Star-Lord, Drax, Gamora, Rocket, and Baby Groot have already conquered Thanos’ minions and the box office (Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 has already made nearly $800 million). But now Marvel is hoping their space misfits can win over a tougher audience — amusement park-goers. They’re off to a good start: Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout at Disney California Adventure Park, the first true Marvel-themed Disney ride, opened over the weekend, and fans reportedly waited almost seven hours to be some of the first to experience the ride.
The new Guardians ride takes a lot from Tower of Terror, the ride it replaced, strapping park-goers into a lap-barred seat and raising and dropping them to and from various heights. As the ride happens, parkgoers get one of six different pre-loaded experiences that take them through scenes from the prison breakout from the first film. The whole thing lasts about three minutes. Luckily, Disney works hard to give fans some fine scenery (and some incredible animatronics) when waiting for a ride and the Guardians’ waiting area takes visitors through a variety of ephemera from the film before weaving them through the Collector’s collection and a number of videos read by the likes of Peter Quill and other characters.
Even with Pandora: The World of Avatar opening in Orlando at approximately the same time, Mission Breakout remains the most hyped ride to exist in the Disney parks. The Guardians-themed ride did not completely avoid controversy, as some Disney fans were upset to see it replace the classic Tower of Terror. But the seven-hour wait for Mission Outbreak showed that the Disney fans were okay with seeing the old ride replaced.
Why is this new ride such a hit with parkgoers? It certainly has to do with the same reasons the Guardians movies are so popular. Lovable characters, a fantastic soundtrack, and fun adventures. Disney has already indicated it would like to feature more Marvel rides in its parks in the future, along with the Star Wars theme parks that open in 2019. So don’t be surprised if your next trip to Disneyland features a lot more superheroes and light sabers than mouse ears.