Disney makes Guardians/Tower of Terror switch official
Disney and Marvel this afternoon made official that
Guardians of the Galaxy
will replace The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror at Disney California Adventure.
Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige made the announcement during Marvel's presentation at the San Diego Comic-Con today, with Disney following
with a post on the official Disney Parks Blog featuring a promotional video with Imagineer Joe Rohde. The Tower of Terror will close next spring for its transformation into Guardians of the Galaxy - Mission: Breakout! VIDEO
The storyline for the new attraction matches what I
wrote here on Theme Park Insider in May. Essentially, Disney is taking the TokyoSea storyline for that Tower of Terror (which does not include "The Twilight Zone"), and swapping The Collector (Taneleer Tivan) for Harrison Hightower and Rocket for the Shiriki Utundu.
As Rohde explained, "the setting is a kind of fortress that’s owned by the mysterious Collector and it’s packed with creatures and his latest acquisitions from across the universe. Now he has imprisoned the Guardians of the Galaxy and they’re hanging in display cases over a giant abyss. The captor doesn’t know it but Rocket Raccoon has escaped and is enlisting our aid... to help the Guardians in a breakout scheme."
Concept art courtesy Disney
Disney won't be changing the physical structure of the ride, but it will be adding random drop profiles as on Florida's Tower of Terror, which will retain its Twilight Zone theme. Disney also will add music from the Guardians soundtrack to the ride, but if Disney also brings over the Pepper's Ghost effect in DisneySea's Tower preshow for this Guardians of the Galaxy attraction, that alone could help make this new version of the drop ride a hit.
Of course, anything Marvel starts with a huge reservoir of goodwill among fans. Feige said that the new Guardians ride will be Disney's first step in creating a Marvel-themed land in Disney California Adventure. Guardians of the Galaxy - Mission: Breakout will open next summer.
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As I linked above, I wrote a couple months ago that I thought Guardians of the Galaxy was a better theme for Tower of Terror than The Twilight Zone. Next summer, we'll get to see if I was right or not.
Terrible, terrible decision. Couldn't disagree more, Robert. Guardians was a mediocre superhero movie, but Disney is so slavishly fixated on franchise synergy that they'll sacrifice any classic, great theming to boost the next damn sequel.
Awful idea. it doesn't matter if The Twilight Zone is still relevant or not, the ride stands on its own. And no matter what they do to it, Tower of Terror is too unique to just turn it to something else. They should just demolish it and create a new ride from scratch, or better yet forget about it. It's too bad Diseny would rather get rid of a ride that is popular just because it's not based on a recent hit.
No. They haven't for a long time and don't seem likely to start soon. Agreed - terrible terrible idea
I was just looking at a thread on Disboards. Overwhelmingly negative reaction to this atrocious idea. Here's one post: "Yikes...negative comments on Facebook are already 200:1."
And boom goes the dynamite.
I'd rather Disney just demolished ToT and built a new ride instead. I like ToT. I didn't love it. But this reskinning seems like a big step backward. Robert, I think you're wrong on this one. We'll see...
I read Robert's article about why Guardians would be a better fit, and although he made a great case I always felt the falling elevator was a perfect fit for the theme.
Just pray Disney leaves the original Classic at DHS alone!
Sometimes, I really hate being right.
In Orlando this would have been a thoroughly atrocious idea, however the greatly curtailed act 1 and inferior ride experience in California significantly diminish the attraction. If the re-imagining evokes the pure irreverent joy of the movie I can't imagine how it is anything but a step forward.
I work for the company and I see it everyday, management making terrible decisions to profit the company. Disney is out of touch with keeping the magic. I can't believe they're so money hungry they'd sell out their most popular ride.
When are Disney 'fans' going to get it into their heads that Disney don't make attractions for them - they make attractions for Joe Public who just want to be entertained and don't care how so long as they enjoy themselves?
Why Joe... Why...
This gives Disney two distinct versions of the ride across the two parks and WDW will probably end up with a new GOTG ride at Epcot. Seems like a good plan to me. P.S. Guardians was a great movie.
Aweful decision. Only good thing is the random drop sequence.
Wow I didn't expect this rumor to pan out so quickly. Since TOT is the E ticket of Hollywoodland, then I'm assuming they would have to retheme the entire land not just Tower? It would have to be some planet from Guardians of the galaxy that most people have never heard of. But then if that happens, how can you have a Hyperion theater playing a Disney princess story? And what's going to happen to the Red car Trolley that clearly wouldn't fit the theme either? This is a truly baffling decision by Disney.
2 Thumbs way down.
I am a Marvel fan and I like Guardians of the Galaxy, but this is wrong. They should have changed for a story similar to the Tokyo Disney Sea tower of terror. And I think they choose Guardians because they want to change the ToT in Florida too, their lawyers are just trying to figure out how to do it without paying too much to Universal. Did Disney spread the rumor trying to measure the acceptance from the public? It is funny how people used to say tgat Tom Staggs was not good for Disney Parks and Resorts, but now that he's gone this is happening.
I'm cautiously optimistic here... The art looks really good and we all know Joe Rhode knows what he's doing.
Horrible. Sure, ToT at DCA never was as good as the original, but this is just the beginning. Next time, sth truly beloved will be in the crosshairs...
Why did Disney invest a billion dollars perfecting California Adventure, if they were just going to turn around and ruin it?
Is this permanent or just an overlay like Hyperspace Mountain?
Why do you think they are changing this ride? This ride in California Adventure is a flop. Giving it the Twilight Zone theme when the physical ride is different from the DHS original is a Huge mistake. It needed a new theme regardless. I would think it doesn't need much to make it better. Just different is enough.
@david brown - completely agree. I do still enjoy the twilight zone theme, no one is going for that ride where as a simple facade change may attract new customers or no -regular. I don't think anyone will stop going because of this change. Also right before it closes there will be a large contingent of regulars to experience it before closing. Win-win for the mouse. I experienced this (2 hour wait) for the regrettably forgettable Malestrom in Norway.
I may be the only one who was less than impressed with the DCA Tower of Terror. I just don't get what all the fuss was about. I've didnt ride the DHS version while I was at WDW so I can't compare the two. So I'm very much in the wait and ride it before I judge it camp. I've read a lot of the near hysterical arguments against it and frankly not one of them is very convincing. "It goes against the California theme" - Yeah so, what does a Little Mermaid and Cars' Arizona town have to with it? And for that matter what does Monsters and Muppets have to do it Hollywood? The Hollywood theme never worked at DHS and it's not even popular anymore. So I'm all for turning it into Marvel Land. Better to add Marvel to DCA than over in Tomorrowland. I say good for Disney! And I hope these so-called fans do not NIMBY this out existence.
Not a fan of this, but I'm very relieved they didnt try this in WDW.
This could be a good ride, if done right. The new guardians of the galaxy film comes out may of next year, so I presume with this ride coming out in summer, then this ride may be based off of the new film. However I feel this ride will be very out of place, judging by the fact that you can see it from bugs land all the way through to the entrance to paradise pier. The old tower was a bit out of place, but this would be even more so. Also there is a problem with the red trolley cars, and the land as a whole. I presume that it would be part of a new land, not still made to be in hollywood land. Also they would have to cover up the waiting area for the frozen musical as it is located right next to the tower. I also don't understand how the ride will work with the story, as why would we be going up and down, if there was a loss of gravity we would only go up once, unless they try to convince us one of the infinity stones is making it happen. I honestly think that they should have created an individual marvel land behind tower of terror, keeping the tower as it is. Also how are they going to expand this area, with that huge building being the centre piece themed to space, then surely the rest of the land must have to be too. This limits them from making any rides based on the avengers surely?
This new ride announcement instantly changed the debate about the Frozen musical replacing Aladdin. Now, it's about the inconsistent Hollywood theming where Frozen, the Trolley, and Animation Academy will not seem out of place, but Guardians will. At least we have acceptance Frozen is consistent with Hollywood instead of MORE FROZEN. The video suggests more Marvel is coming. Disney needs some fortitude to deal with the fans.
Personally, I don't like the idea. You can see ToT from a lot of points within the park and it really breaks with the California theming. However, this might be a decent attraction so let's wait and see.
Ho boy. I really thought this was a total longshot and never gave the rumors much precedent. I am pretty pessimistic about this change, but final results will determine if this is for the best or not. What really upsets me is the total disregard for the supposed overall theme of the park. At least with the ToT, we had a distinctly Hollywood attraction, which, in a park supposedly themed to California, fit perfectly. Now we're getting a futuristic, sci-fi building in the middle of the Hollywood backlot. Walt is rolling in his grave. If Disney was so concerned with The Twilight Zone rights, they could have EASILY copy-pasta'ed the Tokyo version with slight adjustments to ensure they keep their clause with the Tokyo Land Company intact. Just a total botch opportunity IMO.
I strongly suspect than the Animation Academy will be closed and replaced and wouldn't be surprised if the Hyperion Theater is moved to Downtown Disney. Even if they don't Frozen won't be around as long as Aladdin was. There is already a strong rumour about a new Frozen themed miniland being planned where Toontown is today. My understanding is that the Red Car Trolley causes problem with movement on super busy days and if Marvel Land increases attendance significantly that could be an issue. But if they decide to keep it I'm sure they'll find a way to incorporate it into the over theme. Or they could just reroute to Paradise Pier. The more I think about it I'm glad they didn't try and shoehorn the expansive Marvel Universe into a small corner of the park and instead put up front, easy to access with room enough to do it justice.
What will keep Bug's Land? It's about as popular as Toontown. Both can make way for Star Wars and Marvel. I do agree with extending the Trolley to Paradise Pier.
Seems like a trendy decision that will enjoy a few years of popularity before feeling dated. That's one of the big problems when doing a Sci-Fi ride, you are battling something that will always win which is time. I think going for a Harrison High Tower make over would have been a far better alternative and one they wouldn't need to update nearly as soon. But I digress. Any update to this ride will be an improvement to what's currently there.
Blake even if they applied a Hollywood-themed version of the TDS ToT they still have the problem of what to do with a failed land. One ride does not a land make. I've already talked about how the park's overall theming right now is not consistent with the original concept so I don't see how the addition of Marvel Land will really do any harm. By the way I'm not particularly a big Marvel fan. I just think Hollywood Land is such a dud and represents all that was wrong with the DCA.1 (including the truncated ToT) that I just want to see it go bye-bye.
"When are Disney 'fans' going to get it into their heads that Disney don't make attractions for them - they make attractions for Joe Public who just want to be entertained and don't care how so long as they enjoy themselves?"
I think that the random drop sequence is great, and the exterior of the building looks AWESOME, so I'm going to say it's a fine change as long as the area around it gets the theming changed, and the ride is good. Otherwise I think that it will be a terrible change. The other thing is that they storyline was so simple with ToT, that a quick pre show was more than enough to get the theme across, I really hope that they can make the storyline simple with Mission: Breakout, because a lot of people (including me) haven't ever seen the movie
Another AWFUL decision forced onto TDA by WDC. When will this end?!?! Tower of Terror is a DCA classic. It has a huge fan base, an original story line, and a great theme. Although it may just be a scaled down version of the Orlando ride, it's nevertheless still among the top 10 greatest rides that Disney ever built. Unfortunately, by tearing down such a beloved ride, WDC has basically just slapped all Disney fans in the face. The reaction from all DLR fans from across the globe has been overwhelmingly negative. It sheds a bad light on the company and will cause a PR nightmare for WDC. Sad to say it, but WDC is literally run by complete idiots. What scares me is the fact that WDC is willing to just tear down fan favorites and replace them with something that the fan base has clearly showed resentment for. I mean what's next.... Re-theming Haunted Mansion to "Halloweentown the ride"....Changing POTC to "The battle of jack Sparrow".... Or changing Matterhorn to "Frozen: Elsas's magical journey". I mean where does the IP madness stop?!?!?! With all of these moronic decisions, it's not surprising that Hong Kong Disneyland is failing, Disneyland Paris is failing, Walt Disney Studios Park is failing, Shanghai Disney's attendance is below WDC's forecasts, WDW is experiencing declining revenue and attendance, and now the DLR is also experiencing declining attendance. You can only piss off fans for so long before they finally reach their tipping point. I know I have. After having been a die-hard Disney fan for almost my entire life, I can now say that I resent the company and everything that it stands for. Iger is an idiot and should have been fired ages ago. Chapek is also an idiot and should be demoted immediately. So yeah, goodbye Disney you just lost one of your most loyal fans. I just hope other devoted Disney fans follow my lead and boycott the parks until Iger is fired. #Fireiger
Also, the name is terrible. It sounds like an evil plan hatched by a pimple to cover your face in acne
Yeah, I have to agree with the general malaise of the IP-centric world that Disney is living in now. It's obvious that they feel they HAVE to put something in that's related to some other IP, however subpar, mediocre, or not even inherently valuable the IP is.
I rode Tower of Terror once two years ago and didn't like it that much. However, I'm not a big fan of that type of ride and I generally avoid them. I did like the story behind the ride and hope they keep that. I may have to ride the new one once just to see the story line behind it.
To be fair, this is an one for one replacement of an IP. If the choice is using Disney's IP over another license, Disney's IP should be chosen.
So am I right in thinking that the ride itself is gonna be the same and just the theming is changing? The whole point to ToT was you didn't know which way you were gonna go and what was going to happen next. Buy the looks of it, that's going to be the same. To me, it looks as if they are only putting up new "wallpaper" all be it, very expensive walppaper. Oh well, just my two cents worth...carry on.
Still A Fan days:
We continually complain that the parks are too much alike. This is a step in the right direction.
Wait so THIS is the tipping point for many fans to turn their back on Disney? Lol... Sure.
And here is the beginning of Disney using a screen base ride combining it with the already ride system of ToT. Not a big fan of Guardians of the Galaxy but I just hope they do it fast and right!!
I turned my back on Disney about a year ago. It was the fast pass plus that did it. They made a system that only helps Disney and not the customer. Now lines are abnormally long year round at WDW. So we go to Universal and enjoy the unlimited express pass. It is a shame, as Disney used to be a shining beacon in customer service.
I'll bet that Robert may be right when he wrote that a Guardian makeover for ToT could be good. After all, the Frozen ride at Epcot is not the disaster that some said... And with Joe Rohde in charge I think that the best is to wait and see the result.
What's ridiculous is that the same people who are loudly complaining are also the ones who always tell us how much they hate clones. So when Disney decides to remake an attraction into something more original they go ballistic. They are not tearing the ride down and frankly I don't think the Twilight Zone storyline was ever that strong. At least the DCA version wasn't. Nor does it sound like it's going to be just "expensive wallpaper". I'm not going to embarrass myself by getting all worked up over a second-rate knockoff version of Florida original. I think Disneyland deserves better than that. And I know that when all the OTT wailing and gnashing of teeth is done, the ride is converted, and it's a big hit, that the very same fanboys who have expressed negative reactions that is way out of proportion to the situation will be lavishing praise on the remade attraction and the WDW'rs will be complaining that they never get anything good. It's always the same way. *Yawn* @ your outrage.
Here's my wishful thinking regarding this: The blog says Tower is closing in January. Feige says "With its debut timed to the release of the film’s sequel..." GOTG2 comes out May 5th. That's 4 months. That is an insanely short time. I am betting this is a temporary overlay like Haunted Mansion Holiday. If rumors are true, the Twilight Zone license was due to expire soon. If Disney needed to remove the Twilight Zone theming anyway, why not slap this on for a few months/years until "by popular demand" they bring back the Hollywood Tower Hotel as a generic Hollywood spooky hotel? Here's hoping... Cuz if not, what a waste of the Marvel license. I love Marvel and GOTG, but Disney has had Marvel for 7 years and all the parks have to show for it is a few meet and greets, an Iron Man overlay of Star Tours in HK and now this Tower "overlay."
I'm actually quite excited about the switch :-)
Oh come on, David. It's not just the Disney fan sites; even on Facebook, the reaction was overwhelmingly negative. "Vanishingly small", my ass.
Another IP de Jour for Disney. Not happy.
If I were Disney, I would put a Guardians of the Galaxy attraction in Tomorrowland instead. Star Wars Land is being built anyway, so why not eventually replace the Launch Bay or the Captain EO theater/ Starcade with Guardians of the Galaxy? However, I do agree that our Terror of Terror isn't quite as good as Florida's and I've riden and liked Japan's version too.
I don't understand why anyone is upset. Most people that have experienced Tokyo's version of this ride give it raving reviews, so clearly the Twilight Zone themed isn't critical to a great ride experience. Not to mention there will still be a Twilight Zone here in the USA in Orlando. I also don't understand anyone saying that this ride is a DCA classic. Huh? When I rode the California version I couldn't help but to composite out to the actual classic, the Orlando ToT. In that matchup DCA's version is weak to say the least- and I walked off vowing never to waste my time waiting in line for it again. I think this theme is a great way to allow the Cali version of this ride system to have its own unique identity. I would even wait in line to check it out!
Still a fan- give me a break. David is completely right on this. That outrage all over social media platforms? It'll be gone sooner than it came and by the time the ride opens the general public will show up and gladly ride. The angry tweets and Facebook posts will not stop people from showing up in masses and it won't stop Disney from making money hand over fist. So why exactly should they care about your outrage? They shouldn't and dont.
Disney has not had a good track record with putting new theming on already established attractions.
Am I the only one troubled by this guys dangling ear piece? Disney is no longer the themed leader. It's popcorning of random attractions where the don't go proves this. Why not just bring Frozen to sunny Hollywoodland? Oh wait they already that. I really hope DCA gets a new name. It's like going to Busch Gardens. There is no Busch left. California is now only a physical address.
Lots of comments about how this doesn't fit the Hollywood theme. Well, yes. And what does that suggest? To me it says you don't have to worry about a Hollywood theme for much longer.
Honestly, I'm wondering if they had Joe Rohde announce the change simply so we super-fans have a little more faith in the decision. I sincerely hope he's the principal on the design and implementation team. One thing is certain: Disney simply cannot blow this. If they do, AP folks will stop renewing!
It's going to be so much fun to see how all of this plays out.
Yikes there is a lot of comments and I'll admit I didn't read them all. But Florida will be keeping their version, which is also the better version thanks to the 3rd dimension to the ride. I don't see an issue with it. Does it make sense? No. Will complaining change anything? No. Will we all go ride it still? Yes.
Plus, let's remember that Paris' version (which is a carbon copy of DCA's) isn't likely to change any time soon. So it'll still be out there somewhere in the world.
I recall when Avatar was proposed for Animal Kingdom, the standard line of thought was why couldn't it go to Disney's Hollywood Studios because it was a movie turned into an attraction. Funny how that line of argument doesn't exist for Guardians in the Hollywood section of California Adventure. It would be a logical addition "as is" until the whole land turns into Marvel Land.
Barry, you obviously didn't even read my post. Disney does read social media about theme parks, and they've responded to complaints many times. What part of that don't you understand??
Robert - Great article on why the makeover DOES work.
Am I the only one who is going to mention his ear lobe, I was excited to hear his pitch for how and why re-skinning an old ride was a good idea... but that rubbery ear stretched to the breaking point just swung back and forth and kept my attention.
Still a fan- i dont ubderstand the part where you think some disney management responding to some online complaints is somehow going to translate to Disney seeing it's most hardened fans upset by this news and decide to entirely alter course. That's delusional but good luck with the campaign buddy.
Sometimes we think one dimensionally.
It's not them changing the theme that upsets me, it's changing the theme, telling people it's a "new" ride and then using that to justify the price hikes. If they want to price out the middle class at least do better than putting a fresh coat of paint on existing attractions.
would someone please tell Joe that his ear looks ridiculous?
Barry, they probably won't reverse course on this particular decision, because it involves one of their franchises, and that whole area of the park will become a new Marvel land. But you and David seem to be suffering under the delusion that a major, publicly traded company in 2016 can afford to ignore what social media says about its products. That's laughable and utterly preposterous.
Knotts Berry Farm or Universal should acquire the Twilight Zone IP rights, and build their own attraction. They would gain many annual passholders who have grown disenchanted with Disney. Disney is clearly abandoning the locals market, in favor of international and out-of-state tourists. Fine. We don't need Disney.
Another example of Disney replacing something so many knew and loved. Aladdin was the most popular show in the Disneyland Resort, yet Disney replaces it with Frozen, which is still cool but can never match Aladdin.
Well we'll see in their annual figures....
There's a line between being a smart business, implementing new strategies to make money, and being completely money hungry. Well, Disney just crossed it.
This is a horrible, tacky idea. ToT was the best. A perfect and elegant ride that fit in beautifully in that section of California Adventure. May as well turn the whole thing into Knott's. ToT was a huge reason we'd even make the trip out to Califirnia. Think I'll boycott the movie. I'm super disgusted.
Most people today aren't familiar with Twilight Zone, also, I heard that Disney wants to be rid of the Tower of Terror name because of it's connotation.
I'm not sure why people are upset that the TOT in California is being updated to a Guardian of the Galaxy ride. I was just there earlier this summer and the whole park needs updating. This is a good thing. Also, TOT California is a lesser ride than TOT Florida. I have a love-hate relationship with the ride and I hated the ride much less in California. The one in Florida goes on for what seemed like a lot longer with more apparent ends to the ride which made it more "terrifying." As a result, I didn't love-hate it as much. It was more of a luke warm feeling. I was surprised that California Disney didn't have more Star Wars "stuff" there. When we went to Disney in Florida several years ago, before they had acquired the Star Wars franchise, they had Star Wars weekends, which had more of a Star Wars presence than they do now in the California park. I know that they are just starting to build up on it but I was expecting more. My hope is that they can incorporate more interactive elements in the vein of Pokemon Go, the interactive wands of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, and/or the laser guns of the Men in Black ride.
How many people are actually regularly going to Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort? There is not that much overlap.
Disney seems to be desperate to get Marvel Characters into its theme parks. Because has anyone noticed that there is no mention of word Marvel in this rethemed TOT? This is due to Universal's Marvel contract containing a notable clause with regards to the use of the Marvel name inside theme parks:
The thing is, Disney have always been big money makers, it has always been about making lots of it, including printing their own :)
Team Disney Anaheim has always made it very clear that the Hollywood Pictures Backlot was designated for redevelopment. Including the remaining parking area and the shuttle drop-off area. Combine these areas with unused buildings and underperforming rides/attractions (Monsters, Inc. and Bugs Land) and the amount of space exceeds Star Wars land.
I don't know why everyone is looking at this as a bad thing, I say this is a good idea not only will it boost attendance at Disneyland California adventure, bring some money to the park, and expand the resort. It is also better because while they do construction they can change things that are in Hollywood land especially take the dance party off and put some rides
I look it as a bad thing because it looks "cheap", you can even tell from the artwork that it obviously looks like it is covering up what it originally was. I'm not opposed to replacing the Tower of Terror, I just don't care much for this.
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