If you’ve been to Disney California Adventure Park this year, you’ve seen the Tower of Terror transform from a rundown 1930s hotel into a blue and orange symphony of pipes that form the new Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout attraction.
I was part of a small group of media, fully equipped with hard hats, safety goggles and bright orange vests, that went behind construction walls of the new Guardians ride before it opens on May 27.
Here’s the story. Tanaleer Tivan, known as The Collector in the, has finally imprisoned Star-Lord, Drax, Groot and the rest of the . Rocket is enlisting you to help break them free from The Collector’s Fortress.
Walt Disney Imagineering doesn’t skimp when it comes to waiting in line.
You’ll start outside in the Collector’s garden, where you’ll see rare species of plants and be greeted by a large golden statue of The Collector, because why not? Then you’ll enter the centerpiece here: Tivan’s exhibition room.
Glass cases holding the Collector’s prize possessions are a love letter to fans of the comics and movie franchise. I counted 12 larger cases on the floor level and 14 smaller ones hanging from the ceilings.
I identified items like an Ultron sentry robot, a Nova Corps officer’s suit, Warlock’s eye and Comso the Spacedog, who appeared in the first movie and had a major role in the comic book series written by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning. You’ll see Kree artifacts from “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D” and the cocoon from the first movie too.
There’s so much to see before the ride even begins that you’re going to have to spend some real time to soak it all in. That means multiple rides. It’s all about the Easter eggs.
You’ll then stop by Tivan’s office, which we didn’t get to see, then through a main warehouse that’s abounding with more characters, creatures and sly nods for loyal Disney park goers before you get on the attraction.
The Mission Breakout ride starts off with a quick zip to the top, but won’t be the same every time you ride it. There are six different adventures you can take that will be randomized, and each will be a self-contained story.
A story board showed us all six scenarios. I won’t reveal all of them for you because I’m not that guy, but one was called Escape and another one was called Anti-Gravity. Tweet me if you really want to know them all.
Stef Harbuck, Creative Producer at Walt Disney Imagineering, says there will be a Fast Pass for the ride and adds, “We’ve heard people say it feels longer than you might have experienced on a previous attraction,” referencing Star Tours.
Music is a huge part of the movie franchise, and the six different adventures will be accompanied by six music tracks pulled from the ’60s to the ’80s.
- “I Want You Back” – The Jackson 5 from 1969
- “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” – Pat Benatar from 1980
- “Give Up The Funk” – Parliament from 1975
- “Born To Be Wild” – Steppenwolf from 1968
- “Burning Love” – Elvis Presley from 1972
- “Free Ride” – Edgar Winter Group from 1973
The attraction’s score is completely original and is composed by Tyler Bates, the composer for both Guardians of the Galaxy movies.
This is a total collaboration between Marvel and Walt Disney Imagineering, with hands-on input from “Guardians of the Galaxy” director James Gunn, President of Marvel Studios Kevin Feige and Chief Creative Officer of Marvel Entertainment Joe Quesada.
All the actors from the movie are here, with original performances specifically for the ride. James Gunn worked with Walt Disney Imagineering and was heavily involved with the dialogue for the cast and the tone.
At one point, we were told, they had Rocket say “Aww Shucks.” Gunn thought Rocket wouldn’t say that, so it was changed. The cast got a chance to ride it and some of the movements were changed based on their feedback.
You can know nothing about the Guardians and still love this ride, but Mission Breakout is filled with fan service for people who love the movies, and even more for comic book fans.
Eagle eyes have even noticed the Collector’s Fortress from Mission Breakout might even appear in “Thor: Ragnarok.” After all, The Collector and Jeff Goldblum’s “Ragnarok” character The Grandmaster are brothers in the Marvel Universe.
Marvel’s DNA is everywhere, and it’s those small touches that make this attraction unlike any other. Plus, if this is just the start of whatis doing with Disney, can you imagine what Star Wars Land will be like in two more years?
Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout opens May 27 at Disney California Adventure Park.
First published April 26, 5 a.m. PT.
Update May 26, 9:47 a.m. PT: Added CNET’s ride video.
Originally published on April 26, 2017 and has since been updated.