Guardians Of The Galaxy Taking Over Tower Of Terror? Disneyland Getting FastPass+?

Last month a rumor began to circulate that Disney was considering re-theming Disney California Adventure's The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror ride into a Guardians of the Galaxy attraction. When the rumor hit, even though it was from a source that had been right many times in the past, I commented on Twitter that I just didn't buy it. But sadly it seems like there may be truth to this rumor after all. I have since spoken to two separate sources who have corroborated the rumor, and a reliable Disney rumor site is now reporting it's true. Find out the details on the Guardians of the Galaxy ride after the jump.

Tower of Terror Being Re-Themed With Guardians of the Galaxy Ride?

MiceAge is reporting that the rumor is true:

We can tell you that the Guardians of the Galaxy rumor is true, and TDA's executive suite was furious when the rumor leaked out from Glendale-based sources. The plan is for the original Twilight Zone backstory to be removed entirely, and replaced with an all new show based around the Collector character from the Guardians movie franchise. WDI had been testing and experimenting with the new show in the elevators for months and the Tower of Terror hourly CM's were all aware of what WDI had been cooking up since this winter. But when the plan finally leaked online in April, the TDA executive suite hit the roof in anger.

According to the site, the current plan is to close the attraction this fall to give the entire building a full interior and exterior refurbishment "so that the new version of the ride can open next May, with the Guardians of the Galaxy movie premiere held at Disneyland California Adventure the same week the new ride opens... assuming this gets the green light by August." Of course, they also said that "a disastrous opening summer" a Shanghai Disneyland could also derail the plans.

What Will The Ride Be?

It's interesting that they mention that the new show would be based around the Collector, played by Benicio del Toro in the original Guardians of the Galaxy movie. We have been told that del Toro's character is not set to appear in the upcoming sequel so it seems strange to build a ride around his weird museum. It might be cool to be able to walk around the oddities of the Collector's museum, but I'm not even sure that would be the Marvel experience that most everyday Disney fans would want to experience (as opposed to walking around Stark Tower or Avengers HQ).

I has also heard from another source that the ride could be re-themed after the industrial space jail that the Guardians escape from in the first film. The boiler room queue room could be more easily remodeled to resemble this space prison, and remember that the Guardians escaped in a square room that could resemble the ride's elevator vehicle. Again, re-doing a ride to call back to the first film in a series is probably not the best for long-term plans.


Marvel Land: The Reason For a Guardians of the Galaxy Ride Re-Theme

According to MiceAge, Bob Chapek arrived a year ago as the new Parks Chairman and was "shocked to learn that after five years of owning Marvel there still isn't a new Marvel ride in the California parks, and that the only thing TDA has done with Marvel is slap together some cheap meet n' greets over the years." So Chapek was the one to push the planned Marvel mega-coaster into development (now no longer planned in the Timon parking lot, but instead in the northern end of Hollywood where Stage 17, Monsters Inc., and the unused Stage 12 buildings are). We have heard this rollercoaster is something more akin to Universal Orlando's new Harry Potter and Escape from Gringotts ride — a motion simulator on a track that goes through dark ride like spaces with animatronics and 3D projections. According to MiceAge, the Marvel mega-coaster could open in 2020, just after Star Wars Land opens in Disneyland.

Of course, it makes sense to have a Marvel land and Marvel rides in Disneyland Resort, but I'm not sure that re-theming Tower of Terror is the way to go with this. It seems to me that after Star Wars Land opens in 2019 (projected) that Star Tours in Tomorrowland will eventually be re-themed into something else. The Hong Kong Disneyland attraction Iron Man Experience uses the exact same ride vehicles and system, so it always seemed to me that Disneyland's Tomorrowland would make the more obvious location for some Marvel attractions (especially with Star Wars Launch Bay probably going away after the Star Wars Experience opens).

After the jump you'll find out the reasons against a Guardians of the Galaxy ride re-theme of Tower of Terror and also hear the latest on FastPass+ coming to Disneyland and how very different it will be from the Orlando version of the Magicbands!

The Reasons Against a Guardians of the Galaxy Ride Re-Theme

Initially it was reported that Disney was getting tired of paying for the Twilight Zone licensing for the attraction, which was part of the reason for the re-theme. This reason didn't make much sense to me, as an extensive re-theme would probably cost more than many years of the licensing fee. I also don't know how (or if) Disney would even begin to re-theme the hotel exterior for this attraction — seems like it might be too much money and the exterior would be kept as is.

And just 6 months ago we heard that Disney was working with famed screenwriter John August in turning the attraction into a big screen movie. Why would Disney want to completely re-theme an attraction it was trying to adapt into a feature film? Sure, there is also a Twilight Zone Tower of Terror ride in Walt Disney World's Hollywood Studios park which would remain, so I guess that's an answer. Although that said, they could re-theme both attractions if they wanted to — while most of the Marvel characters are not allowed east of the Mississippi due to an old contract with Universal Studios Florida, Guardians of the Galaxy operates outside of that deal and costumed versions of some of the characters from that film have already appeared in Disney's Orlando parks.

It also seems weird that they are considering re-theming a ride that is already popular. Almost every time I'm at the park there is an over one-hour wait for Tower of Terror. This is not the case of a ride like Haunted Mansion, which has a 15 minute wait (or many days is a walk-on), re-theming every holiday for Nightmare Before Christmas to increase its popularity. As we suspected, this is not due to any of those logical reasons but instead because Disney is planning to create a Marvel mini-land in that corner of Disney California Adventure (which we reported last August).

fasstpass+ magic bands

FastPass+ Finally Coming To Disneyland But in a Very Different Form?

Since Magic Bands and FastPass+ launched at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, everyone has been wondering when Walt's original park in Anaheim would get the tech upgrade. We've heard rumors over the years, but nothing has materialized as of yet. The truth of the matter is that upgrading two theme parks with FastPass+ is an expensive endeavor and Disneyland operates much differently than its Orlando sister (a bigger portion of the visitors are locals who take last minute day or half-day trips to the park as opposed to vacation guests planning their visits a year in advance).

The latest rumor from WDWNT claims that FastPass+ is coming to Anaheim but in a much different version than we've seen in Orlando.

Unlike the Walt Disney World system, booking for Disneyland FastPass+ reservations can only be made DAY OF, none will be available in advance. The reservations will be able to be booked either via the mobile app, website, or via in-park kiosks. As far as kiosks are concerned, they will no longer require you to visit individual attractions; there will simply be a few of these stations park-wide that you can visit if you need to. Unlike the WDW system, guests will be able to book just one FastPass at a time. Whether they use that FastPass or not, once a certain amount of time has passed, they may book another. Think of this as the current FastPass system, but gone paperless.

So basically the FastPass+ would be a reimplementation of the current FastPass system but ticketless/paperless. I'm all for this, as the worry with the Orlando model is that so many vacation guests would be booking Fastpasses months in advance that it would make it impossible for local day guests to ride the popular attractions without waiting in very long lines. The site doesn't know when this plan would roll out in Disneyland and California Adventure but that "it sounds as if it may be soon, even before the end of 2016." Of course, take this as rumor for now as this is the latest in Anaheim Fastness+ rumors.