Disney – Guardians of the Galaxy: AP Preview Weekend

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In May of 2022, after being Annual Passholders for over 5 years, we finally scored our first ever passholder preview for a brand-new ride!!! Guardians of the Galaxy- Cosmic Rewind at Walt Disney World’s Epcot! It was incredible and definitely now my favorite ride at Disney! It’s now officially open to the public and absolutely worth the Lightning Lane!

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We drove straight from work and volunteering and checked into our Hotel – TownePlace Suites Orlando at Flamingo Crossings Town Center/ Western Entrance (which will be featured in an off-site Hotel upcoming post), got quickly showered, then went straight to Animal Kingdom for our favorite Bloody Mary’s at Dawa Bar to get the weekend started. Going to Disney on a Thursday night in the Summer “slow” season was incredible because it felt like no one was there!! If you can handle the sweltering heat, it’s totally worth it. We walked right onto Everest and spent no time at all waiting in lines. I finally caved and bought a Disney popcorn bucket because the moment I saw Simba in THE Pride Rock moment and I was wearing my Rafiki shirt, I knew I had to have him. Thank goodness I did because it led to my favorite ride photo ever!! We grabbed some dinner at the Flame Tree before heading to Epcot for the night show and to preview the menu at the 2022 Flower and Garden Festival.

At Epcot we collected our Festival Booklets that list each food stand and what they are selling, then we sampled a few of the drink stands nearby as we waited for Harmonious. The best viewing spot we have found for the Epcot Night show is definitely between the gift shops in the main port of entry to The World Showcase (but get a spot early). I also never get tired of watching Beacons of Magic in all of the parks and trying to take the perfect photo of Spaceship Earth. Since we planned to spend all day at Epcot after our GOTG preview, this was the perfect way to end an exhausting work/play day! Have I ever mentioned how incredible it is that we only live less than 2 hours away from Disney!!?!!

Friday, we slept in a bit and enjoyed the free breakfast at our hotel, then headed to Epcot for our AP ride preview. It’s so amazing how easy the process was because our registration for the preview was already attached to our magic bands. We showed up a few minutes early and had no problem being checked in, scanned twice, and then immediately walked onto the ride with very little slowing down. It went so quickly that we barely got to see the amazing details that went into the entrance and line areas, but we know in the future there will be plenty of waiting in lines to watch all of the videos play and check out the detailed displays.

Obviously, the ride photo shows you just how thrilling Cosmic Rewind is!! AMAZING! No spoilers though- you just need to experience it for yourself.

We spent the better part of the day eating and drinking around the World Showcase and looking at the GORGEOUS topiaries and landscaping for the Flower and Garden Festival (One of our top three favorite Epcot festivals) and checking as many places off from the book as we could- but that’s for another post too! We also experienced Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure for the first time and to my surprise, it didn’t make me feel motion sickness like I had worried about. Overall pretty cute!

By late afternoon the clouds rolled in and we got that feeling in our stomachs that typical Florida Summer weather was indeed on its way and made our way to the car and boy oh boy we are glad we did. We hadn’t seen a storm quite that intense in a while and luckily we were back in our room ready to sleep to the sounds of thunder and torrential rains.

Also, my husband finds THE best Disney shirts!! Amazon and in the parks of course!

When we make quick trips like this we always swear we’ll just come straight home on Saturday morning… but when you are that close you just can’t leave, so luckily I had already made a park reservation for Magic Kingdom just in case 🤣

We checked out of the hotel and headed to Hollywood Studios to park and hop on a bus to Magic Kingdom– I can’t tell you how much I hate driving into and parking at MK and taking the ferry over and I especially hate leaving that way at the end of the night- so we hack that by taking any other means of transport we can to get there. HS via bus seems to be the easiest for us so far! While on the bus ride over, Mark decided to be brave and try out purchasing the Lightning Lane day pass to see how that works- we had honestly no idea what we were doing and just figured we’d use it for a ride that we’ve never done that always has a long ride- Peter Pan Flight. Cute ride, not worth the long waits but was perfect for LL!! After that we just kept it rolling with The Haunted Mansion, and Pirates of the Caribbean plus we took an AC break with Country Bear Jamboree. We truly would have stayed all day if we didn’t both have to work the next day – so that was the first but not the last time we will splurge for Genie Plus and the Lightning Lane– worth it!

Plus I got the Main Street Electrical Parade Minnie ears! Score! Total nostalgia from my childhood when the parade was at MK in the 90s and Mark and I got to see the parade again for the last time in 2017- um and they glow in the dark!!

We had another first on this trip to Magic Kingdom- we finally went to The Crystal Palace and I am sold!!! Holy moly what a bang for your buck and one of the only places to enjoy AC, buffet-style food, and cocktails while you can still see the parade happening outside!

I hope you are not tired of hearing about Disney because I’m playing catch up on the last 2 years of park visits, festivals, and resorts! So. Many. Posts. To. Come. Plus a BIG announcement coming soon 😅

p.s. All of the custom Minnie Ears and Disney shirts you see in our photos were either purchased on Amazon, Etsy, Hot Topic, Target, or at the official Disney stores! Find our affiliate links on our SHOP!

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