Disney’s California Adventure transformed from old Hollywood to futuristic alien world for the grand opening of “Guardians of the Galaxy” Mission: Breakout!
The attraction — which replaces the Tower of Terror — officially opens to the public this weekend.
“Guardians” stars Zoe Saldana (Gamora), Michael Rooker (Yondu), Pom Klementieff (Mantis), and Benicio Del Toro (Taneleer Tivan aka The Collector) were joined by director James Gunn, Marvel president Kevin Feige, and Marvel chief creative officer Joe Quesada to celebrate the opening.
Bob Chapek, the chairman of Walt Disney and Resorts, kicked off the festivities by welcoming the “Terran” attendees.
The star of the presentation was Del Toro, whose Collector character plays a central role in the ride.
Guests will find themselves entering The Collector’s fortress on a mission to save the latest additions to his collection: the Guardians themselves. Saldana and Klementieff are featured in the attraction, with Chris Pratt (Star-Lord), Drax (David Bautista), Vin Diesel (Baby Groot) and Rocket Raccoon (Bradley Cooper) all reprising their roles as well. Rocket helps orchestrate the escape, as guests fly up and down throughout the various levels of the fortress aiding the breakout.
“It’s a complete new story for ‘Guardians’ but playing into the movie mythology,” Chapek told Variety. “James Gunn kept us true to the characters and the mythology of ‘Guardians of the Galaxy.'”
“Our fans range from super die-hard Marvel fans all the way to casual fans. Everybody can relate to the core story: we have a hero trying to save his buddies, but done in a very adrenaline pumping way.”
As with both “Guardians of the Galaxy” films, music figures very heavily into the ride. Director James Gunn work with the Disney imagineers to create six versions of the ride set to different tracks, including Pat Benatar’s “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” to The Jackson 5’s “I Want You Back.”
“I love the notion that each time you come, it’s different,” Feige told Variety. “It’s a different mission.”
The different variations will create return value, as well as the different 2,200 Easter eggs, true to Marvel’s form.
Saldana joked to Variety that she’s a little too old to ride rollercoasters but would ride “Mission Breakout” out of “FOMO” (fear of missing out).
One “Guardians” star who shied away? Tough guy Rooker, who left the riding to his costars.
“Guardians of the Galaxy” Mission: Breakout! is part of the park’s Summer of Heroes. Other attractions include the Avengers Training Initiative, Heroic Encounters with Avengers including Captain America and Black Widow, and super-hero-inspired food and fare.
Check out more from the spectacular opening below: