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Iconic Imagineer Shares Thoughts on New ‘Guardians’ Roller Coaster

Veteran Walt Disney Imagineer (now retired) Joe Rohde has left a lasting legacy at The Walt Disney World Resort in Central Florida. Originally hired to work on the creation of EPCOT, Rohde was the creative lead for the creation of Disney’s Animal Kingdom and is viewed by many as one of the top opinions on Disney Theme Parks and attractions.

Known for engaging with people on social media, Rohde was recently approached on Twitter regarding the newest addition to EPCOT, Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind (despite having moved on in life).

Joe Rohde

Credit: D23

@Millionaire2K tweeted at Rohde, asking, “Please chime in on the GotG in Epcot debate!” To which he simply replied, “I don’t know anything about a debate.”

@BillZanetti followed up, saying, “I think that people want to know your opinion on it because they know you had the Marvel Creative Portfolio at one time, and you led Mission: Breakout through an extraordinarily fast process. The new offering at Epcot had a lot more time to develop and the debate is ‘fit’…”

Rohde’s response challenges the fan to think deeper on the topic, saying, “So then the question is not necessarily how well does this express Epcot as it was, but rather how well does it address the mandate to use IP in the context of Epcot. You have to parse between “Is it well done?” versus “Is it addressing a valid initiative?” Don’t smush.

Rohde went on to say, “Tom Fitzgerald is a great Imagineer with a great nose for popular consumption. He initiated and developed this project. I would therefore believe that the attraction is great, having not seen it in person. The debate should be constrained to those who have.”

Many Disney Fanatics continue to view EPCOT as the Disney Park without Disney Characters. IP has slowly injected itself into the fabric of the Park from Disney Princess Meet and Greets in their proper countries (Belle and Aurora are in France, Snow White is in Germany, Jasmine is in Morocco, etc.) to complete ride takeovers like the Malestrom’s transformation into Frozen Ever After.

There is no doubt in this reporter’s mind that Fanatics will continue to debate the appropriateness of IP in EPCOT without end. But, having ridden Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind and seeing the push to combine a fictional experience with the theorized realism of how we would communicate with a people from a far-off planet, this writer is certain that the roller coaster is not only well done but also fits the mandates required of EPCOT.

Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind

Credit: Disney

Read More: Honest Review: Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind

Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind is set to open to the public on May 27. 

We at Disney Fanatic will continue to share more Disney Park Stories as they come to light.

About T.K. Bosacki

TK is a writer and editor based in Tampa, FL with a passion for all things Disney, and adventure.