While developing the Disneyland Resort’s new Marvel-themed attraction, the park’s top creators told reporters at a sneak peek, they were always guided by narrative and making the experience 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,” Drake said. “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, next to the Guardians of the Galaxy ride at Disney California Adventure Park, opens Friday, but there was a livestreamed opening ceremony on Wednesday night. You can watch it below.
“The idea of a campus is bringing people together” with “many diverse stories,” Drake said.
One example of that, according to Imagineers is the new Web Slingers: A Spider Man Adventure ride which 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. Those purchases provide them with extra powers as they help the wall crawler demolish the spider-bots. During the ride, guests make like Spider-Man slinging 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,” said Brent Strong, executive creative director of Walt Disney Imagineering. “But what guests do plays a role in how it plays out.”
“We’ve hidden a million Easter eggs in it,” he said.
“The story is about the guests… and the interactions these heroes have with the guests,” Strong said.
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 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 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 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.
“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,” she said. “And a wide selection of microbrews.”
Her favorite, though, is the Molecular Meltdown, which she said was a “stout float. It’s delicious.”
Drake excitedly chipped in: “It has mini marshmallows on top.”
CNS contributed to this report.
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