ANAHEIM — Workers are still sawing, hammering and painting. But in one month Disney’s building that once housed the Tower of Terror will be open again, as “Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: Breakout!”
Since the announcement of the new attraction last year, Disney Imagineers have been working on the new version of the ride at Disney California Adventure that will still use the free-falling elevator concept of the previous ride.
The old attraction closed in January, with crews quickly dismantling elements of the old ride, and started installing the new one – including a new look for the exterior for the building based on the Disney/Marvel “Guardians of the Galaxy” movies.
“It embodies the spirit of ‘The Collector,’ a villain in the movie. It’s weird, it’s bold, grandiose and it’s arrogant, like the character,” said Danny Handke, creative director for the project from Walt Disney Imagineering.
The premise is that a villain, known as “The Collector – Taneleer Tivan” from the movies, has captured the five Guardians, and has put them on display, along with many other creatures inside his “fortress” here on Earth. He is so proud of the collection that he has opened his fortress up for tours.
However, while on their tour, visitors find out that Rocket, the raccoon, escapes and enlists their aid in helping his fellow Guardians escape – and that’s where and when the free falling elevator portion of the original Tower of Terror ride takes place, with a few differences.
Disney Imagineers worked with producers at Marvel to develop the attraction, including James Gunn, the director of the first film and the soon-to-be-released sequel. Many of the stars of the films also make an appearance in the attraction.
Another premise is that the cast members who operate the attraction will be playing a role as if they are employees of “Tivan.”
“Our cast members will appear to be excited when visitors first enter, but they’re walking on egg shells because they know they’re being watched by ‘The Collector,’” said Thomas Tasarez, operations manager for the Disneyland Resort.
He added that they cast members will hint that they really want to help the Guardians and the visitors escape.
There are six versions of the ride portion of the attraction, with a computer randomly picking which version riders will see, hear and (when they zoom up and free fall down) feel.
“We are pushing the ride system and what it can do. Instead of a slower start, we are starting with a high-impact zoom to the top,” said Estefania Harbuck,…