At the Marvel panel in Hall H today, Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige confirmed rumors that had been swirling for months concerning Disney California Adventure: that the Tower of Terror would be transformed into a Guardians of the Galaxy attraction. Titled “Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT,” the new attraction is aimed for Summer 2017, timed with the release of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.
In a description on the official Disney Parks blog, this does seem to be a lot more than a simple overlay. Ride experiences may vary, such as they do in Star Tours, yet a drop does seem to be at the heart of the ride experience. The blog describes the storyline as
Deep inside his fortress-like collection, the mysterious Taneleer Tivan (aka The Collector) is displaying his newest acquisitions, the Guardians of the Galaxy. They are trapped in customized display cases, suspended over a vast abyss. Unbeknownst to their unscrupulous captor, the intrepid Rocket has escaped and is enlisting the Collector’s VIP guests for help. Guests board a gantry lift, which launches them into a chaotic and hilarious adventure as they join Rocket in an attempt to break his fellow Guardians out of captivity.
and the ride experience as
…an epic new adventure, enhancing the breathtaking free fall sensation with all-new visual and audio effects to create a variety of ride experiences. Guests will experience multiple random, unique ride profiles in which the rise and fall of the gantry lift will rock to the beat of music inspired by the film’s popular soundtrack.
When I first heard the rumor, I was upset as I love the Tower of Terror, and Guardians of the Galaxy writer/director James Gunn just posted on his Facebook page that he had his doubts, too. But…
then the Walt Disney Imagineering folks showed me what they had in mind and MY MIND WAS COMPLETELY BLOWN. It was awesome (see the attached concept art for a very small taste). Exhilarating and novel and interactive. I can’t be more pleased to have partnered up with Walt Disney Imagineering in this production, helping to direct and shape the experience so that it has all the heart and fun and humor Guardians movies do.
It occurred to me that this has an opportunity to bring some very quirky characters into the mix. Just this week at Comic-Con, Hasbro has been selling a boxed set of figures called “The Collector’s Vault,” and that includes Howard the Duck, Moonboy, Lockjaw, and Cosmo the Dog. We’ve seen two of them in Guardians of the Galaxy already; if these four are in the attraction, I will get over the loss of The Twilight Zone in the Disney park.
The blog also promises that this is only the beginning of an expanded cast of Marvel characters in Anaheim. (Though the official blog doesn’t go into detail, Disney still has some limitations in Orlando due to the licensing of Marvel characters to Universal Studios there before Disney bought Marvel.)
Fingers crossed — and I’m reminded to get to Disneyland and ride the Tower of Terror at least once more before it closes sometime in early 2017.
Watch the video: