Disneyland Resort announced a Marvel Multiverse attraction for Disney California Adventure, which will be the third–and biggest–ride in Avengers Campus. This post shares ride details and a sneak peek at concept art for the future expansion to the land, as well as our commentary about what we’re expecting, the potential timeline, and more. (Updated September 11, 2023.)
This has been a long saga, thus far involving three different D23 events, and several variants of the Marvel E-Ticket attraction. It started at the 2019 D23 Expo, with Disney revealing plans for phase 2 of Avengers Campus. This was to become a brand-new E-Ticket attraction where guests will step on board a Quinjet and fly alongside the Avengers in an epic adventure to Wakanda and beyond.
In this attraction, guests were to team up alongside the Avengers in a battle to save the world from one of the most powerful villains they have ever faced. Disney indicated that Imagineers are conceiving an all-new innovative ride system to put you in the middle of the action in this Avengers E-Ticket. Given that all of this is past tense, it should be clear that the Avengers E-Ticket won’t be built. So here’s an update on what is happening, at least, as of Late 2023…
2023 Destination D23 Update: During the “A Celebration of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow” presentation in Fall 2023, Parks Chairman Josh D’Amaro shared new details around the third future attraction coming to Avengers Campus at Disney California Adventure.
As depicted in the concept art below, the Marvel super heroes have created a new vehicle capable of jumping between worlds and even realities – on planet Earth and beyond. The design combines elements of Tony Stark’s time-suits with Xandarian jump points and Wakandan technology to create a vehicle that combines portal technology and flight capabilities to maneuver through the skies, transporting heroes to remote worlds in a matter of moments. Here’s the new concept art:
At the very least, this confirms that the Avengers Multiverse E-Ticket is not dead. That may seem like an odd reaction given that the Marvel ride was just announced last year, with concept art shared at the D23 Expo. However, a lot has changed since then.
If you recall, Bob Chapek personally teased the King Thanos attraction during his D23 opening remarks last year, before D’Amaro made the announcement a couple days later on stage. The big change, as you’re likely aware, is that Bob Chapek was fired only a couple of months after the announcement, and Bob Iger returned. As such, it was plausible that this was a pet project killed by Iger, just like the metaverse and Prime plans. In fact, that’s what we thought!
Shortly after returning, CEO Bob Iger revealed that an Avatar Experience Is Coming to Disneyland. He has since made multiple media appearances and mentioned this, and is clearly excited about both this and the success of Avatar: Way of Water. Iger is also personally friends with James Cameron, and was previously enthusiastic about adding Pandora to Animal Kingdom. So it was plausible to think that an Avatar project had been fast-tracked, and the Marvel E-Ticket had once again been sidelined.
It’s not just Bob Iger, either. Disney Parks Chairman Josh D’Amaro had held a number of interviews this year, during which he has discussed plans for the future, bullishness on parks, and desire for capacity-expanding additions. Not once was the Marvel Multiverse attraction mentioned. By contrast, Avatar has come up repeatedly.
There’s also past precedent, as this wouldn’t be the first time that plans for the third attraction in Avengers Campus were derailed. Although the Avengers Headquarters facade was built with the Quinjet atop the building, that’s it. There’s no show building or anything being built backstage.
For the few years since Avengers Campus opened, Disney has not said much of substance about the E-Ticket. In fact, up until last year’s D23 Expo, the company almost pretended it was never announced. When directly asked about the attraction during the opening of Avengers Campus, company spokespeople wouldn’t even discuss it.
Even before the closure and pausing of projects worldwide, we were skeptical about the Avengers E-Ticket. Phase 2 is often where projects go to die, especially at second gates. Just take a look at all of the unbuilt World Showcase pavilions around EPCOT, or even what has not happened with the Giant Dirt Pit.
Disney California Adventure has experienced this same phenomenon in recent years. Had the second phase of the big DCA reboot come to fruition, Paradise Pier would still be a thing–but with another trackless dark ride in the style of Mystic Manor. And that’s just one thing that was intended for the follow-up to the success of Cars Land and Buena Vista Street.
The question left unanswered by the 2023 Destination D23 concept art is whether the Marvel Multiverse ride is still also a King Thanos attraction. On stage, D’Amaro and Imagineers indicated it would combine elements of Tony Stark’s time-suits, Xandarian jump points, and Wakandan technology; there’d be portal technology and flight capabilities to maneuver through the skies, transporting heroes to remote worlds in a matter of moments.
That suggests the Marvel Multiverse attraction is still going to feature a wide range of super heroes and settings, which was precisely what was extended from the previous announcement and concept art (see below). What’s unknown is whether King Thanos is still the villain of the attraction. That was previously the key detail announced, so it’s kind of odd that it wasn’t discussed at Destination D23. It doesn’t mean it won’t be the case, though. There’s nothing about last year’s announcement that necessarily conflicts with the 2023 update.
Avengers Campus at Disneyland Resort will head into the Multiverse with a third attraction with a brand-new story. According to Kevin Feige, this will occur in a version of the Multiverse where Thanos won.
When joining battle with the Avengers, you never know what foes you’ll face from anywhere and everywhen.
This family-friendly attraction will give guests the opportunity to team up with more of the Avengers and their allies from across the Multiverse to battle against enemies, led by King Thanos. (Which only makes sense given that he won in this timeline.)
As a contrast, here’s the concept art for the prior incarnation of this attraction:
This wasn’t even the first concept for a Marvel E-Ticket.
One persistent rumor shortly after the opening of Mission Breakout was that an indoor Captain America Vekoma bike coaster. Disney had supposedly order multiples of those, with that being the location for the second. There are a number of reasons that might not be happening now, but I’m glad they’re doing something different.
As for timing, it’s safe to say that this project is still several years away.
This was not on the “Boundless Future” timeline that Josh D’Amaro shared at the D23 Expo, meaning that it won’t open until 2025 at the absolute earliest. Even that year is probably a stretch. Keep in mind that absolutely nothing has been constructed for this attraction in Avengers Campus.
The Quinjet building is literally just a facade. There’s no show building or anything behind it. Even if work started tomorrow on this, it would likely take at least 3 years to construct. That’s assuming the concept is fully developed and Disney fast-tracked the project, neither of which are anything close to certain.
Right now, Avengers Campus at Disney California Adventure feels like an incomplete land. Don’t get me wrong–Web Slingers is fun and the way the area is inhabited by characters is fantastic. Likewise, Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout is fantastic–far better than I ever expected. But the latter feels disconnected from the core land, and the actual campus itself needs more.
It doesn’t help that the only new ride to debut with the land was a Spider-Man ride that’s far inferior to the one Universal built some two decades ago. Disney’s interactive shooter game is fun, but no match for that modern classic.
Admittedly, I’m not the biggest Marvel fan in the world, but I also don’t think the environments featured in the films really lend themselves to immersive worlds in the same way as Star Wars. (Save for Wakanda, and I can’t think of anywhere at Walt Disney World or Disneyland where that would be anything other than a cringeworthy fit, thematically.)
Hopefully this E-Ticket addition is what makes Avengers Campus feel complete, and easier to overlook the dull industrial design and lackluster (and played out) ‘repurposed’ aesthetic of the land itself. There’s a lot to love about the way characters are leveraged in Avengers Campus (although it’s often used as a dirty word by fans, the synergy with Disney+ has been a particular strong suit of the Marvel Land at DCA), but it’s still incomplete. Hopefully this blockbuster Avengers E-ticket attractions live up to the hype and power of the Marvel brand and makes Disney California Adventure an even better second gate.
What do you think of the Marvel Multiverse E-Ticket coming to Avengers Campus at Disney California Adventure? Are you a fan of the Marvel land as it presently exists, or do you agree that this E-Ticket is what’s needed to make the land feel complete and top-tier? 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!