ORLANDO, Fla. — Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind at EPCOT is the winner of a Thea Award. 

What You Need To Know

  • Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind has won a Thea Award for outstanding achievement

  • The indoor roller coaster opened at EPCOT last year

  • Thea Awards are internationally recognized in the themed entertainment industry

The indoor roller coaster, which opened in May 2022 as part of EPCOT's multiple-year transformation, was recognized for outstanding achievement in the attraction category. 

The recognition came from the Themed Entertainment Association, which announced award recipients during the IAAPA Expo Tuesday evening. The Thea Awards is an internationally recognized honor that acknowledges creative teams in the themed entertainment industry who bring experiences to life.

“On behalf of all Imagineers, I would like to thank TEA for this tremendous recognition of Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, and for continuing to drive the theme entertainment industry forward,” Walt Disney Imagineering President Barbara Souza said in a statement. “As our Imagineering teams push the boundaries of creative storytelling in innovative and exciting ways, it’s always the highest honor for our work to be recognized by friends and colleagues from around the world.”

Cosmic Rewind is based on the "Guardians of the Galaxy" movies and features characters such as Peter Quill (aka Star-Lord), Rocket, Gamora, Drax and Groot. For the attraction, visitors are invited to see technology from the people of Xandar, who have set up their own pavilion at the park. But, of course, things don't go according to plan, and visitors are recruited to save the galaxy after a celestial named Elon steals a device known as the Cosmic Generator.

The ride also features its own mixtape of six songs that play at random.

Cosmic Rewind, which is the longest fully enclosed coaster at any Disney park, is also the first Disney coaster to feature a reverse launch. 

Meanwhile, SeaWorld Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, the Orlando-based SeaWorld’s first park outside the United States, won a Thea for outstanding achievement for indoor marine park. 

Other Thea Award winners for outstanding achievement include:

  • Attraction: Bermuda Storm, Chimelong Spaceship, Zhuhai, China
  • Attraction, Limited Budget: Musikkfabrikken Hunderfossen, Hunderfossen Eventyrpark, Lillehammer, Norway
  • Brand Experience: Johnnie Walker Princes Street, Edinburgh, Scotland
  • Retail Experience, Limited Budget: Disney Encanto x CAMP, New York
  • Live Spectacular: Geneva Journey, Geneva, Switzerland
  • Visitor Experience Re-envisioned, Limited Budget: Titanic Belfast, Belfast, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom
  • Immersive Mall Experience: AURA: The Forest at the Edge of the Sky, Haikou International Duty-Free Shopping Complex, Haikou, China
  • Live Interactive Experience: Peaky Blinders: The Rise, Camden Stables Market, London
  • Museum Attraction, Limited Budget: Deutschlandmuseum, Berlin
  • Live Show: Le Mime et L’Étoile, Puy De Fou, Les Epesses, France
  • Extended Reality Exhibit: Colored (Noire), Centre Georges, Pompidou, Paris
  • Experiential Dining Attraction: Eatrenalin, Europa-Park, Rust, Germany

“Celebrating excellence is core to the TEA mission,” TEA International Board President Melissa Oviedo said in a news release. “These remarkable individuals have demonstrated unparalleled creativity, innovation, and commitment to delivering extraordinary guest experiences on a truly global scale. Their work has not only entertained and inspired million bus also continues to shape the future of our industry.”

The winners will be presented their awards at the 30th annual Thea Awards Gala in Hollywood, Calif., on March 16.