Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT has been delivering thrills to fans since it opened in spring of 2017. The ride became an instant classic and is one of the most popular rides across all Disney Parks all over the world. 

You don’t have to be a fan of the Guardians of the Galaxy movies to understand what’s happening inside the ride, nor do you need to be a Marvel fan in general. However, it does help add to the experience.

The ride could be frightening to riders who don’t like sudden drops. We’ll get into that later on in the article, but it’s worth noting that anyone who doesn’t like drop rides will not like this ride and there’s not way around it. Mission: BREAKOUT is all about fast drops and upward acceleration, so if those things bother you then this is not the ride for you.

Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT is a fun ride that you will want to experience more than once, and so you might consider waiting in line for one ride while holding a Fastpass for a second ride. Trust me, it’s that good. You won’t be disappointed.

Overview

Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT opened in May 2017. The ride took over the space previously occupied by The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, and while many fans of Tower of Terror were sad to see the ride go, they were very pleased with the ride that took its place. 

Mission: BREAKOUT is located at the end of the Hollywood Land. Until June 2018 it was located next to A Bug’s Land, which is now being replaced by Marvel Land. Marvel Land is scheduled to open in 2020 and Mission: BREAKOUT will serve as the perfect segue to the new land. As it stands now it’s slightly out of place at the end of Hollywood Land.

The Story and What to Expect

The premise of the ride is that guests are visiting the Collector’s famous exhibit of rare items. The Tivan Collection recently acquired the Guardians of the Galaxy, who find themselves trapped in the eerie museum. Naturally Rocket escapes and hatches a plan to break his friends out, but he needs your help. The ride is the story of how he gets everyone out.

When guests enter the queue there are Easter Eggs everywhere, from Rocket’s handprints outside to various props from the movies inside. You’ll see Cosmo the Dog and many other items from ten years of Marvel movies, and these items change over time so if you visit after a movie release you might see something new in the collection.

Disney Imagineers took the concept of Tower of Terror to the next level by creating a ride that features several variations on a theme. Instead of one story there are six possible ride experiences, all with their own soundtracks. What’s more is that there is a special Halloween edition of the ride, Monsters After Dark, that takes over when the sun goes down during Halloweentime in the park.

Here are the six songs guests might experience on the ride:

  • “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” by Pat Benatar
  • “Give Up the Funk” by Parliament
  • “Born to be Wild” by Steppenwolf
  • “I Want You Back” by the Jackson 5
  • “Free Ride” by The Edgar Winter Group
  • “Burning Love” by Elvis Presley

Each song is accompanied by different filmed scenes featuring the Guardians of the Galaxy during their battle to escape the Tivan Collection and the Collector’s Fortress. What’s more is that the ride is different for each song. In every case the ride shoots up and down in a completely unpredictable pattern as it follows a different character’s journey on this adventure. There’s no warning when you’re going to drop or shoot into the air. 

“Born to be Wild” is a particularly crazy ride while “Free Ride” features several moments when the gravity seems to be cut for the Guardians and so there are periods on the ride where it feels like your floating.

Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT features a maximum speed of 39 mph with a 130’ drop, and you might experience that drop more than once depending on which version of the ride you end up with. The entire ride lasts just over two minutes, but it feels like it’s much longer than that.

There’s no rhyme or reason to which song you will get. While there are three elevator shafts, each with two gantry lifts available for passengers, there’s no way to tell which song you’re getting until the ride begins. As soon as the ride is in motion, Rocket tells you to raise your hands and that’s when the fun begins. Most of the drops and acceleration takes place in pitch darkness, so you don’t know if you’re going up or down.

This ride is so much fun that you’ll hear people singing, laughing, screaming and generally having a great time throughout the ride. There’s a very clear point when the picture is being taken (the doors open at the top of the ride and Rocket asks if this is Disneyland) so there’s time to pose for the camera before you drop back down into the darkness. 

To Wait in Line or Not to Wait in Line

Despite being almost two years old, Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT still manages to have long lines no matter what time of year it is. On any given day you might encounter lines between 45 and 60 minutes long, and when it’s busy the line is usually upwards of two hours long. 

Personally I don’t mind the 45 minute wait because there is always something to see or hear (the queue has its own soundtrack) and if you’re lucky you’ll be in line when the Avengers drive by on the way to a photo shoot, or the musical act Five and Dime drive by, or you might even get to watch the Awesome Dance Off starring Star Lord and Gamora.

Lines longer than 45 minutes is pushing it, so at that point getting a Fastpass is a good idea. If you have MaxPass on the Disneyland App you can book a Fastpass from your phone, and if you want to do things the old-fashioned way then you’ll have to go to the attraction to get a Fastpass added to your ticket. Keep in mind that you can monitor Fastpass availability on the Disneyland App so that you know if they’re still available. 

During Halloweentime it’s busier after sunset as fans flock to the Monsters After Dark version of the ride, which means long lines because there are no Fastpasses offered and the ride shuts down briefly in the late afternoon to prepare for the transition. 

When you have a MaxPass or Fastpass you are able to circumvent the outside queue and enter the building directly. 

Once you have entered the building, no matter if you have a MaxPass or Fastpass, you’re directed into one of two holding areas. Your hands are “scanned” for clearance before being admitted into Tivan’s office, where Rocket gives you the breakdown of the mission. From there you exit into the next room, which holds another queue. 

One holding area directs people upstairs while the other keeps everyone on the main level. From this point the wait to get on the ride can take another 20-30 minutes if the line is full, or it can go quickly. Each ride can hold 21 people and cast members make sure they fill each gantry lift. Be sure to listen for requests for single riders because that can help you to skip the line. 

Keep in mind that there are two queues to the ride, so once you’re inside the building there will still be a wait no matter if you have a Fastpass or not.

If the ride breaks down, or if there is an issue with a guest, the line will stop moving temporarily. You will be given an update and you’ll have the choice of staying in line or leaving it. Breakdowns are usually fixed within 20-30 minutes so it’s worth staying in line if you’re close to the front. 

Pro tip: If you’re visiting Disney California Adventure in the summer, bring a drink with you into the queue. Most of the line is in the shade but there isn’t much of a breeze and it gets really hot. On some days there are cast members who pass through the line selling water and popcorn, but you can’t count on them to be there. Bring your own drink and either stash it in your bag or toss it before going inside. 

Happy Riders

There is absolutely no doubt that anyone who isn’t a fan of drop rides will hate this ride. It doens’t matter how much of a fan you are of Guardians of the Galaxy. This ride is not for the faint of heart. 

One of the challenges with the ride, which is different from the experience of The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, is that there is no way to tell when the ride is going to drop or shoot into the air (technically, if you ride it enough and know the nuances of each song’s ride then you can start to predict the ride but that’s something that comes with experience).

With Tower of Terror it was easy to prepare for the drop because it happened just once. There’s no rhyme or reason with Mission: BREAKOUT and that’s what makes it so much fun. 

Between the long wait in line and the ride itself, there’s no point in trying to convince a reluctant child or adult to ride the ride. They won’t like it. I have personally seen people convince their friends to ride and they leave the ride in tears. Or, worse yet, people with extreme motion sickness will get sick on the ride and that’s no fun for anyone. 

Exiting the Ride

Once the ride is over guests exit the ride vehicle and go down a long hallway. If you were on the top boarding level you will have to walk down a flight of stairs.

At the end of the hallway is a bank of television screens to see the photos taken right before the big drop. Pro tip: Have your camera handy so you can take a picture of your photo. You’ll need the ride number to enter onto your PhotoPass account so you can download the photo later, and the photos tend to move quickly across the screens.

Pro tip: Don’t make any obscene gestures in your Disney photos. They will be removed. This is particularly unfortunate when you want to buy your photo and someone you don’t know throws up a gesture that causes the photo to be erased. There’s no way to get it back, so keep an eye on the people around you. Better yet, make it known you plan to buy the photo so people don’t mess it up for you.

After you view your photo you’ll exit the ride through a Marvel-themed store where you can buy everything from Guardians of the Galaxy merchandise to Funko Pop! Figures to the latest Marvel comics and movie merchandise. Take a look behind the cash registers because there is often exclusive ride merchandise for Annual Passholders available. 

This is also where you can pick up one of the most coveted Marvel items: A magnetic Groot doll that can perch on your shoulder. The shop is usually out of them, so always check with a cast member because they’re adorable and they’re a must-have for Groot fans.

Rating Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT

There’s a reason that Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT has gained such a large following in less than two years and it’s that the ride is as fun as the movies the ride is based on. From the themed queue to the Easter Eggs hidden inside, to the ride itself, the ride promises a good time and it delivers each and every time. 

Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT is 5/5 stars for delivering a fun ride every single time.

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