Disney's Marvel lands: It's a Stark world after all

December 10, 2018, 11:44 AM · Disney today dropped new concept art for its previously-announced Avengers retheme of the Rock 'n' Roller Coaster at Walt Disney Studios Paris.

It's an exterior view of the building for the indoor Vekoma launch coaster, which will anchor a new Marvel-themed land at the resort.

Paris Avengers coaster

With Marvel-themed lands also going in at Disney California Adventure and Hong Kong Disneyland, the company also announced today how it is bringing the three lands together under a common narrative.

The Stark Expo in Hong Kong was to be a first step: A world exposition whose theme of ‘A Better Tomorrow Today,’ was meant to inspire and motivate through technological innovation. However, shortly after it opened, the Expo was attacked by the forces of Hydra. When even more powerful forces threatened the entire planet, the Avengers realized that the Earth needs more heroes.

So today, to better defend the planet, the Avengers are setting up new Headquarters and technology sharing exchanges around the globe to empower and inspire all potential recruits willing to step up and become heroes.

In California and Paris, Tony Stark is retrofitting two of his father’s Stark Industries sites into new hubs for training and innovation. Through partnerships with S.H.I.E.L.D., Pym Technologies, Masters of the Mystic Arts and the new Worldwide Engineering Brigade, The Avengers and their allies will forge new global campuses to champion the next generation of heroes.

I previously wrote about the challenge Disney faces in siting its Marvel lands, given the lack of any obvious physical setting for the lands, such as Hogsmeade for the Harry Potter universe or Radiator Springs for Cars. But it appears that Disney has made it choice, and it is going all in on Stark Industries as their unifying theme.

Disney has released a concept image for the Stark property in its new Marvel-themed land at DCA, which is replacing A Bug's Land:

California Spider-Man ride

A Spider-Man ride appears to be the anchor of that land, with the ride apparently taking over the building that formerly housed It's Tough to Be a Bug.

Hong Kong's Marvel land is growing out of its Tomorrowland, with the Star Tours-like Iron Man Experience already open and the Ant Man and the Wasp: Nano Battle retheme of its Buzz Lightyear ride opening next March. Another, more ambitious, Marvel ride is slated for sometime early next decade.

Replies (12)

December 10, 2018 at 12:12 PM

I don't get it. That style is going to feel so outdated in a few short years. Maybe that's ok though. Maybe the new Disney model is the old Universal model. When the IP gets stale you rip it out and replace it.

December 10, 2018 at 12:22 PM

The Wakanda outreach tech center Shuri was going to lead in Oakland would have been great for DCA.

December 10, 2018 at 12:29 PM

I think these designs are smartly generic. Basing anything on the MCU, which is about to end next summer, would have pinned them in a timeline that's no longer active. Stylistically, it's boring and nondescript, but gets the job done. As Robert has noted before, the MCU doesn't really lend itself to "world building" like other IPs, so it will come down to the attractions to drive the interest in the new land.

December 10, 2018 at 2:43 PM

That's one area DC has over Marvel - Gotham is and can be anything the creatives can dream up. New York City is always New York City.

I'm not sure what more Disney/Marvel can do.

Is it true that the Paris Rock n Roller Coaster is not themed to Aerosmith? Because Hollywood Studios really needs to update their version. I love the L.A freeway aesthetic, the music, and the track layout. But they need to get rid of the Aerosmith theming ASAP.

December 10, 2018 at 3:13 PM

This looks FANTASTIC! This sort of genius is WHY Disney will continue it's dominance in the Southern California and Central Florida markets.

December 10, 2018 at 3:24 PM

I could be wrong, but the Paris artwork seems to be a POV from the entrance to the land, with the remodeled Armageddon building in the foreground on the right - which looks like it'll close in April to begin the transformation into a Spiderman-themed attraction.

If I'm right, the Iron Man coaster would be the building way at the back with the big LED screen. Which conveniently puts the stunt show building (whose future is still unknown) just out of sight.

I agree with Russell - these lands just look like sterile shopping malls. But if they're intent on creating unified lands for the Marvel properties, what else can they do? At least it'll be relatively easy to retheme them to whichever IP is Disney's next pursuit after Marvel.

December 10, 2018 at 4:14 PM

Harry Potter proved that a fully immersive, single IP land is a viable concept for a theme park. I've got a feeling the Marvel Lands will prove that a fully immersive, single IP land isn't a great option for all IPs. That's not to say it won't be popular...as long as the attractions inside the land can stand on their own, the project as a whole will be quite successful. However, if guests are mainly entering to ride the rides and then heading off elsewhere without hanging out in the land, the overall design of the themed area doesn't work well.

December 10, 2018 at 5:33 PM

I figured it out! The Paris one looks like a new car dealership! Imagine a row of shiny BMW's parked outfront.

December 10, 2018 at 6:58 PM

The lands do look a bit "generic", but I agree with Russell that ultimately, I think that is best.

While this are based on the MCU......ultimately, they are based on the Marvel characters...which can exist Inside & outside the current Marvel Cinematic Universe.

The characters all exist in various locations & with the exception of something like Wakanda or Asgard, the other locations are urban cities. The fact that these places (i.e New York, Malibu, etc.) can be visited in real life.....there's no sort of immersions that a theme park could do to compete with the real place.

The Stark Expo setting works because you can bring any & all characters there & it doesn't ruin the narrative.

December 10, 2018 at 9:07 PM

Would love to have this at Hollywood Studios.

December 11, 2018 at 3:30 AM

It's fine, the colors on the concept art reflect the kitschy movie posters from the Marvel movies and that is the best they can do to provoke the atmosphere these movies go for.
As long as the ride inside is of high quality the ride building will get that feel for what is inside and not so much the generic thing it is now.

In the end I don't think Marvel is a great fit for Disney parks. Their strength lies in place making using romanticize representations of the West or US or European cartoon charm. This Marvel building and look will never evoke that Disney feeling.

December 12, 2018 at 6:17 PM

To say thisbland won’t be successful because the MCU is ending (which it isn’t, just losing several principle characters) is like saying Harry Potter can’t be successful because the original movies ended.

It all boils down to the attractions. No one though Pandora would be successful, but Disney anchored the land with the most technologically advanced theme park ride in the world, one that after two years has 2+ hour waits at all times of the year.

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