Fans of Tower of Terror make sad faces for its last day at Disney California Adventure

Posted Tuesday, January 3, 2017 12:14 PM | Contributed by Jeff

It was the last chance to drop for the Tower of Terror before it disappeared forever into the Twilight Zone of yesterland and many fans dropped in at Disney California Adventure on Monday to take a final ride. The ride is getting a makeover called “Guardians of the Galaxy - Mission Breakout!” It will feature characters from the Marvel movie series and a whole new look.

Read more and see video from The Orange County Register.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017 1:22 PM

I understand the why, still can't say I'm excited by the change.

I'll wait until the impending economic downturn and pick up a "last checkout" key on Ebay. hahaha

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Tuesday, January 3, 2017 1:26 PM
Vater's avatar

I'm not invested in the ride one way or the other, but I still don't get the love for Guardians. I saw the full theatrical trailer for the sequel last week and it still does nothing for me. The fact that all my Facebook friends went out of their minds when they first saw Baby Groot doesn't help.

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Tuesday, January 3, 2017 1:30 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

Same.


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Tuesday, January 3, 2017 2:01 PM
eightdotthree's avatar

Dug the movie but don't understand this change. Disney doesn't make much sense to me sometimes. The update belongs more in Hollywood Studios.

Last edited by eightdotthree, Tuesday, January 3, 2017 2:02 PM
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Tuesday, January 3, 2017 2:32 PM

Let's face it, there's not much Disney can do to TOT that will compete with that Dangle From a Rope ride over at Knott's.

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Tuesday, January 3, 2017 7:34 PM
slithernoggin's avatar

I saw the movie, it was okay. Not great, not awful, pleasant enough way to pass a couple of hours with the family without having to actually talk to them :-)

Now, I'm old, I prefer the original Guardians from the 70s, with Martinex and Charlie-27.


Why is it that when men go to the bathroom, they stand up and take aim instead of sitting down and taking five?-- Linda Ellerbee

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Tuesday, January 3, 2017 8:25 PM
LostKause's avatar

What are you guys talking about? Guardians of the Galaxy is awesome! Comedy, action, science fiction and super heroes, a great soundtrack; it was just plain cool.

However, I have to say that I do not understand how Guardians of the Galaxy is a better franchise for Tower of Terror than Twilight Zone is. That is one of the greatest, and most effective themes and stories of any ride that has ever been made, in my opinion. I think it is a foolish mistake to change this ride.


-Travis [url=http://www.travsaun.wordpress.com]www.travsaun.wordpress.com[/url] [url=http://www.youtube.com/travsaun/videos]www.youtube.com/travsaun/videos[/url]
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Tuesday, January 3, 2017 9:06 PM
slithernoggin's avatar

Rogue One was cool. Zachary Quinto as Spock was cooler. Guardians was okay :-)

I won't argue with you about the Twilight Zone themeing. The original in Florida is breathtaking in the detail and imagination involved. It's an Imageering masterpiece.

But the Tokyo version got its own backstory since Twilght Zone was unfamiliar to most guests there. Guardians may not be a better franchise, but because of the (unexpected) success of the movie, it might be a more promotable franchise.


Why is it that when men go to the bathroom, they stand up and take aim instead of sitting down and taking five?-- Linda Ellerbee

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Tuesday, January 3, 2017 9:33 PM
Tommytheduck's avatar

You spelled "Profitable" wrong.

I think the unfortunate reality is that Twilight Zone is just an outdated source material anymore. "Kids these days" just aren't familiar with the franchise, and why should they be? When was the last time a new TZ show was made? Where can you watch the show? (Netflix, I know, but still.)

GotG, while I'm not a big fan myself, is a very popular franchise inside of an even more popular franchise.

That being said, I struggle to see how an out of control elevator has anything to do with the plot of the GotG movies. I'm guessing it's going to be a stretch, but a lot of amusement rides based on movies/TV shows usually are.

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Tuesday, January 3, 2017 9:48 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

Tommytheduck said:

"Kids these days" just aren't familiar with the franchise, and why should they be? When was the last time a new TZ show was made? Where can you watch the show?

1. You'd be surprised. Because:

2. 2002/2003, but there is currently supposedly a new version in the works. There was also the late 80's version.

3. Funny timing because Syfy just finished their annual New Year's Twilight Zone marathon. They've been doing it for years now. It's sort of a thing. They still air episodes of Twilight Zone daily. MeTV also airs episodes.

With that covered, we just had this conversation not long ago, so I'll just copy and paste what I said there:

"But the IP isn't integral to the story. It's a pretty simple and timeless story...and that's why it so great. You could use any intro to create the backstory and that ride holds up."

And I stand by that. Keep that story exactly the same (creepy elevator incident in spooky old hotel) and remove all references to Twilight Zone and you still have essentially the same ride...and an arguably more interesting and entertaining one than GotG will likely tell.


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Wednesday, January 4, 2017 7:20 PM
Rick_UK's avatar

I didn't see the film, I'm not really down with that kind of thing.

It feels like an odd choice - but, as much as love Tower of Terror, I guess it's cool to have something different to ride, unique - at least, for now.

Whatever they do to it, I'm not sure it can come close to the DisneySea ToT.


Nothing to see here. Move along.

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Thursday, January 5, 2017 8:36 AM

Lord Gonchar said:

3. Funny timing because Syfy just finished their annual New Year's Twilight Zone marathon. They've been doing it for years now. It's sort of a thing. They still air episodes of Twilight Zone daily. MeTV also airs episodes.

Too bad Kids These Days don't actually watch broadcast/cablecast TV. Neither of mine ever turn on the TV in preference to just watching random video and/or Netflix binging w/their laptops. I even tried to get them to watch them with me on Netflix (which has the original TZ episodes, or at least did at one time.) No dice.

Your broader point holds, though. The IP of this thing really doesn't matter, because it's a great gag no matter what.

Last edited by Brian Noble, Thursday, January 5, 2017 8:37 AM
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Thursday, January 5, 2017 12:36 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

Granted, they'd have to make the effort to find them, but...

Also, even if they don't enjoy/watch them, that still doesn't equate to unfamiliarity. Got sucked into the marathon a few years back. Daughter got into a few episodes at the time, son hated it. But he still knows what it is now...at least passingly. Guy introduces creepy/ironic story often with a moral and/or twist at the end.

If anything, it'd likely be more of an issue that kids don't like it than that they don't know it.

"Ugh. Twilight Zone? That ride is probably stupid."

On a completely different tangent, I wonder how often that familiarity comes in the opposite direction. A bajillion people visit Disney. How many kids first exposure to TZ is at the parks and then they find the show after?

EDIT - the video link embedded, but it's a playlist of 200 epsidoes from all eras.

Last edited by Lord Gonchar, Thursday, January 5, 2017 12:38 PM
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Thursday, January 5, 2017 1:32 PM
matt.'s avatar

Is there a world-wide popular IP coaster nerds won't crap on?

This is a no-brainer. Marvel is massively popular and basically an excuse for Disney to print money. TZ is old and irrelevant to the vast majority of young people and their parents who control spending. This will goose attendance and merch spending and Disney won't have to spend $100 million+ on new hardware to do it. I'd imagine this was a reallllllllly easy decision to make.

Park goers will love it, stockholders will love it, coaster / Disney nerds will gnash their teeth and bitch until the next retheme gets announced and they forget about this one.

God forbid we consider this will actually improve a ride - regardless of your stance on the IP - that's always been considered a sad shadow of the superior Florida version.

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Thursday, January 5, 2017 2:37 PM
Vater's avatar

matt. said:

Is there a world-wide popular IP coaster nerds won't crap on?

Ha! Does that question really even need to be asked?

You're probably right, the Guardians retheme will be a success for Disney. But box office results and IP popularity aside, my opinion is based on nothing but my opinion. As the son of a Marvel illustrator, some might think it may not be possible to be unbiased, but I would disagree because I've never been a comic book fan by anyone's definition (the only comic book I read with any consistency in my youth was Groo The Wanderer, which, if you aren't familiar with it, doesn't really qualify as a typical comic book). In general, I like the Marvel movies. There have only been a couple that I found were disappointing.

Guardians was at best entertaining, and at worst a snoozefest with some barely likable surface-level characters that was probably 20 minutes too long.

Yeah, I know, it's full of action. So was Mad-Max, and you may remember our conversation where I shared my thoughts on how tons of action can still be a complete bore.

And yeah (again), I know my opinion is in the minority, based on its box office success and upcoming sequel. It's still a lame theme. I see it as analogous to (though maybe slightly better than) Hurler and the Wayne's World sections at the former Paramount parks: I knew going in that WW's popularity would be short-lived. Regardless of how many more sequels there may be, I don't foresee Guardians becoming classic Marvel IP with the staying power of Spider-Man, Hulk, Captain America, Iron Man, etc.

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Thursday, January 5, 2017 2:58 PM

And I maintain that TZToT could stand alone as a haunted hotel without any reference whatsoever. In fact, I never hear anyone refer to the ride as Twilight Zone, but merely Tower of Terror.

So the youngsters don't know it. Oh well, it's sure as shootin that they like thrills and drop towers. And they get on it. Is the pre-show a snooze? Ok, but what pre-show isn't? I could live the rest of my life not ever seeing old assed Aerosmith fake their way through a studio session again. But would I ride the ride to my heart's content? Yes.

Matt. makes a good point about the boost from merch and such, and the Marvel fans would like rides and attractions, so there's good reasons to feature the "new" line of currently popular characters and stories somewhere.
As with many (all) things Disney, fans are shocked, (distraught, really), that an iconic attraction would be retired. Can't you just imagine that the exec in charge of this had to hold his breath, put his hand over his heart, and say a prayer before pushing the green light button?
Not that it isn't a good idea, ....

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Thursday, January 5, 2017 3:10 PM
matt.'s avatar

There's no analogy to Wayne's World. Using worldwide box office take as a proxy measure for popularity, there's no comparison between the two properties with GotG as a standalone property*. But GotG is also part of a shared cinematic (and merchandising, and television, and streaming) universe with 14+ films with two to three more coming out every year, all under the Marvel "brand" which at this point is only 2nd to Star Wars in terms of money-making potential. That sort of thing did not exist in the 90s. Nothing close to it.

I'm not at all an advocate for GotG or even the current Marvel movies in general - I think they're mostly fun, entertaining diversions that tend to be pretty same-y, bland, and safe - but this move from Disney isn't for me. It's for the people who are going to drop a $100+ on a DCA ticket who might have been less likely to otherwise. And I can assure you they have the data-driven market research to back it all up.

*The data says plenty - the movie had an "A" Cinemascore from audiences, a $773 million worldwide box office, and a 91% score on Rotten Tomatoes. Movie goers loved GotG by all metrics I can think of.

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Thursday, January 5, 2017 3:41 PM
Vater's avatar

RCMAC said:

And I maintain that TZToT could stand alone as a haunted hotel without any reference whatsoever. In fact, I never hear anyone refer to the ride as Twilight Zone, but merely Tower of Terror.

Yeah, Gonch has maintained that stance and I agree. I probably should have mentioned something in my last post, but full disclosure, I really couldn't care less whether a ride located on the opposite coast from me that I've never ridden is themed after Twilight Zone, Guardians of the Galaxy, or nothing at all. But given the choice, no theme at all is preferable, Twilight Zone is fine considering your and Gonch's points that it's completely irrelevant to the experience, and Guardians is lame.

And matt. - I agree on almost* all counts. As I said--

You're probably right, the Guardians retheme will be a success for Disney. But box office results and IP popularity aside, my opinion is based on nothing but my opinion.

I acknowledge that I've committed the cardinal CoasterBuzz sin of opining on a subject based on my emotions (or, arguably, lack thereof), in this particular case toward a film and brand. And again, Tower of Terror is a ride I haven't even experienced.

*Wayne's World has an A- Cinemascore, an 85% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and made $183 million worldwide (in 1992 dollars). So what? My analogy stands. It was just to state my prediction that the GotG IP will have similar longevity to Wayne's World. Time will tell if I'm right or wrong.

For the record, my dad liked Guardians.

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Thursday, January 5, 2017 3:42 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

Yeah, I'm not sure anyone is arguing that it's a bad business move. You're exactly right, Matt - it's a license to print money. But, I think I'm allowed to express the curmudgeonly opinion that I don't get it. We all know GotG is a pile of ****. But it's a pile of **** that makes money. People like ****...as evidenced by the data you've provided.

Also interesting that this isn't happening in Orlando (yet, at least) - so there must be some concern for tradition or storytelling or something. Why wouldn't you put the big moneygrab in the big money park?

But what do I know? This is just the latest example of my realizing not only did I never hit the same pop culture touchstones as most, but that I feel even more detached as I get older. The destination parks have done nothing in years to interest me as far as IPs go - in fact, they seem to be trying to alienate me personally:

Harry Potter? Don't care. GotG? Crap. Star Wars? Yawn. Transformers? Didn't even dig them as a kid. Avatar? No thank you.

But yeah, the masses enjoy GotG. No question there. Twilight Zone as an IP isn't even in the same league. Then again, TZ isn't why people like ToT.

I can safely say I've never overheard anyone exclaim, "Oh man! Did you see Rod Sterling in there? HE WAS TALKING TO US!!!!" anywhere near Tower Of Terror. (or anywhere away from it either)

But people will be excited to see the rat and the tree and the chubby dude from Parks & Rec.

Last edited by Lord Gonchar, Thursday, January 5, 2017 3:44 PM
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