Marvel characters set for September debut at Tokyo Disneyland

January 31, 2024, 12:31 PM · Marvel characters will make their debut at the Tokyo Disney Resort in September this year.

Tokyo Disney Resort yesterday announced that it will debut a new nighttime spectacular on its Cinderella Castle at Tokyo Disneyland on September 20. The as-yet-unnamed projection show will include pyrotechnics and special effects and feature characters from Walt Disney Animation and Pixar Animation Studios films, as well as the Tokyo Disney debut of characters from the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

New Tokyo Disneyland nighttime spectacular
Concept art courtesy Oriental Land Co.

"Memorable Disney music will be accompanied by dazzling imagery projected onto Cinderella Castle filling the night sky, allowing guests to feel as if they are soaring through the sky alongside the Disney friends," Tokyo Disney said in its press release.

Marvel's Spider-Man had been licensed to rival Universal Studios Japan up until this month, but with that deal having expired now, Disney is legally clear to allow its partner, Oriental Land Co., to start using Marvel's core characters in Tokyo.

The new show will join Disney's line-up of nighttime castle spectaculars around the world. Follow the links below for our reviews and news about these shows, including show videos:

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Replies (4)

January 31, 2024 at 3:56 PM

Was the Universal Japan Marvel deal exclusively for Spider-Man or did it apply to all Marvel characters? I'm wondering how Oriental Land Co got clearance for Baymax (unless the deal was similar to Superhero Island which only included characters from X-Men, Avengers, & Fantastic Four).

Regardless, curious to see what the future holds for Marvel in Tokyo Disneyland & beyond with the franchise being on somewhat of a decline lately.

January 31, 2024 at 5:29 PM

Baymax was not a Marvel character covered under the Universal contracts. The main difference between Marvels's deals with Universal in Orlando and Osaka was that the Osaka deal had an expiration date.

Remember that Marvel also had a deal with Universal in Hollywood, but that deal expired because Universal did not build the qualifying Spider-Man ride there in time. Ultimately, I think that failure is what cleared the way for Disney to buy Marvel. One of my "what if?" (to use a Marvel franchise) scenarios is, if USH had built its Spider-man ride, Disney never buys Marvel because it can't clear the theme park rights anywhere in the U.S. And without Marvel, the last 10 years of TWDC history is *very* different.

January 31, 2024 at 6:13 PM

USH was going to get a Spider-Man ride???!! When was this? Was it similar to the ride at IOA?

February 1, 2024 at 8:44 AM

Oh wow! First time hearing about a potential Spider-Man ride in USH. Such a big "what if" for that park and TWDC. Thanks, Robert!

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