Guardians of the Galaxy ride debuts at California Adventure

By Julian Mitchell

A Disney park favorite says goodbye as a new era of entertainment begins.

On Saturday, the new Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission – Breakout! opened in the building that used to house the fan-favorite Twilight Zone Tower of Terror.

The California Adventure park ride saw up to six hours in wait times over the opening weekend.

“While I am looking forward to riding it … I think it doesn’t fit,” said Joey Aramaki, a third-year business student.

Aramaki continued, “The Guardians ride doesn’t fit in Hollywood Land whatsoever and looks even weirder with the red car trolley passing by it.”

The park, which opened in 2001, has largely been a tribute to the culture and landscape of California.

The Hollywood Tower of Terror was the park’s landmark feature.

According to Executive Producer Greg Combs, an Imagineer at Disney, the whole point of Hollywood Land was to encompass the movie industry.

Part of the draw of having an area of the park focus on movies is that the park can put in attractions focusing on many different things, as long as they’re in the movies.

“We have so many stories to tell, it’s difficult to find enough space to share all these stories,” said Combs.

Combs said that the replacement of the Tower of Terror made sense because Twilight Zone might not be something kids are familiar with anymore, while Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 brought in $145 million on its opening weekend alone, according to IGN.

“We don’t want our parks to become museums,” said Combs. “We want to stay relevant to the times.”

The structure where Mission – Breakout! now stands makes sense logistically and conceptually for the story that Disney Imagineers are trying to convey.

“You wouldn’t tell the story of It’s a Small World in the form of a rollercoaster,” Combs said.

Combs further explained that the way the ride system of Tower of Terror worked proved to work equally as well for Guardians of the Galaxy and the ride Disney was hoping to create.

“When you think of Marvel, you think of action, so you need a ride system that provides that action,” said Combs.

The ride, which was announced less than a year ago at San Diego Comic-Con, was one of the fastest attractions to open up at either of the California Disney parks.

Comparatively, Star Wars Land was announced in 2015 and won’t be opening until 2019.

The ride still keeps its free-fall sensation that the Tower of Terror had and mainly saw cosmetic updates to provide fans with the full Guardians of the Galaxy feel.

The opening of the ride is the start of the Summer of Heroes event that will feature various superhero encounters throughout the park, such as Captain America and Spider-Man, a newly acquired property for Disney.

In regards to any other expansions for Marvel rides or characters, Combs stated that he can’t speak on anything specific that might be coming to the parks, but not to rule out the possibility of new rides.

“Walt Disney himself said, ‘Disneyland will never be completed. It will continue to grow as long as there’s imagination left in the world.’ We try and keep that in our minds every time we talk about new attractions for any Disney parks,” said Combs.

For those of you who are going to miss the Tower of Terror, you can still get your fill by making the trip to Disney World Orlando.

Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission-Breakout! took the place of the Tower of Terror.

Courtesy of Walt Disney Company

Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission-Breakout! took the place of the Tower of Terror.

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