Disney officially announced at Comic Con that Guardians of the Galaxy would be replacing the current theme of Twilight Zone on Tower of Terror at Disney’s California Adventure. This change will be part of a larger addition of Marvel to that area of the park. While there had been rumors for quite some time that this may happen, the official announcement didn’t set well with many Disneyland enthusiasts; myself included. 

In recent years, Disney has shifted its focus toward expanding and capitalizing on its acquisitions of Star Wars and Marvel in the parks. The previously announced Stars Wars land was also met with much criticism by many Disneyland enthusiasts as its massive size forced the closure of many Disneyland mainstays and forced a major change to the Rivers of America; an original feature of the park. 

Given the recent revamp of California Adventure to enhance the theming that it sorely lacked when it first opened, it seems odd that Disney would want to slap Marvel in a place that it doesn’t seem to fit. Now, I will say that the area where Marvel is likely to takeover does need some work. One of the greatest strengths of Disney (in the past) was its theming and California Adventure was certainly not its best effort. With that said, a rework much like what was done with Buena Vista Street, could be amazing in that area. The current theme offers plenty of options and possible attractions that could have been explored. All it needs is a little imagination. 

Disney is a business. So it is understandable that they would want to capitalize as much as they can on both Star Wars and Marvel as they are revenue generators and will likely be big draws to the parks. In addition, Disney has committed to spending more money in the parks as part of their tax breaks from the city of Anaheim. So expansion is clearly on Disney’s mind. 

The concerning part for many park enthusiasts, though, is the lack of consistency in theming in recent years and the overall general direction the current leaderships seems to be taking the parks in. For example, Disney very recently spent time and money retheming the Grizzly Peak Airfield area creating a much more cohesive and well-themed area. A move like retheming Tower of Terror shows a real lack of consistency with regard to theming, lack of innovation and shows the direction the parks are headed. Disney has plenty of property outside of the current parks where a third park could house both Star Wars and Marvel. That park would certainly be a departure from many Disney parks, but makes more sense than squeezing them into the current parks. 

I’m sure that Disney will spend enough money to ensure that both the Star Wars and Marvel lands are well-themed and fully immersive environments. They will come with great fanfare and high attendance numbers. And maybe in a few years we will all forget about the controversy adding these lands created. But until Disney figures out how to remain consistent with its theming and really celebrate what has made Disneyland so great over the past 61 years, every addition to the parks will continue to be highly scrutinized and very controversial.