One of the most popular attractions at Disney California Adventure Park is about to undergo a major makeover to incorporate Disney's stockpile of superhero characters.
Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, an elevator-drop ride based on the old "Twilight Zone" television show, will close for good in January to be remade as an attraction based on Marvel's "Guardians of the Galaxy" superheroes.
Walt Disney Co. bought Marvel Entertainment Inc. in 2009 for $4 billion but had yet to inject many of the Marvel characters into the Anaheim theme parks. The ride will reopen next summer.
The move to re-create the Tower of Terror into a "Guardians of the Galaxy" attraction has been rumored on Disney fan blog sites for months but the Burbank-based entertainment giant has refused to comment on the speculation.
Some Disney devotees took to social media over the weekend to express their displeasure with the planned Tower of Terror overhaul, which was announced late Saturday.
"THE WORST IDEA EVER," and "YOU CAN'T POSSIBLY THINK OF GETTING RID OF IT. NO NO NO NO NOOO. NO." were among the reactions on Twitter.
Multiple "Save the Tower of Terror" petitions on change.org had garnered more than 20,000 signatures by late Monday morning.
The announcement was made by Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige at San Diego Comic-Con, the annual celebration of comics and pop culture.
"We are eager to present the attraction to the millions who visit Disney California Adventure and place them in the center of the action as they join in a mission alongside our audacious Guardians of the Galaxy team," he said in a statement.
In the past, Disney has added new features to existing rides to renew interest among park visitors. Space Mountain, for example, became Hyperspace Mountain when the park added elements borrowed from the popular "Star Wars" franchise, now owned by Disney.
But Disney representatives say that the new "Guardians of the Galaxy" ride will keep the fast-dropping elevator from the Tower of Terror, but the rest of the attraction will be completely overhauled.
They declined to say how much Disney will spend on the project.
Disney fans have speculated that the overhauled attraction will stand at the entrance to a new Marvel land at the park.
Although Disney representatives declined to comment on those rumors, they have hinted that the relaunched ride signals that the theme park is ready to introduce more Marvel characters at California Adventure Park.
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11:40 a.m. July 25: This article has been updated with reaction from Disney fans.