What to expect from Disney’s new ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ ride

The “Guardians of the Galaxy” ride opening May 27 at Disney California Adventure will replace the venerable Twilight Zone Tower of Terror as the anchor of a new Marvel themed land.

The 2004 Tower of Terror indoor elevator drop ride will be re-skinned with a back story loosely based on the original 2014 movie and the upcoming sequel, which feature a mismatched team of intergalactic misfits who band together to save the universe.

Mission: Breakout, as the new Guardians ride will be known, will take visitors on a comical and thrilling ride with new visual effects and music from the film’s soundtrack, according to Disney.

Disney Imagineer Joe Rohde, who is supervising the makeover, has spoken extensively about the Guardians overlay to numerous publications and in prepared statements and videos.

Spoiler alert: What follows is a detailed look at what we know so far about the Guardians ride.

Backstory

The new ride’s backstory introduces visitors to the Collector and his unorthodox collection of extraterrestrial artifacts and creatures.

The Hollywood Tower Hotel will be transformed into a fortress-like museum run by the mysterious Collector. The Guardians of the Galaxy have become the Collector’s latest prized possession, suspended in display cases over a vast abyss. Rocket Raccoon escapes and hatches a plan to rescue his fellow Guardians that involves park visitors and the museum’s elevator.

Characters

The roles of Star-Lord (Chris Pratt), Rocket Raccoon (Bradley Cooper), Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Drax (Dave Bautista) and the Collector (Benicio del Toro) will be reprised in the ride by the actors from the films.

Star-Lord and Gamora characters will host a Guardians of the Galaxy: Awesome Dance Off starting May 27 near the new ride in DCA’s Hollywoodland. A Groot character will be available for meet-and-greet photo opportunities in the land.

Ride Exterior

The exterior of the haunted hotel is currently being transformed into an imposing space age fortress covered in power plant-like piping and shimmering earth tones.

The new intimidating facade no longer seamlessly blends with the Art Deco surroundings of the nearby faux Hollywood Boulevard.

Like stepping through a magic portal into another universe, the Collector’s warehouse has mysteriously “appeared out of nowhere,” Rohde told IGN.

Museum Collection

The former lobby of the Hollywood Tower Hotel is being converted into a museum housing the Collector’s prized possessions.

Passing through a vault door, visitors will enter the Collector’s museum where artifacts from the Marvel universe are arrayed on the walls and in display cases. Via a television screen, the Collector welcomes his guests and boasts about his collection.

Die-hard Marvel fans will spot Rocket Raccoon’s gun, a Chitauri blaster, a Nova Corps helmet and Asgardian weaponry, according to IGN.

The regularly rotating collection will be culled from props and artifacts featured in Marvel films, television shows and comic books.

Collector’s Office

The hotel library that once included a narration by “Twilight Zone” host Rod Serling will be transformed into the Collector’s office.

Inside the office, the Collector’s desk will be covered with “Easter eggs” that provide clues to the upcoming mission.

Rocket Raccoon has escaped and is hiding in the overhead ventilation system. He lays out a plan for a high-stakes prison break to free his fellow Guardians and asks for the visitors’ help. But first he needs the visitors to scan their human hands at the security checkpoint station because his raccoon paw won’t work, according to Nerdist.

Except for some minor rethemeing, the industrial-looking boiler room portion of the Tower of Terror queue will remain largely unchanged.

Ride Experience

The drop-in-the-dark attraction will feature randomized drop sequences with at least three different “ride profiles,” according to IGN. The elevator doors may or may not open at the top of the ride for a panoramic view of the park as they did on Tower of Terror.

The “insane chaos” of Mission: Breakout will have a much faster pace than Tower of Terror. As the story goes, Rocket disarms a control tower, unleashing all of the museum’s caged aliens and causing the elevator to go haywire, Rohde told Slashfilm.

Soundtrack

Expect songs from Star-Lord’s “Awesome Mix Vol. 1” mix tape to play a prominent role in the ride.

A variety of music from the film’s soundtrack and other retro-1970s songs will accompany the drop sequence, Rohde told Slashfilm.

The mostly-mellow soundtrack features a few uptempo songs, including “I Want You Back” by the Jackson 5, “Cherry Bomb” by the Runaways and “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell.

Gift Shop

Visitors will exit through a gift shop filled with “Guardians of the Galaxy” merchandise from the Collector’s collection.

The shop will be themed as the fortress-like museum’s shipping and receiving garage that doubles as a “shady black market,” according to Nerdist.

Themed Land

The updated attraction will anchor a broader Marvel universe at Disney California Adventure that will expand over time, according to Disney officials.

The new Guardian ride sits north of the 4-acre Timon parking lot that represents the last significant parcel of unused land in the Disneyland resort. The Marvel-themed land could also take over portions of the park’s Hollywoodland and Bug’s Land, according to MiceChat.

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