Guardians of the Galaxy Breakout at Disney California Adventure
Many fans of Tower of Terror at Disney California Adventure were uber upset when the final elevator dropped on January 3, 2017. Renovations had already begun before the ride closed for good, and fans took to social media to express their apprehensive feelings with a Marvel ride taking over their beloved Tower. They didn’t understand how it could possibly own up to how well the tower had been loved over the years (since 2004). Well, on May 27, 2017, the Tower plummeted into the Twilight Zone as it had been recreated into the Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout! The bones of T.O.T. are still there but the facelift it has been given is definitely NOT a botched one. Disney did it well and they did it right.
The Exterior Overlay
Now this is one thing that guests are either one way or the complete opposite about. In my opinion, it’s a little gaudy and tacky and sticks out like a sore but fancy manicured thumb. This is one of those “Don’t judge a book by it’s cover” situations. At first, I absolutely hated what they were doing to my favorite ride at DCA (being the Tower of Terror) with all the shininess and colors. I am still trying to get use to it and I am sure once the surrounding area turns into Marvel Land in the far future it will fit in place better, but I am still not 100% on board with it YET. I just can’t seem to understand why the outside looks so tacky, but that’s just my opinion.
Once you reach the doors and step inside, you will find displays of special artifacts that Tivan the “Collector” has captured including Cosmo the dog, Figment, Blasters and so much more! Make sure you take your time walking through the interior queue as it is goes by quickly so pay attention! There is so much to see and artifacts will be switched up periodically. The Guardians of the Galaxy also make an appearance on the big screen along with a special Easter egg known as Stan Lee! If you want to take a look around and take pictures, ask the Cast Members as I’m sure they’ll allow you to take a longer look around.
Oh I forgot to mention: Don’t wear gloves! Why? Because you will need your hands for clearance to get into the Collectors Office! Once inside his office (there are two different ones – each one has different collections, so again, take your time to look it over), you will see a short video explaining your tour of Tivan’s collection but then low and behold, Rocket Racoon comes in to tell you HIS plan and how he needs your help to break out the Guardians of the Galaxy. Pay close attention to his video, so you know what is going to happen, but you also need to keep your eye on where he goes at the end of his commentary. It’s a special thing he does that ties in with the ride – so DON’T miss it! Sometimes, the Cast Member in Tivan’s Office will remind Rocket not to forget to do something and that is the cue, so pay attention. Oh and might I add, the Rocket Raccoon animatronic is very well done!
After you exit the office, you will walk through the exact queue that you would’ve if you were headed to the elevators for the Tower of Terror, however there are a few changes with paint and decor of course. Once you get closer to your gantry, look up! You will see a very scary but familiar creature who was captured from the Disney vault. It is one of my favorite pieces of his collection and very hard to miss but if you don’t look up, you won’t see what I’m talking about. It is a very special addition. If you are on the top floor, just look straight across before meeting with the next Cast Member.
Now it’s time to line up on your number for your gantry lift. Everything in this area looks very, very similar to how the Tower looked with minor detail changes.
The Ride: SPOILER!
The ride itself is the exact same “elevator” (called a gantry lift on this ride) so the seating is the same. Once your gantry lift doors close, you will see a shadow form of Rocket, aka “Trash Panda,” appear as he unplugs the cords and plugs the cord into Star Lord’s beloved cassette player. Once that happens, you will hear 1 of 6 famous songs begin. The music plays the entire ride, so it really helps with the excitement level as there is never a dull moment. As your gantry lift shoots straight up and slightly stops, the door will open and you will see the Guardian’s break out of their “cages” so to speak. Once that happens, your gantry lift has a mind of it’s own as it will either go up or down and you have NO idea when or how intense it will be! Eventually it stops (while continuing to shake, so basically it never actually stops) at one floor where the door opens up once again and you will see a wall to wall screen with different video scenarios playing of the Guardian’s breaking free fighting off the bad guys, or Groot dancing alongside the others. You will see this same room about 2-3 times during your adventure as you continue watching the story unfold. At one point, your gantry will reach the very top, where the doors open to the exterior and you can see Disneyland, but be sure to smile at this point as that is when your photo is taken! It will not open a second time, so the only time it opens is your cue to smile or cry, your choice.
At some point your ride will reach the wall to wall screen room once again and the Guardians will thank you for helping to set them free but then Rocket will get a discerning look on his face with an “Uh Oh!” and your ride will continue. It eventually comes to a stop, as all good things must. As you exit your gantry, continue to pay attention to your surroundings and changes they’ve made. It’s not much, but there is a little bit more. And be sure to take a look at your ride photos before heading into the “Marvel-ized” store.
I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this updated “Tower of Terror” and wondering why they didn’t just call it “Guardians of the Galaxy: Tower of Excitement and Thrills!” ??? The 6 randomized ride experiences include one of 6 songs including:
- “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” by Pat Benatar (1980)
- “Give Up The Funk” by Parliament (1975)
- “Born To Be Wild” by Steppenwolf (1968)
- “I Want You Back” by The Jackson 5 (1969)
- “Free Ride” by The Edgar Winter Group (1973)
- “Burning Love” by Elvis Presley (1972)
I was fortunate to have ridden this ride 7 times during the Galactic Premiere Party on May 26, 2017 and one other time for a total of 8 times and have experienced at least 4 maybe 5 (I can’t remember the first song) of the 6 song sequences. In my opinion, “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” is the most intense once so far. I could totally be wrong with my feelings that each song has its own sequence that remains the same each time, rather than being completely randomized each song but I will eventually be able to tell once I’ve ridden it 50 more times.
But going back to my thoughts on this updated ride, it absolutely exceeded my expectations! Tower of Terror was my favorite ride so I didn’t know how to feel but knew it would probably be good, I just didn’t expect it to be as good as it was and is. One main difference is Tower was very dark, quiet and repetitive with it’s one ride sequence and Breakout is quite opposite with it’s constant, randomized movement and music playing the entire ride which makes it an exciting thrill ride. I really do like it and actually a lot better than Tower. However, because there is so much going on, if you get motion sickness easily, you might want to pop in a Dramamine! It rattled my head and after my 4th ride in a row, I started getting a headache and a little nauseous so I took a little break before my last few rides in May 26, 2017.5