Whether you like it or not, Marvel is coming to Disney parks. Starting Memorial Day Weekend (May 27th to be exact), Summer of Heroes is starting at Disney’s California Adventure, with the marquee attraction of Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout!
The attraction will be the anchor of the eventual “Marvel Land,” that will come into fruition as the Marvel Cinematic Universe progresses. After much controversy, Mission Breakout has taken over the fan favorite, Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. The drop ride is located in the “Hollywood Land” portion of the park, and is set to have six distinct ride experiences (similar to Star Tours, the Adventure Continues), all designed by famed Imagineer Joe Rhode, with heavy input from the film’s director James Gunn. Starring the actual cast from the films, the attraction will be set to one of these six different, classic rock songs:
- Born to Be Wild – Steppenwolf
- I Want You Back – Jackson 5
- Hit Me With Your Best Shot – Pat Benatar
- We Want the Funk – Parliament
- Burnin’ Love – Elvis Presley
- Free Ride – Edgar Winter
The basic plot for the ride is that, Tivian (or the Collector), has a traveling museum, much like the one seen in Guardians of the Galaxy; Volume One. The exhibit roams the galaxy, stopping off at prime locations to be enjoyed by whoever has the money to enter. Guests will walk through an elaborate que, being able to see the exotic creatures and objects that The Collector has captured; the only catch, is that the main attraction is the Guardians! Somehow, Tivian has trapped the team inside, but Rocket Raccoon has escaped. He needs your help to breakout the rest of the crew, so they can continue to, well, guard the galaxy. For more detail on the story of the ride, see the comic Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout! #1, or my previous article about how this whole story fits into the MCU.
Something to be noted is the attraction’s emphasis on exterior storytelling. Even though Mission Breakout sticks out like a sore thumb; isolated it looks incredible. This interactive totem pole was just added to the que, and helps set the tone of the exotic planet guests are meant to be on.
Along the side of the structure is this blast hole, that has periodic sparks radiating off of it. The blemish is actually how Rocket breaks into the museum, and will likely be explained in the early moments of the attraction.
At night, it seems like the structure will feature its own little light show, as well. The open dome on the top right has sparks coming out of it, to help enforce the idea that The Collector’s museum is surging with power.
Another aspect of the ride that is especially exciting, is that according to concept art, the que will feature animatronics. This hopefully will result in a stunning, walk through section, that will feature several easter eggs for the MCU as a whole.
If you want to experience this before the actual release date, you’re in luck! On May 26th, there is a special ticketed event (Mission Breakout! Galactic Premier Party), that will allow guests to ride the new attraction as many times as they want, after park hours. Along with the ride, there will be “Heroic Encounters” from Black Widow, Hawkeye, Spider-Man, and Captain America for photo ops, as well as a panel discussion from the people who helped design the ride. Cosplay is encouraged, as “Snap-Worthy Backdrops” will be scattered around the park for the night only. Also, the Animation Academy will be transformed into the “Super Hero Comic Academy” where you can learn how to draw each and every one of the Guardians.
Summer of Heroes will be happening all summer, and is meant to add weight to the attraction’s release, as well as help ease the transition from Hollywood Land, into the eventual Marvel Land.
There will be meet and greets with the likes of Captain America, Spider-Man, Star-Lord, Gamora, and Groot. Periodically, Hawkeye and Black Widow will patrol the streets in some sort of S.H.I.E.L.D. vehicle to interact guests. They will also be the hosts of the new show Avengers Training Inactive, which will be similar to the Jedi Academy show, across the street in Disneyland.
But perhaps the most exciting aspect of Summer of Heroes, is the nightly dance party which will be featuring Star-Lord and Gamora. Being able to have a dance-off to 60s and 70s music with the Guardians sounds cool enough, but there is a whole story that connects the event to Mission Breakout. Star-Lord accidentally left his boombox inside of The Collector’s palace, so the Guardians hatch a plan to infiltrate, and steal back his speakers. They need the guests’ help to create a distraction outside (aka the dance party), so Tivian focuses his security on that, and Star-Lord can sneak in and grab his music. For me, this sounds like so much fun because they are connecting everything; similar to the connectivity of the MCU.
As stated by Joe Rhode, Marvel Land will continue to be added too, as the overall story progresses in the movies. My prediction is that the Monsters Inc. dark ride will eventually be converted into a trackless Avengers ride (along side the release of the upcoming film Infinity War), with a similar ride mechanic as the Battlefront ride coming to Star Wars Land in Disneyland.
This may be wishful thinking, but I would love to see a re-skin (maybe Ant-Man?) of the Tron Light Cycle rollercoaster, over in Shanghai. There is certainly enough room to achieve this, with two empty sound stages sitting in the area currently.
If you are not from Southern California, or cannot make the trip out to experience the upcoming Super Hero changes to Disney’s California Adventures, FEAR NOT! Myself along with the help of Geek Motivation will bring you all the news and details in this exciting time for Marvel, and theme park fans alike.