Disney Moving Forward With Unpopular New EPCOT Policy

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Spaceship Earth st EPCOT in Walt Disney World Resort

Credit: Disney

Walt Disney World Resort is moving forward with a policy that many Guests aren’t happy with.

Entrance to Walt Disney World
Credit: Disney

Disney World Guests are treated to four immersive theme parks, all of which have a different “vibe.” Magic Kingdom Park is, of course, known for its classic and timeless attractions, as well as Cinderella Castle. Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park is all about conservation and wildlife. Disney’s Hollywood Studios pays homage to Hollywood and some of the more popular intellectual Disney properties, such as Toy Story, Mickey & Minnie, Beauty and the Beast, and of course, Star Wars.

And then there’s EPCOT.

beacon of magic epcot
Credit: Disney Parks Blog

EPCOT is filled with plenty of fun and thrilling attractions for Guests to enjoy. Living with the Land, Soarin’ Around the World, and The Seas with Nemo & Friends can all be experienced before you head to the World Showcase. The World Showcase honors many countries around the world with special snacks, drinks, and entertainment offerings. This is where you’ll find attractions like Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure (France), Frozen Ever After (Norway), and Gran Fiesta Starring The Three Caballeros (Mexico).

Finally, you can head to World Discovery, where you’ll find futuristic attractions like Test Track and Mission: SPACE. Of course, the newest of these attractions at the Disney Park is none other than Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind.

The attraction opened in May of last year, and it features the first-ever reverse-launch on a Disney coaster and is one of the largest fully-enclosed coasters in the world. A new innovation from Walt Disney Imagineering—this coaster rotates 360 degrees so you can focus on the action.

Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind at night with Spaceship Earth in the background at EPCOT in Walt Disney World Resort
Credit: Disney

With TRON Lightcycle / Run officially opening on April 4, 2023, many Disney World Guests have hoped that this would mean that the virtual queue would officially be ending for Cosmic Rewind. As Inside the Magic previously covered, this won’t be the case.

Though there has been some backlash surrounding Guests having to book a virtual queue– or purchase an Individual Lightning Lane pass– to experience the attraction, there is still reason for the virtual queue, nonetheless.

There have been photos in the past of the standby queue at the ride absolutely empty, prompting a discussion about why the virtual queue and boarding groups is necessary. However, if you’ve visited EPCOT– even on a less busy day– over the last couple of weeks, you’ve likely noticed why Disney still believes the virtual queue is necessary.

Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind
Credit: Disney

On a recent trip, the standby queue wasn’t completely filled, but it certainly was still busy. The wait time lasted about 35 minutes before getting to the preshow. Of course, the preshow itself– which includes three different stops prior to loading– takes around 15 minutes. Had there been no virtual queue, the wait for this attraction would’ve likely ranged in the 120-180 minute range.

Cosmic Rewind crowded line at EPCOT
Credit: ITM

Some would argue that they’d rather the attraction be opened and draw more people as a way to free up wait times on other attractions, such as Frozen Ever After, Test Track, and Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure, all of which aren’t available for Individual Lightning Lane purchase and run out quickly on busy days for Disney Genie+.

But, Disney’s biggest concern– most likely– has to do with the attraction being overloaded if it’s opened to the public, and we’ve certainly seen this happen at times with Rise of the Resistance.

No matter what side of the aisle you fall on, one thing is for sure: Disney is moving forward with the controversial EPCOT attraction policy. At least, for now.

Inside the Magic will continue to update you on the latest happenings inside Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort.

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