Disneyland announces May 27 opening for Guardians of the Galaxy ride

February 15, 2017, 11:23 AM · Disney's Marvel-themed makeover of the old Twilight Zone Tower of Terror will open officially on May 27, Disneyland announced today.

Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout! at Disney California Adventure recasts the Hollywood Land drop tower as the lair of Collector Taneleer Tivan, where he has brought the Guardians of the Galaxy to add to his museum of galactic oddities. Rocket Raccoon's escaped, and he's looking for your help in getting the Guardians out.

If that May 27 opening date sounds familiar, it's the same date as Walt Disney World's premiere of its Pandora: The World of Avatar land at Disney's Animal Kingdom. I can't remember the last time that Disney competed with itself for publicity by opening two different major attractions at both Disney World and Disneyland on the same day, so I'd love to hear everyone's theories on that. (And on how I'm going to get to both attractions on the same day.)

Disneyland today also announced several other Marvel-themed extras for its "Summer of Heroes" at Disney California Adventure. In addition to the Guardians ride, Star Lord will host a daily "Guardians of the Galaxy: Awesome Dance Off!" dance party, and Groot will join Captain America and Spider-Man for character meet and greets.

In addition, Black Widow and Hawkeye will host a "Avengers Training Initiative" for children, along the lines of the Star Wars-themed Jedi Training Academy at Disneyland.

Replies (28)

February 15, 2017 at 11:54 AM · I figure they're opening both on the same day so that west coasters won't feel too envious. But Pandora is the real big debut. This reskinning of the Tower is just the triumph of franchise over theming.
February 15, 2017 at 11:38 AM · Opening this on the same day as Pandora really make it feel like the theme park equivalent of the "Friday evening news dump." But no news outlet on the west coast is going to ignore this in favor of covering Pandora. If anything, they'll just bury or skip any Avatar land coverage. Is Disney going back to its old philosophy of promoting WDW only on the east coast and DL only in the west... and not promoting either as a national attraction?
February 15, 2017 at 11:43 AM · It's opening over the Memorial Day Weekend. Maybe good for some people, but people visiting before will miss out.

It seems like they don't want to step over Avatar's promotion and they are unable to open Avatar earlier since it just takes more time to open two massive new attractions.

February 15, 2017 at 12:04 PM · I think Robert you've hit the nail on the head. I believe Disneyland has lately been trying to get itself out from under Orlando's thumb. But I'm not sure of this has anything to do with that. LA Unified's last day is June 10th. This is a week or two before the start of Summer Vacation. Just enough time to work out any kinks. It's just about the right time for each of them to promote their big summer offerings. Unlike hardcore Disney fans most people aren't not going to see any conflict here because they typically only care about what is going on at their "home" parks.
February 15, 2017 at 12:20 PM · Slightly related, the new Pirates of the Caribbean film also opens May 26.

Disney's gonna have a helluva weekend.

February 15, 2017 at 12:27 PM · I really doubt if West coasters will give a flip about Universal's Volcano Bay opening, but it seems awfully deliberate for the two Orlando titans to open big new offerings on the same weekend.
Mouse steals thunder, film at 11:00.
February 15, 2017 at 12:42 PM · You would think of them more as "national" attractions as neither are a copy of an existing one. I can only assume both parks wish to capitalize on the holiday crowds as best they can for their respective coasts.
February 15, 2017 at 12:45 PM · 'Conspiracy Theories' are fun to over analyze. However, Disney and every other company worldwide that markets anything knows 'Social Media' rules the day.

As such, vloggers, Twitter and traditional national/local media will extensively cover BOTH Disney Parks events.

Regarding the political term, "Friday News Dump", the voracious appetite of the '24 Hour News Cycle' has virtually eliminated the ability to dump anything.

On an interesting note, Team U Orlando has an ongoing internal debate regarding using "third theme park" to describe their new waterpark. Will be interesting to see how this debate turns out.

February 15, 2017 at 1:03 PM · Miision Breakout done quickly (OK, that's only a makeover), and Star Wars Land for 2019: is Disney getting the Universal pace for new attractions? Could this be at last a Scott Throwbridge effect as he came from Universal to Disney in 2007? OK, I am a bit kidding here. However, if we could avoid to wait too long to get new top class (I hope) attractions...
February 15, 2017 at 1:37 PM · I will be opening a new haunted house attraction in my garage. For the first time ever, I will deploy a stolen-grocery-cart ride vehicle system. This groundbreaking new attraction will open on May 26th -- so it's publicity will not be stepped on by either Universal Creative or Walt Disney Imagineering.
February 15, 2017 at 1:50 PM · There really isn't anything odd with opening multiple attractions on the same day. Many theme parks across the country will be opening their new for 2017 attractions the same weekend as it is the unofficial start of the summer season. Either way, I doubt many people that are more than a 4 hour drive from the Disneyland Resort will be coming specifically for the opening of Guardians of the Galaxy, so any impact on Pandora should be minimal. Guardians is more like Star Tours 2.0 or the Test Track redo, where it is worth doing next time you visit, but not something to rush out for unless you're a hardcore fan. Pandora, on the other hand, is more like Cars Land...it is worth planning a trip there after opening to experience it.

Now for the question...what are the chances Guardians of the Galaxy will be soft opening prior to May 25th (when the So Cal ticket expires)? I'm not getting my hopes up, but I'm definitely saving a visit for the last week or two just in case.

February 15, 2017 at 1:57 PM · Just curious, does anyone else think there is real chance that Avatar or the Tower reskin are a flop?

Avatar is a weak ip at this point (maybe 4 more movies changes this) and GOG is pretty odd itself.

I think people will applaud the new, but neither of these places appeal to me, and I am smack in their demographic.

February 15, 2017 at 2:13 PM · Not too excited about GOTG, Avatar has taken too long to get excited about. The living, breathing banshees are about the only thing to pique my interest.
February 15, 2017 at 2:14 PM · CornballExpress - I agree that Avatar has gone stale at this point as an IP, but it will be the quality of the land and rides that decide how popular the experience becomes. Cars is one of Pixar's weakest properties, but DCA's most popular land. Song of the South is a forbidden movie to see, but Splash Mountain is one of Disney's most famous rides. And (more anecdotally) my wife can't stand Harry Potter, but loves going to Wizarding World and Diagon Alley - and calls HP & the Forbidden Journey her favorite ride.

If Avatar Land is as immersive, spectacular, thrilling, and wondrous as they have been promising, it won't matter if anybody cares about the series that started it.

Of course, if the rides and settings fail, then that will be one of the most EXPENSIVE mistakes in Disney history.

February 15, 2017 at 2:15 PM ·
February 15, 2017 at 5:28 PM · If I remember correctly, the Star Tours re-do at Disneyland and the Little Mermaid at California Adventure opened on the same day.
Just publicizing all of it at the same time brings that much more attention to all that they are doing.
February 15, 2017 at 8:11 PM · CornballExpress I don't expect either one to be fail. I'm slightly more interested in Pandora (given it's a whole immersive land) but nothing I've heard or seen so far really compels me to fly to Orlando to check it out. Hopefully that will change once it's open.

I do wish people would stop saying the GotGMB is the Tower re-skinned. That's what some lazy Internet fans started saying before there was any real information out. To me re-skinning an attraction implies mostly cosmetic changes. From the description they are doing more than that. Of course, we will have to wait and see. The one think for certain is that it's no longer a Tower of Terror.

February 15, 2017 at 8:18 PM · Remember how Anaheim complained about Westcot's giant geodesic sphere would be an eyesore to the skyline?
February 15, 2017 at 8:34 PM · I don't see this as a big deal. People are generally Disney World people, or Disneyland people. As big a fan as a lot of people are of Disney parks, they actually don't go to both. They're simply too far away, and makes going quite an expensive trip that needs to be planned well in advance. Nobody says "Hey kids! Do you want to go to WDW or DLR this afternoon?".

February 16, 2017 at 1:19 AM · I think the concept of GOTG simply being a reason is false. The base ride is a simple tower drop, like many others right? I think most people would disagree with that, it's a whole lot more because of the extraordinary themeing. So if all of the themeing is changed its practically a whole new ride.

Memorial Day weekend is a pretty common time to open new attractions, do I wouldn't read too much into the timing.

February 16, 2017 at 1:34 AM · Think people have to rememeber Avatar is the biggest box office in movie of all time. This is an investment in James Cameron - who is well into production onto the sequels of the next Avatar movie (despite it being delayed). He also holds the record for having the second biggest every movie, namely Titanic. And also directing one of the greatest iconic films of all time in Terminator 1 & 2. To simply just shrug your shoulder at that is criminal.

Avatar will have a long life because of the sequels by Cameron.

As an attraction in the land - it will be massive. They could have just made up a land called toilet land with new attractions and people would flock to it. This is the first time under Iger there has been a new land with E list ticket attractions (not a cheap land space expansion).

February 16, 2017 at 5:57 AM · I agree that Avatar is a dead IP, but it is a wait and see. As for Guardians, shelf life of about 1 year. Then what?
February 16, 2017 at 8:56 AM · I realize it's an overlay of an already in place system, but that's a quick turnover for Disney! Considering they have to gut out the building, repaint, redecorate, add in new effects, and maybe a possible animatronic or two, I'm very impressed. Yes, it will stick out like a sore thumb, but I think it will all be fine once the Marvel land theme is finished. To be honest, I was never impressed with the DCA version of ToT anyway... the glory lies within the original at Hollywood Studios. This, if done right, can still be just as thrilling and fun. I openly welcome (most) changes, and I can't wait to try this out.
February 16, 2017 at 12:15 PM · It's utterly ludicrous to claim that Avatar "has grown stale as an IP". It's still the biggest hit of all time. And would you be willing to bet against billion + worldwide box office for the next Avatar movie? If so, I'll gladly take that action.

Speaking of a billion, that's what Disney spent on the new land in Florida. From everything I've seen, it's going to be very impressive, and mobbed by visitors from day one.

February 16, 2017 at 6:44 PM · I think this is great. I am glad to see Guardians come to DL. Can't wait to see what WDW does in return.
February 17, 2017 at 11:43 PM · As long as they leave Orlando's Tower alone...
February 20, 2017 at 5:59 PM · I think they are doing both on the same day so that nobody covers the cash grab they are trying to do in DCA.

I am not kidding, they are getting terrible comments back from guests for taking out the Tower of Terror.

February 21, 2017 at 10:52 AM · Robert you're making the mistaken assumption that Disney will hold the media event on the same day for both new attractions. The public opening day is irrelevant when it comes to press. All that matters is that Disney holds their press events on different days.

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