Summer of Heroes has officially begun at Disney California Adventure Park and WOW, everything has really exceeded our expectations! We didn’t think Disney wouldn’t do an amazing job with both Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! and Summer of Heroes, we just didn’t know what to expect! Everything is seriously incredible and we’re SO excited to share some of the fun we experienced this past weekend with you!
We were able to attend the Premiere Party night on Friday and it was SO FUN. After seeing the 300 minute wait on Saturday (official opening day), we were so glad we were able to experience the attraction Friday night with pretty much no line! Also, the epic dance party and ALL the yummy new food offerings made the night even more special! We really had a blast! Check out some photos from our evening below along with more tips and info.
Our badge was created with this special Celestial alphabet on the back to help decode messages inside the Collector’s Fortress! So fun!
The treasure we were most excited about – this “Awesome Mix-tape” pin! How perfect is this?! This was exclusive to Annual Passholders on the premiere party night.
Our backpack with interchangeable straps (yes, you can choose from a variety of fun colors/designs for straps – make a new backpack everyday!) and interchangeable front pockets can be found here.
We were so excited to see our #mkmnursingspot benches are still in the same place! HA! On Saturday (opening day), this spot was being used for line queue overflow, but the night of the premiere, we saw this empty scene and it made us so happy! You can find these benches next to the gift shop attached to the exit to the ride. Trust us, once the lines die down, you will want to feed/nurse/get your babe to nap here! It’s a great secluded location.
We think this will also be one of the top new photo spots!
An 8 foot tall Taneleer Tivan (the Collector) statue in all its gold glory.
Once you enter the building, you’ll find this scene – the Collector’s treasures on display!
The big screen plays clips of various things, one being the Collector himself talking to guests, another is the Guardians of the Galaxy in their display cases (trying to figure out how to escape)!
Mugatu or the Collector? Or David Bowie? HAHA!
Once you complete your “scan” to gain clearance into the Collector’s private office, you’ll be greeted by the Collector himself on a big screen! He is interrupted half way through his “speech” by Rocket! Yes, that is an animatronic Rocket and it’s amazing.
Harold from The Matterhorn is one of the hidden gems in the line queue, just before you get to the Gantry Lift! He’s part of Taneleer Tivan’s collection! Love it.
When all the butterflies start to set in! HA!
We laughed, danced and screamed our heads off! This ride is not only a different theme than Tower of Terror, but the whole feel of it is different. It’s definitely more upbeat, not spooky or scary, and you’ll just want to dance right out of your seatbelt (that would be bad, don’t do that). We LOVED it (and no, we aren’t just saying that, we really had SO MUCH FUN).
If you didn’t already know, the attraction has SIX different break out scenarios all featuring a different song. This makes it all the more exciting! We rode a couple times with the goal of getting to ride to “I Want You Back” by the Jackson 5 and sure enough, during our second round, the song started and we FREAKED. SO GOOD!
The premiere party night was full of this amazing leaf art! This is a common thing to see around both parks (keep an eye out for Mickeys made out of leaves, Disney characters drawn on the ground in water and more!), but all of the art was Avengers theme!
The Collector’s Fortress at night! So cool!
We spent a good amount of time on this dance floor during the premiere party! Important questions – can we 1. get this in our houses somehow? and 2. get Disney to bring out the dance floor EVERY night this Summer?! If you missed this on our stories from Friday night, it was basically a long runway screen that would change colors and scenes and basically make you feel like you were in your own music video/the best dancer of all time. HAHA!
TIPS FOR RIDING GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY – MISSION: BREAKOUT!
Photo from the following day (Saturday – opening day)! Look at that line in the background! It started on Buena Vista Street and by mid-morning, the lines were winding through backstage areas. It looks chaotic, but honestly, they have it very well organized!
If you have little ones who don’t meet the height requirement of 40 inches, but you’d like to ride, be sure to use Rider Switch!
The Main Gate to California Adventure has been opening ONE hour prior to scheduled park opening time (the rest of the park doesn’t open during this time, only Buena Vista Street for Starbucks and Schmoozies in Hollywood Land for doughnuts and smoothies) – they do this to start forming the Standby and Fast Pass lines. If you’re one of the first groups in the park, you’ll want to turn left at the end of Buena Vista Street, and stay on the left side of the street for the Standby line or the right side of the street in front of the Animation Academy for the Fast Pass line. Fast Passes are distributed across the walkway from the attraction.
We’ve noticed that the Fast Pass line is actually not very long by an hour or 2 into the morning (there was no one in line at 9:30 AM a couple days ago – return time when we pulled the Fast Passes at 9:30 was 5-6 PM, just to give an example), which means you’ll likely be pulling a Fast Pass for the evening, but it’s worth it to maybe wait a bit until the big line from park opening dies down if you don’t mind riding in the evening! We can’t guarantee they’ll still have Fast Passes if you pull one mid-morning, but they haven’t been running out right away as of late.
We highly recommend sending ONE person in your family/party to get everyone’s Fast Passes. Keep in mind, EVERYONE in your party MUST be scanned into the park for one person to be able to get all Fast Passes. That means, no one can be back at the hotel or anywhere else but inside the park when Fast Passes are pulled.
If you’re wondering when to get to parking in order to get to the Main Gate in time to get into the attraction lines, the Mickey and Friends parking structure opens 60 minutes prior to official park opening time on Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Friday and 90 minutes prior to official park opening time on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. We recommend trying to get into the parking line at least 15 minutes before the structure officially opens to ensure you’re out of your car and either on the tram or walking to Downtown Disney security before the rush of people. This is just a suggestion – things/timing could be different as we get more into the Summer, but since this is currently THE attraction to ride, it’s better to just get into the park before lines are too long or Fast Passes run out.
Literally like getting a Golden Ticket from Willy Wonka. HAHA!
Once the Fast Pass line starts moving just before the park officially opens (there will be a Cast Member who walks the line to where it needs to start right before the park officially opens), they weave it in and out of this backstage area to keep guests from congesting the walkways in Hollywood Land. Once the Fast Pass line dies down or the Fast Passes have run out for the day, they use this area for the regular Standby line.
Summer of Heroes Fun
Hero Action Center
Free sticker from the Hero Action Center located next to Monster’s, Inc. Guests of all ages can reveal their inner Super Hero! Just take the few question quiz on one of the iPad’s and you’ll receive a sticker based on which Super Hero you are most like!
Sorry for the dark photo (this was taken at night), but here are a few of the stickers you could receive based on what Super Hero you get!
Our results – Captain America and Hulk? HAHA! After you get your results, be sure to stop at this photo backdrop to show off your best Super Hero pose!
Another fun goodie at the Hero Action Center – FREE COMIC BOOK! The beginning of this book is actually the cutest thing ever. Based on each Super Hero, the book lists a few life lessons for kids!
Saturday morning at the Hero Action Center! This was after literally 3-4 hours of sleep the night before post-premiere party. HA! We had to get back for official opening day!
Meet Super Heroes
We stopped by to say hello and get our super hero pose on with Captain America at the premiere party! We wish they’d have this fun backdrop screen every night, but this was just for the party! You can meet Captain America across from the free face painting stations located next to the Hyperion Theater (more on free face paint later).
Heroic Encounter with Black Widow! A few times daily, Black Widow will make her way through Hollywood Land in her fancy Avengers vehicle! This was really fun to see! She starts over by Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: Breakout! and walks toward the Hyperion Theater, then turns left toward the Animation Academy, then turns right at Schmoozies to make her way to her final stop across from Monster’s, Inc. Once she stops, she’s available for photos for awhile!
OH HEY, GROOT! It’s hard to choose a highlight from Friday night, but this is pretty high up there with our favorite moments. Seriously, Groot is so amazing! THIS COSTUME – it’s too good! We were clearly awe-struck and didn’t even know how to interact with such a glorious creature.
You can meet Groot a few times daily in front of the attraction’s sign. He makes an appearance at the very end of the “Guardians of the Galaxy: Awesome Dance Off” with Star-Lord and Gamora, then he stays in the area for awhile for photos. He is ONE popular character, so timing is important if you don’t want to wait an eternity to meet him! We recommend watching the dance-off (more info on this a little further down) closer to the left side of the sign pictured here so that you can hop into the line to meet him right after the dance off ends.
We want to know who gets to be Groot. HA! Best job ever.
Complimentary Super Hero Face Paint
We never turn down free face paint! ALL SUMMER LONG (until September 10 – Summer of Heroes last day), you and your littles can get COMPLIMENTARY Super Hero face paint at the stations located next to the Hyperion Theater, across from where Captain America and Spiderman do meet and greets. This is not just basic face paint, they do everything from just a little Super Hero flare on your cheek (or around your entire eyeball like Julie HAHA!) to the FULL ON faces – we’re talking full Hulk faces, Iron Man faces and more! FYI – they will only do full face paint on kiddos (we wanted Hulk faces HA!). They’ll even do touch-ups all day if your paint gets smeared.
This is a very popular stop, so if you or your kids are wanting to get face paint, we recommend doing so in the morning before crowds pick up.
Captain America everything for Reagan!
Disney Photo Pass Photographers are stationed in Hollywood Land for special Guardians of the Galaxy photos! See below for these fun opportunities!
Baby Groot Magic Shot! SO CUTE! Just find a PhotoPass Photographer and ask for this shot – they’ll have you do whatever pose you’d like with your hands out “pretending” you’re holding Groot. After your photo is taken, they’ll scan a photopass card for you and you’ll be able to purchase or view your photos on the Disneyland app or at Kingswell Camera Shop in California Adventure! If you need more information on how photopass works, click here.
A fun photo frame! If you see a Photopass Photographer or Cast Member walking around with this frame, just ask to snap a photo with it! They can take this photo with your phone or camera if you’d like.
Avengers Training Initiative
If you have little ones ages 6 to 12 who would like to train in the ways of the Avengers, the Avengers Training Initiative is the perfect thing for them! Participants get to train along side Black Widow and Hawkeye! So fun.
Pre-registration is required next to Stage 17 and Sunset Showcase Theater. Pre-registration begins when the park opens AND during Extra Magic Hour. All kids must be present at the time of registration. Spots go fast, so heading there in the morning (when the park opens) is best. You’ll see a rope set up next to Schmoozies in Hollywood Land, right below the “Summer of Heroes” archway. Just stand behind that rope and prepare to walk with the Cast Member standing there to the training pre-registration.
This show is very similar to Jedi Training at Disneyland, but in our opinion, it isn’t as “scary” or intimidating (some kiddos get scared of Darth Vader, The Seventh Sister and Kylo Ren – understandably so!). Kids will learn special Avengers defense moves and toward the end of the show, they’ll get to put their moves to use and even throw a Captain America shield! Once the show ends, all participants get an Avengers Training Initiative “security clearance band” AKA snap bracelet.
Seating For the Show
If you have kids participating in the training, we highly recommend arriving EARLY to the seating area benches. We saw the show on the first day of Summer of Heroes, and we think they maybe didn’t anticipate such a crowd because there were definitely some seating kinks that needed to be worked out. They didn’t have reserved seating for family members of participants, so we hope they will eventually put up a “reserved” sign for future shows. Either way, still head over to the stage at least 30 minutes before start time (if you can) to ensure you get a seat in the front so you can snap photos and videos of your kids!
Showtimes – 1:05 PM, 2:15 PM, 3:25 PM, 4:45 PM, 5:55 PM, and 7:05 PM.
Check out photos of the show below!
Guardians of the Galaxy: Awesome Dance Off!
As you can probably imagine (those of you who know we love to dance), this is most definitely one of our favorite Summer of Heroes things! Star-Lord and Gamora get the crowd movin’ with some classic 70’s tunes in front of the attraction’s sign (pictured below)! The show happens at 9:45 AM, 11:00 AM, 12:15 AM, 1:40 PM, 2:50 PM and 4:00 PM, so there are plenty of opportunities to see it. If you want Star-Lord to choose you to come up with them to dance, try to stand toward the front!
We recommend getting to this location (or stand nearby) at least 15 minutes or so before start time to get a good viewing spot, especially if you want to meet Groot after (see a little further up if you missed that info).
Finding the tunes. Always the best tunes. Also, Gamora’s face! HAHA! Not havin’ it.
The part in the show (at the end) when Groot makes an appearance and proclaims the only 3 words he knows, “I AM GROOT!”
Awesome Dance Off on day 2 of our Summer of Heroes weekend! We watched from a different side the second day.
The food. Oh, the food. We are always so excited about new food at the parks! We tried quite a few of the new offerings over the weekend and must say, they did a REALLY good job at bringing in some DELICIOUS eats! Read on for details.
From left to right – Savory Strength Falafel Pita – Chickpea fritters with spinach, cucumber mint slaw and spiced yogurt sauce, a Michelada made with beer, lime juice, tomato juice, spices, and a rim of Tajin, and a Super Hero Sized Sub (one of our favorite eats) – Peppered salami, Capocollo, Mortadela, Porvolone Cheese, lettuce, tomato, pepperoncini and pickled onion on a hoagie roll, topped with red wine vinaigrette.
FROM SCHMOOZIES – The beverage on the left is an “Infinity-Ade” (lavender lemonade) with a glow cube and on the right is a “Friendly Neighborhood Macaron” – a macaron filled with vanilla ice cream (this was SO GOOD)!
A closer look at the Friendly Neighborhood Macaron – yum.
FROM SCHMOOZIES – the Hulk-colored doughnut is called the “Gamma-Sized Doughnut” for $8.99 (price is high, but it’s huge) – Filled with blackberry and black currant and the Spiderman doughnut is the “Spider Bite” for $5.99 – A cinnamon-spiced doughnut (yes, those are red hots on the outer rim)! The doughnut menu is rotating until 11 AM – other doughnuts may include the “All-American Doughnut” filled with apple and streusel topping or the “Local Favorite” – a maple-bacon filled doughnut with maple cream.
FYI – doughnuts sell out fairly quickly, so grab one in the morning if you can!
Tower of donuts on top of a Terra-Berry smoothie from SCHMOOZIES – blackberries, raspberries, peaches, and low-fat yogurt blended with strawberry and pineapple juices for $5.69.
FROM BIFROSTIES SHAVE ICE – on the left is the “Spinal Fluid” (it felt so weird saying “We’ll take one Spinal Fluid” haha!) – made with banana, mango coulis and chili-lime spice AKA Tajin with an added scoop of vanilla ice cream (ice cream can be added to any shave ice) and on the right is the “Spider Venom” – blue raspberry and cherry with condensed milk (we would ask for extra condensed milk next time)!
Star-lord tees from Box Lunch Gifts.
FROM COSMIC CANTEEN (the red food truck in Hollywood Land) – The Most Dangerous Tacos in the Galaxy – Barbacoa beef tacos with green onion slaw, purple cabbage, pickled onions, habanero salsa and green tortillas (vegetarian version with cauliflower also available).
FYI – these can be found at “Knowhere Eats” starting June 6.
FROM COSMIC CANTEEN – “Obviously Nachos” – Fried blue corn tortillas with red pepper cheese sauce, mojo-marinated chicken, chipotle crèma and green onions (vegetarian version topped with cauliflower also available)
FYI – these will be served at “Knowhere Eats” starting June 6.
FROM STUDIO CATERING CO. AND COSMIC CANTEEN – The lighting wasn’t great for photos of our food on Friday night, but we tried! This is the Multiverse Parfait – Chocolate cake layered with white and dark chocolate mousse and cherry jelly, topped with chocolate ganache.
FYI – This dessert will be be available at “Knowhere Eats” starting June 6.
FROM STUDIO CATERING CO. – Watermelon Cooler with a Tajin rim! THIS IS AMAZING. Vodka can be added!
FROM AWARD WIENERS – “Angry Little Pudding Cup” with chocolate pudding, chocolate sandwich cookies, whipped cream and funnel cake fries and “Quiver of Funnel Cake Fries” with mango and raspberry coulis and whipped cream. YUM.
The delicious and ever-so-popular “I am bread” GROOT jalapeño cheese bread! You can find this gem at Studio Catering Co. and Fairfax Market for around $8.00. VEGAN Groot Bread also available!
New Annual Passholder popcorn bucket! If you’re an Annual Passholder, and you like popcorn, you MUST take advantage of the special $1 unlimited refill deal the parks are running until July 30! If you purchase this $15 bucket (or the AP Disneyland bucket available at Disneyland) by June 25, you can get $1 refills all day, everyday until July 30! You can find these buckets at any popcorn stand in California Adventure. Just be prepared to show your Annual Pass and ID to purchase.
Back side of the AP bucket.
***There is also a new, but different Guardians of the Galaxy popcorn bucket for everyone, not just for Annual Passholders – doesn’t include the $1 refills!
You can check out all the food available during Summer of Heroes here.
One of the more popular souvenirs available – Groot souvenir sipper (the arms move up and down)! You can find this at Award Wieners and Studio Catering Co. in Hollywood Land.
The merchandise in the Collector’s Fortress gift shop (when you exit the ride) is seriously amazing. We both got the throwback looking “Guardians of the Galaxy Mission: Breakout” shirt pictured above (on the bottom with the ringer sleeves)!
If you go on the attraction and plan to purchase something in the gift shop, we highly recommend doing so when you exit the ride! Don’t wait to go back in later in the day because there is even a line to get into the gift shop!
Look at the old school toys!!!!
Lite-Brite! Yes, please!
Also, this pin! Obsessed!
The inside of the mixtape pin – cute!