By Jasmine Alfaro
The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror at Disney California Adventure Park, one of its most popular attractions, plans to close its doors for park-goers and employees on Jan. 2.
The announcement was made by Kevin Feige, Marvel Studios President, at San Diego-Comic Con. The Walt Disney Company plans to makeover the attraction to give the spotlight to Marvel Entertainment, which it bought for $4 million in 2009.
The company will replace the 22-year old ride with Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout, a future drop tower ride based off the “Guardians of the Galaxy” films and comics, an effort to to introduce more Marvel characters into their parks.
Moreover, Marvel and Disney told the Orange County Register that the ride will “anchor a broader universe of superheroes that will grow over time in Disney California Adventure.”
“I think they’re making a huge mistake in tearing it down, ” stated Elizabeth Aragonez, Anaheim Disney Park employee. “I know Marvel is owned by Disney, but when people think of Disney they think of princesses and Pixar, not Marvel.”
According to the Los Angeles Times, fans expressed their displeasure on social media, with tweets “suggesting that the decision to overhaul and rebrand the popular ride is tantamount to sacrilege.” On Change.org, a website for drafting and supporting online petitions, a plethora of petitions entitled Save The Tower of Terror have collected over 20,000 signatures.
“Guardians of the Galaxy Mission: Breakout! is going to be an out-of-this-world experience,” said Joe Quesada, chief creative officer at Marvel, at San Diego Comic-Con International. “We’re just getting warmed up.”
The old 12-story California Adventure attraction is based off “The Twilight Zone,” an American winning television series that mfocuses on the psychological drama of superstition and horror. The Tower of Terror was a free fall ride built to celebrate the show, and its plotline accompanied the horrible happenings at the fictional Hollywood Tower.
According to Disney Park Blogs, the new ride, Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout, will have riders “board a gantry lift, which launches them into a chaotic and hilarious adventure as they join Rocket [the racoon] in an attempt to break out his fellow Guardians out of a captivity.”
It aims to enhance the experience of free-fall rides. The closing of the ride only applies to Anaheim, CA, while there are three other Towers in Paris, Florida, and Tokyo.
For the official closing of the ride, there will be a list of promotional events, including an event from Sept. 9 to Oct. 31, where riders will experience it in complete darkness for one last late check-out.