© 2017 Disney Enterprises Inc. / MARVEL

The ride opens May 27.

Carlye Wisel
April 27, 2017

When it opens on May 27, Guardians of the Galaxy — Mission: BREAKOUT!, the newest attraction coming to Disneyland, will make history.

The ride, themed to the popular Guardians of the Galaxy movie franchise, marks the first Marvel attraction within domestic Disney parks since The Walt Disney Company acquired Marvel Entertainment in 2009. More importantly, though, Mission: BREAKOUT! may very well become Disney California Adventure’s best thrill ride.

Details of the attraction, which replaces The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror following its closure earlier this year, have been under lock and key until now. We took an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour of Guardians of the Galaxy — Mission: BREAKOUT!, at Disney California Adventure, and though it’s still under construction, managed to uncovered enough secrets and must-know tips to excite both Disneyland insiders and die-hard Marvel fans.

© 2017 Disney Enterprises Inc. / MARVEL

If you’re still pining after the ride’s previous iteration as Tower of Terror, you won’t once you see what they’ve done to it. With a fresh crop of beloved characters, a revamped ride system and immersive theming, it truly feels like taking a step inside a comic book, only more thrilling.

Here’s why:

Expect more than just a themed overlay.

Mission: BREAKOUT! is a completely new attraction whose queue experience and actual ride mechanism varies in every way from its predecessor. Upon entering the ride building, now known as The Collector’s Fortress, guests will experience the interior galleries from the first Guardians of the Galaxy film, and discover the Guardians themselves are being held captive by The Collector, otherwise known as Taneleer Tivan. As they next pass through Tivan’s office and discover Rocket Racoon has broken free, it’s up to them to save the interplanetary heroes, encountering eye-popping creatures and unexpected chaos along the way.

With Disney cast members staffing the ride acting as “docents” to The Collector’s galleries while simultaneously (and quietly) urging them to join Rocket’s mission, you’ll have experienced so much of the attraction before you’re even strapped into a seat, making it much more robust.

Marvel maniacs should keep their eyes peeled.

With 2,200 props throughout the attraction, Mission: BREAKOUT! will highlight all aspects of the Marvel universe, tying the comic books, films and television shows together within The Collector’s galaxy-spanning collection. Upon first glance, we spotted parts of an Ultron Sentry robot from Avengers: Age of Ultron, props from Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D and Rocket Raccoon's blaster displayed behind glass in Taneleer Tivan’s lobby gallery.

Items are said to be both inanimate and “actually alive”, giving us all the more reason to believe that Cosmo the Spacedog you’ll see upon entering will move within his display case. As for Easter eggs? We’re promised plenty, but suspect you’ll spot most inside The Collector’s office, where more “personal items” are said to be stored.

© 2017 Disney Enterprises Inc. / MARVEL

So should theme park fanatics.

Not too into the Guardians movies? The minds behind the attraction assured us there will be plenty of nods to theme park lore throughout the pre-ride areas as well. While touring the maintenance bay — formerly known as The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror’s boiler room — we even saw something in the rafters that looked similar to a Matterhorn Bobsleds yeti. It seems the Collector is interested in artifacts of all kinds, including old Disneyland ones.

© 2017 Disney Enterprises Inc. / MARVEL

The Guardians are bringing the thrills.

Instead of the “slow build” of The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, Mission: BREAKOUT! will shoot guests straight up and at the immediate start of the ride before plummeting right back down. “We are pushing the ride system and what it can do,” said Estefania Harbuck, creative producer with Walt Disney Imagineering.

“This experience is high-energy, it’s fast, it’s chaotic and it’s funny.” Yep — the speedy attraction promises to be quick-witted too, infusing the irreverent humor of the films directly into the experience.

© 2017 Disney Enterprises Inc. / MARVEL

It’s not one new ride — it’s six.

Once on board, Rocket will lead visitors within The Collector’s tower on a journey with varied endings. Somewhat similar to Star Tours’ rotating experiences, the six possible mini-adventures will focus on scenarios including anti-gravity, drones or Drax going head-to-head with a beast as well as an attack on the Guardians by the Abilisk, the octopus-like space creature they’re rumored to fight in the film sequel, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2.

Each scene is synced to fast-paced mixtape-worthy songs as well, including The Jackson 5’s “I Want You Back,” Elvis Presley’s “Burning Love,” Pat Benatar’s “Hit Me With Your Best Shot,” “Give Up The Funk” by Parliament, “Born To Be Wild” by Steppenwolf and “Free Ride” by The Edgar Winter Group.

You may not know the whole story.

Disneyland fans have reacted strongly to the unabashedly bold building and how it blends in with the surrounding theming of Disney California Adventure, and they’re not alone — even Walt Disney Imagineers involved in the attraction’s creation deemed it “the weirdest looking building ever” during yesterday’s tour. Currently, the “disruptive” structure remains a somewhat confusing addition to its Golden Age-inspired area of the park, but we may know why.

The creative team behind Mission: BREAKOUT! told us it will be “part of Hollywood Land on day one”, leaving us to infer that it may be the first attraction in a Marvel land expansion heavily rumored to debut at Disney California Adventure. Park sleuths should plan to ride it often, as Walt Disney Imagineers even told us there are clues throughout that give reason as to why The Collector’s tower is located here.

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