Disney's Epcot getting the park's first roller coaster

Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, a new family roller coaster at Walt Disney World Resort’s Epcot, will open in the summer of 2022, Disney announced over the weekend.

It was one of a bevy of announcements at Destination D23, Disney’s fan convention.

The new coaster will be located in the World Discovery neighborhood of Epcot, in the area that previously housed the Universe of Energy pavilion and the attraction Ellen’s Energy Adventure.

Cosmic Rewind will be Epcot’s first roller coaster as well as Disney’s first reverse-launch coaster. 

The pavilion housing it will also include the Galaxarium, which Disney described as “a sweeping planetarium-style space showcasing planets, stars and other intergalactic wonders that connect Terra and Xandar,” also known as Earth and the fictional planet depicted in the Guardians films, respectively. Also, the Xandar Gallery will let guests learn more about the Xandarian people and their culture and history.

Glenn Close will reprise her role of Nova Prime for the attraction, which premiers as part of the 50th anniversary celebration of Disney World.

Star Wars hotel details

Disney Parks, Experiences and Products chairman Josh D’Amaro gave fans a sneak preview of details of the new Star Wars-themed hotel, Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser, opening at Disney World on March 1, 2022.

In a video, D’Amaro practices during lightsaber training, one of the activities at the hotel. He also defends the hotel from the ship’s bridge (the hotel is designed to look and feel like a spaceship) and takes the ship into hyperspace.

Fantasmic and Finding Nemo shows

The show “Fantasmic!,” closed since the beginning of the pandemic, will reopen at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in 2022. 

The show will include a new sequence with live performers, stunts and special effects.

A new version of the show “Finding Nemo: The Musical” will return to Disney’s Animal Kingdom next year. Disney said the show will be called “Finding Nemo: The Big Blue … and Beyond!”

Guests at the Theater in the Wild will find themselves sitting in the Marine Life Institute. There, they will catch up with the fish from Dr. P. Sherman’s office from the film “Finding Nemo,” sharing the story of Nemo and how they made their way to California.

Castle show returns

“Mickey’s Magical Friendship Faire” will return to the Cinderella Castle Forecourt Stage at the Magic Kingdom, with a new opening and finale featuring Mickey and friends in their finest 50th anniversary garb.

The show will also feature a new song, “Where the Magic Feels like Home.”

New Magic Kingdom cavalcade and parade return

Disney’s answer to crowded parade routes during the pandemic has been cavalcades, smaller pop-up parades featuring favorite characters. A new one, the Disney Adventure Friends Cavalcade, will come to the Magic Kingdom later this winter. 

It will feature Nick and Judy from “Zootopia,” Baloo and King Louie from “The Jungle Book,” Jose Carioca and Panchito from “The Three Caballeros,” and Miguel from “Coco.” 

Early next year, the “Festival of Fantasy” parade will return to the Magic Kingdom, as well.

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