Guardians Of The Galaxy’s James Gunn Unveils Rocket And Groot Statue At Disney World

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Before James Gunn, the Guardians of the Galaxy were as obscure as it gets. Now, two movies and several MCU appearances later, the Guardians series is a billion-dollar IP and ranks among Marvel’s most beloved characters. After a brief trip to the DC Universe for The Suicide Squad, Gunn is now preparing Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, which arrives in May 2023.

As a mark of their continued popularity, Walt Disney World’s Epcot (currently celebrating its 50th anniversary) now features a statue of Rocket Raccoon with Baby Groot on his shoulder, with Gunn making the trip to Florida to unveil it in person:

This comes ahead of the 2022 opening of Epcot’s Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind. This is a new ride billed as the world’s first “omnicoaster,” meaning the carriages will rotate 360 degrees during the ride. Disney’s imagineers assure us that this won’t make you sick, saying:

“We found really innovative ways to ensure we deliver on the thrill and excitement the Guardians bring, but we absolutely don’t want anyone to get sick. It’s way more thrilling than the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, but it’s not a rocking roller coaster.”

Surrounding the coaster will be the “Wonders of Xandar” pavilion, recreating the planet introduced in the first Guardians of the Galaxy, at which visitors can meet Xandarians and showcase alien technology.

In the meantime, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is set to go before the cameras next month. Most of the cast recently turned up for Thor: Love and Thunder, so they should be in good shape for a shoot that’s projected to continue until April 2022. Let’s hope we get some early set reports that indicate where the big finale is going.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 hits theaters on May 5, 2023.