We've been inside Disney's new Marvel-themed land. Here's everything you need to know
After 80 years of comics, a decade of cinematic hits, and plenty of life-long dreams, you can finally walk shoulder-to-shoulder with your favorite superheroes inside their own universe when Avengers Campus debuts at Disney California Adventure theme park on July 18.
At Disney's newest land, you're not just a spectator fawning over superheroes; you're aspiring to be one. Meet Iron Man in his brand new suit, sling webs with Spider-Man in an interface so easy your grandmother could use it, or even order up a shawarma, whether or not you just saved New York City — nay, the world — from a Chitauri alien invasion. When it opens this summer, the Southern California theme park resort will feature plenty of new entertainment, including Doctor Strange, who will be on-hand to teach the mystic arts, a Black Widow stunt show that pulls directly from the new film, a collective of young engineers overseen by Spidey, and even a throwback reference to The Incredible Hulk with real drinkable Pingo Doce soda that, thankfully, has no Bruce Banner blood.
Within Avengers Campus, modernist architecture and technological advancements will juxtapose with Captain America's long history spanning from World War II and beyond, resulting in Marvel's broad, ever-expanding reality. Use the marquee entrance — one of three connecting the rest of Disney California Adventure to this hallowed expanse — and on your left will be an old Stark Automotive warehouse retrofitted for new discoveries by a team of engineers led by Peter Parker. Walk past the Ant-Man eatery — which can easily be mistaken for a full-scale Quantum Tunnel— and you'll see a QuinJet perched atop the sleek Avengers Headquarter for a blend of styles and stories that, for once, are at home in a built-from-scratch location that houses everything you’ve ever wanted to see, taste, and do.
SYFY WIRE was on-hand for an exclusive preview of the attractions, food, experiences and characters soon to land at Disney's newest land. Can't wait to step foot inside this Marvel universe? Here's everything you’ll find when it debuts later this year:
You can shoot webs — really — on the new Spider-Man ride.
Web Slingers: A Spider-Man Adventure, the land's main attraction, is also its highlight. Here at the Worldwide Engineering Brigade — an on-campus initiative underwritten by Tony Stark to give young inventors funding for creating new tools — you'll step inside a Web-Slinger vehicle, built to give common folk like us superhero abilities, and catch Spider-Bot robots that have accidentally begun self-replicating and scattering.
It's a family-friendly interactive attraction for all ages, but the main thing you ought to know is that you'll be slinging webs straight out of your wrists, just like Spidey. Utilizing a gesture recognition system that scans your position 60 times per second, the web-slinging interface moves so quickly that no hand-held device or sensor is required to render a virtual web; it'll simply appear instantly, like magic. These webs not only look cool but are poised to perform brilliantly while opening doors, triggering conveyor belts and moving objects throughout virtual renditions of Avengers Campus locations Pym Laboratory, Avengers HQ and the basement of the Guardians of the Galaxy — Mission: BREAKOUT! drop tower attraction, which houses Taneleer Tivan's storied collection of relics. It's here that you're likely to uncover endless Marvel Easter eggs and, possibly, see other Avengers beyond Spider-Man appearing within the attraction.
Disney Parks fans can think of it like a souped-up Toy Story Mania! — two-sided vehicles, 3-D glasses, no height requirement — with much more dynamic game-play and interactivity. And, just like the actual Avengers, teamwork is important here; perform well and you may even make it onto the leaderboards posted outside the ride.
The only detail we're still waiting on is if Tom Holland's voice or likeness will be featured within this new ride — unconfirmed, but likely.
Avengers Assemble? It's kind of the tagline of the land.
It may require some multiverse mental gymnastics (or another Time Heist) to denote how Iron Man and Black Widow are here considering, you know, Avengers: Endgame, but don't busy yourself with that because there is way too much fun to be had.
Both Iron Man and Spider-Man will host classic meet-and-greets — called "heroic encounters" 'round these parts — in brand-new suits exclusive to Disney Parks, while Doctor Strange teaches spectators the mystic arts in an interactive show within a tree-lined Sanctum and a training session led by Okoye and the Dora Milaje will emphasize the skills and wisdom of Wakanda. All other characters will be roaming, like a company holiday party with passed appetizers, only here they'll be interacting directly, likely seeing if each other can hold Mjölnir.
Still, the biggest spectacle of them all will be performed on top of the buildings, where Spider-Man will fly through the air on one end of the land and on the other, where Avengers Headquarters is located, a Quinjet will loom above a rooftop battle. It's here that Taskmaster will make his or her first theme park appearance — the actor playing the villain has yet to be revealed, but we'll presumably find out when Black Widow premieres on May 1 — in a stunt show alongside Black Panther, Captain America, and Black Widow. Disneyland Resort has gone a step beyond its standard entertainment for this display, keeping it true to the MCU with stunt fight coordination led by the Black Widow team and choreography reflective of Taskmaster's ability to instantaneously adapt and mimic challengers' fighting techniques.
Pym particle-enhanced food, galaxy-spanning sweets, and Avengers-approved shawarma: it's all here.
Pym Test Kitchen, the land's main counter-service restaurant, feels like stepping into an Ant-Man fever dream where everything is edible and there's no risk of being trapped within the Quantum Realm. Beneath the conveyor belt of pretzels waiting to be zapped with Pym Particles to become super-sized — which, of course, is available for sale with a side of beer cheese — is an array of foods that are too big or too small, but in reality, just right.
With Pym particles used for flavor experiments and food science innovation, it's no surprise when a fried chicken cutlet is spilling outside of a too-tiny bun or an Italian-style focaccia sandwich can be served family-style like pizza. From a comically long candy bar and peanut butter-bacon-banana sandwich to the massive plant-based Impossible™ meatball served in a huge spoon, it's lunch, served Scott Lang-style.
Grab a sickeningly-sweet Pingo Doce from the Coca-Cola Freestyle machine — powered by a six-pack of eye-poppingly large soda cans, of course — or a squirt of ketchup and mustard from the oversized bottles and take a seat on the outdoor patio near the Pym Tasting Lab, a 20-seat bar serving beer cocktails, snack mix and a rotating selection of hard seltzers. (Don't forget to add Glowing Pym Particle Capsules to your beverages or Pym Particle Discs to your non-alcoholic ones.)
You can also pick up food on the run, like colorful swirled churros in surprising flavors that rotate year-round at Terran Treats, a snack stand themed to the world of Guardians of the Galaxy — Mission: BREAKOUT!, or a shawarma sandwich like the gang did in that bonus scene of 2012's The Avengers, at a spin-off kiosk serving chicken and falafel wraps.
Don’t leave this place without your very own robotic toy.
You can scoop up your own Spider-Bot — as seen within the attraction — at the land’s main WEB Suppliers shop. These remote-controlled robotic spiders are no longer running amuck but are customizable and ready for head-to-head battle. Equipped with gameplay functionality, they'll recognize each other and "blast" lives away until one Bot loses and its top shell pops off (!). It's futuristic fun made all the better by add-on "tactical upgrade" accessories themed to characters like Black Widow, Iron Man or Black Panther, which provide specialized skills and advantages in battle.
Spider-Bots are poised to be the inevitable souvenir of the land, though Spider-Man light-up goggles, which boast 17 different LED-like actions on a sunglass frame, are also pretty tempting. Much of the merchandise is self-referential — plastic web shooter accessories, toy Web Slinger vehicles, backpacks with web netting to hold your Spider-Bot — and intended to look like Peter Parker's young engineering pals designed it, complete with hand-scrawled notes and references to the Periodic table. The theming continues in take-home S.T.E.M. kits, like a Gamma Goo playset or DIY web maker, but is less enticing on other items such as the array of toys, pins, and clothing we previewed featured Spider-Man’s likeness but not his name. (This may, possibly, be due in some part to Marvel's pre-existing theme park contract.)
Still, with two exclusive Funko Pop! toys of Spider-Man and Iron Man in their special parks-exclusive new suits, there's going to be plenty to buy.
So, what's the deal with the other two lands?
Avengers Campus, coming to Disney California Adventure theme park at Disneyland Resort, is part of a triad of campuses in conjunction with Disneyland Paris and Hong Kong Disneyland. While Marvel boasts Hong Kong (and now Disneyland Resort) as having the first-ever interconnected Disney attractions, these lands are more likely to interact by small story elements and references than anything else.
Will we see new Marvel characters as films and Disney+ shows emerge?
While nothing has been confirmed nor announced, it's almost certain that characters, merchandise and themes from forthcoming shows like WandaVision and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier (who won't appear in the land at launch) and films like The Eternals will make their way into the parks in some manner.
What about that major Avengers Quinjet attraction I heard about?
Announced by now-CEO Bob Chapek at Disney’s D23 Expo fan convention last year, that attraction — which sees guests board a Quinjet and head to Wakanda to fight a powerful villain — was always intended to open in the far future, well beyond the debut of Avengers Campus. No new details have been revealed, but don't wait to visit here until that opens, because it's going to be a while.
Check back with SYFY WIRE for all the latest Avengers Campus news!