The past few years have been a time of major expansion and reimagining at Disney parks in the U.S. With the recent additions of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge to both coasts as well as the transformation of Paradise Pier to Pixar Pier in Disney California Adventure, there’s a swath of new and exciting additions. The next few years are expected to be a continuation of this new wave of park advancement with Walt Disney World’s upcoming 50th anniversary in 2021 bringing new rides as well as an almost park-wide overhaul to EPCOT. Up next on the slate of openings at the parks is Avengers Campus set to debut at the Disneyland Resort on July 18 of this year. This exciting new land will be the first Marvel-themed area at a Disney park and will be followed by similar lands at Disneyland Paris in 2021, and Hong Kong Disneyland in 2023. With the scheduled opening just a few months away, let’s take a closer look at everything we know is coming to the land when it opens and in the near future.
Back in 2017 Marvel and Disney fans were treated to big news during the D23 Expo that a land based around the Marvel Cinematic Universe would finally be hitting the theme parks. Chairman of Parks and Resorts, Bob Chapek, informed the public that the new land would be taking over the spot previously occupied by A Bug’s Land at Disney California Adventure park. This new land would stretch to meet and include the existing Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout attraction that replaced Twilight Zone Tower of Terror in May of 2017. This was major news for “True Believers” like myself who have dreamed of being able to experience the characters and settings of the Marvel Comics created with the expert craftsmanship of Disney’s Imagineers. It was announced that this new land would hold an immersive Avengers Quinjet Experience and an innovative ride centered around Spider-Man, as well as various dining, shopping, and entertainment options featuring characters and settings from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The land will be opening in two phases though, with the headliner Avengers attraction not making its debut until a later date than the rest of the offerings.
WEB SLINGERS: A Spider-Man Adventure
Since the “E-Ticket” Avengers Quinjet Experience isn’t opening along with the rest of the land, we’ll start our tour of Avengers Campus with the other highly anticipated attraction, WEB SLINGERS: A Spider-Man Adventure. This new style of 3D attraction will combine video screens and practical effects with a new “augmented reality” based ride vehicle. The ride will give guests the ability to shoot their own webs and help Spidey stop the havoc created by out-of-control Spider-Bots within the WEB (or World Wide Engineering Brigade). Actor Tom Holland will be making an appearance throughout, reprising his role as Peter Parker (AKA Spider-Man).
The technology for the attraction is based on a patent filed by Disney a few years back that uses motion-tracking cameras to read guests’ movements. It then translates specific gestures into interactive elements projected in front of them. So this means when you reach your arm out and make Spider-Man’s iconic “web-slinging” hand pose, a virtual web shooter will launch a web from your wrist. This sounds like the next step in interactive gaming rides that started with Toy Story Mania’s 3D shooting technology, only now without the use of a physical item, like the ride blasters, to help create the effect.
This isn’t the only innovation in theme park technology that WEB SLINGERS will bring to the Disneyland Resort though, as Imagineers have also unveiled an exciting new step in Audio-Animatronics. The attraction will also feature a life-sized stunt animatronic Spider-Man that can be launched high into the air where it performs programmed movements and poses.
The “Stuntronic” figure was developed over the past few years as a way to allow realistic creation of stunts that would be too dangerous for a human stuntperson to perform. We expect to see the figure flying high above the exterior of WEB SLINGERS throughout the day, adding an extra touch of realism to the land.
Guests will be able to take a piece of WEB home with them with a whole new lineup of Spider-Man attraction merchandise at WEB Suppliers. After the success of the Droid Depot in Galaxy’s Edge, it’s no surprise to see that Avengers Campus is getting its own customizable robot souvenir. Guests can purchase a remote-controlled Spider-Bot of their own, just like the ones featured in the attraction, complete with working legs, lights, and sounds. There will also be “tactical upgrades” for purchase that customize your Spider-Bot to resemble Black Panther, Iron Man, Black Widow, or Ant-Man and The Wasp. The shop will offer a selection of other merchandise as well like headwear, drinkware, patches, pins, and more including web shooter replicas, Spider-Man goggles, and more. You can check out some of the other merchandise offerings at Avengers Campus here.
Pym Test Kitchen
All that hard work saving the day with your favorite Avengers can work up a giant appetite. Luckily the infamous Ant-Man is using some of his Pym Particle technology to feed the hungry masses. Over at Pym Test Kitchen guests will be able to enjoy new twists on some familiar fare inside a laboratory where nothing is the size you’re used to it being. Pym Technologies has applied its innovative process of shrinking and growing objects to an inventive menu that twists guests’ expectations of theme park food.
Offerings include pretzels that you can watch grow to giant size on a special conveyor belt as well as Impossible plant-based large and micro meatballs and a “Not so Little Chicken Sandwich” that’s big enough for Giant-Man to enjoy. Each item comes with the disc that Ant-Man uses in the movies to alter the size of useful objects that will make a fun little souvenir. Adults can enjoy a selection of beer, wine, and scientific cocktails at the adjacent Pym Tasting Lab.
Other dining options coming to Avengers Campus include The Shwarma Palace food stand that references the end credits scene from the first Avengers film and serves shwarma-inspired snacks as well as Avengers merchandise. There will also be the addition of the Terran Treats food cart near Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout. Here The Collector is serving up a selection of otherworldly snacks and beverages that he’s added to his collection from throughout the galaxy including a Purple Power Stone-inspired Cosmic Cream Orb filled with whipped raspberry cheesecake mousse.
Doctor Strange’s Sanctum
Fans of the “Sorcerer Supreme” will be delighted to find that Avengers Campus contains the ruins of an old sanctum where Doctor Strange will train new recruits in the mystic arts. Guests will be able to follow the instruction of the Doctor and learn spells and powerful incantations to battle the Marvel Universe’s greatest foes. Walt Disney World guests got a taste of this character experience/magic show during a short run of Doctor Strange appearances at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in 2016. Imagineers have most likely taken the lessons learned in that test run and expanded the experience to a full show.
At night, the sanctum takes on a new light, literally! The area will transform during the evenings to feature dazzling mystical lighting effects similar to those found at Pandora The World of Avatar in Disney’s Animal Kingdom. This will most likely make this section one of the most popular hangout spots in the later hours of the day.
It wouldn’t be a Disney park land without characters, and Avengers Campus is certainly no exception. In fact, the area will be absolutely crawling with iconic characters from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Visitors to Avengers Campus will find heroes around every corner as the team of supers go about their day, training and getting ready for their next battle.
Dan Fields, executive creative director for Disney Parks Live Entertainment was quoted as saying: “This is going to be the largest assembly of these heroes anyplace, anytime, anywhere. We really have a place for them to live and work and play and protect and train.”
Spider-Man will hold court at WEB SLINGERS in a new costume inspired by the MCU films, while Doctor Strange will be found mostly in his sanctum ruins. Throughout the land, guests will encounter favorite Avengers like Black Widow, Captain Marvel, Captain America, Iron Man, and Thor. Ant-Man and the Wasp will make their parks debut as well, appearing together for the first time in meet and greets.
The Guardians of the Galaxy will continue their popular dance-off show trading their best dance moves with Terran guests. Black Panther will be out for meets, accompanied by his intimidating Dora Milaje bodyguards who will also hold training encounters led by General Okoye—who will also make her Disney Parks debut. The lineup isn’t just reserved for heroes though, so make sure to keep an eye out for the mischievous Loki who might be lurking around trying to create problems for The Avengers.
Avengers Stunt Show
Although the Avengers Quinjet Experience isn’t set to open with the rest of the land this year, the show building won’t go to waste until then. Throughout the day at the building, guests will be able to watch epic live-action moments with Avengers heading off the threat of their foes. These live stunt shows will feature The Avengers facing dastardly supervillains, high atop The Avengers Headquarters that will eventually house the QuinJet ride.
One of the supervillains appearing in the show will be the Taskmaster, who makes his MCU debut in the Black Widow standalone film hitting theaters later this year. Stunt coordinators worked closely with the Black Widow stunt team to bring Taskmaster’s unique talent of mimicking the moves of famous heroes to the show. The show is set to appear multiple times during the day to allow guests to experience it at their leisure.
The Avengers Quinjet Experience
As with Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, Avengers Campus won’t be complete when it opens later this year. In the same way that the Star Wars land held off the opening of its main attraction, Rise of the Resistance, Avengers Campus will do the same with the Quinjet Experience. This new “E-Ticket” attraction will allow guests to board one of the iconic Quinjets to fly alongside the Avengers in an adventure to Wakanda and beyond. Not many details are known about the attraction yet, but concept art and early word have the ride set to be a new step in immersive experiences. A new ride system will put riders into the middle of the battle, with what is rumored to be individually controlled seats and 3D screens. There’s no word currently on when we can expect the Quinjet Experience to open in the land. Rise of the Resistance didn’t debut in Walt Disney World until roughly 4 months after the land opened, and didn’t arrive at Disneyland until around 7 months after its opening. So we don’t expect to see this attraction anytime this year, but if it lives up to the hype, it will be well worth the wait!
Be sure to stay tuned as we continue to bring you all the Avengers Campus news leading up to the scheduled opening on July 18, 2020!
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Photos Courtesy Disney