The Marvel Universe is invading Disney California Adventure and it begins next year! Guardians of the Galaxy will be taking over Twilight Zone Tower of Terror in Hollywood Land. The makeover/takeover will happen in 2017 to coordinate with the movie release of Guardians of the Galaxy 2 and will officially be called Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! (caps and exclamation point intentional). The backstory of the updated attraction will feature Rocket Raccoon who will solicit the help of guests to rescue the rest of the Guardians who have been captured by the Collector. In the queue, guests will get to wander through the Collector’s museum and view his many prized items as they make their way to the ride itself. Joe Rohde, Portfolio Creative Director and Lead Imagineer on the project promises it will be “a very funny, very irreverent story and a really wonderful addition to Disney California Adventure.”
The overall ride effect (the drops) will remain the same, but the story and features of the building will be getting a facelift. The Tower will turn into the Collector’s Museum (actually the Collector has a real name – Tanaleer Tivan), but from the preview images, the rest of the exterior seems like it will remain the relatively the same including the lights, gate, and landscape. The plants will get a more exotic look and the building will look more imposing and futuristic, but surprisingly the Hollywood Land lightposts and that old fashioned gate will remain if it stays true to this artist rendition.
According to the Disneyland press release, “The new attraction will anchor a broader universe of Super Heroes that will grow over time in Disney California Adventure Park.” That’s great news for us on the West Coast who have been clamoring for more Marvel. It opens the doors to a broad array of possible attractions based on the phenomenally popular movies. Because Marvel originally negotiated a contract with Universal’s Islands of Adventure for exclusive use of Marvel characters East of the Mississippi, many of Marvel’s most popular characters including Hulk, Fantastic Four, Spider-Man, X-Men, and the Avengers can only be used at Universal, but their agreement does not include characters from Guardians of the Galaxy or other properties “not currently being used by MCA” which means the door might be open for the same layover to be applied to the Tower of Terror in Orlando. Perhaps Disney will wait to see what the backlash is from closing the DCA Tower before announcing any future plans.
Indeed, Tower of Terror has a loyal following and is a popular attraction in the park. According to the Los Angeles Times, there has been uproar on social media since the news broke from fans of the ride. At least there will be at least five months time for people to “drop in” one last time. Again, according to Disneyland, “Fans of The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror will want to experience the attraction from now until its final ‘drop day,’ which will be celebrated in true Disney fashion in early January.” Sounds like a major party is being planned.
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