Disney has shared new details & info about Avengers Campus, including an official opening date for the Marvel Land at Disney California Adventure! (Updated April 8, 2021.)
In terms of basics, Avengers Campus will debut at DCA with Web Slingers: A Spider-Man Adventure, a family-friendly 3D attraction as the centerpiece. Also opening at the same time will be an Ant-Man and the Wasp-inspired counter service restaurant, gift shops, variety of meet & greets, and the high-flying Stuntronics Spider-Man.
Originally, the Avengers Campus was scheduled to open last July, but that obviously was not possible due to the still-ongoing closure. Construction on Avengers Campus was halted for a few months, which alone would’ve delayed the opening of the land had Disneyland actually reopened as planned. However, construction long ago resumed and Avengers Campus is now nearly finished and could be ready to open at any point…
Note that this only applies to the current phase of the multi-year expansion. The first phase was the conversion of the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror into Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission Breakout. The second phase is the “Spider-Man Stuff,” various meet & greets, and counter service restaurant.
In a few years, the third phase will be completed with the Avengers Headquarters attraction. This is the flagship attraction of the entire attraction, expected to be an E-Ticket thrill ride with a larger budget than everything else in Avengers Campus combined.
During Disneyland Resort’s closure, a Quinjet from the Avengers was installed atop the Avengers Headquarters, which is a facade that will become the future entrance to a brand-new E-Ticket attraction.
Even before the closure, we repeatedly questioned whether this ride would ever actually be built. There’s a ton of past precedent for Disney quietly cancelling later phases of projects that are teased when the first phase goes over budget or fails to meet expectations. And that’s without parks being closed and losing tons of money in the process.
This isn’t a Smugglers Run and Rise of the Resistance situation where one ride is debuting 6 months before the other. Construction has not even started on the actual Avengers attraction—just the facade. The E-Ticket was previously looking at an opening date in the ballpark of 2023.
Now, that’s probably 2024 or 2025? A lot can change between now and then. Our suspicion is that work will not begin in earnest on the Avengers Headquarters until Disneyland and Disney California Adventure reopen and are able to operate at full capacity, and guest response to the rest of Avengers Campus can be gauged.
Disney recently announced that both Disneyland and Disney California Adventure will reopen on April 30, 2021. The state has further indicated plans to fully reopen and ditch the tiered plan that restricts capacity on June 15, 2021–meaning that’s the date Disneyland Resort can reopen at 100% (unless they self-restrict, which Walt Disney World has done).
Following this, Disneyland announced that the Avengers Campus Marvel Land will debut on June 4, 2021!
This is actually somewhat surprising to us–we expected Disneyland to follow Walt Disney World’s lead and wait until October 1, 2021 (when Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure is opening).
Nevertheless, this is great news, and the timing is about perfect. Disney California Adventure will open the new Marvel Land after the initial rush of pent-up demand, but before tourists can visit and while capacity caps are still in place. That should give a couple weeks to smooth things out before vacationers show up in full force and the parks are operating at higher capacity levels.
For those who need a refresher, the centerpiece attraction of the upcoming phase of Marvel Avengers Campus is Web Slingers: A Spider-Man Adventure. This is a family-friendly interactive game that’s essentially an iteration on Toy Story Midway Mania. The attraction begins with guests entering Worldwide Engineering Brigade (WEB), Tony Stark’s lab that has assembled innovators like Peter Parker to invent new technologies and equip everyday people to experience superpowers.
Guests are invited into a WEB open house in order to see the latest technologies being developed. Cue “…and some goes terribly wrong” as the Spider-Bots–the creepy-crawling robotic sidekicks–go off the rails. Guests then board the WEB Slinger Vehicle, putting on 3D glasses and slinging webs by flailing arms about.
Most significantly, this is truly a family-friendly attraction–Web Slingers: A Spider-Man Adventure will not have a height restriction. This is pretty significant for Disney California Adventure, which needs more for kids to do. (This attraction replaces several rides aimed at children in the ‘a bug’s land’ area of DCA.)
If Toy Story Midway Mania is like a Nintendo Wii game (and it literally is one), then Web Slingers: A Spider-Man Adventure is like a Microsoft Kinect game. The interactivity here will be controlled via body movements and gestures rather than an in-vehicle shooter mechanism, which is at least an interesting twist.
Also unlike Toy Story Midway Mania, which is overtly premised as a carnival game, Web Slingers: A Spider-Man Adventure will have a narrative arc that accompanies the gameplay. The conceit here is that Spider-Bots are out of control, flooding across the Avengers Campus, and Spider-Man needs your help to get them under control before they wreak havoc.
Near Web Slingers: A Spider-Man Adventure is the WEB Suppliers store. This is where Spider-Bots will be sold, which are interactive companions that sound like what you’d find at Droid Depot in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. Each Spider-Bot has a remote control, and all eight articulated legs move forward and backward. Spider-Bots can be customized with tactical upgrades with bling or something inspired by Iron Man, Black Panther, Black Widow, Ant-Man, and the Wasp.
A second gift shop is the Campus Supply Pod. Here you’ll find official Avengers Campus gear, including performance fleece hoodies and tees, headwear, drinkware, and other Marvel stuff. Other merchandise includes Spider-Man light goggles, a take-home spider web kit, and (of course) Funko Pop! vinyl figurines of Spider-Man and Iron Man.
The main dining option in Avengers Campus is Pym Test Kitchen, which is premised as a food science lab. Pym Technologies uses science to grow and shrink foods. Some menu options will include Impossible plant-based large and micro meatballs with pasta, the Pym-ini, plus pretzels and more. Adjacent to that is the Pym Tasting Lab, which is the spot for craft beer or cocktail experiments.
Next, there’s the Shawarma Palace food cart, which is inspired by the Avengers favorite shawarma joint in New York. Finally, there will be another food cart, Terran Treats, with a weird menu of intergalactic eats near Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission Breakout.
Throughout Avengers Campus, there will be a variety of “heroic encounters” meet and greets. These will feature Iron Man, Captain Marvel, Black Widow, Doctor Strange, the Guardians of the Galaxy, Black Panther, the Dora Milaje, Thor, Loki, and more.
Ant-Man and the Wasp will be making their first appearances in Disney California Adventure, and Iron Man will be debuting his new armor in Avengers Campus: the Mark 80. Finally, the villainous Taskmaster, who will have a role in the upcoming Marvel film “Black Widow,” will debut in Avengers Campus.
The design of Avengers Campus is inspired by nearby universities and Southern California locales, like Caltech or NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab. (JPL is really cool, but not for the exterior design…it’s an industrial park.)
In other words, instead of being immersed in an exotic environment or transported to another time and place, like the outer frontier of Space Morocco in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, Avengers Campus will plunk you somewhere familiar like your office in Fullerton or UCI’s student housing quad. Pretty exciting stuff!!!
Overall, we’re pleasantly surprised that the Avengers Campus is opening on June 4, 2021–before our predicted Fall 2021 debut. When it does open, it’s likely the parks will be close to capacity, and we really don’t predict a huge impact on crowds. For one thing, Avengers Campus is just one ride, and Web Slingers: A Spider-Man Adventure is intended to be more of a supporting attraction than the main draw.
For another thing, Disneyland cancelled all Annual Passes and suspended the AP program indefinitely. So that demographic is totally gone for the foreseeable future, and pent-up demand among locals will likely be exhausted by the time June 2021 rolls around (smart move on Disney’s part to create a second wave of attendance!). Then again, we predicted total chaos for the debut of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge last summer and ended up being very wrong about that. Perhaps we’ll be wrong once again and it’ll be bonkers when it debuts at DCA!
When do you think Avengers Campus will open? Is October 1, 2021 a good prediction? Do you think this phase of the Marvel Land will debut sooner or later? Are you planning a visit to Disneyland Resort for the opening of Avengers Campus, or will you wait until later? Excited for this phase, or does it look underwhelming to you? Do you agree or disagree with our assessment? Any questions? Hearing your feedback–even when you disagree with us–is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts below in the comments!