The tallest building in Disney California Adventure Park houses a classic free-fall ride, but Guardians of the Galaxy–Mission: Breakout is also the home base for a distinct group of characters within Disneyland Resort: superheroes. The Marvel Comics-themed ride deftly combines a shriek-inducing drop with a pop music soundtrack and the cheeky characters of the Guardians of the Galaxy comic-book and film series.
The 56-metre-high structure in the Hollywood Land section of the park used to be known as the Tower of Terror, which took riders into a haunted, Twilight Zone-themed adventure. But unlike its spooky predecessor, Mission: Breakout has an upbeat, even free-wheeling vibe. (Even so, the ride is intense enough that it’s only recommended for teenagers and older.)
The ride’s storyline follows Rocket (the mechanically minded raccoon Guardian) as he hatches a plan to liberate his fellow Guardians who have become trapped inside The Fortress, a museum of space creatures and oddities overseen by long-standing comic-book villain The Collector.
As the ride begins, look out for the various treasures in the glass display cases that The Collector has already amassed in his bottom-floor museum, a rotating exhibition of Marvel-themed props and gizmos, including Chitauri blasters from the Guardians of the Galaxy series, and Asgardian weaponry of Thor or Avengers fame. Then, a lift takes you up the tower, but as Rocket’s plan goes awry—in various ways—you end up in free-fall.
Fully experiencing Mission: Breakout, however, means going on it at least six times, since there are that many unique variations on Rocket’s escape scenarios and each scenario gets its own catchy soundtrack (the Guardians’ leader, Star-Lord, has a passion for mix-tapes). One experience might feature Pat Benatar’s 'Hit Me With Your Best Shot', and another, The Jackson 5’s 'I Want You Back'.
To keep the groove going, check out the 'Awesome Dance Off' parties staged near the ride, where you can flaunt your moves and meet and greet characters including Groot, the loveable talking-tree Guardian.