THEME PARKS

Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! transformation update

By JERHOW

21 October 2016

You can still get your rides in before January, but that isn’t stopping Disney from beginning the transformation of the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror into Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT!

 

Let’s see how things are progressing…

…starting with a stroll through Hollywood Land.

It’s a great reminder that this area is ready for a revitalization. Credit where credit is due, this is leaps and bounds better than the original Hollywood Pictures Backlot when the park first opened. It’s a pleasant experience. But I’ve always felt the California version of the “1930’s Hollywood” concept has never felt has rich and realized as its counterpart at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Orlando.

Here’s about the equivalent shot I took from my last trip to Orlando looking down the Boulevard.

The sightlines are noticeably different with Orlando’s Hollywood Tower Hotel, marked by the marquee E-Ticket attraction looming in the distance. The area, even with massive crowds, is more expansive and less “walled in” than the smaller California version. I also think the Orlando concept feels more like a “taste of California.” Notice the Farmer’s Market pavilion to the left and the Carthay Circle architecture to the right. There are more nooks and crannies and areas to explore.

I don’t mean to knock the California version. I just feel like in its current form, the theme has basically run its course, which has me very open-minded about the idea of a full transformation of this land.

If the rumors are true, then Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! is only the beginning, and we can expect the entire area to eventually become a permanent Marvel-themed land.

But first thing’s first. There’s a lot of work to do before then.

Tarps and scaffoling now cover the majority of the building save for the drop shafts and the front queue section.

There isn’t a whole lot to see right now, but i’s cool that we can get this close to the ride while the exterior work commences.

I’m also very much embracing the new exterior look.

Just a reminder of what’s to come. This, to me, is so much more interesting to look at than what we’ve had in California all these years.

There are so many more details, so much more texture, in the structure. The lighting and colors, steam that seems to be rising. I wonder if any machinery on the tower will be in motion. And check out the alien landscaping! The plants and trees look so unusual and different.

This isn’t just a cheap overlay. This is a very well thought-out high-budget transformation, and a really energetic anchor attraction that will usher in a further expansion in the years to come.

Alas, we have a long way to go. Why is this not finished already? What’s taking them so long???

 

Looking up at Guardians from A Bug’s Land.

One aspect of the exterior transformation that hasn’t been mentioned, which I will be very curious about, is the rear of the building. Right now, it’s mostly flat and minimally themed, only really noticed when driving by from outside the park.

But if they plan on building a second massive Marvel-themed E-Ticket attraction, likely, it will incorporate land behind the Guardians attraction. With guests exploring this expanded footprint, the lack of theming would be unacceptable from a showmanship standpoint.

So while Disney hasn’t made any official announcements about a true Marvel-themed expansion, should we start to see a more detailed rear portion of the exterior, it’s a really interesting indicator there is much more in store for this land.

Only time will tell!

 

by JERHOW

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