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Ride / Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT!

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The Collector: (voiceover) My friends, this is the moment you have been waiting for...
Rocket: Yeah, when Rocket unplugs you, and starts things rockin'!

Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! is a ride at Disney California Adventure based on the Marvel Cinematic Universe Guardians of the Galaxy film series, replacing DCA’s version of The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. It is the second note  Marvel-themed attraction at a Disney park since they acquired the franchise in 2009, and opened on May 27th, 2017. As of June 2021, it is now part of a larger Marvel area called Avengers C.A.M.P.U.S..

The Collector has invited guests to view his private collection of priceless artifacts and exotic creatures from all over the cosmos, including his newest acquisitions, the famed Guardians of the Galaxy. During the tour Rocket Raccoon escapes his cage and wrangles the guests into his plans to free his friends by riding the gantry lift to the top of the building so he can turn off the massive generator that's powering the control system keeping all the cages closed. It's a foolproof plan... right?

In 2017, a Halloween overlay was announced, entitled Guardians of the Galaxy: Monsters After Dark. Running nighty during September and October, it features Rocket and Groot as Rocket attempts to rescue Groot after the Collector's facility loses power and all the monsters contained within are set loose.

Provides examples of:

  • Air-Vent Passageway: Rocket gets into Tivan's office via an air vent.
  • Aliens Speaking English: Or Writing in English... played with; the descriptions of the items in the queue area and that appear on the Guardian's cages describing them are in English, presumably for the convenience of the Terran visitors, but Peter has to translate the writing for the other Guardians. The sign hanging beneath them is written in an alien language, with a small English subtitle for the benefit of the Terrans.
  • Alternate Continuity: Despite the ride using the aesthetics of the films (right down to having all of the actors reprise their roles), both Marvel and Disney Imagineers have stated that the ride is non-canon to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and is set in its own unique universe.
  • Arc Welding:
    • Just down the street is a newspaper dispenser containing an issue of The Daily Bugle, with the top of the Collector's fortress visible in the picture, and the headline "Alien invasion! Is Spider-Man Responsible?"
    • The ride's backstory was incorporated into Avengers C.A.M.P.U.S. when the latter opened; originally the Collector was just showing off to Disneyland's crowds, but now he wants to get the Avengers' attention and might have an ulterior motive.
  • The Bait: In the "Monsters After Dark" rendition, Rocket isn't even subtle in telling the audience that he intends to use them as bait while he looks for Groot, though never says it directly.
  • Beleaguered Assistant: Carina to the Collector. She painfully tests the biometric scanner in the preshow video and has to deal with all the creatures Rocket releases. In the exit, you can see several "Assistant of the Month" photos of her looking more unhappy in each one.
  • Berserk Button: Gamora does not like being described as the "Daughter of Thanos" and punches the glass. As the cages are electrified, this does not end well.
  • Biting-the-Hand Humor: A common complaint when the ride was announced was that, unlike the Hollywood Tower Hotel, the Collector's Fortress wouldn't fit the theming of the surrounding Hollywood Studios.note  When the elevator doors open at the top, Rocket remarks, "Disneyland? That's thematically inconsistent!"
  • The Cameo:
    • Stan Lee in the preshow.
    • Mantis shows up at the end as the team's getaway driver.
    • Howard the Duck can be seen in the Collection, in the background in the pre-show.
    • One of the smaller cages hanging above the queue contains Figment. Another in the basement has one animatronic of the Abominable Snowman from the Matterhorn Bobsleds, and near him, if you look closely, you can see Delores the octopus from the Country Bears Vacation Hoedown.
    • A ghost version of Yondu can be briefly spotted in a queue video in the "Monsters After Dark" overlay.
    • Surtur's Fire Dragon is the eponymous Monster After Dark. Interestingly, this is its first appearance, before it later appeared in Thor: Ragnarok.
    • There's a painting in the queue of the Collector and the Grandmaster playing checkers, capturing the moment when the latter Rage Quits. Just weeks before this ride opened, the Grandmaster had an Early-Bird Cameo in the end credits of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, presaging his serving as the secondary villain of Thor: Ragnarok. (While the detail has not yet made it into the films, these characters are brothers, as in the comics.)
  • The Collector: The Collector finds the Guardians to be so unique that he just had to trap them and add them to his collection.
  • Collector of the Strange: The Collector, obviously.
  • Combat Tentacles: The "We Want the Funk" ride profile shows some of the team members fighting off a large alien that has these. Peter's not doing so well.
  • Colon Cancer: Averted, as the ride's title uses both a colon and a dash, rather than using a colon twice.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • Rocket says "Ain't nothing in the universe like me, except me."
    • He also swipes Quill's walkman from the Collector's office.
  • Cuteness Proximity: Gamora at the end of the ride can be seen dancing with Baby Groot while petting Cosmo.
  • Developer's Foresight: If the Rocket Raccoon animatronic breaks in the pre-show room, he appears on the screen as a "Plan B" pre-show. Seen here. The Walkman is also already gone when this happens, since he shows it on the screen at the end of the pre-show. Monsters After Dark has the same thing as well, this time with Rocket's video feed stalling at certain points as he speaks due to the different atmosphere.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: One of the eponymous Monsters After Dark appears again in Thor: Ragnarok: Surtur's Fire Dragon.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • For the MCU as a whole, as Marvel and Disney have said that some items may be hints as to characters that will be included in future movies.
      • The one that has come to fruition so far is Surtur's Fire Dragon, which later is seen in Thor: Ragnarok, which serves as the eponymous Monster(s) After Dark. Whether it's the same one or another of the same species is unconfirmed, although it's much smaller than the one in the film.
    • In the queue, you can see a wanted poster for Mantis, since she wasn't captured with the rest. She indeed shows up at the end of the ride.
  • Glassy Prison: Done intentionally, as the Collector wants to show off the Guardians.
  • Great Escape: The plot of the ride is that the Guardians have been trapped by the Collector and it's up to you to help Rocket break them out.
  • The Guards Must Be Crazy: Justified; The cast members are actually on Rocket's side, out of spite for their Bad Boss. Some cast members that load the riders into the ride vehicle even go as far as to mention themselves giving Rocket the signal as they leave to start the ride.
  • Hostile Show Takeover: Inverted into a Heroic Show Takeover, as Rocket hijacks the Collector's video in his office to outline his plans to save his friends and requests the audience's help.
  • Immediate Sequel: Monsters After Dark is set right after the events of the normal version of the ride. After leaving the Tivan Collection, the Guardians suddenly realize that they accidentally left Groot behind in the facility, prompting Rocket to return on his own and once again recruit the guests' help.
  • Kinda Busy Here: On one of the randomized stops, Quill, Gamora, Groot and Drax end up struggling against an escaped tentacled alien. When Gamora calls for Rocket to help, he states he has his own problems at the current trying to keep the elevator under control.
  • Kirby Dots: As part of the 2021 Avengers C.A.M.P.U.S. expansion, pools and trails of blue cosmic energy on the ground surrounding the attraction were added to evoke the idea of the Collector having only recently teleported the Fortress there.
  • Lampshade Hanging: At the end of the ride, the Guardians thank the riders for helping, only for Drax to question why they're thanking them, because all they did was sit and watch.
    Drax: If anything, you should be thanking me.
  • Left the Background Music On: The collector can occasionally be heard on the intercom in the exit, complaining about Rocket hijacking the music.
  • Loose Canon: This attraction has mixed continuity points from both Guardians of the Galaxy films, likely to avoid any major spoilers for the second film. While it shows Mantis as part of the Guardians as shown in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, both the Milano and Peter's Walk Man appear, despite what happens in that film. Carina, who dies in the first movie, also appears. Disney Imagineers & Marvel explain, in a Q & A, that, while based on the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the rides themselves are part of a parallel universe separate from the films. "Monsters After Dark" also seemingly confirms that the ending of Vol. 2 is canon, because a queue video has Yondu's ghost appear.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero Guardians of the Galaxy: Monsters After Dark? Well, looks like Rocket's meddling with the power system let everything loose, including the Collector's lethal pets.
  • No Fourth Wall: At its launch, the ride's story was deliberately designed to avert the usual placemaking put into a themed land in favor of being set directly in the park. The Collector has dropped his fortress directly in the middle of California Adventure to take advantage of Disneyland's crowds. On the ride itself, Rocket will quip about the view of Disneyland and remark that it's "thematically inconsistent". (With Avengers C.A.M.P.U.S. opening up around Mission: Breakout, though, the story was tweaked so that the Avengers are now the target "audience" instead of Disneyland.)
  • Obvious Trap: Gamora accuses Peter of falling into one by accepting the Collector's invitation to a tour.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: We don't actually see how Rocket escapes.
    • The alternate preshow used when the animatronic breaks down implies that he drilled his way out with a supercharged electric toothbrush.
  • Oh, Crap!: Literally said by Rocket, when he sees the Fire Dragon, in; Monsters After Dark?
  • Prison Escape Artist: Rocket is described as this to justify how he managed to escape.
  • Rewatch Bonus: Or rather, "Re-ride Bonus" - each jaunt on the ride changes the Guardian escaping - either between Star-Lord, Gamora or Drax - and the song played during the escape.
  • Running Gag:
    • Peter being annoyed that no one calls him "Star-Lord"
    • A Stan Lee cameo.
  • Source Music: Rocket plugs Star Lord's walkman into the gantry lift's sound system.
  • Shmuck Bait: Rocket wants you to help him by taking the elevator to the top floor so he can reach the power generator to the building. He never bothers to mention in his plans that throwing out the power will cause the elevator to go out of control.
  • Skewed Priorities: Even though they've been trapped, Peter is at least happy they get a "really cool sign" and that they at least called him the leader in his description, even if they didn't name him Starlord.
    • Drax is glad they are all well secured, because he does not wish to fall into the spiky pit.
  • Shout-Out: Many to various Marvel (as well as non-Marvel) characters in the queue area.
    • A mask and weapon of the Dark Elves, plus Odin's book describing them, from Thor: The Dark World.
    • A Nova Corps uniform, as seen in the first Guardians of the Galaxy.
    • The Warlock's Eye, which was seen in Odin's vault in the first Thor.
    • A bookend/statue that resembles Frog Thor.
    • Cosmo the Space Dog.
    • Artifacts from an underwater civilization on earth that may be referencing Namor.
    • Bits of Orloni (the creatures Star-Lord uses as a microphone in the opening of the first Guardians movie) and Chitauri eyes (the aliens from the first Avengers movie).
    • A broken Ultron drone from Avengers: Age of Ultron.
    • Various Kree artifacts.
    • An Asgardian War Hammer that could be referencing Stormbreaker, the hammer of Beta Ray Bill. As of Infinity War, this appears to just be a mythology gag, as the MCU Stormbreaker was not forged until after the razing of Knowhere by Thanos.
    • The skeleton-like magical trap Doctor Strange used to capture Kaecilius.
    • Surtur's Fire Dragon from Thor: Ragnarok is the eponymous Monster After Dark in the overlay of the same name. Interestingly, the overlay began in September 2017, while the film didn't come out until November. Does that make Ragnarok a shout-out to the ride?
      • A painting of the Grandmaster from the same film also appears, alongside the Collector himself.
    • Nods to non-Marvel theme park attractions:
      • Figment is one of the creatures imprisoned in the lobby.
      • In the loading area, there are more inactive animatronics including Harold, the Yeti from the Matterhorn and Delores, the lovesick octopus from Country Bear Vacation Hoedown.
      • A bellhop cap and a painting from the Hollywood Tower Hotel.
      • An invoice from XS-Tech in the Collector's office.
  • The Smart One: Rocket claims he is this of the Guardians.
  • Tranquil Fury: Despite being trapped behind glass, that broken Ultron is still active and still wants to kill everyone.
    Ultron: I'm sure you're all nice people, but the only logical path to peace... is your... extinction.
  • Spikes of Doom: The Guardian's cages are suspended over a pit filled with rotating spikes all around the sides.
  • Stylistic Suck: Rocket illustrates his escape plan with very crude drawings.
  • Swarm of Rats: In some versions, Quill kicks one of the rat-like alien Orloni into Tivan's power source to short it out, only to get mobbed by a whole pack of its buddies that knock him off his feet.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: The cast members in the loading area will question your sanity during Monsters After Dark, as the Guardians aren't on display and there are monsters running around.