Theme Park Insider

Paris' Rock 'n' Roller Coaster to become an Avengers ride

February 11, 2018, 8:05 PM · The Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster at Walt Disney Studios Paris will be rethemed to Iron Man and the Avengers, Disney Parks chairman Bob Chapek announced Monday at the D23 Expo in Japan.

The expansion of Marvel characters at Disneyland Paris' second gate was one of several details about upcoming Disney attractions around the world revealed at the biennial fan expo.

Chapek also announced that the second Marvel ride at Hong Kong Disneyland after the Iron Man Experiece — known to be a retheme of the Buzz Lightyear shooter ride — would be themed to Ant-Man. Visitors on the ride will join Ant-Man and The Wasp "to fight Arnim Zola and his army of Hydra swarm bots."

Ant Man ride
Concept art courtesy Disney

As for the U.S. parks, Chapek confirmed that the official opening date for Pixar Pier at Disney California Adventure will be June 23. Disneyland's Pixar Fest begins April 13, but the new Incredibles float for Paint the Night and the Incredicoaster in Pixar Pier will not debut until June.

Still no official opening date for Toy Story Land at Disney's Hollywood Studios, other than "summer." But Chapek did say that Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway would open at the park in 2019. Also, he revealed that the Guardians of the Galaxy roller coaster, planned for Epcot's Future World, would use a unique ride system and be one of the longest enclosed coasters in the world.

As for Star Wars, Chapek confirmed that the planned Star Wars-themed hotel at Walt Disney World would be "seamlessly connected: to the Galaxy's Edge land in Hollywood Studios: "From the moment guests arrive, their journey through space will begin as everyone boards a starship and departs together for a multi-day Star Wars adventure."

But still no opening date for that hotel, or any of the other experiences talked about Monday.

Replies (26)

February 11, 2018 at 8:27 PM · How Imaginative. When will Disney stop retheming things?!
February 11, 2018 at 8:36 PM · What about the upcoming Marvel Land in Cali though? Still no confirmation yet!?
February 11, 2018 at 8:43 PM · I guess Paris’ Tower is safe from Guardians conversion. The fan community is relieved.
February 11, 2018 at 8:55 PM · No word on the DCA Marvel land. I expect that word at the 2019 D23 in Anaheim, at the earliest.
February 11, 2018 at 9:07 PM · Zzzzz....wake me up when Disney builds something new.
February 11, 2018 at 9:58 PM · I'm guessing the Rock 'n' Roller Coaster retheme will be somewhat telling of what can be expected in the Avengers coaster for DCA. Sounds like the first step of a full Marvel Land there as well, and that's something that will only help the park.
February 11, 2018 at 11:01 PM · Robert, good point. They'll probably wait to announce after Galaxy's Edge is open. AJ, I think you're on to something there! Maybe combine the old MuppetVision and Millionaire buildings for a DCA version of this ride? Or for a Spiderman ride like with the "swinging web" ride patent shown?
February 12, 2018 at 12:00 AM · Zzzzz...wake me up when cranks like Daniel write something intelligent.

Toy Story Land is new this year. Star Wars Land is new next year. Pandora just opened. The Guardians coaster will be new, as will the Mickey Railroad, and the Incredibles float. And a retheme is a new version of an existing ride.

If you still don't like it, stay home and keep trolling, since you clearly have nothing better to do.

February 12, 2018 at 1:25 AM · So nothing about the new theater at MK.
February 12, 2018 at 2:04 AM · I don't think they will announce a Marvel Land soon. WDC has announced that Hong Kong would get the first Marvel themed area and given that Hong Kong would only complete this Marvel expansion in 2023...
February 12, 2018 at 2:10 AM · I don't understand this fascination with all things war, fighting and violence. I really question what these themes have to do with Disney.

Why would you want to expose your kids and yourself to military parades of evil empires, or putting the emphasis on battle and aggression in a family oriented themepark?

Of course these IPs are owned by Disney and especially Star Wars has proven to span many decades of fans. At the moment I can just roll my eyes when I go to the cinema and see the next announcement of the zillionth superhero mutant violence movie with no depth or real emotion. Where are the attractions on Wall-e, Coco, if need be Big Hero 6?

To me using these IPs is dumbing down the themepark experience and making violence and war part of what is supposed to be a fantasy world.

February 12, 2018 at 6:24 AM · Dutchduck, don’t forget the Haunted Mansion where you essentially watch a man hang himself, or Pirates where they invade a town, auction of women, originally chased and trapped a naked lady and blew each other up after drinking. Or there was Frontierland which might as well have been called Davy Crockett land celebrating the violent West’s complete with shooting arcade. Of course Fantasyland wasn’t always PG with Snow Whites Scary Adventures being scary as hell. Speaking of Hell, there’s Mr. Toads Wild Ride. Sooooo Disney parks have always used violence as an element of excitement
February 12, 2018 at 7:36 AM · I find it very interesting that Disney announced that they will be opening Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway in the same year as Galaxy's Edge. That seems like a missed opportunity. Even if they plan to open the attraction earlier in the year (with Galaxy's Edge opening later in the summer), no one that plans vacations around new attraction openings will care, and instead make all planning contingent upon Galaxy's Edge predicted opening.

Why bother opening a new attraction if it's not going to draw any unique guests to the park? Perhaps this is an indication that Disney doesn't think this new attraction is that big of a deal, and not worth planning a unique trip to experience.

@OT - Rumor has it that the MK Theater project has been put on hold. It's not clear whether something was found during the preliminary planning that is slowing it down, or if Disney put the brakes on it for financial reasons, but at this point, consider the theater a longer term project (perhaps after 2020).

February 12, 2018 at 7:51 AM · As long as Disneyland Paris is still running the terrible Tram Tour no amount of retheming is going to save that park.
February 12, 2018 at 8:33 AM · @Dutchduck

I agree it's almost silly how many Marvel movies have come out since Disney's acquisition.
I fear with Last Jedi they're setting up star wars for the same endless sequels strategy. These IPs are getting very tired and boring.

February 12, 2018 at 10:26 AM · By the time they open Marvel Land, we'll all be sick and tired of Marvel.
February 12, 2018 at 11:43 AM · I don’t think its fair to blame Disney for all the Marvel movies. The MCU started before Disney bought Marvel, and Disney hasn’t made too many changes to Marvel’s operations. They’ve certainly made changes when it comes to merchandise and theme parks, but the films and comics haven’t been significantly influenced by Disney. Disney bought Marvel to so they could profit from the success Marvel was already achieving without Disney’s influence.

If anything Disney is leading to the end of Marvel movies. As its own company Marvel had to get into the movie business to make up for decreasing comic book sales. Like the early years of Disney, they were a company that was focused on one product, and had to expand to survive. When Marvel went bankrupt they sold away movie rights rights because they had no other choice. They are now one branch of a huge company. Disney can afford to brake even on Marvel because its just one of many parts to their business. People will get tired of Marvel movies, and Marvel and Disney will stop making them when that happens. Marvel started the MCU because they weren’t making enough money on comic books and the licencing fees from the movie rights they already sold off. Marvel doesn’t have to worry that sort of thing anymore because its now just one division of a huge company. Disney’s success isn’t solely based on Marvel making several blockbusters a year.

February 12, 2018 at 2:01 PM · Russell, I can see some advantages to opening Runaway Railway the same year as SW Land. It will take a bit of pressure off of SW Land, since it will be in the same park, especially if Railway is a Tier One attraction when choosing FP+ (which is very likely). While SW will be the major draw, a new ride starring Mickey and Minnie will also be a must see.

It's not really a missed opportunity either, because not many people will plan a trip around the opening of a new ride (unless it's an E Ticket, which this one isn't). A new land is a different story, especially one built around a mighty IP.

Disney has plenty other major new attractions opening in coming years, to keep drawing the crowds.

February 12, 2018 at 2:30 PM · I highly doubt Runaway Railway is Tier I. That would mean there would be FIVE Tier I attractions in this park (Falcon ride, First order ride, Rock 'n Roller Coaster, TSMM, and this), which would be highly unusual. I wouldn't be surprised to see one of the current Tier I attractions be pushed off the list when Galaxy's Edge opens, but I doubt Runaway Railway replaces them. Plus, you seem to think this attraction is not an "E Ticket", which is essentially a pre-requisite for an attraction to be deemed Tier I (though many would consider 7DMT a D ticket based on its size).

What this says to me is that either they're really cranking on this makeover, or it's a cheap conversion. It took almost 2 years for Disney to convert Maelstrom into Frozen, and that was a relatively short ride course and an easy change conceptually. This is a complete makeover of an attraction removing old animatronic systems and scenes, replacing with who-knows what - probably screens, and almost assuredly the same ride system based on this quick turnaround (less than 2 years). It doesn't give me the warm an fuzzies that this new ride is going to be anything worth waiting for, and the timing suggests that Disney realizes that too.

"Disney has plenty other major new attractions opening in coming years, to keep drawing the crowds."

What exactly??? There's nothing planned for DHS after Galaxy's Edge, not even rumors. There's Ratatouille and Guardians for EPCOT, and the Tron coaster for MK (along with the suddenly stalled MK theater). Aside from that, there's nothing else major planned through MK's 50th anniversary in 2021. Disney is doing a big burst of development over the next couple of years, but not what I would call "plenty other major new attractions" coming. Disney has a serious attraction shortage issue at every park outside the MK, and they're simply not investing the money to improve as fast as the crowds are growing. I hope Mickey's Runaway Railway is decent, but between the initial announcement and this opening projection, I fear that it's not going to be what guests are looking for, and those already bemoaning the loss of the Great Movie Ride will just shake their head.

February 12, 2018 at 2:59 PM · I love this quote, which prefaced Peter Benchley's THE ISLAND:

"Romantic Adventure Is Violence In Retrospect"

For better or worse, from PETER PAN to BIG HERO 6, fantasy combat has thrilled audiences young and old alike. Good or bad, it's nothing new, although you don't have to like it. I do.

February 13, 2018 at 6:37 AM · The MCU continues to generate BILLIONS OF DOLLARS in revenue and income for the WDCo.

Only one question:
Where are the FACTS backing up the claims the MCU film franchise is dying? Or the STAR WARS franchise I’d dying?

How long have films depicting war, horror, sci-fi, romantic comedy, etc. been thriving at the box office?

FACTS ARE FACTS!

February 14, 2018 at 1:27 AM · Russell, tiers are based much more on popularity than on whether or not something is an E Ticket. Why is TOT a tier 2 attraction when it's clearly an E Ticket? TSMM is not an E Ticket, nor is Na'vi River or FEA. All three are Tier One.

And 7DMT is not Tier One, since MK has no tiering.

All Disney has to do is remove a ride or two from tier one and add Runaway Railway. I think they'll have to -- the demand for this ride will be huge, especially from families with kids (which is most guests). I guess the other alternative will be to make DHS tier-free, since it will suddenly have lots of very popular rides.

The three upcoming rides you mentioned certainly are major new attractions, particularly Guardians and Tron. Yes, those are the ones I had in mind. Two new themed coasters won't be major draws? In what universe?

Frankly, it's ludicrous to keep insisting that Disney will still have "serious attraction shortage issues at every park outside the MK" once all of these planned attractions and new lands are open.That thinking is stuck in the 90s.

DHS is getting massive development. AK is definitely a multi-day park after the additions of Pandora, Tree of Life Awakenings and ROL. As for Epcot, it's getting two new rides, and there have been hints of a more extensive overhaul.

Also, your negativety concerning Runaway Railway sounds like the trolling of one of these anonymous posters on Universal's payroll. I know you posted this before Robert's article on "a first look at the plans" for the ride, but you are basing your bile on what? That the ride will take two years to build? How about judging it when you actually experience it? Or does that make too much sense? From everything I've read, the ride, at the very least, sounds very promising. 3D without glasses, a trackless vehicle, practical effects and AAs mixed with screens, and this is the first ride featuring the classic characters Walt created? Where do I sign up?

P.S.: I just reread your comments to Robert's Feb. 12 article about MMRR, e.g. you're "expecting to be underwhelmed". You already decided in advance that you won't like it? How very open minded of you.

February 14, 2018 at 8:16 AM · I'm merely providing my opinion based on the way the attraction is being marketed. Disney typically knows when they have a less than stellar offering, and buries it. Look at the Mission: Space upgrade. They took the attraction down promising an entirely new experience, but delivered a Gina Torres overdub of the identical script previously done by Gary Sinise. The gave it a huge marketing push when the attraction went down, but when it came back up, it was like nothing happened.

The whole 2 1/2 D is typical marketing mumbo-jumbo, and while it may indeed be impressive, I'm not getting my hopes up. I'm merely seeing which way the wind is blowing on this attraction, and the vibe that I'm getting is that it's going to be underwhelming. For all available information, they're utilizing the same ride system as GMR, which was not incredibly dynamic to being with. The ride is being dumped just before Galaxy's edge, which suggests to me Disney doesn't really think that the ride can draw on its own. Yes, it will be popular at the beginning because it's new (heck Disney could open a turd-smelling attraction and people would line up for hours the first weeks it opened), but opening just months ahead of what will likely be the biggest theme park phenomenon in history means that Disney either views this as an alternative people eater or nothing worth spending a lot of marketing resources to advertise. I'll give it a fair evaluation when I experience in the fall of 2018, but I'm not making a special trip to see this, and I don't think there are many people (even hard core Disney fans with APs) that are going to make a trip just to see this new attraction.

There is a HUGE shortage of attractions in WDW parks not named Magic Kingdom. Disney is doing this big surge of development right now in advance of the 50th anniversary (and EPCOT's 40th in 2022), but a lot is geared to just get each park up to a full-day experience before the big celebration(s). After 2021, there's very little rumored beyond, and the sudden halt to the MK Theater project is an odd development. In terms of parks, DAK is a full day park now, but mostly because it takes 3+ hours to experience Pandora. Once crowds subside and FOP wait times get down to 90 minutes or less, it's still short of an attraction or two. EPCOT is severely short, and has been limping along for decades. Guardians is a replacement attraction that will probably draw very well, and Ratatouille is the World Showcase attraction that has been rumored and desperately needed for over 20 years now. However, instead of fixing the overall concept of FutureWorld and all of the empty buldings, Disney is throwing in a roller coaster and a trackless dark ride.
While those 2 attractions look very promising, the overall EPCOT experience will still be a unsolved problem. Galaxy's Edge will be to DHS what Pandora is to DAK, but DHS will only be a full day park after Galaxy's Edge opens because it will take hours just to experience the new land due to the crowds. I actually think that even though Toy Story Land looks to be a bit on the cheap side, it's exactly what DHS needs more of (smaller full-family-accessible attractions to fill gaps between the big rides). There simply isn't enough for guests to do while waiting between the big rides. Disney can't even figure out what they want to call DHS, let alone with this park is about now with Toy Story and Star Wars. Yes, Disney is doing a quick spurt of development, but it's not solving their biggest problems, just putting lipstick on the pigs before their big show in 2021/22.

February 16, 2018 at 12:28 AM · Epcot needs some more work after the new rides open, but we spent three full days at AK on our last trip, and still didn't do everything. And no, we didn't wait long for the Pandora rides; we used fast passes for both and rode Na'vi just before closing time, when the waits were negligeable.

As for DHS, it's going to be a tremendous park unless they botch these new goodies coming up. It's a good move to open MMRR the same year as SW Land because that new land would otherwise be overwhelmed. This way, most people will feel the need to get a MMRR fast pass to avoid 120 min.+ wait times, and that means more capacity available for SW fast passes. And that popularity won't just be because of the newness factor. Besides Star Wars, what's the mightiest Disney IP? Mickey and Minnie themselves.

P.S.: Disney is reinvesting billions of dollars into WDW, and that's what you call "putting lipstick on a pig"? Utterly preposterous comment. Massive reinvestment is not merely a cosmetic job. And WDW is a great resort. Just because it's not perfect, that doesn't make it a "pig".

February 16, 2018 at 8:29 AM · Galaxy's Edge is going to be overwhelmed even if Disney were to open dozens of new attractions at the same time. MMRR will just be a "filler" attraction for those waiting to get into Galaxy's Edge, and that's how guests are going to view it, not the landmark attraction (being the first to use Mickey and this 2 and a half D nonsense) Disney is marketing it as. For all we know MMRR could be the greatest attraction ever designed, but because it's opening within months of SW, it will be overshadowed, and those that ride it will be doing so wishing they were on the Star Wars rides. The only reason guests will be getting FP+ reservations for MMRR will NOT be to avoid 120 minutes lines, it will be because all of the Galaxy's Edge FPs are gone.

As far as "lipstick on a pig", I stand behind that comment. What Disney is doing and planning to do in advance of WDW50/EPCOT40 is to gussy up the parks to draw even bigger crowds for the birthdays. These improvements are not fixing the unlying problems of many of these parks (particularly DHS and EPCOT). DHS has a serious thematic issue, and even with MMRR and Toy Story, there still won't be enough for guests to do that can't get into Galaxy's Edge. Same goes for EPCOT. Innoventions/Communicore are massive warts in the dead center of the park. Wonders of Life is nothing more than events center (in addition to the tens of thousands of square feet of other "events" space in this park), Imagination is a disgrace, and Guardians, while it's probably going to be a big hit, is still just one attraction for a section of the park that could use another 3 or 4. There's nothing preposterous about stating that Disney has a lot of work to do to keep up with the needs for the non-MK parks. It doesn't matter how much they're spending on these individual projects, it comes down to their affect on the parks as a whole, and IMHO, these few improvements (Tron, Guardians, Ratatouille, MMRR, and Galaxy's Edge) will only make a small dent in the huge problems facing the theme parks, particularly as crowds swell to insane levels.

February 16, 2018 at 8:59 PM · They're not gussying up, they're adding capacity to the resort. And they're adding a hell of a lot. But I'm glad you're a mind reader and know how everyone else thinks. How do you pull that off, Kreskin? Now can you tell me next week's lotto numbers? How about speaking for yourself and not try to speak for thousands of WDW guests?

Most outrageously, you still want to claim that DHS won't have enough for guests to do? Hello, they're opening two new lands and a new, high tech ride. We spent three days there on our last trip, and didn't even do everything, despite the fact that only four rides were running. Your comments are laughable, and no one will take any of your crap seriously.

Frankly, you're a hack and it's a shame that this site has such low standards for a so-called theme park writer. All you do is complain, bitch and moan. Your pre-judging of attractions and frothing-at-the-mouth negativity is a disgrace. Robert keeps us informed about all these exciting developments in the parks, and all you do is denigrate and spew your bile.

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