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SYFY WIRE Theme Park News

Theme Park News: A Spider-Man drone soars as theme park summer heats up in Adam Driver's closet

By Carlye Wisel

Hey, how about that sports game?! I wouldn't know who won because I was at SFO airport gleefully rounding up this week's news as [insert male player's name] intercepted that pass from [other male player's name] for the win or something probably. I'm honestly not sure, as my only remarks about the football from the party I was at were that both teams' uniforms matched perfectly because I was too invested in THE FOOD. (It will forever live on as the first night I ever had Bonchon; my chicken wing-loving life will not be the same.)

Anyway, I endured a terrifyingly turbulent flight home while writing the bottom section of this column, so if you hate it, you were almost free of me — but not quite yet! Just know that I penned these brilliantly stupid jokes in a stacked links section as a woman across the aisle prayed for a safe landing. Fun!

From Marvel to Mahomes, here's all the theme park news ya gotta know this week:


Oh, hello there PETER PARKER:

Y-E-S, we knew from the footage in The Imagineering Story on Disney+ — or if you're a deep fan, Matthew Panzarino's incredible exclusive report on the technology from back in 2018 — that a flying stunt animatronic was coming to the parks, but now we finally know that airborne robot tech is going to Avengers Campus, opening Summer 2020 at Disney California Adventure.

I'm typically more inclined to debate if we'll have tiny pretzels or LARGE pretzels at the Ant-Man themed eatery (more on that below), but because this is SYFY WIRE, let's get into the nitty-gritty of this air-surfing Spider-Man that Disney dropped details about last week. As Panzarino reported way back when, these Stuntronics are "autonomous, self-correcting aerial performers that make on-the-go corrections to nail high-flying stunts every time. Basically robotic stuntpeople, hence the name."

From that same TechCrunch article, he reports that "the bot is able to be slung from the end of a wire to fly through the air, controlling its pose, rotation and center of mass to not only land aerial tricks correctly but to do them on target while holding heroic poses in midair."

Now that we know this high-flyin' bot is going to be Spider-Man, it puts the rooftop action promised at Avengers Campus into perspective and all but guarantees that it's going to debut when the land opens this summer. That one part that sticks with me — they land correctly every time — has me amped for Avengers Campus like no other attraction or meet-and-greet has. I used to fear for the day when robots take our jobs, but if they're as cool as this, I'm absolutely ready to be ousted.

Which brings me to my next point of order: We need to know more about Marvel Land now. I need to know! I want to know! I have to know more!!

It befuddles me that we spent literal years gabbing about the many things that may or may not land inside Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge, and as we sit as little as three months out from the debut of an entirely MCU-themed world inside Disney's California Adventure, there's really not much chatter going on beyond this perfect video of Spider-Man swimming through the sky like the Olympians we will root for and immediately forget about come the fall.

Given that Disneyland Resort has been extremely tight-lipped about what's coming to Marvel, let me *record scratch noise* rewind to recap the fully confirmed rides, eateries, and one-time rumors:

  • A new Spider-Man ride will let guests sling webs alongside Peter Parker in an attempt to wrangle up lil' spider-bots that have been let loose around the park. The big, under-discussed news here is that every fan will be stacking it up against the classic and somewhat timeless Spider-Man ride at Universal's Islands of Adventure when it debuts, as both properties will have their own take on the same franchise. This never, ever happens, so if you're someone who eschews Twitter, ya may want to get back online this summer because it's going to be intriguing.
  • Don't call it a microbrewery. Pym Test Kitchen, which will be the Marvel-themed land's restaurant, will serve up food and drink in unexpected sizes by way of their grow-and-shrink tech. (Expect some majorly Instagram-worthy grub!)
  • There will be an Ant-Man and The Wasp character meet-and-greet — a first for Disney Parks — along with a new permanent home for Marvel meet-and-greet characters such as Black Widow, Star-Lord, Gamora, Groot, Black Panther, some of the Dora Milaje, Thor, and Loki.
  • A Doctor Strange character experience is coming, set within some ol' sanctum ruins. Nearly every outlet is calling this a stage show — Orange County Register has some specifics I haven't seen elsewhere — but I double-checked and Disney hasn't outright called it that, so we're going to leave this one open to interpretation. #tbt to my sanity!!
  • Not everything in the land is opening at once. Like the phased opening of Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge, this Avengers Campus will open different rides at different times.
  • There's a technological aspect. The land is "interconnected" with similar outposts at Hong Kong Disneyland and Disneyland Paris and their Marvel attractions, but you don't really need to concern yourself with that just yet, as it seemingly just gives context for why Natasha Romanoff and Doctor Strange could be chilling in Hong Kong's Tomorrowland or here in the former A Bug's Land thus far.
  • And, in a possibly distant future, a second ride. A seemingly incredible Avengers attraction where you fly a Quinjet to Wakanda is on deck and sounds truly next-level, but there's a catch: it won't open until "Phase Two" of the land, which is currently unannounced.

So, that's where we're at: a season and a half out from Ant-Man sized snacks, hugging The Wasp IRL and seeing Spider-Man fly above our heads in Anaheim. All eyes are still on Star Wars, but I can't wait to see what else comes out of this futuristic clubhouse.


The solace in a sea of Shakira tongue flick GIFs and lukewarm Twitter takes was Jambo Joe's pppppperfect post. And if you're wondering if that's correct, yes, they do supposedly get paid. The whole phrase was Michael Eisner's wife's idea, and plenty of athletes beyond footballers have sputtered the iconic phrase.

It's true, too — Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes was already paraded through Magic Kingdom — but it's not just a simplistic marketing ploy. Walt Disney World added a Make-A-Wish Foundation tie-in, bringing kids who attended the game to the parks and even donated a million bucks to the charity in Mahomes' honor. How nice!


- Ooh, love seeing the Flight of Passage guy soar to new heights.

- Officially the new Disney fan status symbol.


- You can soon stay in an Atari-themed hotel.

- If you're super lucky — and donate some money — you could win a night in Cinderella Castle.

- Our baby's back! Soarin' Over California will again be returning to Disney's California Adventure from mid-April through mid-June!

- Due to Coronavirus, Shanghai Disneyland and Hong Kong Disneyland still remain closed.

- Gotta tell ya, I don't dislike this idea.

- But this? This I fear.

- Uhhhh they recorded Kylo Ren's lines inside Adam Driver's CLOSET?!

- The most exclusive merch you'll find at Disneyland may be at the Wetzel's Pretzels lol

- All the new stuff landing at Cedar Point this year.

- Whatever intern dug this up deserves the biggest promotion, wow.

- An early look at Iron Gwazi, the newest coaster to Busch Gardens Tampa Bay.

- Very good Disney merch alert!!

- A perk of buying a ticket to NBC's fan event for their new streaming service? You'll be among first to ride Universal Studios Hollywood's new Secret Life of Pets attraction.

- Uh….this new Shabu-shabu spot near Disneyland is worth taking note of.

- Gotta get my tush on every future Disney Cruise Line sailing to this place!!!

- My favorite thing about covering theme parks is that you learn something new every day. I had no idea about this, and I'm better for knowing it.