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While the Walt Disney Company was probably already responsible for much of your pop culture upbringing, over the last several years they have only increased their hold on your childhood with their purchases of The Muppets, Marvel, and Lucasfilm. While many have decried the fact that one company now controls all of these properties, there is one undeniable benefit to all of it. You can now experience everything you love in a single theme park visit. While Disneyland has recently begun construction on a Star Wars Land for its main Southern California park, it looks like plans for a Marvel expansion across the plaza may be happening, as well, and the word is they’ll begin by turning the Tower of Terror into a new Guardians of the Galaxy ride.
The Tower of Terror is a simple ride currently existing at both Disney’s California Adventure in Anaheim and Disney’s Hollywood Studio in Florida. It’s a basic drop ride where the vehicle brings you up into the air and then drops you into a free fall, before catching you and bringing you back up to do it again. Since its inception, the ride has been based in a Twilight Zone theme. However, in recent months, rumors have been swirling that the park was looking to dump the Twilight Zone license and would be re-skinning the ride in California with a Guardians of the Galaxy theme. Now, theme park blog Walt Disney World News Today is reporting that their sources have confirmed the rumors as fact.
All of this is part of a larger rumor of an eventual land at Disney’s California Adventure dedicated to Marvel. There is a large tract of land which sits behind the park’s Bug’s Land, which is thus far undeveloped, and the common belief is that Disney has earmarked this space for a new Marvel area. The Tower of Terror now sits at what would be one entrance to that space, so giving the "Hollywood Tower Hotel," one of the most visible landmarks in the park, a new look to make it obviously part of the Marvel universe makes some sense.
At the same time, while some sort of Guardians of the Galaxy ride makes all the sense in the world for a Marvel land, the choice of this type of ride seems odd. Every indication is that the Tower of Terror ride would remain more or less unchanged, and just the cosmetics would be modified to incorporate the Guardians. The movie takes place in outer space where there is no gravity, so how does one make a ride about "falling?" The Twilight Zone version of the ride is about an unearthly elevator in a disused hotel. It’s a tenuous connection to the franchise, sure, but it sort of makes sense. Still, Disney usually puts a lot of work into creating their rides and their worlds. Their attention to detail is usually that of a savant with obsessive compulsive disorder. We have to wonder if there might be something planned in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 that would lend itself to this ride idea. It’s unlikely we’d see the ride before that film premiered, anyway. Although, it’s certainly possible the ride could make the switch long before the rest of the land is ready to open.
While the decision seems somewhat odd, we’re all for a new Marvel theme park area. The only problem is that such a thing is years away. We still have no idea how far off Star Wars land is. We’ll have to wait even longer for this one.