Guardians of the Galaxy theme to replace Twilight Zone Tower of Terror at Disney California Adventure

Posted Saturday, July 23, 2016 10:48 PM | Contributed by Jeff

From the blog post:

The new attraction will anchor a broader universe of Super Heroes that will grow over time at Disney California Adventure park. This exciting new presence will transform the structure currently housing The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror™ (scheduled to close in early 2017) into an epic new adventure, enhancing the breathtaking free fall sensation with all-new visual and audio effects to create a variety of ride experiences. Guests will experience multiple random, unique ride profiles in which the rise and fall of the gantry lift will rock to the beat of music inspired by the film’s popular soundtrack.

Read more from Disney Parks Blog.

Sunday, July 24, 2016 6:01 PM
Jeff's avatar

They aren't messing with the WDW ride, so it's easy enough for me to disregard and make arguments for changing the other one. :)


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Music: The Modern Gen-X - Video

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Monday, July 25, 2016 8:00 AM
slithernoggin's avatar

I've been checking my Disney fanboy sites.

Mouseplanet, while expressing concern that the revamped ride will be visually out of place when seen from Buena Vista Street, supports the change. Noting that the original, and "vastly superior" Florida ride isn't being changed, they go on to say "If you've been on both rides, you know what I'm saying. Walt Disney World got the 5th Dimension, and Disneyland got the shaft," which made me laugh.


Life is something that happens when you can't get to sleep.
--Fran Lebowitz

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Tuesday, July 26, 2016 10:49 AM

I agree, even if you have never seen the "Twilight Zone", the Tower of Terror (in Florida at least) is such a perfect experience. You don't have to know anything about the TV show to fully appreciate the experience and the storyline.

Are people (especially Americans) so limited in scope that everything has to be themed after a current movie/TV show, superhero etc? The whole experience of being taken to another time and place (like the Tower of Terror) is always much better for me than some cheesy cartoony themed attraction. Frontierland is my favorite part of the Magic Kingdom because its another time and place......

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Tuesday, July 26, 2016 10:56 AM
Jeff's avatar

No one says anything has to be associated with any specific IP, but there's an argument to be made that something can be more marketable with it. I think that's a different issue than the artistry of an attraction.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Music: The Modern Gen-X - Video

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Tuesday, July 26, 2016 11:14 AM
matt.'s avatar

Vater said:

some of them need to be cut shorter and not drag as much. For example, I watched Max Max: Fury Road last night and man was it a challenge to keep engaged.

Is this sarcasm? Fury Road is one of the most insanely fast paced movies I've seen in my life. It's like a 2 hour action scene.

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Tuesday, July 26, 2016 12:52 PM
Vater's avatar

You're right, it was 2 hours of action. After a while, action with zero substance gets old. Probably why I don't really get into the F&F stuff...and I'm big into cars and racing.

Or maybe I just don't "get" the whole Mad Max thing.

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Tuesday, July 26, 2016 3:38 PM
matt.'s avatar

I think that might be it. Because it's basically been canonized as one of the greatest recent action movies, on it's way to being on the all time great list. Not that dissenting opinions aren't valid, or anything. Shrug. But using Fury Road as an example of a movie that "drags" just seems diametrically opposite to what is on screen, regardless of substance.

Last edited by matt., Tuesday, July 26, 2016 3:40 PM
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Tuesday, July 26, 2016 5:22 PM
Vater's avatar

I mean just that, though--it dragged. I was bored, even with all the "exciting" stuff happening on the screen in front of me. Yes, the action actually got boring, perhaps because it took a good 30 minutes to figure out what the hell was going on, coupled with the fact that I didn't give two craps about the characters or the story. And my opinion of the substance (or lack thereof) aside, it really could've benefited from being edited down to 90 minutes or so.

The vehicles were cool, though.

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Tuesday, July 26, 2016 9:13 PM
bjames's avatar

I think the redesigned version of the tower looks awesome! And everyone loves Guardians of the Galaxy, it's an obvious choice. Come to think of it, I'm not even sure what the Hollywood Terror drop ride is supposed to even be a reference to...


"The term is 'amusement park.' An old Earth name for a place where people could go to see and do all sorts of fascinating things." -Spock, Stardate 3025

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Tuesday, July 26, 2016 10:36 PM
slithernoggin's avatar

While Twilight Zone may not be a well-known property these days, it lent itself extremely well to the Florida attraction. Over in Tokyo, DisneySea's Tower of Terror got an original storyline as Twilight Zone was thought to have no resonance in Japan (at least in the US, old fogies like me remember the show).

Now, I've only ridden the Florida TOT, but considering just the ride, it's a great, great ride, and will be a great ride no matter what theme it has.


Life is something that happens when you can't get to sleep.
--Fran Lebowitz

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Wednesday, July 27, 2016 1:45 AM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

The very fact that not a single person in this thread has referred to the ride by it's actual name - "The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror" and simply call it "Tower of Terror" shows how little the IP means to the experience.

That's exactly why it's timeless...the story, the vibe, the experience. It has almost nothing to do with the tie-in.

You're not going to match that with a cartoon raccoon and mumbling tree. Ugh.


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Wednesday, July 27, 2016 7:34 AM

How about a cartoon sponge and a bumbling starfish?

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Wednesday, July 27, 2016 9:32 AM
slithernoggin's avatar

Couldn't get back to sleep so I amused myself earlier poking around the MiceChat discussion of this.

They don't like it, not one bit.

Several people are angry that Disney no longer cares about the customer, only the money (which begs the question of where all that money is coming from....). Others point to a social media post somewhere that has gotten over 1,000! dislikes as proof that not only fans but the casual guest detest the change.

There was a detour regarding the audacity of Joe Rohde (Imagineering Portfolio Creative Executive) wearing an earring: weird or eccentric?

And one person is, by golly, going to show Disney by voting with his wallet and only visiting Asian Disney parks.


Life is something that happens when you can't get to sleep.
--Fran Lebowitz

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Wednesday, July 27, 2016 9:46 AM
Jeff's avatar

Well, I imagine John Q. Rideop could ask why Rohde gets to wear dozens of earrings when he can't wear even one. That dude has been around a long time.

I never understood these strange arguments about caring for the customer or about money, and in this case, if they only cared about the money, why would they do something that (in the angry hater's mind) isn't for the customer?


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Music: The Modern Gen-X - Video

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Wednesday, July 27, 2016 11:20 AM
sirloindude's avatar

While I feel like the Twilight Zone theme was nothing short of brilliant for these attractions and needed to be left alone, my criticism is a bit more targeted toward the ride, with its new theme, just not really fitting in with that section of the park, or even the park in general.

The Twilight Zone theme worked brilliantly. In all parks that have a Twilight Zone-themed Tower of Terror, the ride is located in a Hollywood section where it can really serve to imitate a decrepit golden age hotel. That's the beauty of the way Walt Disney had designed his parks, and it was a legacy that worked. Parks had cohesive themes and the areas within each park had their own cohesive themes as well. Everything in one section tied together and every section fit in to the overall concept. Every part of every themed land, including attractions, restaurants, the general decor, etc. is supposed to transport you to that world and do so in a way that flows. Ultimately, you're not supposed to be at an amusement park going on rides, but rather in another world entirely experiencing various aspects of it.

When it comes to this, absent an almost complete redesign of the land around the attraction, it's going to clash. You can't convince me I'm in the world of Guardians of the Galaxy when two seconds ago I was walking around the streets of Hollywood in the 1920s. There's no transition. There's just this wacky-looking space tower thing right smack in the middle of Hollywood. It's almost Six Flags-esque in execution. I remember Two Face being in the Southwest Territory at Six Flags America. Superman Ultimate Flight resides in the Boardwalk area of Six Flags Great Adventure. Those are just two of many examples. With Six Flags, it became all about throwing IPs in everywhere with no regard for maintaining themes or cohesive stories. Stuff just got thrown everywhere and the only theme work that justified naming a particular area whatever it got named were occasional decorative choices.

Simply put, this stands out as a blatant attempt to capitalize on the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise (I didn't think it was even that interesting of a movie, but whatever) with little regard for the execution of the idea. I just feel like even if the ride is interesting, it damages the illusion of the whole area around it. I feel like DCA already has some pretty loose tie-ins, but this one, especially given the magnitude of the attraction, is really just an attempt to capitalize on a movie with little regard for the type of vision a Disney park is supposed to have.

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Wednesday, July 27, 2016 11:22 AM
Jeff's avatar

But they did say they were going to populate the area with super hero stuff. I get that it won't be all there on day one, but still.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Music: The Modern Gen-X - Video

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Wednesday, July 27, 2016 11:44 AM
slithernoggin's avatar

In part, I agree with Sirloindude, which is why I've long since split hairs and refer to Six Flags parks as amusement parks, not theme parks. Take my hometown park, Six Flags Great America. You can stretch the point that Gotham City is on the east coast and Yankee Harbor celebrated east coast towns, so Batman The Ride in Yankee Harbor make some sense. It used to be a theme park; now it's just a collection of rides and attractions.

But Superman and Batman rides in Orleans Place (who knew the Gotham City transit system extended to New Orleans?) -- no.

That said, this GOTG remake of TOT is the first step in the creation of a Marvel-themed area at DCA. Disney should take advantage of the Marvel properties.


Life is something that happens when you can't get to sleep.
--Fran Lebowitz

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Wednesday, July 27, 2016 12:27 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

Shades said:

How about a cartoon sponge and a bumbling starfish?

For ToT? Never.


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Wednesday, July 27, 2016 12:33 PM

No - the mouse would never allow it. I was referencing some of the past discussion that there has been about what is better for a park - Spongebob or Peanuts.

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Wednesday, July 27, 2016 1:00 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

I know you were. I gave you the vote up for the jab.


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