The Guardians of the Galaxy are bringing EPCOT its first roller coaster.
After Disney announced last summer at its annual D23 Expo that a large attraction based on the Marvel series was in the works for the Orlando theme park, it confirmed Sunday that the ride will be a roller coaster — and one of the largest on the planet, at that.
“Yes, it’s a roller coaster!” the Disney Parks blog wrote in a post over the weekend shortly after debuting a preview of the upcoming ride at the 2018 D23 Expo Japan. “We’re going big. This one-of-a-kind family attraction will be one of the world’s longest enclosed roller coasters when it’s added to Future World at Epcot. It’ll feature a unique story currently being created by Walt Disney Imagineering and include a new innovative ride system that’s guaranteed to ‘wow’ guests.”
Following 35 years of operation, EPCOT’s Universe of Energy pavilion — which, beginning in 1996, also housed the Ellen’s Energy Adventure ride starring comedian Ellen DeGeneres — closed in August 2017, and its show buildings will be repurposed for the Guardians of the Galaxy coaster. The ride is expected to open in 2021 in celebration of Disney World’s 50th anniversary.
News of the forthcoming attraction comes on the heels of Disney’s previously announced plans to revamp EPCOT into a destination that’s “more family, more relevant, more timeless, and more Disney,” according to the Disney Parks blog. That transformation will begin in the park’s Future World section, which will be slightly altered to fit the new vision. Further development includes a retooling of Future World alongside a Ratatouille-themed dark ride — a clone of a similar ride currently operating at Disneyland Paris — scheduled to open in 2021 in the World Showcase’s France pavilion.
D23 Expo Japan also included a presentation on a Marvel upgrade heading to Disneyland Paris as well. Characters from franchise titles are set to take over the resort’s Walt Disney Studios park when its Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster ride gets a Marvel remix, which will see the removal of the classic attraction’s Aerosmith story line in favor of adding characters from the Iron Man and Avengers films. There is no word yet on whether the same changes will be made to the Orlando version of Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster currently operating at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
Check out early concept art for the Guardians of the Galaxy coaster above.