So we (my family and I) just learned that Disney, in their infinite wisdom, is going to be closing the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror ride in January in favor of a new Marvel themed ride focusing on Guardians of the Galaxy. This is a baffling decision to me for a couple reasons (neither of them personal) and then some personal reasons.
First, basing rides on superheroes (don’t get me wrong, I love superheroes) just seems to muddle the brand for me. Six Flags is the theme park I think of when I think of superhero based thrill rides. With the amount of money Disney charges to get into their parks I wouldn’t think they would invite comparison to a significantly cheaper competitor.
Secondly, and this seems to be a burgeoning pattern with California Adventure, it takes away from the overall theme of the park itself. Earlier this year they changed out the film that plays in the Soarin’ Over California ride (which is probably a good idea) and changed the ride’s name to Soarin’ Around the World (bad idea). Now they are taking the Hollywood Tower Hotel out of the Hollywood location in the park and replacing it with a space ride? Isn’t the point of California Adventure to, at least partially, reflect to visitors some disneyfied versions of California? I would think so. I mean if you really wanted a GotG ride it seems to me that you could easily move Star Tours to the new Star Wars Land they are building and put the GotG ride in Tomorrow Land (the science fiction land) rather than putting the Sci Fi ride in the middle of Hollywood land?
Logically, it just doesn’t make sense.
Personally I hate the idea. I realize that Disney wants to market and merchandise everything they can (that’s why there is only mass marketed crap at the Disney Store now) but there has to be a better way. Tower of Terror is one of the best, if not the best, attraction at the park. And much of what makes it a great ride is its theme. It’s not the only drop ride. It’s not the highest drop ride. The theme is what makes the ride. Honestly without that ride I doubt the park is worth the $100+ to get in. I think our next trip will be entirely focused on Disneyland. Well not entirely. We’ll probably end up spending more time outside of the Disney experience the next time we’re in Southern California (thinking next year).
My younger son actually cried when he found out the ride he rode for the first time during out last trip would not be there the next time. He liked it that much.
Maybe the point is that most people don’t feel California Adventure is worth the price of admission. There are things to do there, but there’s a reason the park closes earlier than Disneyland. Perhaps they’re hoping Marvel fans will breathe new life into the park.
It’s too bad we can’t afford to go again before they close the ride. It’d be nice to visit the hotel one last time.