Robert, and A.J., when will phase 1 of Avengers Campus open next summer? I know an exact dates hasn’t been announced, but when most likely will it open? I’m planning on going again next August. I’m hoping it’s open before then.
I have been behind the walls and seen the construction progress, and based on that, would not bet on anything in the first half of the year. August is a maybe. Fall is more likely.
The construction has been slow?
You're asking questions that even Disney doesn't know the answer to yet. I don't even remember them saying it would be summer 2020, just at some point in 2020. Given what happened with Galaxy's Edge, I'd probably bet on a fall opening to take advantage of seasonal events that draw guests to the parks. One thing I have heard is that Disney is in much less of a hurry to get this project open, so if Avengers Campus is a main reason for your visit, I'd suggest no sooner than November 2020 to be safe.
I thought I had read somewhere that it was going to open summer 2020. I must have read it wrong then. Well, Galaxy’s Edge opened in May, and August in Florida. I would think summer would draw more visitors, since school is not in session. People tend to travel when school is out.
I understand it will be the holiday season, but it’s probably more locals, then people from out of town. I’ve been to Disneyland for Christmas, and it is great. But coming from New York, it will be much more expensive to visit then. The airfare alone during Christmas week. I would think they would want it open for summer.
@timbo23 - Disneyland is much more of a "locals" park, which was backed up by the attendance declines this past summer where Disney significantly increased blackout dates for the cheapest APs and dramatically increased prices for APs with fewer/no blackouts (this may have actually been their goal though since revenue was actually up despite the declines in attendance). While DL does still draw its fair share of tourists, it is nowhere close to what WDW sees, and so pushing to open a new attraction/development by the summer months where tourism is highest is not necessary.
Considering the criticisms lobbed at Disney this summer (similar to what USH got when they opened WWoHP BTW), I wouldn't be surprised to see them pull back some of the AP restrictions and either hold prices steady or reduce them a bit to try to draw some more of the locals back while still allowing single-day ticket holders the experience the parks relatively free of suffocating crowds during the summer months. By not opening Avengers Campus next summer, it will allow Disney to rebuild that trust without exposing the new addition to obscene crowds.
Overall, Disney has rarely been beholden to "seasons" when opening new attractions. While the past few major additions have been completed just prior to peak crowd seasons (PtWoA, GE at DL, TSL, and most of Pixar Pier), Disney seems to open things when they're ready with perhaps an eye towards trying to gain maximum benefit from the opening. Honestly, given the issues with RotR and MMRR, I wouldn't be surprised to see Disney move towards the Universal approach by not giving specific opening dates for complicated attractions until just before they're ready to debut. There's just too much risk involved and hard-earned guest goodwill that's damaged if Disney cannot meet announced timelines for these highly anticipated additions. Star Wars and Marvel definitely fall into that category, and the last thing Disney wants to do is deal with a bunch of angry guests vowing never to visit again because they planned a vacation around a specific attraction opening that ends up being delayed (warning to those planning a WDW trip in December hoping to see RotR, because rumors are already swirling that it may STILL not be ready by then).
Russell Meyer, I see what you’re saying. Do you think it might be ready by next August?
It's definitely too early to tell at this point. If you asked me at this same point last year whether Galaxy's Edge at Disneyland would have been open by Memorial Day 2019, I would have said absolutely not. That's why when I was planning out or SoCal trip this summer, I was assuming that by "summer 2019", Disney was referring to July 4th, meaning a trip at the end of July/early August would leave plenty of wiggle room to ensure I didn't miss the new land. Since Disney has not even provided a season when Avengers Campus will open, it's foolish to even try to pin down an opening until there's more obvious construction progress. There is still tons of exposed steel and open building shells that are nowhere close to complete. Then they still need to install the ride system and complete all of the exteriors. It's altogether possible that Disney could complete it and open it by next summer, but in the end does it really make that much of a difference?
Avengers Campus is not being billed as the landmark addition that Galaxy's Edge was, and in the end we're talking about a d-ticket level dark ride (similar to Ninjago down the coast at Legoland), a brewpub, and some new character meet areas. It's true that the Marvel IPs are some of the most popular on the planet right now, and are currently under-served with a just static land at IOA. However, there appears to be nothing groundbreaking about this addition that would necessitate an exclusive visit, and with another phase of the land likely coming a few years down the road, it's not the end of the world if you happen to visit a month or two before it opens. I'm not sure how frequently you visit SoCal, but if you go every 3-5 years like I do, they'll be plenty of new stuff to experience from your last visit, and even more the next time you go.
Southern California attractions