There’s been a rumor floating around for a while regarding the future of the Twilight Zone Hollywood Tower of Terror in Disneyland’s California Adventure Park.
I personally had hoped it wasn’t true because the Hollywood Tower of Terror is my favorite ride in all of the Disneyland resort. I love the storyline, I love the architecture, I love the ride. I love the floating, weightless experience.
I also love the fact that California Adventure is based on iconic California and although they have Buena Vista Street and many “Golden Age” California references as you enter the park, the Hollywood Tower of Terror has been the one ride (besides the Trolley Ride) that references Hollywood. How could they eliminate the iconic feature and reference?!?
I mean that side of the park is all about Hollywood with Hollywood references and sights at every corner with the “grand finale”, if you will, being your descent upon that beautiful, towering, terrifying structure before you enter “a bug’s land” and Cars Land. It is is a beautiful finish to your visit to the ol’ California Golden Age and Hollywood experience.
And what will happen to the view from just about anywhere of the iconic Hollywood Tower of Terror sign? We took these pictures from the area outside of both parks, between the two parks (the ticketing and entrance area) – it is a tall structure that sticks out. We even zoomed in on the sign in from the ticketing area for second one – it’s that much of a backdrop! It’s iconic and reflective of “California.”
So what is to become of the Hollywood Tower of Terror? Well, the rumor floating around has been made official as of Saturday, July 23rd. Down in San Diego, CA the president of Marvel Studios announced that Guardians of the Galaxy will be coming to Disneyland California Adventure Park.
Where? Well, right where the Hollywood Tower of Terror currently sits. The news isn’t all bad for Hollywood Tower of Terror fans….the essence of the ride will still be there; in fact, it’s just being re-done with a Guardians of the Galaxy theme. It sounds like it will still rise and fall and that weightless sensation we have all grown to love will still be there, but with the backdrop of rock music and rocket rescuing the Guardians of the Galaxy squad in a comical format.
Here’s a video from a Disney Imagineer regarding the change:
So, it might be a nice change, but of all of the changes Disney has made…I am least excited about this one at this point. I have rarely been disappointed when a change has been announced. But we shall see.
On the flipside, I can sort of see how a Guardians of the Galaxy land (if you will) can be morphed into the California Adventure Park. Looking at a map, you can see that the Hollywood Tower of Terror is off in a corner removed from the rest of Hollywood Land. And behind the Tower of Terror, there seems to be a good bit of land available for expansion of more of a Guardians of the Galaxy land… or perhaps a Marvel Land with this just this ride being the Guardians of the Galaxy theme and adding other Marvel-esque rides.
Here’s the real view…I love it how Disney makes their maps so pretty, but it’s not the forested ground you see in their “map” above. Still, that massive parking and storage area could easily be demolished for future expansion.
I’d be okay with that. In fact, I would totally be on board with a complete Marvel Land as opposed to just a Guardians of the Galaxy. It was enjoyable to me, but I enjoy the other Marvel characters and stories more.
And thinking like a Disney Imagineer and like a Disney Parks Business Development CEO…this space would make sense! Converting the Hollywood Tower of Terror into the concept ride created totally makes sense and to have that boyish, adult and non-animated movie fans area at California Adventure to appeal to those fans similarly to how Disneyland already has many non-animated movie themed rides and now the creation of Star Wars Land…it totally makes sense that California Adventure should have something to this effect.
It also makes sense even more when you know that Disney acquired Marvel in 2009 to the tune of $4 billion bucks. They need to capitalize on this in the parks in a much more epic way. It would also mean saving money on the licensing fees to the Twilight Zone for the use of the name and theme. If they already own Marvel, it’s time to make the move. I get it!
So although I am initially disappointed (I mean my terror face comes to mind), the part of the ride I love will still be in tact and I do love Marvel. I just hope that they expand to become many MARVELous things, not just a Guardians of the Galaxy attraction.
When are these changes taking place? Guardians of the Galaxy will open in summer of 2017.
When is the last time you can ride the Hollywood Tower of Terror? Through the end of 2016. It is scheduled to close in early 2017. Good thing I have my latest trip scheduled for November, I want to ride it one last…or 6 last times.
What’s to become of the ride in Orlando at Disney’s Hollywood Studios? Well, it’s still there, planned to still be there (again, it’s so Hollywood-esque) and probably will for a while. As of now and the way the contract is written, Disney cannot include Marvel in their Disney parks East of the Mississippi…an article for another day. 🙂