Hong Kong Disneyland will be the first Disney park to get a Marvel-themed land

February 27, 2013, 9:43 AM · A government official in Hong Kong revealed today that Hong Kong Disneyland will be getting a Marvel-themed land as part of the park's ongoing expansion project.

Marvel's Avengers

The Marvel land will be the first for a Disney theme park, following Disney's acquisition of Marvel in 2009. No word yet on when the new land will open. Hong Kong Disneyland will open Mystic Point later this year, following last year's debut of Grizzly Gulch and the earlier opening of Toy Story Land. Hong Kong Disneyland drew 5.9 million visitors in 2011, lagging all other Disney theme parks save Paris' Walt Disney Studios Park, according to the annual TEA/AECOM theme park industry attendance report.

Universal continues to retain the Orlando-area theme park rights to Marvel, with its Marvel Super Hero Island at the Islands of Adventure theme park. But it's not uncommon for different chains to hold the rights to the same intellectual property inside and outside the United States. Universal holds international theme park rights to characters from Peanuts, Sesame Street and Dreamworks Animation's Madagascar, even though you'll find those characters at Cedar Fair and SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment theme parks in the United States.

Let the attraction speculation continue!

Replies (28)

February 27, 2013 at 9:47 AM · Quick, hide this from Dom!!!
February 27, 2013 at 9:52 AM · Thanks Robert…. Great News..

So Disney is adding and expanding… Didn’t someone just post on the discussion board that Disney was not doing anything new? Well I guess even a broken clock is correct twice per day.. Might be time to delete that useless thread…

We should take the credit for the expansion..

February 27, 2013 at 10:10 AM · Criticisms of Disney expansion on this site have generally been directed to TDO concerning Walt Disney World, not the other Disney properties. ....Hong Kong Disneyland, a "joint venture", had been bleeding large amounts of red ink up until this year. Analyst's usually attributed the lack of attendance to the original park being too small. Now after two expansions, the park is in the black for the past fiscal year, and it appears Disney & their partners believe more expansion will continue to increase attendance. Hopefully they will soon adopt that same philosophy for Walt Disney World.
February 27, 2013 at 10:21 AM · Too late Mike! ;)

Seeing how amazing Grizzly Gulch looks and how Mystic Manor sounds, this seems great for HKDL. Now they just need to get the Orlando rights.....

February 27, 2013 at 10:36 AM · Does Disney own the Marvel rights outside of Hong Kong? In other words, if they develop some kind of amazing Avengers ride, can it end up in Paris or Japan too and just not Disneyland or WDW? Because otherwise I don't see Disney doing anything too outside the box in terms of development if they can't import the ride to the states at some point. Then again, look at DisneySea and maybe I'm just talking out of my "you know what."
February 27, 2013 at 10:55 AM · Disney can go with Marvel anywhere in its theme parks outside of Central Florida. So Marvel in Disneyland in Anaheim is legally kosher.
February 27, 2013 at 11:46 AM · Marvel Lands:
Disneyland, CA
Hong Kong Disneyland
Paris Walt Disney Studios

Star Wars Lands:
Disneyland Paris
Shanghai Disneyland

February 27, 2013 at 12:08 PM · I have trouble buying a Marvel themed land since if it were to encompass all the characters it would just be a rip off of Marvel Superhero Island at IOA.

If they were to create a land based on Marvel they should create Asgard. Even though it's one of the least popular movies (not that it made a difference for Carsland) they could do put lots of detail recreating it especially with the castle.

It would be a travesty if Universal Orlando lost the rights to Marvel. We would loose the best dark ride of all time while the Marvel characters would be left to rot inside the imagineering offices since nothing gets built at Disney World.

February 27, 2013 at 12:13 PM · I can see them importing the new Marvel attractions to Disneyland first. They need Marvel to fix the awful New Tomorrowland. HKDL and DL are sister parks with the same layout.

As for what Marvel attractions will be in store, I can think of a combination of an E-Ticket, a D-Ticket, and a C-Ticket.

The E-Ticket is obviously a fast multi-media next generation attraction. I would think it can't yet be another iteration of Test Track. That would be overkill of an existing technology. They would have to develop a totally new ride concept.

The D-Ticket could be a slow moving Little Mermaid type omnimover attraction. Think of the next generation Monsanto Adventure Thru Inner Space attraction. You ride into the lair of the Avenger's secret meeting location.

The C-Ticket is a simple carnival spinner where you ride a tailored vehicle in the styles of the Avenger's characters.

February 27, 2013 at 1:07 PM · Agreed with what was previously posted... Any hodgepodge of Marvel characters would just seem like a rip-off of Marvel Super Hero Island at IOA. It would be an awful shame for Universal to lose the rights to Marvel. We would lose Spider-Man and Hulk, which would just be unacceptable. Plus I love the theming of MSHI.
February 27, 2013 at 1:52 PM · Buying Marvel in the first place was the worst business decision The Walt Disney company ever made. Sure, The Avengers was good, but now the deal's getting worse with new cartoon crossovers of Marvel and Disney characters.
February 27, 2013 at 2:03 PM · What's the worry? Universal will not lose the rights to the Marvel characters. The Spiderman ride will remain running at IOA. The Hulk is merely a roller coaster. There is very little that Universal can do to maintain or expand Marvel Superhero Island at IOA. This land is literally at a dead end.

I don't see how Disney's version of Marvel can be considered a rip-off. I am sure Disney will focus on The Avengers, which have many possibilities of the untapped Marvel characters like Iron Man, Captain America, and Thor. Since Spiderman remains a very popular character, Disney could take a different approach by licensing back the movie rights from Sony to be used in Disney theme parks (outside of Orlando), while allowing Universal to continue to use the comic book version of the same character. No one will be confused.

February 27, 2013 at 2:57 PM · I think this is cool!!

It was only a matter of time, & I'm actually glad HK Disneyland is getting this first (although it would be nice to see something at DLR next :-), even if it isn't a full land)

As someone else mentioned, I can see them developing a Star Wars land in Florida to balance Marvel Lands elsewhere.

February 27, 2013 at 3:36 PM · Jorge Arnoldson says,

"Buying Marvel in the first place was the worst business decision The Walt Disney company ever made."

I respond,

Yes, buying a powerhouse brand that makes alot of money was a stupid decision.

February 27, 2013 at 3:58 PM · Please, please, please let Disney develop more ambitious attractions for Marvel than it did with what's now in the Toy Story Lands in Hong Kong and Paris.

Please. That is all.

February 27, 2013 at 4:06 PM · Dom: It's the fact that Disney bought a powerful brand that their direct competition has the rights to. Disney's past buyouts (Muppets, Marvel, Lucasfilm) have merely dumbed down the franchises involved.
February 27, 2013 at 4:12 PM · Jorge Arnoldson said,

"It's the fact that Disney bought a powerful brand that their direct competition has the rights to. Disney's past buyouts (Muppets, Marvel, Lucasfilm) have merely dumbed down the franchises involved."

I respond,

False. Disney has worked with all 3 of those brands before the buyout of them. And no, they haven't dumbed them down. Marvel could use some work in it's animated shows but other then that it's fine. The movies are still the same and the comics are still the same. Things have only gotten better for The Muppets with their new movie (and a sequel in the works). They really haven't dived into Lucasfilm much yet, so I'll hold judgement on that one, but if it's as good as the other two brands, it'll be fine.

February 27, 2013 at 4:59 PM · Disneyland Hong Kong is now a real option to see the new generation of rides, i think this ride will be for all the family. I hope not a star tour kind of ride or without audioanimatronics.
February 27, 2013 at 5:23 PM · Dom, my main point is that those two franchises are getting worse, especially the Muppets. With many of the original or good puppeteers deceased or retired, the Muppets have taken a downfall, especially when Frank Oz refused to work with Jason Segel's awful script. Next for that franchise will be a shoddy remake of "The Great Muppet Caper". Also, Disney has taken everything that Jim Henson made famous and flushed it down the toilet.

As for Marvel, one of their upcoming ventures is a cartoon crossover with Phineas and Ferb, the lackluster cartoon series on Disney Channel. The show's bad already, and doing a Marvel crossover would make it even worse, even if it's just one episode.

Remember the comic fanboy community's response to the acquisition in 2009? They feared crossovers like the one coming soon.

February 27, 2013 at 5:35 PM · I enjoyed the recent Muppet movie. Was the script the best? No, but for what it was it was good. The sequel has really funny people on board (Ricky Gervais, Ty Burrell, and Tina Fey) and will focus more on the Muppets this time so it should be better. The Phineas and Ferb Marvel crossover is just one thing, it's not the end of the world.
February 27, 2013 at 5:47 PM · Robert (or anyone else for that matter),

Did the web-world hint that a Hong Kong Marvel-themed land was in the works? Was there any net-buzz before this story dropped?

February 27, 2013 at 6:28 PM · The only thing upsetting about Universal loosing the rights to marvel would be spiderman, because the rest of the land like the hulk and stormforce, fearfall would be fairly easy to retheme. The logical answer would be dc, spiderman to batman would seem logical, but i think six flags owns the rights to batman. If this did happen would anything be an acceptable replacement to fans for spiderman, same ride and technology, just different themeing?
February 27, 2013 at 6:44 PM · TH, Disney and More said something about that possibility last week.
February 27, 2013 at 7:05 PM · Jorge,

I somewhat see your concerns, but for the most part Disney hasn't destroyed any of their acquired properties.

Although one can debate the merits of the Muppets, you'll find plenty of people who enjoyed it. It did critically well (at 96% on Rotten tomatoes) & it did well at the box office.

Compare that to the previous Muppet film, "Muppets from Space" (total b.o. $16 million / critical dud) & Disney successfully brought this franchise back to the public.

With Star Wars, the selection of an acclaimed popular sci fi director for the next film is a definite step in the right direction.

In terms of Marvel, they are really successful. And while one may debate the quality of it's animated output, that's a small section of it's Marvel empire when you factor in the films, the potential theme park projects, the merchandise, etc. they've done well.

February 27, 2013 at 8:58 PM · I'm confident that Marvel will stay at Universal since they reinvested in the area even after the Disney acquisition. I just don't understand why anyone would want WDW to have the Marvel rights.

"I don't see how Disney's version of Marvel can be considered a rip-off"

I agree that Disney parks should focus on the Disney Marvel movies but I don't think they can integrate the movie characters one themed land.

The reason Marvel Superhero Island works is because it based on the comics and cartoon style which makes the land very cohesive.

What I think would work in Disney is to have a couple minilands (Stark Expo, Asgard, Xavier's Mansion). I could imagine them licensing out the "film" X-Men characters/actors from Fox but would probably use their own version of Spider Man instead of Sony's since the new movie was pretty lame and didn't feature a lot of the iconic characters needed in a ride.

February 28, 2013 at 2:39 AM · The success of Disneyland was that all of its original lands were based on timeless themes. Being a SoCal native with a lifelong tie o Disneyland I can say that this really doesn't belong in a magic kingdom park. I just don't feel it belongs. Don't get me wrong I welcome marvel in theme Parks and any other good franchises. I just think its not nearly up to the standards of class and imagination that make up Disneyland. I think its fine for the other Parks though.
Lastly, the land should be based on a single franchise, avengers is the obvious favorite, followed by xmen, and spidey. A land based on Marvel as a whole is too much a mish mash of stories to have a coherent themed land. This is a big test for Disney if they don't make something equal to or better than Spiderman/transformers everyone's going to notice!
February 28, 2013 at 6:10 AM · Does anyone know the state of Tokyo Disneyland and Marvel? Universal Studios Japan has the Spiderman ride also, so I was never sure what that meant.
February 28, 2013 at 8:48 AM · "Disney has taken everything that Jim Henson made famous and flushed it down the toilet."

It can't be worse than Jim Henson flushing his own Muppets down the toilet.

The recent Muppets movie with Jason Segel was well reviewed. I haven't seen it myself, but many who did enjoyed it.

I always had a problem with The Muppets franchise. It relied too much on the celebrities that act along side the Muppets characters. The Muppets don't have their own stories to tell. The Muppets seem to attract a higher age demographic (age 8 to 12) instead of its natural age demographic of toddlers (age 2 to 6) with the use of fluffy puppets. When The Muppets use adult humor or adult themes, it seems to be tamer version of "Avenue Q". I would never have a Muppets character at my home. My kid doesn't care. Neither do I care.

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