Marvel Heroes Come to Disney California Adventure (California)
We learned last summer that the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror attraction at Disney California Adventure Park in Anaheim, California would be replaced by a Guardians of the Galaxy themed ride, with a subsequent sneak peek look offering a glance at the upcoming E-ticket which will see guests transported into the cosmic side of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
The Hollywood Tower Hotel is currently undergoing its transformation into the Collector’s Fortress, readying the debut of Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! in May (to coincide with the newest Marvel Studios production, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2). A comically high-energy, rocking new adventure, the ride will feature the cast of the hit film, and will see guests venturing into the fortress-like collection of The Collector (Benicio del Toro).
“Now he has imprisoned the Guardians of the Galaxy and they’re hanging in display cases over a giant abyss,” said Joe Rohde, portfolio creative director of Walt Disney Imagineering. “The captor doesn’t know it, but Rocket Raccoon has escaped and is enlisting our aid – all the guests – to help the Guardians in a breakout scheme. And the rest is comical chaos; a very funny, very irreverent story and a really wonderful addition to Disney California Adventure.”
(The ride will keep the “elevator drop” aspect of the dearly departed Tower of Terror). The unveiling of Disney California Adventure’s newest attraction on May 27th will come as Disney launches the Summer of Heroes, running exclusively at Disney California Adventure Park from May 27th – September 10th.
The limited-time celebration will include Guardians of the Galaxy: Awesome Dance Off! — a rock ‘n’ roll bash and dance party, featuring hit tracks as well as appearances by Star-Lord and Gamora — and new Super Hero Encounters, where guests can interact with Captain America, your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man, and, for the first time, Groot.
Disney California Adventure will also host the Avengers Training Initiative (think Disneyland’s Jedi Training Academy), an interactive show where Black Widow and Hawkeye will assemble young recruits for a series of tests to see if they have what it takes to join the ranks of the Avengers. Black Widow will also hit the scene in style for Heroic Encounter: Black Widow, where the super spy Avenger will appear several times daily in an armored Avengers vehicle to interact with park guests.
Limited space — California’s Disneyland Resort isn’t allotted the spacious land of Florida’s gigantic Walt Disney World — ultimately lead to the retiring of the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, with Bob Chapek, chairman, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, telling USA Today of the fragile line that must be walked while keeping the parks fresh without upsetting loyal traditionalists who didn’t want to see Tower of Terror reconfigured into something else.
“Sometimes that means we need to take something great and, quite frankly, make it greater,” Chapek said of California’s space limitations. Disney is “all about exceeding guest expectations. That is our mantra,” Chapek says in acknowledgement of concerns that the replacement attraction might not live up to its Tower of Terror predecessor.
Disney Imagineering finally being able to put Marvel properties to use in Disney parks with Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! will likely give way to further Marvel attractions and events at Disney’s west coast parks. (A preexisting contract with Universal in Orlando, Florida — home of Marvel Super Hero Island at Universal’s Islands of Adventure — prevents Disney from utilizing their Marvel properties east of the Mississippi. Disney owns Marvel outright, but can’t use Marvel in any of Walt Disney World’s parks — making the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California the flagship base for Marvel at Disney in the U.S.).
“We believe that [the Guardians ride] gives us an anchor for a much larger superhero presence inside Disney California Adventure,” Chapek shared. He wouldn’t disclose whether or not a Marvel Land — similar to Star Wars Land, now under construction and currently slated to open in 2019 — might take over or otherwise replace Hollywood Land, but it should be obvious that Marvel heroes of comics and screen will find a home at Disneyland and its sister park, Disney California Adventure.