Going to Disneyland is every kid’s dream.
It’s a chance to enter the fantasy world of their favourite characters that fill their television screens, movie screens and toy boxes.
And since Disney acquired Pixar, Marvel and Lucasfilm, the number of themes and characters under Disney’s repertoire has rapidly expanded.
As part of that expansion, the parks and resort division of the business has updated it theme parks to reflect diversification of the brand.
This includes the highly anticipated “Pandora Land” which opened in Disney World, Florida earlier in the year.
But more recently, Disneyland’s California Adventure theme park in Anaheim launched the new “Guardians of the Galaxy” ride to replace the former “Tower of Terror”.
While in the city for Disney’s D23 Expo, Business Insider visited the park to try to ride, which opened just a couple of months ago, and hear from the man who designed the experience, Joe Rohde, the portfolio creative executive at Walt Disney Imagineering.
“Everybody loves the Guardians of the Galaxy,” says Rohde. “We are going to attempt to tell a story that honestly leads to a ride that’s about two minutes long.
“We are making some kind of short story… very tight form of storytelling, [and] one of the principles of good storytelling is that you really start from zero.”
“We have no idea how much you know about the Guardians of the Galaxy when you walk in the door… We have to show you everything.
“[Doing so means] absolutely every individual who encounters the story can follow it from beginning to end without having to refer to some third thing.”
The premise of the story is a prison break.
“Everybody has seen a prison break movie,” says Rohde. “There’s always somebody with a thumb print or an eyeball who can open the doors. We’ve got people who are held inside. You have the bad guy who’s in charge.
“The Guardians are imprisoned in The Collector’s fortress and that we, as special VIP guests of The Collector, are going to be brought in by Rocket who has escaped and enlisted to use our security clearance to open the doors so Rocket can blow up the generator, which will shut off the power, which will open the cages and free the Guardians.
“Except of course when you open the cages, you open all the cages, everything gets loose, and it turns into complete chaos.”
Here’s what we thought of the Guardians of the Galaxy ride.
Here's my ticket. Star Wars. Subtle promotion for 'The Last Jedi' which will be release in cinemas later this year
There's a tram you can catch if you get tired of walking around, or want to do a reconnaissance of the park before you get started
Before we get to the ride, there is one thing all entrants to Disneyland must do -- buy a pair of Mickey ears!
OK, time to get this show on the road. Speaking of... Hey, guys! There are street performers all around the park
Walking down the main street of California Adventure, visitors have a plethora of stores to choose from
'Looking at the building that we have, looking at the mass of it... (we ask) what can I do with this?' says Rohde.
'What kind of story can I tell with this? I have a ride vehicle that goes up and down really fast. I have a great big massive building that's very big and imposing.'
Every detail of the ride is fitting with the film, starring Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Vin Diesel and Bradley Cooper
The design of the ride has to get newbies up to speed on the storyline in a matter of minutes, while still be engaging enough for fans
We're next to go in. We're asked to raise out hands so they can be scanned and we can enter the next room
In here we are introduced to The Collector, who in the movie is the keeper of the largest collection of interstellar fauna. He has captured the Guardians of the Galaxy and we're here to help save them
Rocket, one of the Guardians of the Galaxy, cuts the Collector off mid-speech and tell us how we can help him rescue his friends
After scanning our hands one more time, the doors open and we enter a cage with metal seats and seatbelts. This only puts me more on edge
The next couple of minutes goes a little like this as we are brought to the top of the tower watch a short clip of the Guardians escaping. Then we freefall in complete darkness without warning. We go up and down multiple times
Once the ride stops, the doors open. I don't not which way is up or down. I don't normally get motion sickness but that made me super dizzy
Before I leave I check out the photo taken at the peak of the ride's terror. Yep, sufficiently scared
The author travelled to Los Angeles as a guest of Disney.
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