Review: First thing to do this summer? Rescue the Guardians

The multi-colored exterior of Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout attracts the attention of park-goers on June 8 at Disney's California Adventure. The new attraction opened May 27. Photo by John Michaelides / Clarion

With spring semester coming to an end, some students will take summer classes. Others will take a break from school to free up time for the things they put off during the semester.

No matter how students will spend their summer, the first thing they should do is head to Disney’s California Adventure and ride the brand new Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout, the attraction that replaced the beloved Twilight Zone Tower of Terror.

With the success of the 2014 Marvel film “Guardians of the Galaxy,” Disney made the decision in May 2016 to replace the 12-year-old Tower of Terror with Disneyland Resort’s first Marvel attraction.

 

The interior of the attraction is decorated as a museum with a high definition screen that introduces “The Collector,” played by actor Benicio Del Toro, and the Guardians of the Galaxy. Photo by John Michaelides / Clarion

 

 

Much to the disapproval of diehard Tower fans, Disney began the process in September 2016 with the removal of the famous letters on the attraction. Then came the scaffolding, a huge eyesore inside the park and on Harbor Boulevard.

The former brown tower was painted various colors, from red to blue to gold, causing more Tower fans to refuse to give Guardians a chance.

Then in early May, the lights of the attraction at night showed an eye-catching green, red and yellow projection that finally gave the new tower life.

 

The exterior of Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout at night features green, red and yellow lights and stands out in the park. Photo by John Michaelides / Clarion

 

 

“Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2” hit theaters May 5 and once again, Disney and Marvel had another successful movie to add to the archives.

The two movies brought together various groups of people: diehard comic book fans who knew about the Guardians of the Galaxy prior to 2014, the new fans who fell in love with the characters of the two movies and Disney fanatics who love Disney, Pixar, Star Wars and Marvel.

It was great to see all these groups of people together May 27 for the grand opening of Mission Breakout.

Lines formed at 5:30 a.m., two and a half hours before California Adventure opened, to be a part of the first groups to ride the attraction.

Park-goers headed into “The Collector” Taneleer Tivan’s fortress at 8 a.m. and immediately saw the differences from the Hollywood Tower Hotel theme.

At the entrance stands a golden statue of actor Benicio Del Toro, who plays “The Collector,” and entering the fortress the queue features ancient artifacts from Marvel movies, Easter eggs and of course, the comedy of the trapped Guardians.

 

A golden statue of “The Collector” Taneleer Tivan, played by actor Benicio Del Toro, appears outside the entrance of Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout. Photo by John Michaelides / Clarion

 

 

Riders are treated to a life-like animatronic of Rocket Raccoon, who has escaped and in need of riders’ help to rescue the other Guardians from “The Collector” before heading into the gantry lift, formerly the broken elevator of Tower of Terror.

Riders will want to give up the funk as Rocket gets a hold of Guardian leader Star-Lord’s trademark Walkman, giving riders six different possible songs played and six different free-fall drop sequences on the ride.

 

A life-like animatronic of Rocket Raccoon explains to riders his plan to free the rest of the Guardians of the Galaxy from Tivan’s fortress. Photo by John Michaelides / Clarion

 

 

“Give up the Funk” by Parliament and “I Want You Back” by The Jackson 5 are the two songs with the most intense, fun drop sequences.

The ride does a great job of capturing all the reasons people love the “Guardians” movies so much and also improves the ride mechanics from the Tower of Terror days.

With more drops, a funny sequence where Rocket gives a shout out to Disneyland and catchy songs our parents would know, Disney took the magic of Tower of Terror to a higher level.

After wait times exceeded five hours the first two days, two weeks later the wait times have gone down to a reasonable 50 minutes to three hours on busy days such as Fridays.

 

The standby entrance quotes a 150-minute wait time at 9 p.m. June 8. After wait times exceeded five hours the first two days, the wait times have gone down to a reasonable 50 minutes to three hours on busy days such as Fridays. Photo by John Michaelides / Clarion

 

So on the list of new things to do this summer, drop in on a familiar tower with new life.

Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout is a perfect six infinity stones out of six.

 

Cosmo the Spacedog from the Marvel Universe is one of several things “The Collector” collected for his fortress. Photo by John Michaelides / Clarion

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About

John Michaelides is the editor-in-chief of the Citrus College Clarion. He is a communications major who hopes to transfer to Cal State Fullerton in 2018. John loves Disneyland, the Lakers and Rams and wants to work for Disney in the future.


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