I’ll keep this fairly short since we wrote about this in our latest question of the week, but it was confirmed tonight that Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: Breakout will be taking over the Tower of Terror attraction in California Adventure (it will not be in Disney World, for the time being). The announcement was made at San Diego Comic-Con and was met with a few boos. After the Disney Parks Blog posted about it, many fans were outraged and voiced their displeasure online. Tower of Terror is set to close in early 2017 and open with Guardians of the Galaxy that summer.
As for what the attraction will be, well I think this quote from the Parks Blog sums it up pretty well:
Deep inside his fortress-like collection, the mysterious Taneleer Tivan (aka The Collector) is displaying his newest acquisitions, the Guardians of the Galaxy. They are trapped in customized display cases, suspended over a vast abyss. Unbeknownst to their unscrupulous captor, the intrepid 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.
For a little more information on the ride click on the link above and watch the video featuring Joe Rohde, head imagineer of Marvel entertainment in the theme parks. It was fairly informative and a decent description of what to expect.
As for my reaction, I was a little more upset than I thought I would be. In my post a few days ago, Tower of Terror was the first attraction off the list of Must-Do’s. With that in mind, it shouldn’t be a big deal to replace it, right? Well, maybe it should have been on the list because I was not happy about the announcement.
I guess the place to start is on the optimistic side… I think the attraction will be cool and well done. This seems to be a pretty decent idea for the ride and it will be updated to add some different ride sequences throughout (in theory). Joe Rohde is one of the best Imagineers out there and I have a decent amount of faith in him making this a quality and fun attraction.
The other piece of good news this brings is that more Marvel attractions are on the way. Sure, I’d rather Disney be creating some attractions that are independent of movies and are creatively exclusive to the theme parks but Marvel has a fun, vast library of content to draw from. The company has been surprisingly slow in adding Marvel attractions and this signals that some are coming, at least in California.
Now the negatives, which definitely outweigh the positives for me. Tower of Terror is a good attraction. California Adventure has some really nice rides but certainly could use more. Instead of building a new, exciting experience we have to cancel out one of the parks better rides to get something new. This move doesn’t help with park capacity (which is an issue for all Disney Parks), the attraction lineup or enhance the theme. It draws more people in (possibly) to an already crowded park. This continues a worrisome trend at Disney.
As most of you know, Frozen Ever After just opened in the Norway Pavilion at Epcot. Frozen was the highest grossing animated film of all-time and definitely deserved an attraction in the parks. Disney knew this and decided to use an already existing ride to speed up the time table and, let’s be honest, save
a little money. Because of this Frozen Ever After is placed in a land that it doesn’t have any business being in. The same will hold true for GotG-M:B (what a terrible acronym).
Instead of building new and doing the IP justice, Guardians will be placed in an already existing ride that everyone knows the layout of. It will also be the eye candy of Hollywood Boulevard and, as the concept art shows, doesn’t really fit the area with that exterior overlay. I understand the urge to get Marvel into the parks as soon as possible but we’ve waited since 1955. I think we could wait for another 2 years while they build a whole new attraction. Even if the attraction is well done and successful, like Frozen Ever After, it will be a big black eye on the theming of California Adventure. People will counter with that overused Walt quote about how Disneyland should always be changing, but that’s not the point. The point is that without a cohesive theme, a park will have a poor design. Arendelle isn’t Norway. You shouldn’t take the Hollywood Tower out of Hollywood Boulevard. These are obvious statements but ones that Disney isn’t following and now ruining the themes of lands because of it.
I love new attractions. And I don’t mind replacing attractions. But replacing attractions with overlays that don’t fit the theme of an area is ridiculous and cheap. On one side of the entrance to DCA there will be a richly detailed land themed to California’s mountains. On the other side of the entrance there will be a street in Hollywood with a tower that is from space at the end of it. This trend of reusing ride systems for new attractions that don’t fit the area needs to end. As for Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: Breakout I guess we hope for the best and see the ride for what it hopefully will be – a fun ride in the wrong spot of the park, that cost us a great attraction.
What do you think of this news? Please let us know in the comments and if you are passionate about either side of this debate, let Disney know what you think. That’s the best (only?) thing we can do as fans. Thank you for reading!