Avengers Campus will open at Disney California Adventure on Friday, June 4, Disney Parks Chairman Josh D'Amaro and Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige announced during an online press event today.
An interactive dark ride - Web Slingers: A Spider-Man Adventure - will anchor the Marvel-themed land, which also will offer the Pym Test Kitchen restaurant and Ancient Sanctum, a stage where Doctor Strange will train recruits in the ways of the mystic arts. Multiple Marvel characters will greet visitors, as well, including Iron Man in his new Mark 80 armor, Captain America, Captain Marvel, Black Panther, Black Window, Thor, Ant-Man and The Wasp, and the Guardians of the Galaxy.
"We are so excited to soon welcome our guests to Avengers Campus, our first land dedicated to Super Heroes," Disneyland Resort President Ken Potrock said. "Here, our cast members will unite to help guests of all ages find their super powers and create special memories."
Here is Disneyland's Avengers Campus teaser: pic.twitter.com/XcsJUNiUOl— Theme Park Insider (@ThemePark) April 8, 2021
"Avengers Campus will be a place where fans and guests can finally step into the universe they love, and stand alongside some of their favorite heroes,” Marvel Studios Vice President of Franchise Creative & Marketing Dave Bushore said. "The optimism inherent in Avengers Campus captures the diversity, power and teamwork these extraordinary characters possess, and now they come together to unite people from all over the world under one guiding principle: We are stronger together."
The DCA location will be the first of three Avengers Campus lands planned for Disney theme parks around the world, with Walt Disney Studios Paris and Hong Kong Disneyland to follow. The California location (the former site of A Bug's Land) has been retconned to be the former site of one of Howard Stark's Stark Industries complexes, now offered by Tony Stark as a place to train the next generation of super heroes and their allies.
One building in the land is the Worldwide Engineering Brigade (check the acronym there), which is a tech developed lab... as well as the home to the Spider-Man ride.
"When we set out to create these extraordinary Super Hero experiences across the globe, we designed a new Spider-Man attraction for Disney California Adventure park in an immersive land with amazing character experiences," Walt Disney Imagineering Portfolio Creative Director said Scot Drake said. "We also crafted an original story that ties all the experiences together in ways that are authentic to these characters. We worked side-by-side with teams that brought the Avengers films and comics to life to create a place that champions the next generation of heroes."
Tom Holland will reprise his role as Peter Parker in the attraction, coming to life in a way that "you will swear that Peter Parker is right there," D'Amaro said. (A Pepper's ghost in the preshow?) There will be no height requirement on the attraction, upon which riders will wear 3D glasses as they learn to sling webs to capture rogue Spider-Bots.
Spider-Man also will fly above the WEB building at times, using new "flying robot" tech developed by Walt Disney Imagineering.
The adjoining Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout tower will now be considered part of the Avengers Campus land. And next to it stands the Avengers Headquarters, with a real-life Quinjet on top. That location is tipped to be the entrance to a new "ride to Wakanda" attraction that Disney CEO Bob Chapek announced at the 2019 D23 Expo for a phase two of the land.
Elsewhere, the Pym Test Kitchen restaurant will feature Pym scientists using Pym Particles to "showcase normal foods at unusual scales, including shareable bites, inventive-sized entrees and tiny treats." The menu will include "Impossible plant-based meatballs, both large and micro and served with pasta in a super-sized spoon with a tiny fork."
And in a callback to the end of the original Avengers movie, a Shawarma Palace food cart also will serve chicken shawarma and falafel wraps.
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The look of this land is very different from anything Disney has done before. The modern, linear aesthetic is unlike any other theme park land I've seen. It will be interesting if Disney can overcome the cold-city-style feel to inject warmth and life into the area. Obviously characters will help, as will a full capacity crowd, but with just a single main attraction (let's face it, while Guardians is "part" of Avengers CAMPUS, its entrance is on the periphery of the land) and restaurant (and food cart), will the area develop an identity that guests can embrace? Galaxy's Edge is still trying to find that identity, which has not delivered what Imagineers promised, and I think this land might have an even harder time making that connection despite the IPs popularity.
It's interesting that Disney appears to be bringing back Jedi Training Academy but themed around Doctor Strange. Given Strange's limited appearance in the MCU (just one solo film thus far - though a sequel is on the way), I wonder what villains recruits will battle during their training session (certainly not Thanos, right?). I had hoped Disney would find a way to restage Jedi Training Academy on Batuu in Disneyland (DHS's version of the show is just outside Galaxy's Edge), and to directly connect the show into Savi's Workshop. I guess fans will have to take this Dr. Strange show as a consolation and hope they can come up with a performance (and effects) from kids waving their arms around that can match the emotional effect of wielding a light saber to battle a Sith Lord.
I would hope that Disney has meat-based alternatives to the Pym Test Kitchen Menu. I know that plant-based concoctions are gaining in popularity, but the fact of the matter is that most are NOT more healthy (some actually contain more sodium and fat than similar meat-based products), and the increased ingredient costs do not provide any tangible benefit. I also hope Disney learned a thing or 2 from the Galaxy's Edge debut, and are investing heavily in disposable mini/maxi-ware, because I would expect a brisk market on eBay for the unique utensils.
As far as music, I would hope again Disney has learned from Galaxy's Edge, and that music will play a large role in Avenger's CAMPUS. However, given Imagineer's quest in delivering more immersive environments, I wouldn't be surprised that music is limited to indoor areas (restaurant and ride queues) and during the Dr. Strange and Spiderman performances, but not part of the background atmospherics.
Not everyone eats plant-based meat alternatives for health reasons. Some do it for ethical reasons, some for environmental ones. Some people can't digest meat properly due to health issues and some people just genuinely prefer the taste of the plant-based alternatives over real meat.
I'm not a vegetarian, but I'm pretty indifferent as to whether they have meat-based alternatives on the menu.
If we've learned from past Disney restaurant debuts, the menu for Pym Test Kitchen will change to include "Pym Burger" sliders and "Pym Strips" chicken nuggets within six months.
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YEAH! Please, oh please, play the iconic score from the movies all throughout the land.