First look inside Disney's Guardians of the Galaxy Mission Breakout
April 25, 2017, 8:10 PM ·
ANAHEIM, Calif. — The Disneyland Resort this afternoon invited a small group of local reporters behind the construction walls of Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout! for a walking tour of Disney's first Marvel-themed ride in the United States.
As fans can see looking at the former Twilight Zone Tower Terror building in Disney California Adventure, the external transformation of the building is complete. And from walking through the building today, I can report that Disney has made no substantial changes to the building's construction on the inside. However, the decoration of the building will be completely different from its former theme, and most of those decorative changes are complete.
Guiding us through the building, Disney Imagineers described the story of the new attraction, which I've summarized in this quick video. (Now, we enter spoiler territory....)
Standing outside the The Collector's Fortress, as the tower is now known, Walt Disney Imagineering Creative Director Danny Handke talked about how the gaudy appearance of the tower, with its many pipes running up and down the surface, helps set up the story that fans will discover inside.
"The organic matter that they mine on Knowhere flows through these pipes, which power the giant generator that keeps every cage [in the collection] locked and secured," Handke said. "So if the generator ever happens to go out, then that would be utter chaos, so that's a very important story point that we wanted to start telling at the exterior of the building."
The newest occupants of five of those sealed cages are the Guardians of the Galaxy, whom Taneleer Tivan (a.k.a. The Collector) has captured and brought to the edge of Disney California Adventure to show off to the people of Terra (i.e. Earth).
"You might notice some alien language throughout the facility," Handke said. "We have some mystery elements here that you can decipher that will help give you clues to other reasons why The Collector is here."
The Collector is holding the Guardians inside the top of the tower, suspended over an abyss — an isolated location that visitors to the tower can see only by riding a special gantry up to the tower's highest level.
But before we see the Guardians in their cells, The Collector has invited us to take a VIP tour past some of his other collectibles. "There's a ton of Easter eggs in there, and I think what's fun about it," said Dave Bushore, Vice President for Franchise Creative and Marketing for Marvel Studios. The more than 2,200 props in the building will include items not just from the Guardians franchise, but from other Marvel franchises, including Agents of SHIELD and Doctor Strange, as well as from the theme park world, he said.
Marvel creative talent worked closely with Walt Disney Imagineering in developing the attraction — some elements of which may find their way back into the Marvel Cinematic Universe at some point, the team teased.
"One of the fun things for us was having the ability to partner James [Gunn, the director of the Guardians films] with the parks teams on this original Guardians attraction," Bushore said. "James was heavily involved in dialogue, in working in bringing the cast in, and having them work with the parks team."
The original cast members from the Guardians films, including Chris Pratt and Zoe Saldana, appear in original filmed sequences in the attraction, which will differ through multiple rides for visitors.
After meeting The Collector in his private office, visitors will move into a maintenance area of the Fortress to board the gantry that will take them up to see the Guardians. Instead of a slow journey up the tower, visitors will blast immediately to the top on Mission: Breakout!
And that's where it all goes terribly wrong. Rocket Raccoon has escaped and has a plan to blow up the Fortress' power generator. That will free the Guardians... but it also will plunge the tower into darkness and send our gantry plummeting back down to the ground.
As the emergency power tentatively kicks in, the ride will give you one of six different show segments, each with its own drop sequence and pop song accompaniment. We didn't get to see the sequences or go on the ride, but a prop board at the elevator entrance included an illustration of each of the six scenes, which were labeled: Escape, Abelisk Attack, Drak vs. Beast, Anti-gravity, Quill vs. Orloni, and Drones.
The pop songs that will play for the six different show scenes are:
“Born To Be Wild” by Steppenwolf
“I Want You Back” by The Jackson 5
“Burning Love” by Elvis Presley
“Free Ride” by The Edgar Winters Group
“Give Up The Funk” by Parliament
“Hit Me With Your Best Shot” by Pat Benatar
In addition to those songs, throughout the building, visitors will hear an original underscore for the ride composed by Tyler Bates, who wrote the score for the Guardians films, said John Dennis, Executive Creative Director for Music at WDI. The audio experience continues even after visitors exit the gantry.
"As you get off the ride, you're going to hear some of those greatest hits moments from the Guardians soundtrack, but you're also going to hear some of the creatures that have set loose, running through the building," Dennis said.
Once through the hall following the gantry ride, you will exit the building through The Collector's warehouse.
"Since everything is in utter chaos, his cast members are selling all his stuff, all his collectibles on the site," Handke said, providing the best attempt at a thematic explanation for a post-ride gift shop I've ever heard.
"They're getting rid of everything. Everything must go. It doesn't matter anymore. The Collector is preoccupied with everything on the loose, saying 'Where are all my collectibles?' so while all that's happening in the hall, we're selling off all his good stuff."
The moment of the Guardians' escape is a moment of liberation for the cast members staffing the attraction, as well, who will be working with forced smiles as they toil under the oppressive control of their boss, The Collector.
"We've never done an attraction where we're working for the villains," Handke said. "They want to be good guys, that's why they are on with Rocket's plan. They think it's going to be hilarious when all the creatures are on the loose and The Collector is freaking out."
"They're sticking it to The Man. They have to work for this guy, but they don't like it."