guardians mission breakout night

Joe Rohde and Imagineering Team Considered Spider-Man and Doctor Strange for Tower of Terror Overlay at Disney California Adventure

The Guardians of the Galaxy weren’t the only heroes being considered when Disney looked to reimagine The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror at Disney California Adventure. Before the attraction became Guardians of the Galaxy — Mission: BREAKOUT!, other Marvel heroes were considered. According to an article by the Orange County Register, Imagineeer Joe Rohde and his team considered Spider-Man and Doctor Strange before settling on the Guardians.

PHOTOS: Marquee Sign & Final Facade Details Revealed for Guardians of the Galaxy - Mission Breakout at California Adventure

In a recent podcast with D23, the now-retired Rohde discussed how the attraction evolved. Rohde and his team were tasked with finding out how to introduce the Marvel characters inside Disney parks.

What does Marvel mean to us? What do we mean to Marvel? What is this thing that we now have? How do we make it have meaning that is relevant to us?

Joe Rohde on D23 Podcast

The “thing that we now have” refers to Disney’s purchase of Marvel, which occurred in 2009. Disney spent $4 billion on the purchase.

We ran a couple ideas. We could do Doctor Strange. That would work really, really well in almost what Tower of Terror is. Spider-Man needs some space. It’s a different thing. And then Guardians.

Joe Rohde on D23 Podcast

So how did Guardians bump Spider-Man and Doctor Strange? The success of the first Guardians of the Galaxy film and its sequel no doubt played a role in the decision. Rohde was initially skeptical of the Guardians overlay.

For more information on booking your next trip with our official travel agent sponsor, the Vacationeer, visit

vacationeer TopBarAD2020 v2

[Using Guardians is] impossible. That’s a dumb idea. But then you have to work your way through that.

Joe Rohde on D23 Podcast

Ultimately, Rohde realized that the Tower of Terror had only a few details that made it look like a hotel. Removing those details provided Imagineering with a blank slate.

Rohde and his team embraced the irreverent nature and spirit of the Guardians. This allowed Imagineering to create an attraction that can stand alone outside of changing plot lines.

The plot lines will go on forever. The feeling stays the same. Forget about the plot line and what happened in the last movie. Everything has to feel like them. And that’s the work that we were really trying to do with that project.

Joe Rohde on D23 Podcast

A Guardians of the Galaxy attraction is coming to Walt Disney World in the future. Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind is currently under construction at EPCOT.

Would Guardians of the Galaxy — Mission: BREAKOUT! have been better with Spider-Man or Doctor Strange? Perhaps a different Marvel hero would have been a better choice. Use the comments to tell us what you would have done with the former Twilight Zone Tower of Terror attraction.

  1. It’s too bad that the location of Tower of Terror caused its gentrification. Mission Breakout lacks the time and place shifting that is the soul of a great attraction. It’s still enjoyable as a drop type ride, but doesn’t have the soul of a great Disney attraction. Galaxy’s Edge had the same issues, unlike Cars Land which hits all of the notes of a great Disney attraction. As much as I love Star Wars, that space at Disneyland probably should have been used for a Fantasyland expansion. Maybe Star Wars someday at the third park.

Comments are closed.