Culture + Style

Disney’s Tower of Terror Checks In its Final Guests

Disney’s Hollywood Tower Hotel has sent visitors shrieking down its elevator shafts for over a decade. Its final guests, however, are making some permanent changes to the iconic attraction.

Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy will take over “The Twilight Zone”-themed Tower of Terror in 2017, with a revamped ride in which Star-Lord and his gang of space misfits try to break out of a fortress that houses alien artifacts gathered by The Collector. They’re among the items trapped inside display cases.

Tower of Terror will permanently close Jan. 2, 2017, Disney has announced.

The timing for the new ride, “Guardians of the Galaxy—Mission: Breakout!” will debut as Marvel releases “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2,” in theaters on May 5. The first film was a break out hit for Marvel, earning more than $773 million at the worldwide box office.

We at Marriott TRAVELER hate to see a hotel close–even a creepy one–but the Guardians will make history, given that they’re the first of Marvel’s cinematic characters to get a dedicated ride at Disney’s California theme parks in Anaheim. Others are expected to follow, with Walt Disney Imagineering veteran Joe Rohoe saying, “It is the first in what is going to become a whole new universe in Disney California Adventure.”

The franchise’s stars Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana and Dave Bautista will appear in new footage filmed for the ride, while Bradley Cooper will again voice Rocket raccoon.

Disney will replace its Tower of Terror ride with an attraction for Marvel's "Guardians of the Galaxy" at California Adventure, in Anaheim, Calif.
Disney will replace its Tower of Terror ride with an attraction for Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy” at California Adventure, in Anaheim, Calif.
A rendering of the new exterior of the Tower of Terror at California Adventure. Much of the structure will remain the same. (Art provided by Disney)
A rendering of the new exterior of the Tower of Terror at California Adventure. Much of the structure will remain the same. (Art provided by Disney)
Inside the new “Guardians of the Galaxy”-themed attraction which will feature display cases of alien artifacts. (Art provided by Disney)

The Tower of Terror was one of the first rides to debut at California Adventure when the park opened in 2004.

It came with its own backstory: The Hollywood Tower Hotel opened in 1928, and quickly became a hit with celebrities. It was abandoned after lightning struck the property on Oct. 31, 1939, causing an elevator with guests to vanish, along with a large portion of the hotel. The ride sets up a lost episode of “The Twilight Zone,” in which guests ride a service elevator to learn what happened on that fateful night. A library set features props from “Twilight Zone” episodes.

Fans will have until early 2017 to ride its plumetting elevator shafts.

The Tower of Terror, at Hollywood Studios, in Orlando, is also expected to get a makeover soon, with a “Frozen”-themed castle attraction, according to Disney observers, who had revealed plans for the “Guardians” takeover months before Disney unveiled “Mission: Breakout” at San Diego Comic-Con.