Thea Awards Recipients

Thea Awards 2018

Thea Award for Outstanding Achievement - Attraction Reimagining

Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT!, Disney California Adventure, Disneyland Resort, Anaheim, CA, USA

The entire building has been reimagined as Tivan’s Collection,
with the exterior meant to resemble an intergalactic fortress.
Photo: Disney

This exhilarating new experience is based on Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy” film franchise. Disney Imagineers met the challenge by creating a thrilling, immersive adventure with brilliant content choices, leveraging what people love about “Guardians” and bringing the popular movies authentically to life.

Guardians of the Galaxy - Mission: BREAKOUT! was designed around a pre-existing ride system, guest flow and facility layout, re-imagined using the popular characters (and actors), environments and lore from the GotG franchise.

“The Collector” (aka Taneleer Tivan, played with style by Benicio Del Toro) has recently brought his traveling exhibit to Earth, including his latest and most prized possessions: The Guardians of the Galaxy. The Guardians do not take well to being part of a live exhibit, and while they are busy complaining, Rocket devises an escape plan and recruits the audience.

The environment leverages the unique production design and character roles from the film creatives. The entire building has been reimagined as Tivan’s Collection, with the exterior meant to resemble an intergalactic fortress. Once inside, guests are greeted by Tivan (Del Toro). Hundreds of props and items in the lobby and throughout the pre-show are a Marvel fan’s dream.

When the ride (Gantry) portion starts, a silhouette of Rocket pops up on top, unplugs a wire, and plugs in a cassette player to start the rock and roll music that powers the ride experience. The gantry continues to move up and down, stopping multiple times to open the doors, showing a view of the chaos erupting as Rocket does his thing.

The flow through the attraction, from the exterior to Marvel props to the new ride programming, authentically integrates the Guardians mythology. The decision to amplify a small section of the first film – “The Collector” – gives fans a fun, recognizable storyline. Strategically selecting Rocket, a genetically engineered raccoon, as the audio-animatronic character to help drive the pre-show, is brilliant and well-executed. He’s known for asking people to do crazy things.

Linking 1970s soundtrack selections (like ‘Hit Me With Your Best Shot’) to the various ride programs also connects guests emotionally to the experience. This expertly crafted attraction has won over even the most skeptical fans. -- 2017-18 TEA Thea Awards Committee

Find out more about TEA member Walt Disney Imagineering

Award Credits