‘Guardians’ come to Dis­ney­land

The ride at Dis­ney Cal­i­for­nia Ad­ven­ture Park opens to­day

Cape Breton Post - - Entertainment - AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Step­ping in­side Dis­ney’s lat­est theme park at­trac­tion, Guardians of the Galaxy: Mis­sion BREAK­OUT!, is like be­ing thrust into one of block­buster films’ pul­sat­ing, ac­tion-packed trail­ers.

Mu­sic blares through­out the tower drop ride as guests are treated to a vis­ual feast of images from the “Guardians” uni­verse, as well as cameos by se­ries stars Chris Pratt, Zoe Sal­dana and oth­ers. The mo­tion of the ride, set pri­mar­ily in a prison tower el­e­va­tor, de­pends on which of six songs from the ‘60s, ‘70s and early ‘80s is play­ing. That va­ri­ety is what Dis­ney is hop­ing will keep guests re­turn­ing mul­ti­ple times.

The at­trac­tion, Dis­ney’s first based on its slate of Mar­vel films, de­buted Thurs­day night for jour­nal­ists and VIPs at an elab­o­rate grand open­ing.

The ride at Dis­ney Cal­i­for­nia Ad­ven­ture Park in Ana­heim opens to the pub­lic to­day.

The at­trac­tion of­fers nu­mer­ous vis­ual and au­dio treats, start­ing with the 8-foot (2me­ter) gilded statue of Beni­cio Del Toro’s flam­boy­antly-dressed char­ac­ter, The Col­lec­tor, which greets vis­i­tors when they walk in.

Del Toro called the statue, which he saw for the first time in­side the at­trac­tion Thurs­day, sur­real. “Ac­tu­ally I look pretty cool in that statue,” he said. “The whole thing and then the ride, it’s a blast.”

Sal­dana, Del Toro, Michael Rooker and “Guardians” di­rec­tor James Gunn were among the celebri­ties at­tend­ing Thurs­day’s open­ing.

The at­trac­tion is housed in a 183-foot (55-me­ter) tower that’s been trans­formed into a prison where Guardians char­ac­ters are held by The Col­lec­tor. Rid­ers are

told they are part of a VIP group tour­ing The Col­lec­tor’s lat­est ac­qui­si­tion, the Guardians, be­fore be­ing en­listed in a plot to help the he­roes es­cape.

In keep­ing with the film, mu­sic and ir­rev­er­ent hu­mour are fre­quently used through­out the ride.

The ride’s ac­tion is cen­tred in an el­e­va­tor that as­cends and drops through the tower dur­ing the res­cue mis­sion. The el­e­va­tor’s move­ments change de­pend­ing on which song is play­ing. On one ride guests might get an ex­pe­ri­ence tai­lored to Elvis Pres­ley’s “Burn­ing Love” while oth­ers will have the el­e­va­tor con­trolled by the rhythms of a hit from The Jack­son 5 or Pat Be­natar. The me­dia pre­view was set to Be­natar’s “Hit Me With Your Best Shot.”

The ride was de­vel­oped with Gunn’s as­sis­tance. Through two

“Guardians” films, he’s trans­formed the char­ac­ters from lit­tle-known denizens in Mar­vel’s uni­verse into house­hold names. Gunn di­rected scenes with Pratt and other char­ac­ters dur­ing shoot­ing of “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2,” which has earned more than $300 mil­lion in its first three weeks in the­atres.

Gunn said work­ing on the ride was rad­i­cally dif­fer­ent from film­ing a movie. “Ev­ery­thing is a lit­tle bit big­ger, ev­ery­thing is a lit­tle be more grand than it is in the movies and the ac­tors re­flect that and so that was a lot of fun for me be­cause it was cre­at­ing a lot of the kabuki theatre ver­sion of the Guardians which was re­ally cool.”

The ride is housed in a re­designed drop tower struc­ture that once housed the Twi­light Zone Tower of Ter­ror at­trac­tion.

Part of the makeover in­cluded adding Del Toro’s Col­lec­tor

char­ac­ter and other Easter Eggs from the films. Rocket, a lethal wise-crack­ing rac­coon-like crea­ture voiced in the films and ride by Bradley Cooper, is brought to life through an­i­ma­tron­ics.

The ride is Dis­ney’s ma­jor ad­di­tion to its West Coast theme parks. Walt Dis­ney World’s An­i­mal King­dom in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, is open­ing a 12acre at­trac­tion, Pan­dora - The World of Avatar, this sum­mer.

Sal­dana also ex­pe­ri­enced the Pan­dora at­trac­tion this week. “I know that for me I was very thrilled by it, be­cause even though I was part of this movie, I didn’t get to ex­pe­ri­ence it like that,” she said. “We got to imag­ine it but we never got to walk in it.”

Sal­dana said she was grate­ful to Gunn and Dis­ney for im­mor­tal­iz­ing her and the rest of the Guardians cast with the new ride.

AP PHOTO

In this May 25, 2017 photo, di­rec­tor James Gunn, left, and Michael Rooker, a star in the film, “Guardians of the Galaxy II,” ap­pear at the grand open­ing of the new Guardians of the Galaxy–Mis­sion: Break­out! at­trac­tion at Dis­ney Cal­i­for­nia Ad­ven­ture park, in Ana­heim, Calif. The ride opens to the pub­lic to­day.

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