I just returned from the grand opening media event for Disneyland Resort’s all new Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT attraction (thank you, Disney)! So, I’m incredibly excited to share with you an in-depth look at the ride (which JUST opened – May 27, 2017) and the reasons why you should ride! If the building looks vaguely familiar, there’s a reason: this attraction replaces California Adventure’s Tower of Terror ride. The building itself and the general style of the ride (an inside drop ride) remain the same. But, it’s new in every other way! The outside facade got a whole new gaudy facelift (which works perfectly with the theme and storyline) and there is now a whole new Guardians theme throughout. The ride premise is that the Guardians of the Galaxy have been “collected” (captured) by the Collector Taneleer Tivan and he’s keeping them in his impressive fortress. Tivan, being the show-off that he is, has brought his fortress to Terra (Earth) in order to display the Guardians (his prized possessions) along with his other collectibles from throughout the galaxy. Rocket Raccoon has other plans though and has escaped! But, he needs YOUR help to ascend to the top of the fortress to help the rest of the Guardians escape. If you follow all-things Disney, then it’s no secret that many people were upset about the loss of Tower of Terror from California Adventure. While that ride was cool & had been at the park for over 10 years, the original version at Walt Disney World is better. And, my humble opinion (dare I say it) is that… the new Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT ride is BETTER than Tower of Terror! Yes, I said it! Yes, I really do think that! The ride is SO much fun and I think is a really smart move for Disney at California Adventure. This is the first (and currently ONLY) Marvel-themed attraction at any U.S. Disney Park! Plus, I think we’re going to hear an announcement soon about plans for a whole Marvel Land or at least a big Marvel-themed expansion in that park. This is definitely just the start of lots of fun intergalactic super hero fun to come! So, I’m sharing below the top 7 reasons why you should make plans to ride the new Guardians attraction:
Incredible ride queue –
The ride queue on the outside has a few fun details and things to find, but this interactive queue really shines as soon as you enter the building. There, you’ll stand inside the Collector’s Fortress lobby where there are some strange and wonderful artifacts on display. The queue wraps through the lobby, so visitors can really get a good looks at the different items! You’ll also watch an introduction to the experience where Tivan shows you his most prized possessions. And in true Guardians form, there are quippy jokes & banter as they argue with each other. This helps sets up the storyline for the ride. Then, you head into the Collector’s private office. Not only are there an incredible amount of items in the cases in the room, but you’ll find Rocket here (a VERY well-done animatronic) and he’ll tell you what needs to happen to free the Guardians.
Easter Eggs EVERYWHERE!
With over 2,000 Easter Eggs as part of the Collection, they are EVERYWHERE! Both die-hard Marvel fans and classic Disney fans will love looking for special items. It was suggested that there may even be some clues about upcoming Marvel projects! See if you can find Figment, Harold (the original Yeti from Matterhorn), old Disneyland maps, original items from Tower of Terror, and more! The Collector really has snagged some interesting things! 😉 AND…then there’s the whole alien language throughout. It’s clear the symbols match up with letters. I have a feeling that if you can crack the code to translate, there may be some interesting information on certain plaques and labels!
The Guardians Vibe
Anyone who has seen either of the Guardians movies knows there is a different “vibe” with those movies. There’s all the action & adventure you get in every super hero movie. But, it’s combined with a certain level of comedy, irreverence, wit, and sarcasm that we don’t see as much in the other Marvel films. Imagineers worked closely with James Gunn (director of the Guardians films) to create the ride, staying true to the characters and the mythology. So, fans of the franchise (and even people completely new to anything Guardians) should all catch & like the Guardians vibe in the ride with that comedy and energy they bring.
Not only is this ride one-of-a-kind in that you can ONLY find it at Disney’s California Adventure park, but the ride itself has 6 different possibilities for guests to enjoy! So, until Rocket pluds in Star Lord’s walkman, you have NO idea which ride sequence you’re going to get. Each of the 6 ride sequences feature a different up-and-down ride profile and some different story scenes, accompanied by some great Star Lord approved tunes.
Just like both movies, the ride features its own “awesome mix tape”! While none of the songs are in the movies, their vibe and era fit perfectly into the musical themes of the movie – and they work GREAT on the ride! Each of the 6 different ride profiles are synchronized to one of the fun songs from the tape. Here’s the different song possibilities:
- “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” by Pat Benatar
- “Give Up The Funk” by Parliament
- “Born To Be Wild” by Steppenwolf
- “Free Ride” by The Edgar Winter Group
- “I Want You Back” by The Jackson 5
- “Burning Love” by Elvis Presley
During the press trip, I had the pleasure of riding 11 times and I’ve experienced 4 of the 6 tracks (I still need “I Want You Back” and “Burning Love”). And I can say that waiting to see which song you’re going to get is part of the anticipation of the ride! The music also helps to create an even more fun ride experience!
A More Intense Ride
If you’ve ridden Tower of Terror before, you’ll likely immediately notice that this is a more intense ride (which I happen to think also makes it that much more fun). The whole ride system has more high-speed ride time than ever before. So as soon as that music starts blaring, the chaos and thrills begin. So, the up & downs felt faster and more intense – we all felt like we got a lot more “air time” on the ride (and that it lasted longer). Even during the moments where the ride stops to see the different scenes, the gantry is still bumping/shaking. So, some sort of motion is pretty much constant throughout. The hair in our ride video below will help give you a feel of the fun air-time during the ride:
More Family Friendly
And, while the ride itself has WAY more thrills (in terms of speed, drops, overall “thrill factor”), I think the theming of the ride is WAY better for families. My kids are little and the name of “Tower of Terror” alone made the ride scary. There were SO many times I witnessed kids just absolutely scared to death on that ride (you know – something about people DYING in an elevator definitely is a scary thought). So, I really like the lightheartedness and fun-factor that the Guardians ride brings! I’m not even a mom who has let her kids SEE the actual Guardians movies just yet, but the ride is GREAT! Perfect for the whole family. I canNOT wait to get the whole family back to Disneyland to ride this!
So…What do YOU think?! Are you excited to ride this? Have you ridden this already?! Tell us in the comments below! If you’re excited about this one, I recommend getting to the park before rope drop and planning on heading straight to the attraction. There, you may be able to enjoy a short stand-by line and then get your Fast Passes for another ride time as well! That’s going to be your best strategy for being able to ride at least twice (without waiting in super long lines)!
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