used those before you won’t find much that’s different in the booking process.

Boarding Group Rules

Rule #1: Boarding Groups are only available to book TWICE per day for riding during regular park hours.

  • The first chance for booking is at 7:00 a.m., and you can book from anywhere.
  • The second chance is at 1:00 p.m., but you must be inside of EPCOT to be eligible.

Rule #2: You can only get one Boarding Group per day during regular park hours. If you got a group at 7 a.m., you can’t get another at 1 p.m.

Note: It’s technically possible to get a Boarding Group during regular park hours if you don’t have a Park Pass for EPCOT. History is against you though; like other rides that have used Virtual Queues, so far the second drop on has typically been gone within a few minutes — well before Park Hoppers could get into the park and have a chance at it.

Rule #3: If you are eligible for EPCOT’s Extended Evening Hours, there is a third chance to book a boarding group at 6 p.m. on EEH days. You can book at 6 p.m. even if you’ve already scored a boarding group earlier in the day. For these EEH groups, everyone who will be in your party needs to be eligible for EEH.

Getting a Group

From MDE, click the hamburger button on the bottom right, then select Virtual Queues. On the next screen, select “Join Virtual Queue”.

If you aren’t automatically directed to the queue for Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, select it from the available options. Even if the queue isn’t available yet, you’ll be able to confirm your party so that you’ll be ready to join the queue when it becomes active.

When Virtual Queue was in use at previous attractions, the button at the bottom said “Join Virtual Queue” and was grayed out before queue time. The switch to a Refresh button is a nice change on Disney’s part.

Very important: if it isn’t time for the queue to open yet, you’ll see a Refresh button at the bottom and not a button to Join Virtual Queue.  This will not automatically change when the queue opens: you MUST refreshSo just a second or two before 7 a.m. or 1 p.m. (or 6 p.m.), begin clicking the refresh button repeatedly and be ready to mash that button as soon as it comes back lit up. You can also refresh by pulling down hard on the top of the screen, but the advantage of using the button is that you can be mindless: no matter whether it says “Refresh” or “Join Virtual Queue” when it becomes active again, you’re going to want to push it as fast as possible!

With luck, you will be rewarded with a screen that looks like the one below:

There are varying opinions about whether it’s better to use the park WiFi or cell service, but one super-important tip is that you can have multiple people trying for a group at the same time. If you’re touring with 4 people, having all four try for a boarding group increases the probability that someone will get one so that everyone can ride.

Using DAS With A Boarding Group

Xandarian Ship outside Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind

If someone in your party is eligible to use the Disability Access System (DAS), you will still have to join the Virtual Queue and get a Boarding Group using the regular procedure.  However, Boarding Passes are treated like DAS start times — you can show up any time after your group has been called.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you get a Boarding Group and an ILL for Cosmic Rewind in the same day?

Yes. You can also get a Boarding Group during regular park hours and one during Extended Evening Hours (if eligible).

I got a Boarding Group, but I need to add or remove someone.

See the Guest Services team at the blue umbrellas and explain your situation.  They will usually be able to help out.

How long will Cosmic Rewind use a Virtual Queue?

We’re not psychic, and we can’t give a definitive answer. Rise of the Resistance used a Virtual Queue for over two years, but it was … an interesting two years. Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure used a Virtual Queue for only a little over two months, and Web Slingers at Disneyland used its Virtual Queue for a little over five months. We’re on record as guessing that Cosmic Rewind’s Virtual Queue will last for 4-6 weeks, but we could easily be wrong.

Do I need to buy Genie+ to make an ILL reservation?

No.

What time can I begin making Genie+ and Individual Lightning Lane reservations?

All guests who have purchased Genie+ can begin making Lightning Lane reservations at 7 a.m. for their park day. Onsite guests of Disney hotels can also begin making Individual Lightning Lane reservations at this time. At park opening, all guests are able to make Individual Lightning Lane reservations for that park’s attractions.

Is it easier to get a Boarding Group or an ILL?

We don’t have enough data yet to answer this question, but Boarding Groups are free and ILL’s cost money.  That typically means that Boarding Groups fill up before ILL reservations run out for attractions that are using both systems. That said, if you’re not staying at a Disney Resort hotel you should definitely expect that it will be easier to get a Boarding Group during the ride’s early days, because the Individual Lightning Lane reservations are likely to sell out before the park opens.  Need help booking an onsite stay so you can have a shot at the ILL?  Our friends at TouringPlans Travel can hook you up.
June 21 update – so far we’re seeing that Boarding Groups are going very fast at 7 a.m., but are available for anywhere from 15-45 minutes at the 1 p.m. drop.  ILLs are sometimes selling out before park opening, but not always.  However, we still don’t have enough data to say what will happen on your day in the park; it’s still early days and we don’t know how these patterns will change over time.

Are you excited to ride Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind?  Which team are you on, Virtual Queue or ILL? What’s your bet on how long the Virtual Queue will be in place?  Let us know in the comments!

 

 

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Jennifer Heymont

Jennifer Heymont has a background in math and biology, but since she couldn't pick between the two she ended up in Data Science where she gets to do both. She lives just north of Boston with her husband, kids, and assorted animal members of the family. Although it took three visits for the Disney bug to "take", she now really wishes she lived a lot closer to the Parks.

One thought on “Step-by-Step: How to Ride Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind

  • May 21, 2022 at 9:13 am
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    We were at EPCOT in March 2022. We were staying off site. We wanted to purchase the Individual Lightening Lane for Ratatouille. It is important to note that people who are staying on-site get early access to ILL. The ILL was sold out before we were able to purchase the ILL. This was 5 months after Ratatouille opened @ EPCOT. You should mention that ILL sells out to on site guests.

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