Disney theme parks are no stranger to controversy. Whether it’s tearing down the Sorcerer’s Hat at the center of Hollywood Studios in Florida, replacing ‘Snow White’s Scary Adventure’ with a rollercoaster in the Magic Kingdom, or converting the Tower of Terror at Disney’s California Adventure into a Guardians of the Galaxy romp, Disney fans will always fall into two camps: purists that want everything to stay the same, and everyone else.
For folks who are lamenting the loss of Tower of Terror at the West Coast theme park, the above video from Attractions Magazine of the pre-show and queue might change your mind. Despite complaints that the outside looks slapdash, inside the former lobby of The Hollywood Tower Hotel has been lovingly transformed into The Collector’s traveling show of oddities. The interior shots remind me of the queue for The Great Movie Ride at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in that each glass case holds a piece of Marvel history with an accompanying card for those not steeped in decades of lore.
The imagineers at Disney have always had a knack for keeping guest compliant as they wait in long lines. Utilizing technology to turn walls into games, keeping sections of the queue separated by blind corners to give the illusion of less of a wait time, and creating immersive environments full of interactive objects to occupy the minds of guests are visible everywhere. But from what the video above shows, Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT takes things to the next level. One can imagine folks in line actually being annoyed they have to move on rather than continue sussing out Easter Eggs hidden among the Collector’s treasures.
Once out of the “lobby” and through the pre-show area in which an extremely life-like Rocket Raccoon animatronic explains the plan, guests are shuffled into the former boiler room from Tower of Terror. The space is now an employee area for those working for the Collector, and the environment reflects that. Whereas the observation room is clean and tourist-friendly, the “behind-the-scenes” area is messy and rife with dangerous-looking substances. Once aboard the Gantry (elevator) guests experience the same basic ride structure, only outfitted with Guardians imagery, effects, and sound instead of the classic Twilight Zone world.
The opening date for the ride at Disney’s California Adventure is May 27, 2017. The official description is below:
Come face-to-face with the Guardians of the Galaxy this summer, at Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! Deep inside his fortress-like collection, the mysterious Taneleer Tivan (aka The Collector) has the Guardians of the Galaxy on display as his newest acquisitions. Unbeknownst to their captor, 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.
After breaking out of the Collector’s Fortress, you may run into Star-Lord and Gamora on their way to escape aboard the Milano, with Star-Lord stopping to fire up his old-school boom box and get a dance party started. And for the first time, citizens of Earth will have the chance to meet Groot!