Disney has a history of turning Hollywood successes into theme park rides and then replacing them later with updated versions. It seems that the Twilight Zone: Tower of Terror is next on the list. Reports are that Disney is planning on replacing the thrill ride with a Guardians of the Galaxy ride at Disney Hollywood Studios in 2017.

Guardians of the Tower

The Tower of Terror has been in existence since 1994 and was first opened in Orlando, Florida at what was originally called Disney-MGM Studios. It's based off The Twilight Zone science fiction television show that was hosted by Rod Serling. The show became a landmark of its time because it featured a new cast and a new storyline every week with the characters often facing dire consequences in the most peculiar of circumstances.

Like the show, the Tower of Terror is also hosted by Serling and invites riders into the Twilight Zone via a haunted hotel with a terrifying 13-story plunge at the end. It's so popular that theme parks like Six Flags and Universal Studios began to copy its model and Disney installed duplicate versions of the ride at its California, Japan, and Paris locations as well.  

Sometimes the classics are best

So, with all of this infamy, why would Disney replace the ride? The answer could be that The Twilight Zone is a 1960's show and most millennials have no idea what it is. Guardians of the Galaxy came out in 2014 and was a huge blockbuster, grossing over $333 million in the U.S.

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alone. Add in the fact that Disney has redone its Pirates of the Carribbean ride to include film character Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) and turned Space Mountain into Star Wars HyperSpace Mountain ahead of the 2015 Star Wars: The Force Awakens release, and you've got the masters of cross-promotion doing what they do best. 

The problem is that not all Disney's ride makeovers have faired well. A brief subsection of the population remembers a little known ride called Alien Encounter: The Extra TERRORestrial. It was located in the Disney's Orlando theme park in the early 2000's and featured a terrifying storyline where an Independence Day-like alien gets teleported to earth and wreaks havoc on the audience. The ride utilized special effects chairs that simulated the alien breathing on riders, touching them and hurling alien goo at them. For thrill seekers, the ride was incredible, but since Disney parks are geared towards children, the ride was deemed too scary and made over into a Lilo and Stitch-themed ride called Stitch's Great Escape Show.

It's not nearly as memorable as the original ride and is far from a Disney favorite.

Fan backlash

Disney might have underestimated the popularity of The Tower of Terror ride and overestimated the Guardians of the Galaxy ride. Sure, people would love a Guardians ride, but not at the expense of losing one of the best thrill rides in the park. In fact, fans are so upset over the proposed switching of the ride, that they've started a change.org petition just today.

While no official decision has been made, rumor has it that Disney is just testing the idea and nothing has been officially set in stone. So, fans might not lose this beloved ride just yet. In any case, if Disney does decide to keep the Tower of Terror ride, it might decide to go ahead with the Guardians of the Galaxy ride in another location in the park. It does have to compete with Universal's The Wizarding World of Harry Potter attractions and Disney's Star Wars Land is still in the early stages of construction. Time will tell if the Tower of Terror will remain or disappear into The Twilight Zone.