Iconic Imagineer Joe Rohde Speaks Out On ‘Guardians’ Roller Coaster Controversy

Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind is the latest addition to EPCOT, slated to open Memorial Day weekend. Despite the excitement, some fans were disappointed with the ride, especially its location at EPCOT.

EPCOT, which stands for Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow, began as Walt Disney’s dream of having a future-oriented city where people could live, work and enjoy world-class experiences. Over the years, it has become a celebration of the future, the natural beauty of the Earth, the vastness of space, and cultures around the world.

Credit: @TheHorizoneer

Rewind: VIDEO: New ‘Guardians’ coaster pays homage to EPCOT’s forgotten past

EPCOT fans have long questioned the addition of intellectual properties to Disney Park, as it intentionally opened without them, instead focusing on the wonders of learning and imagination. Over the years, in the face of critical fan response, EPCOT replaced Norway’s Maelstrom with Frozen Ever After, added character encounters around the theme park, and most recently recreated Disneyland Paris’ beloved Remy’s Ratatouille Dark ride adventure in France.

While fans who got to preview the broad thoroughly enjoyed it, some EPCOT fans are still not sure if it fits in the park. Some of them took to Twitter this week to ask Disney Imagineering icon Joe Rohde what he thought. guardians of the galaxy: Place of Cosmic Rewind at EPCOT.

Joe Rohde Explorer Outfit
Credit: D23

Joe Rohde is best known for being the lead designer for Disney’s Animal Kingdom at Walt Disney World. Although retired, many Disney fans turn to his expert advice when a new attraction or experience opens not just at Animal Kingdom, but at any of the Disney parks.

User @Millionaire2K tweeted Rohde, asking:

@Joe_Rohde Please participate in the GotG in Epcot debate! What is your opinion ? Oh, and did you come up?

Joe Rohde
Credit: Disney

Rohde replied that he had not ridden, as he was enjoying life in California after his retirement. He asked fans to further clarify the debate before intervening:

I don’t know anything about a debate. Also (retired. Lives in California.) what’s the big deal?

User @BillZanetti explained some Disney fans’ concerns about the theme to Rohde and said fans trust his opinion because of his work on Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission: Breakout, which replaced Tower of Terror at Disneyland Resort’s Disney California Adventure Park and is very popular. He wrote:

I think people want to know your opinion on this because they know you had the Marvel creative portfolio at one point and steered Mission: Breakout through an extraordinarily quick process. The new offering at Epcot has had a lot more time to develop and the debate is “in shape”…

‘Avatar’ producer Jon Landau and Disney Imaginary Joe Rohde collaborated to create Pandora.

Rohde responded, stating that a balance had to be struck between the quality of the coaster and its fit not with EPCOT’s past, but with current IP initiatives:

So the question is not necessarily how well this expresses Epcot as it was, but rather how well does it fulfill the mandate of using IP in the context of Epcot. You have to analyze between “Is it well done? versus “Is it addressing a valid initiative?” Don’t sulk.

A fan (@gattebowfan15) who rode Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind at Walt Disney World praised the coaster, saying that while it might not match Walt’s original vision for EPCOT, he thinks it will be a hit:

I can report that I was able to put on Guardians at the EPCOT Center over the weekend. I know this might not fit into the original educational theme of the park, but let’s give Walt Disney Imagineering some credit, it’s a really good attraction. I’m sure it will be very popular.

EPCOT Cosmic Rewind with Spaceship Earth
Credit: Disney

Rohde quoted this response, praising Tom Fitzgerald, an Imagineer who initiated and developed Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Return. He wrote that his own opinion of the ride shouldn’t matter since only those who rode it should be involved in the debate:

Tom Fitzgerald is a great Imagineer with a good flair for popular consumption. He initiated and developed this project. So I would believe the attraction is great, having not seen it in person. The debate should be limited to those who have it.

User @derekjcole said he thinks there’s a split in the Disney Parks fan community between people who took the tour and those who didn’t:

Looks like those who participated in it love it and those on Twitter who didn’t hate it. Who should we believe?

Aboard Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind
Credit: Disney

Rohde gave a final take on the subject by quoting this Tweet, stating that the most essential part of any Disney Parks attraction is making Guests happy. He wrote:

Yes. The ultimate ultimate goal is to bring happiness. Are people happy?

Time will tell what Joe Rohde will think when he gets the chance to visit EPCOT and ride Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind!

Guardians of the Galaxy Cosmic Rewind
Credit: Disney

Have you had the chance to ride Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind at EPCOT? What do you think of its place in the Park?

If you want to visit Walt Disney World on your next family vacation to experience one of the four Disney Parks – Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios – but aren’t sure where to start planning, then don’t. do not hesitate to contact our friends at Academy Travel Certified Disney Vacation Planners for a free quote.

Comments are closed.