By Carlye Wisel
September 22, 2017
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Guardians of the Galaxy — Mission: BREAKOUT! may only be four months old, but it’s gearing up for a memorable first Halloween.

Starting at 6 p.m. each night this fall, the superhero thrill ride will transform into a completely new attraction. Once the sun begins to set, Guardians of the Galaxy — Monsters After Dark goes up, unleashing an adventure that has somehow made the most frightening ride at Disney California Adventure much scarier.

When it comes to the plot, Monsters After Dark begins where Mission: BREAKOUT! ends. The Guardians have escaped, but Baby Groot is lost among the creatures that now roam free within The Collector’s fortress. With Rocket not-so-secretly using passengers as bait for monsters within the tower, one of which riders encounter face-to-face, chaos undoubtedly ensues.

Sure, the story is somewhat convoluted, but the madness of the after-hours ride is not. Unlike the bouncy, herky-jerky moves that come with Mission: BREAKOUT!’s six different ride experiences, this singular take thrusts each ride car to the top before plummeting back down, replacing unpredictable moments with that free-fall feeling drop ride enthusiasts love. Gone, too, are the easy going tunes from Peter Quill’s mixtape; the soundtrack here is a punk rock track by the “Guardians of the Galaxy” film composer, paired with enough ironic slasher movie noises prior to the ride’s start to guarantee a raise in blood pressure.

The queue is re-themed each night, too, with the very first moment in line proving to be off-putting in the perfect way. Spotlights scan the pre-boarding area as it remains plunged in darkness and transmissions have short-circuited, causing announcements to come in distorted and filled with static.

It’s easily the most fright-filled experience you’ll find at either Anaheim park, providing a thrill that’s much scarier than Space Mountain’s ghoulish seasonal theming.

It’s historic, too, marking the first-ever Disneyland attraction to offer two versions of the same attraction on the same day.

Don’t wait all month to get into the spirit, though — this unique evening adventure with Groot and Rocket will only be around until October 31.