Disneyland debuted its newest attraction Friday with a Marvel Comics-themed “land” inspired by the superhero group the Avengers.
At a sneak peak, the theme park’s top creators told reporters that — while developing the new addition — they were guided by narrative and making it as immersive as possible for guests.
“We had 70 years to pull from and 23 films,” said Scot Drake, a portfolio creative director for Imagineering.
“This has been a global storytelling effort. Not only do we get spider-bots getting loose … soon we’ll be opening Marvel Adventures in Paris … and more at Anaheim.”
The new Avengers Campus land next to the Guardians of the Galaxy ride at Disney California Adventure Park will remind visitors of the Star Wars land that opened two years ago.
Guests are immersed in a story as various characters from the universes of its inspiration guide them through an adventure.
“The idea of a campus is bringing people together” with “so many diverse stories,” Drake said.
The architects hail from “140 disciplines… bringing their A game,” Drake said.
Brent Strong, executive creative director of Walt Disney Imagineering, pointed to the new “WEB SLINGERS: A Spider-Man Adventure” ride that takes guests on a ride through a mansion run rampant with the friendly neighborhood superhero’s newest pet project — spider-bots that self-replicate out of control.
Guests can buy their own web shooters at a shop selling Spidey gear that provides even more “powers” as they help the wall crawler demolish the spider-bots. During the ride, guests fling their arms out like Spider-Man shooting his webs to activate their own web shooters. At the end of the ride, guests are shown a score like a video game.
“The basic mission is always the same,” Strong said. “But what guests do plays a role in how it plays out.”
Participants can open doors, for instance.
“We’ve hidden a million Easter eggs in it,” Strong said. “The story is about the guests … and the interactions these heroes have with the guests.”
Doctor Strange puts on a magic show throughout the day, but it is different at night, said Dan Fields, executive creative director of Disney Live Entertainment. The Sorcerer Supreme opens a portal after he enlists guests to help him, through an enchantment, to erect a shield around the campus.
“This is a massive assembly of heroes,” Fields said of the growing cast of characters in the attraction, which include Iron Man, Ant Man and his partner the Wasp, and General Okoye and the Dora Milaje of the Black Panther’s Wakanda warriors.
Next month, the attraction will add performances of the super villain Taskmaster clashing with the Black Widow.
“I think it’s going to be really exciting,” Fields said. “There are more heroes coming.”
General Okoye and the Dora Milaje help train guests to become Wakandan warriors, and Spider-Man does acrobatics that include a huge catapult into the air web-slinging.
Guests may take selfies with Iron Man, but that’s not all, Fields said.
“He can and will talk to you,” Fields said.
Michele Gendreau, director of Food and Beverage Experiences at Disneyland, said the Pym Test Kitchen eatery and the Shawarma Palace food cart also have tie-ins to the Marvel superhero movies and comic books.
Hank Pym, aka Ant Man and Giant Man, is the inspiration behind the restaurant, which features a variety of foods that can shrink or be enlarged with his Pym Particles.
The Shawarma food cart is a reference to a screen-credit scene as seen in an Avengers movie. Shawarma Palace was where the Avengers went after a battle royale in New York.
“What we’ve had great success with is how we wed the eating experience to the story,” Gendreau said.
“You want to leave here not only fulfilled, but feeling only Disney can do this,” she said.
Adults can partake in some alcoholic beverages as well, Gendreau said.
“There’s a good selection of beer,” Gendreau said. “And a wide selection of microbrews.”
The Pym Test Kitchen is “a great hangout place,” she said.
She said her favorite, though, is the “Molecular Meltdown,” which she said was a “stout float. It’s delicious.”
Added Drake: “It has mini marshmallows on top.”