After more than a year closed thanks to Covid, Disneyland Resort in Southern California is set to reopen Friday, April 30. It also sets off the final countdown to the debut of one of Disney's most hotly anticipated projects—the new Avengers Campus there.
Originally scheduled for a July 18, 2020 reveal, construction on the Avengers experience was halted when Disneyland shut its doors and the launch was pushed back.
But now, as the Avengers are getting ready to assemble, take a look at what's in store for the new land and its superheroes like Spider-Man, Captain America, Black Panther, Thor and more.
Avengers Campus will stretch across six acres in California Adventure Park, which has come a long way since it was built in 2001 on the grounds of Disneyland's former parking lot. Similar to "Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge" — which has locations at Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida — this new Marvel-themed land will celebrate one of Disney's biggest franchises, bringing the beloved comic book brand to life with rides, food, and characters.
According to the website BlogMickey.com, the story concept behind the new land is that Tony Stark, a.k.a. Iron Man (a genius billionaire inventor and founding member of the Avengers) has taken a former secret complex and transformed it into the Worldwide Engineering Brigade (aka, WEB). Throughout the land, the Avengers will be using rides and encounters to "recruit" new members.
On April 26, Avengers Campus showed up on Google Earth and Google Maps, giving an aerial sneak peek with the recognizable Avengers logo imprinted on the ground.
At the center of the action is Avengers Headquarters. A sleek metal space-age structure, the building is topped with a Quinjet.
This high-tech jet will be familiar to fans: It is the Avengers' main mode of transportation, which is able to reach Mach 2.1 and work in space or underwater (though the version stationed here won't actually fly).
It has been reported by outlets like USA Today that Avengers Campus will be opening in multiple phases. At a 2019 Comic Con panel, a Walt Disney Imagineer hinted that the Avengers Headquarters could eventually be the portal into a ride featuring technology that takes visitors on a journey to Wakanda, the fictional country that is home to Black Panther, according to USA Today.
There will be only one new ride available at Avengers Campus when it opens on June 4 — but Web Slingers: A Spider-Man Adventure will be the first ride at any of the Disney parks to feature the iconic superhero.
According to Marvel.com, the ride will use a new gesture detection technology to track head, hand, and eye movements, giving people the feeling that they are actually shooting webs from their wrists.
"We didn't want it to feel like [the ride] has superpowers. We wanted it to feel like you had superpowers," Brent Strong, executive creative director at Walt Disney Imagineering told Marvel.com.
A "stuntronic" Spider-Man robot will also swing through the air high above the campus, performing flips and other acrobatic stunts, according to the Orange County Register.
And an existing "Guardians of the Galaxy"-themed ride will be folded into the new Avengers Campus. Opened in 2017, Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: Breakout! drops guests from the sky on a stomach-churning ride that weaves in characters and music from the movie series.
The new land will also feature a Doctor Strange special effects show, where new recruits (i.e. guests) can be trained in the ways of the mystic arts.
And many of the Marvel characters will be strolling around. For Okoye — the leader of Black Panther's loyal bodyguards — it's her first time to appear at any Disney theme park.
Food in the new land will also keep with the theme. If you've familiar with Ant-Man, you know Hank Pym, who wears a special suit that can make him miniscule or life-sized. There's a restaurant named for him: Pym Test Kitchen, where all the dishes are supersized or super-small.
According to Marvel, you can expect mega and micro meatballs, a two-foot panini, or a "Not So Little Chicken Sandwich" that fills up the whole plate. Pym Tasting Lab next door will serve draft beer using an invention that fills the glass from the bottom up.
Other Avengers Campus dining options include food carts: Shawarma Palace references the 2012 movie "The Avengers," where Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Black Widow, Hulk, and Hawkeye gathered to eat the classic Middle Eastern dish after saving the world. Taneleer Tivan, a food cart that serves sweets like the Cosmic Cream Orb, a colorful dessert inspired by the coveted Infinity Stones from "Guardians of the Galaxy."
And this is Disney, after all, so you can also expect plenty of shopping. The main souvenir store, WEB suppliers, sells superhero supplies like remote-controlled Spider-Bots, a web-making kit and light goggles.
Currently, Disneyland and Disney California Adventure Park are open only to California residents, due to state-mandated Covid safety rules, and all guests age 3 and up must have a valid ticket and a theme park reservation to the same park on the same date. It hasn't been announced when the parks will allow visitors from other states, but Walt Disney Company said in a recent Tweet that when Avengers Campus debuts on June 4, it will only be open to California residents.
CNBC previously reported that the parks will operate at about 15% capacity to start, and according to BlogMickey.com, the June 4 opening day quickly sold out, while Disneyland's ticketing site is currently showing that the first three days are completely booked.
Another Avengers Campus is also being built at Disneyland Paris, though the date has not yet been announced. Like Southern California's Avengers Campus, the Paris outpost will feature the Spider-Man Web Slingers ride. Additionally, there will be a Marvel-themed hotel called Disney's Hotel New York – The Art of Marvel, where guests will be able to open hotel doors with their phones and book superhero meet-and-greets.
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