Confirmed: DCA Tower of Terror to be re-skinned with Marvel theming

Don’t freak out – yet – it’s just a rumor, but it’s a widely reported one and it’s picking up steam.

Update Monday, July 25, 2016: Rumor confirmed.

The DCA Tower of Terror will be closed down within the year (some sources say late 2016, some say early 2017) to be re-themed as Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy. It will reopen summer 2017. MiceChat has a very detailed article (and some speculation) on the re-skin.

If this change makes you unhappy, join the protest:

Numerous sources report a Guardians of the Galaxy or Marvel-themed “makeover” (or total ruining, depending how you look at it) in the works for the Disney California Adventure Twilight Zone Tower of Terror attraction, coming as soon as 2017.


The rumor goes something like this…

Disney’s paying mad bucks to CBS to license the Twilight Zone for its Towers in Paris, Florida, and California. Meanwhile, Marvel (also owned by Disney) is printing money like its going out of style, and Marvel-themed attractions would undoubtedly draw some crowds (the same way Star Wars is packing people into Tomorrowland with Season of the Force).

Iron clad licensing agreements with Universal Orlando (hello, Islands of Adventure) don’t allow for anything from the Marvel universe to appear at Walt Disney World, so this revamp would be limited to parks outside of Florida, namely Disney California Adventure.

(This also might mean the Florida tower is safe… for now.)

Where’s the rumor coming from?

Specifically, a poster by the name of “WDW1974”, also known as “Spirit”, on the rumor forums shared (supposedly) insider knowledge that Disney is looking to remake the California Tower in time for 2017, to be the first of many major Marvel attractions coming to DCA and parks not located in Florida.

“If they have their way, the current Anaheim ToT will close around the first oft the year and reopen before summer with an entirely new GotG based show, still (somehow I am told) centered on a haunted hotel from the 1930s.” [source post]

From what I can tell, Spirit has historically been a reliable source of insider knowledge regarding Disney parks.

How likely is this rumor to be true?

Obviously, Disney’s no stranger to building drop towers without the Twilight Zone licensing. They already did it for Tokyo DisneySea, and avoided paying licensing and royalty fees to CBS. Disney’s also not afraid to inject new and popular IPs into classic attractions, such as Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean and Frozen in the Maelstrom attraction at EPCOT.

The rest of this is my own speculation – take it with a grain of salt!

I think it’s fairly likely that Disney would permanently re-skin one or more of its Towers with a new theme. Whether that’s Guardians of the Galaxy, or something from the larger Marvel universe (Stark Tower?), or something else entirely is harder to say.

I thought GOTG was a fun film, but was it substantial enough to base one of the park’s strongest attractions on? I don’t know about that. If someone had asked me what theme I thought Disney might redo the Tower with, I’d have guessed Star Wars!

But I do know that The Twilight Zone license is old and was only vaguely familiar to me as a kid 20+ years ago, and I’m sure it hasn’t fared any better with kiddos born in the 90’s and 00’s.

Furthermore, the DCA Tower has forever lived in the shadow of the Florida Tower. Anyone who has ridden both is quick to compare the two and the Florida tower almost always comes out on top, if the comments this site gets are any indication. A unique theme in DCA could help the two towers stand on their own unique merits.

I also think Bug’s Land is ripe for bulldozing. A fully-realized Marvel-themed land could fit in that space, capitalizing on the record-breaking films’ collective popularity better than that glorified gift shop / museum over by Space Mountain ever could.


What’s the fan reaction?

Negative reactions abound on fan forums, but those are enthusiast forums, not the general public.

I trust Disney will do a good job with any makeover they might apply to the Tower, as they have with revamps in the past, but don’t take this as happiness on my part – I’ll be sad to see the Twilight Zone disappear from DCA. This Tower holds many special memories for me, and it saddens me to think I soon may not be able to “go back” to it, the same way I can’t go back to the Back to the Future attraction in Universal Orlando.

Anyway, that’s what I know about the Tower of Terror revamp rumor – I’ll post more when more is known! And if you know more than I do, please share in the comments!



  1. I hope this rumor dies. Recent reports are saying that just DCA’s Tower will get the change so having the reasoning behind no longer paying CBS licensing fees doesn’t make much sense. On a personal side, DCA’s Tower was a great inspiration to me and I can’t easy go to WDW to ride my favorite ride. I worry about the whole Marvel-land expansion in DCA. I can not see a logical California theme for it. Bug’s Land is already stretching the California theme to the ends of the earth.

  2. Marianne says

    You know what, it seems like nothing at Disneyland (as a whole ) can be counted on anymore. Adding a Jack Sparrow to Pirates is no comparison to removing Twilight Zone to “reskin” with Guardians. What was the idea of DCA Hollywood Land? First we are told it’s about Old Hollywood. But, lets take out the Teilight Zone theme, heck that’s not actually old Hollywood,it’s just O-L-D. Twighlight Zone is part of the American fabric, but so is Apple Pie and geez, the youngsters arent into Apple Pie, they want something else.
    Soarin Over California as an attraction in DCA made sense, it’s a whole place named Disney CALIFORNIA Adventure. Lets revamp it to include the whole world. Ok, now lets think, maybe we were too quick in naming DCA! At this point, the entire DCA park needs to be renamed. And why not? As mentioned Disney is not afraid to make changes. They need to chase the almighty dollar and in doing so there are always casualties. One thing that they can take to the bank is that all people die and there will always be babies born to fill the parks in the future.
    I’m not opposed to Disney making money or keeping on top of things to continue to do so. It makes no sense not to. I say this with joy, They got my money! I’m happy to be an annual pass holder. I’m happy to go to this wonderful amazing place that I grew up with and in. My Dad’s construction business was there in the 60s working on expansions and my son designed tile work layout for Disney California Adventure. I’ll continue to be there and continue to bring my family. I’m not an expert. I have no idea why, what or how the Disney powers that be come up with their decisions. I am just saying that since change is inevitable and good for business, why not pick an area, one area, of either park to rotate all the new ideas. Keep them going until they no longer make money and do the appropriate re skin. Just thinking out loud and as I say, I know nothing about the details so, I’m sure my idea is off.
    Two cents laid down, lol

  3. The reason that the Disney park in Tokyo didn’t license The Twilight Zone for their attraction at DisneySea had nothing to do with Disney not wanting to pay licensing fees. The park is iowned by The Oriental Land Company and they choose not to use The Twilight Zone to avoid the licensing fees. The Walt Disney Company never had anything to do with this.

  4. Well, it appears the rumor may indeed be true. There is the character called the collector in GOTG, which sort of reminds me of Harrison Hightower from the Tokyo Tower, so I can see them using this as a back story. However, it is kind of depressing as a huge tower fan that my favorite ride is going to be ruined. Star wars and marvel are taking Disney away from its great original story telling foundation.

  5. *language warning*
    It’s true…
    The overall impression has been very negative, regardless of being fanatics or not. Just a look at the recent tweet regarding it. A majority of the 1.2K retweets have been negative, and with the most recent youtube video, the like to dislike ratio is 251:807, with the sum of all the comments saying “fuck you disney” for both sites. So at this point, I say we just need to be the loud majority. Give Disney our honest feedback, and hopefully they’ll reconsider.



  6. towerofterrorgeek123 says

    you dont worry,i wrote a letter. i havent sent it yet but (if he listens to the ps,) soon, hollywoodland will be CROWDED. if he listens, ill send it!

    ps, did you know the person talking in mission breakout commercial, is actullay the guy who played harrison hightower in toykos tower? i geuss he will be known as #theguywho was in the tower #but hates the tower….,,, if you know what i mean…

  7. The Rumor Is True

  8. I’m THIS CLOSE to exploding. You get to it now, of course the scaffolding is creeping me out, and even though it’s not January yet, they ugly it up to ” have a reason for closing it.” If I could reveal my rage, welp, here it is:


  10. its. closin. today. you no, i feel like crying, not just about the ToT changes (which i already did,) but also like the disneyland railroad and rivers of america. i will never get to experience the classic ride again, like ToT. (also, if disneyland is a place where dreams come true, then why isnt my dream coming true: bob chapek dying and star wars land and mission breakout closing?)(suddenly: AAAAAAGHHHH!!!!!!! Bob chapek is dead! and star wars land and mission breakout are canceled!)(:DDDDDDDDD)

  11. :(. well. its gone. RIP tower of terror,may 5 2004 to january 2cnd, 2017

  12. BRUH.