“Guardians of the Galaxy – Awesome Mix Live!,” a musical show at Walt Disney World, debuted on Saturday, and it certainly appears to fill a need for not just movie fans but Epcot fans.
In recent years, the theme park has come to be known for its festivals that are largely centered on sampling new foods and beverages — and live music. Summer is the only time when a festival is not taking place at Epcot (which makes sense with the oppressive heat), but it would seem like a bit of a letdown to not have a concert or musical performance to look forward to during a theme-park day that is designed to be more relaxing with guests strolling around World Showcase rather than racing from ride to ride.
To that end, Walt Disney World has added “Guardians of the Galaxy – Awesome Mix Live!” at the America Gardens Theatre in front of The American Adventure as part of its Incredible Summer offerings. Of course, it’s also a nod to the new Guardians of the Galaxy roller coaster that is being built in Future World and expected to open in time for the 50th anniversary of Walt Disney World Resort in 2021. (Driving into the Epcot parking lot, it was apparent how tall the building for the indoor coaster will be!)
The premise of the new Guardians of the Galaxy show is that representatives of Xandar have come to share their extraterrestrial culture with the people of Epcot, which is known to be a cultural epicenter on Earth. The Xandarian Chamber Orchestra has come to play music with Peter Quill (Star-Lord) as its ambassador. Gamora, the feisty elite fighter of Infinity Watch, also appears in the show, her first at Walt Disney World. She thinks she is with Quill to save the galaxy and he quips, “You are here to save the galaxy — from bad music!” Baby Groot makes several on-screen appearances and serves as a DJ.
The 20-minute show gives older guests a trip down musical Memory Lane with five songs from the ’70s and ’80s. Like the soundtrack from the popular movie, the song selection helps draw audience members who might not be interested in the Guardians franchise. And the classic music also fits with the type of music that is played during Epcot’s festivals. The “galaxy’s greatest cover band” also shares its dance steps with the audience. On one number, Quill breaks down the moves so the audience can participate.
My teenage son and I attended the second show of the day, and although the theater was not full, there was a healthy crowd of people who seemed to be enjoying the performance. Based on our experience, you wouldn’t have to line up to get a seat. I would recommend not sitting in most of the front sections because you need to be able to see the whole stage to get the full experience, which includes special effects. There is a small catwalk and if you sit toward the end of it, you should be able to take everything in. We sat in the front row of the second section, which provided extra legroom and a good view.
“Guardians of the Galaxy – Awesome Mix Live!” is a high-energy, feel-good show that many Epcot guests will enjoy even if they are not fans of the movies. And if they are Guardians fans, it’s a fun opportunity to see the characters. Epcot does not offer a meet-and-greet with the Guardians characters, but you might see the band when they exit the theater and walk by during the break between the second and third shows.
“Guardians of the Galaxy — Awesome Mix Live!” is performed at 1:30, 2:30, 5:30, 6:45 and 8 p.m. daily through Aug. 19. Can’t make it? Watch the show in our video: