Behind the Scenes of the GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY — Mission: Breakout! Ride (California)
The Guardians of the Galaxy are coming to the Disneyland Resort.
We first learned of the Guardians of the Galaxy ride — the first Marvel ride to debut at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California — during San Diego Comic Con 2016, where it was revealed the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror would be re-themed to the fortress of the Collector (portrayed in the Guardians of the Galaxy movie by Benicio del Toro).
The “comically high-energy, rocking new adventure” would keep the same ride style (an elevator drop ride), but now feature the Guardians — Star-Lord, Gamora, Drax, Rocket Raccoon, and Baby Groot — as prisoners in the Collector’s, well, collection, with Rocket (voiced by Bradley Cooper) enlisting the aid of park guests to help the Guardians break out. The ride is described by Joe Rohde, portfolio creative director for Walt Disney Imagineering, as “comical chaos,” with “a very funny, very irreverent story and a really wonderful addition to Disney California Adventure.”
The newest iteration of the former Hollywood Tower will remain a thrill ride, but with multiple, randomized storylines. Instead of the Twilight Zone, park guests will be transported to the farthest reaches of the Marvel Universe’s galaxy. October brought a sneak peek of the ride, set to open May 27th at Disney California Adventure Park, located directly opposite Disneyland. As we near opening day, new details have emerged, with Rohde once again speaking on the upcoming attraction.
“The entire escape scenario plays out against this insane chaos, to the tune of vintage rock ‘n roll music,” Rohde told EW. “So basically, we crank up this thing and turn it loose into this really funny, really irreverent, really fast-paced, really chaotic kind of thrill experience that just zooms once we let it go.”
Just like the movies, the ride will be accompanied by its own Awesome Mix — and while Rohde wouldn’t share which hit songs will serve as the soundtrack for Mission: Breakout!, he did reveal the Jackson 5’s “I Want You Back,” as first heard in Guardians of the Galaxy and included on Awesome Mix Vol. 1, will be utilized in the ride. Much like the iconic Star Tours ride or Indiana Jones Adventure at Disneyland, Disney Imagineers didn’t want to simply recreate scenes from the movies. Instead, they wanted to treat guests to an all new experience with their favorite characters.
“We’re working with the filmmakers on color palette, on texture, on typographies, on all the little Easter eggs and things and things that lock it in, so it becomes an extension of a world that you’re familiar with — and not merely a Xerox of that world,” Rohde shared. Guardians of the Galaxy and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 director James Gunn, Marvel Studios president and producer Kevin Feige, and film composer Tyler Bates all helped work on the theme park attraction, with Gunn (who recently confirmed his return to write and direct Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3) directing all the scenes and media for the ride.
The recently-completed facade of Mission: Breakout! has caused some controversy, with many fans feeling the loss of the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, formerly themed to a 1930s era Hollywood hotel. While the new paint job may take some getting used to, the building now serves as the Collector’s Fortress — a power-plant-like tower that is surging with electricity.
“[The design] needs to make it clear that a vast amount of power is being consumed because the premise of the story is that we’re going to shut this power off,” Rohde explains. “So the first time you hear that story point, we want you to already think, ‘Whoa whoa whoa, wait a minute. You’re gonna do WHAT?’”
“This is kind of tweaking the nose of an arrogant and powerful person, the Collector,” Rohde says. “So the building has to express this kind of arrogance and pride that cometh before the fall… no pun intended.”
Guardians of the Galaxy — Mission: Breakout! is part of the Disneyland Resort’s limited-time Summer of Heroes event, which will include a special Guardians of the Galaxy themed dance party, superhero encounters with Spider-Man, Captain America, and — for the first time — Groot, as well as special themed merchandise and food, Avengers Training Initiative (an interactive show in the vein of Disneyland’s Jedi Academy, featuring Black Widow and Hawkeye as recruiters for the Avengers) and the new Heroic Encounter: Black Widow, where the kick-butt Avenger will make several special appearances daily in an armored Avengers vehicle for special experiences with guests.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 hits theaters on May 5th, and Guardians of the Galaxy — Mission: Breakout! opens May 27th at Disney California Adventure Park.