Guardians tower during day

Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! Review

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Our review of Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! covers all aspects of the attraction including where it’s located, who can ride, how Genie+ and Lightning Lane works, history of the attraction including its transformation from Twilight Zone Tower of Terror as well a detailed rider experience and our own personal take on the attraction.

Full view

Location: Located in Disney California Adventure Park, the Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! tower stands tall, a distinctive figure against the Anaheim skyline, and a central piece of the Avengers Campus land.

Average Wait Times: Wait times can be quite variable. On average days, expect waits of around 40-90 minutes. During peak seasons or weekends, wait times can extend to 2 hours or more.

Height Requirements: Riders must be at least 40 inches tall.

Single Rider: The attraction doesn’t offer a Single Rider line.

Genie+ and Lightning Lane: The attraction does offer Lightning Lane access with the purchase of Genie+. During the Halloween season guests will have to purchase an Individual Lightning Lane for Guardians of the Galaxy – Monsters After Dark as it is not included with Genie+ like Mission: BREAKOUT! is.

Rider Switch: This feature is available, allowing one guardian to wait with non-riders while others experience the attraction, and then switch without waiting in line again.

DAS (Disability Access Service): The ride accommodates guests with disabilities through the DAS system.

Guardians of the Galaxy Mission: BREAKOUT! 4K

History of Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT

The Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! ride is situated in Disney California Adventure Park at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California. But before it was the intergalactic adventure we know today, the building housed another iconic attraction: The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror.

The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror first opened its doors at Disney California Adventure in 2004. An adaptation of the original Tower of Terror at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Florida, the California version provided park-goers with a thrilling drop tower experience intertwined with the eerie narrative of the old Hollywood Twilight Zone series.

In July 2016, at the San Diego Comic-Con, it was announced that the Tower of Terror in Disney California Adventure would close to make way for a new Guardians of the Galaxy attraction. This news was met with mixed reactions. While Marvel enthusiasts were excited about the prospect of the first Marvel-themed ride at a U.S. Disney park, many Disney purists were upset about the removal of the Tower of Terror, viewing it as a classic and an integral part of the park’s identity.

The new concept for the ride was to immerse guests in the world of the Guardians of the Galaxy. The storyline: The Collector, Taneleer Tivan, has captured the Guardians and put them on display in his vast collection. Guests, aided by Rocket Raccoon, embark on a mission to break out the Guardians from captivity.

The attraction was designed by Walt Disney Imagineering in collaboration with James Gunn, the director of the Guardians of the Galaxy films, as well as Kevin Feige and Joe Quesada from Marvel. The music, an integral part of the Guardians’ movies, played a significant role in the new ride, with different classic rock tracks accompanying different drop sequences, making every ride experience unique.

The Tower of Terror officially closed its doors in January 2017. After a rapid transformation, Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! had its grand opening on May 27, 2017.

The new attraction boasted state-of-the-art visual and audio effects, dynamic drop sequences, and the infectious humor and charm of the Guardians themselves. It was an immediate hit, drawing long lines and garnering positive reviews from both longtime Disney fans and newcomers.


Best Times to Ride

Mornings just after the park opening or late evenings are ideal to dodge longer queues. If you’re keen on experiencing the Monsters After Dark version, ensure you get in line shortly after sunset.

Ride Experience

Signage for an attraction in gold and red lettering

The exterior of the building, once the iconic Hollywood Tower Hotel, has been transformed into The Collector’s Fortress, a shimmering, gold-tinted monolith adorned with futuristic details. The lush gardens outside contain alien plants and serve as an indication of The Collector’s vast collection of interstellar species.

As guests approach the entrance, they’re greeted by a large statue of The Collector, Taneleer Tivan. Inside, the queue winds through Tivan’s extensive collection, displaying various artifacts, creatures, and memorabilia from across the Marvel universe, including some familiar objects from the Guardians movies.

Monitors throughout the queue show The Collector and his assistant, explaining the prized nature of his latest acquisitions: the Guardians of the Galaxy themselves. These broadcasts occasionally get interrupted by Rocket Raccoon, hinting at his plan to break out his friends.

Pre-Show: Guests eventually enter The Collector’s office, where Rocket Raccoon makes an animatronic appearance. He lays out his plan: he needs the guests’ help to free the Guardians. The guests’ access bands (wristbands in the story, but actually the visitors’ park tickets) will give Rocket access to the control room to liberate his friends, but he’ll need the guests to cause a distraction.

Boarding the Attraction: Guests are then led to the gantry lift. Upon boarding, they fasten their seat belts in the rows provided. Rocket’s shadow can be seen on a wall panel as he tinkers with the ride controls, and after a short moment, the action begins!

The Ride Experience: The premise is that the gantry lift is supposed to take guests on a calm tour of The Collector’s vast collection. However, with Rocket in control, the experience is anything but calm.

The lift rockets upwards and downwards in a series of thrilling drops and rises, each synchronized with one of several classic rock songs. The lift doors open at various floors, revealing scenes of the Guardians in action as they battle creatures, try to regroup, and escape. Rocket and Star-Lord provide humorous commentary and banter throughout the ordeal.

Tower at night time with lights

The attraction uses advanced projection and audio effects, making each scene feel alive and dynamic. It’s a mix of humor, action, and thrill.

Songs: One of the unique features of the attraction is the randomized experience. The ride is choreographed around different classic rock songs, and you won’t know which one you’ll get until you’re on the ride. Each song provides a different ride sequence, ensuring that repeat rides are rarely the same. The songs that might play during the ride include:

  1. “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” by Pat Benatar
  2. “Give Up the Funk” by Parliament
  3. “Born to Be Wild” by Steppenwolf
  4. “I Want You Back” by The Jackson 5
  5. “Free Ride” by The Edgar Winter Group
  6. “Burning Love” by Elvis Presley

The blend of rock music with the chaotic escape of the Guardians creates an energetic and upbeat atmosphere that contrasts the former, more eerie tone of the Tower of Terror.


Guardians of the Galaxy – Monsters After Dark Transformation

Guardians of the Galaxy – Monsters After Dark is a special seasonal overlay of Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! This transformation typically occurs during the Halloween season, offering guests a unique nighttime experience that’s distinct from the daytime ride.

Storyline: “Monsters After Dark” picks up moments after the events of “Mission: BREAKOUT!”, wherein guests have helped Rocket free his fellow Guardians. However, in the chaos of the breakout, Baby Groot has been left behind. The attraction now revolves around Rocket’s mission to rescue Baby Groot, but there’s a twist – due to the breakout, all the monsters and creatures held captive in The Collector’s Fortress are now on the loose.

Ride Experience: Once aboard the gantry lift, guests are treated to a wild ride, with fast drops and rises similar to the daytime attraction. However, the scenes they witness when the lift doors open are different. Monsters lurk at every corner, and the Guardians are seen frantically trying to round up the creatures and restore order. The climax of the attraction focuses on Rocket’s quest to save Baby Groot from a particularly terrifying creature.

The overlay has its own unique song called “Monsters After Dark” composed specifically for this experience by Tyler Bates, the composer of the Guardians of the Galaxy films. This edgy rock tune amps up the tension and complements the chaotic atmosphere of the ride.

Theming: Beyond the altered ride experience, there’s also a distinct change in the lighting, both inside and outside the attraction. The Collector’s Fortress, usually gleaming golden, is now shrouded in reds and oranges, signaling a state of high alert. The ambiance is darker, more chaotic, and the creatures’ roars and growls can be heard throughout, adding to the sense of urgency and danger.

Personal Experience

The first time I approached the tower, I felt a mix of excitement and nostalgia, having loved the Tower of Terror. But from the moment I stepped into The Collector’s gallery, I was sold. The blending of immersive storytelling, humor, and adrenaline-packed drops made for an unforgettable ride. Each ride-through offers a slightly different experience with varying songs and sequences, making repeat rides just as thrilling.

Compared to the Twilight Zone attraction, Guardians gives riders a lot more butt-air time with the ups and downs of the gantry lift. For some guests, this is amazing as it’s their favorite part about these types of attractions. For others it can be a little too much.

Guests who are prone to motion sickness may want to look away from the screens while the attraction is moving as trying to watch a screen while moving can make guests sick. As I walked off this attraction for the first time I heard someone mention that they felt a little woozy. Sometimes taking a dramamine before can help alleviate this.

Overall I was really impressed with the changeover while at the same time I’m glad they still have the Tower of Terror at Walt Disney World Resort for me to ride still. Both are fantastic.



Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! is more than just a thrilling drop tower; it’s an expertly crafted story told through exhilarating ups and downs. Whether you’re a Marvel aficionado, a thrill-seeker, or someone just looking for a hearty laugh, this attraction delivers on all fronts. Its reimagining from the beloved Tower of Terror could have been controversial, but with its impeccable execution and the added seasonal twist, it’s evident that this attraction has carved its legacy in the Disney parks.

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Guardians tower during day
Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! Review
The Final Word
Guardians of the Galaxy - Mission: BREAKOUT! is the only re-theming that we approve of after replacing the Twilight Zone. The attraction keeps guests busy from the time they enter the tower with awesome props and films. Once on the gantry lift guests experience a lot of butt-air time as they go up and down while enjoying some humorous interactions with The Guardians. It's a must experience for any park visitor.