Disneyland Comes Up With New Ride, People Howls
Disney is making a major change to its ride particularly with Twilight Zone Tower of Terror.
It was noted few years ago that Disneyland pruned some overgrown trees, and some guests had an absolute fit. A Disney executive told at the time that one outraged annual pass holder started an email like this: "HOW DARE YOU."
Imagine the din that has broken out around Disney's plans to re-theme one of its most popular Anaheim rides. The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, a haunted 1930s-era hotel with wildly malfunctioning elevators, will close in January and reopen a few months later as a new ride with a jaunty story line based on Marvel's "Guardians of the Galaxy." It will be Disney's first Marvel ride in the United States since buying that comics company in 2009.
"Un-called for and absurd" is how an online Save the Tower petition signed by more than 35,000 people described the plan. At least one group intends to hold a vigil. One fan blog chastised Disney for a "lack of imagination," adding that Mickey Mouse "may as well surrender" to Universal theme parks. Most of the comments on an explanatory video posted by Marvel on Oct. 4 are not kind.
There are sensible reasons for the overhaul. It's about future plans to turn that entire corner of the two-park Disneyland Resort into a Marvel area. It's about staying relevant; a vast majority of guests have no connection to "The Twilight Zone," which was popular on CBS in the 1960s, but they do know "Guardians of the Galaxy," which took in $773 million at the global box office in 2014. It's about corporate synergy.
Even so, the outcry says something interesting about the property's relationship with locals and the challenges that Disney faces when making changes (rest assured, some people will yell, and they now have social media as a megaphone). Disney's magic trick, of course, is to have it both ways: The company's parks sell nostalgia, but they must also appeal to the Snapchat generation.