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After Avengers: Endgame, MCU characters are alive and well in Disney theme parks
Its ending, unlike most of the MCU movies before it, has a real cost, as not all of the superheroes we’ve come to love over the past 10 years make it, and those who do survive are indelibly changed.
**SPOILER WARNING: This story contains spoilers for Avengers: Endgame.**
Luckily for fans, however, Marvel characters — including those we’ve lost — will be featured on specific rides in MCU-themed 'lands' in three of Disney's parks: Anaheim's Disney California Adventure (DCA), Paris' Walt Disney Studios Park and Hong Kong Disneyland. These three areas will be interconnected, with Paris and DCA themed as new Avenger campuses that will train and "champion the next generation of heroes," while Hong Kong — the first area open — hosts "Stark Expo," a technology showcase of Tony's work that (uh oh!) gets attacked by Hydra.
Read on to learn where you can spend more time with the characters you love, including those we'll no longer see in future Marvel films.
Tony Stark, aka Iron Man, is arguably the most prominent Avenger in the Disney Parks, something many fans will appreciate, given he gives up his life in Endgame to save the universe. In Paris, Hong Kong, and DCA, however, Tony is alive and well. Not only is he the founder of the two upcoming 'campuses' in Paris and DCA (the lands are presented as former Stark Industries properties that have been retrofitted into Avengers training grounds), Tony gets two of his own rides as well.
The one solely focused on Stark is Hong Kong Disneyland's Iron Man Experience, which opened in January 2017. This motion simulator ride (similar in setup to Star Tours, for those familiar) has guests 'fly' next to Iron Man in an Iron Wing flight vehicle as they make their way through the streets of Hong Kong to the city's Stark Tower.
In Paris, Iron Man will also play a major role in their new Avengers coaster, where riders "will team up with Iron Man and their favorite Avengers on a high-speed, hyper-kinetic adventure." The roller coaster will be retrofitted from the existing Rock 'n' Roller Coaster (bye bye, Aerosmith!) in Paris and is rumored to open in 2021. Orlando, which is home to the original Rock 'n' Roller Coaster, will not get the MCU retrofit, most likely because Marvel (before it was acquired by Disney) entered into a licensing agreement with Universal Studios, which gives Universal the rights to major Marvel characters in attractions east of the Mississippi River.
That agreement, however, doesn't apply to California's DCA, and it's rumored that this park will get its own large-scale coaster in Phase 2 of its MCU-land rollout. Details on what this will look like remain unclear, though rumors suggest it will be a massive, Avengers-themed coaster as well.
Guardians of the Galaxy
In Avengers: Infinity War, Rocket and Nebula were the only two of the Guardians gang to survive the snap, though the rest of the crew (teenage Groot included!) had a heartwarming reunion at the end of Endgame. Even Gamora is back — a past version of Gamora, granted — so we can expect to see the crew (plus Thor) back on the big screen in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.
If you want your Guardians fix before then, however, you're in luck! DCA redid their Tower of Terror and reopened it as Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! in May 2017. The experience is a drop ride on which guests help Rocket free the rest of the Guardians, who are trapped inside The Collector's lair.
In 2021, Disney's Epcot in Orlando will also get a Guardians ride (one benefit of bringing back such deep catalog characters to the MCU is that they don't appear to be covered under the IP agreement with Universal Studios). The ride is expected to be one of the world's longest enclosed roller coasters and will include a new ride vehicle that orients the cab toward where the action in the story takes place.
Ant-Man and the Wasp
Scott Lang, aka Ant-Man, plays an integral role in Endgame by kickstarting the idea of using time travel to gather the Infinity Stones and re-snap everyone back into existence. Hope Van Dyne, aka The Wasp, also makes an appearance at the end of the film and kicks some Thanos ass once she's snapped back into being.
In the parks, those wanting more hijinks with the two (while being the size of an ant, no less) can travel to Hong Kong Disneyland and go on the Ant-Man and The Wasp: Nano Battle! attraction. The ride, which just opened in March 2019, has guests protecting others from a no-good Hydra agent by blasting 'Swarmbots.' And like the Guardians rides, Nano Battle uses footage of the actual actors from the movies, making this an even more immersive MCU experience.
Peter Parker getting dusted in front of Tony in Avengers: Infinity War is one of the most heartbreaking scenes in a movie full of heartbreaking scenes. In Endgame, however, Spider-Man comes back (yay!), but we only get a brief reunion between the two before Tony snaps Thanos and his army into dust. While we'll see Spider-Man on the big screen again in a few months (Spider-Man: Far From Home opens this July), Disney has released images that suggest that both DCA and Paris will have a Spider-Man ride that will have guests in vehicles that 'swing' like Peter does and potentially even allows guests to 'shoot' web-stuff at things.
Doctor Strange gets limited screen time in Endgame but plays a major role in trying to manipulate through millions of potential futures to find the one where the Avengers defeat Thanos and re-snap half of the universe back into existence.
While Doctor Strange will very likely get another movie, rumor has it he'll also have his own show in DCA when the first phase of their Marvel Land opens in 2020.