With a new rollercoaster, upcoming final film, and a very vocal fanbase, Disney needs the Guardians of the Galaxy now more than ever. During the height of their popularity, Disney fans almost got an incredibly interactive version of the cutest character in the known nebula. So what happened?
Avengers Campus at Disneyland’s California Adventure has had many hardcore fans brewing with jealousy, as Marvel Meet and Greets are more Universal Studios’ territory than Disney’s. But that doesn’t mean a certain few haven’t visited the Florida Park on occasion.
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Due to a legal arrangement, Disney is very limited as to which Marvel characters can exist in which Parks, but members of the Guardians have visited on occasion. In 2018, both Star-Lord and Baby Groot had a Meet and Greet area where Sully lives now, but fans could have gotten something a lot better.
While most fans will be familiar with the Guardians’ towering tree creature, Groot’s arguably most popular form was his younger self seen in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. While he received an impressive miniature variation at Hollywood Studios, Disney was working on something a whole lot better.
Uhm whatever happened to this?! Cause I still want it @Disneyland pic.twitter.com/j26eALUDRA
— KingdaKha (@Kingdakha92) March 1, 2023
The footage from Disney Imagineering shared by @Kingdakha92 shows an impressively detailed and articulated Baby Groot clearly designed for something at the Disney Parks. Whether this animatronic puppet of the budding Floral Colossus was meant to be part of a Guardians Meet and Greet or something for Mission Breakout is unknown, but what we do know is that this would have been an absolute game changer.
The DSNY Newscast goes into greater detail in this 2021 coverage of how incredibly advanced this project was, but there has been little to no further development since 2021. Judging by the footage and the progress of the character over the course of the films, it might be that this version of Groot never left the workshop.
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With James Gunn’s upcoming final Guardians film set to premiere this May, fans will undoubtedly be looking at yet another version of the character. that being said, the studio should definitely try to find this lost piece of tech and reintroduce it to the Parks. Hopefully, Disney is already working to bring Groot and the rest of the Guardians to Disneyland and maybe even EPCOT to celebrate this concluding chapter.
Do you think we’ll see some form of Groot return to the Parks? Tell us at Inside the Magic in the comments below!