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Fans always react when beloved theme park attractions are changed or removed, and this was certainly the case when The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror checked out from Disney California Adventure Park on Jan. 2. However, they should be rest assured that the exhilarating experience — featuring unpredictable drops — has been reimagined as Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: Breakout!
Taking its storyline from the characters in the blockbuster “Guardians of the Galaxy” and its sequel “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2,” the accelerated drop tower attraction takes guests on a mission to rescue the Guardians from The Collector’s massive fortress.
Upon entering the fortress, guests learn that Taneleer Tivan, aka The Collector, has put together a special exhibition featuring his prized possessions: the Guardians of the Galaxy. As they enter The Collector’s tower to receive VIP clearance to tour the fortress, visitors will see glass cases containing items from the exhibition – which, according to Joe Rohde, creative executive for Walt Disney Imagineering, includes a few “Easter eggs” for fans of the Guardians franchise. With help from guests, Rocket the Raccoon — who has managed to escape from his case — can commandeer the gantry lift and takes riders on an exciting mission to rescue the other Guardians.
Brian Crosby, creative director of themed entertainment for Marvel, says the attraction takes everything that’s going on across the Marvel Universe and brings it to audiences in a whole new way. But, according to Rohde, guests don’t necessarily need to know anything about the Marvel Universe before experiencing the ride, so even non-fans will enjoy the story.
The attraction features all-new special effects with six randomized free-fall rise and drop sequences, each set to a different retro tune from Star Lord’s mix tape that includes “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” by Pat Benatar, “Burning Love” by Elvis Presley and “I Want You Back” by The Jackson 5. Each song is paired with a different version of the escape scenario with variations in ride profile and visuals, so riders can experience up to six unique adventures. (I personally experienced three different ride profiles.)
To celebrate the arrival of Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: Breakout!, the attraction will be surrounded by Disney California Adventure’s Summer of Heroes initiative. Expect superhero-themed food and beverage as well as character interactions such as a dance party with Star Lord and Gamora.
Summer of Heroes marks the debut of the all-new Avengers training initiative where young guests are enlisted in a special program with Black Widow and Hawkeye to become the Avengers of tomorrow.
“The best way to become a hero is to learn from a hero,” said Dan Fields, executive creative director for Disney Parks Live Entertainment.
Guests can also take home a one-of-a-kind comic book available only at Summer of Heroes or try a personality quiz at the hero center to find out which hero they’re most like. Quiz-takers will receive a sticker to show off their heroic qualities.
The warehouse at the ride’s exit offers special attraction-exclusive merchandise as well as a wide variety of superhero themed items — all courtesy of The Collector, of course.
“Whether you’re interested in sporting a retro-inspired Star Lord T-shirt or sipping your morning tea from a Spidey mug, we’ve got you covered,” Fields said.
Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: Breakouts! marks the first time the park has introduced an attraction inspired by this action-packed superhero universe.
“It’s just the beginning of what will become an even bigger superhero presence at Disney California Adventure,” said Bob Chapek, chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts.