Marvel Studios is the only Disney entertainment/mass media subsidiary without a themed land in its line of theme parks and vacation resorts, and it is past time that they did.
(Disclaimer: I love Guardians of the Galaxy, okay?)
As a California native, I have taken countless trips to the Disneyland Resort. I will forever love the magic of Disneyland; however, I cannot help but internally chastise The Walt Disney Company these days, for ridding of certain attractions—ahem, The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror—just to replace them with ones…not up to par, in my book.
Just this past May 27, the Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: Breakout! attraction had opened at Disney California Adventure Park (or, DCA), in lieu of Tower of Terror. When news first broke of the change, I felt as if I was let down. I did not want to see Tower of Terror go.
One thought that crossed my mind: why do they not just construct a new area, strictly dedicated to Marvel Studios? Per contra, Disney has done so for its other subsidiaries…why not Marvel Studios, too?
For those unaware, the Walt Disney Studios conglomerate consists of four subsidiaries: Walt Disney Pictures, Lucasfilm, Pixar Animation Studios, and Marvel Studios. Films under the Walt Disney Pictures label are predominantly showcased through every one of the six Disney theme parks, while Lucasfilm is slated to have its own themed land (currently and unofficially referred to as “Star Wars Land”) at both United States locations. Additionally, in my defense, there is a Pixar-themed “land” already in existence—though scattered throughout, DCA consists of multiple Pixar-related attractions and rides.
As of current, Disney completely owns the rights of all of the characters and concepts within Marvel Studios’ mainstream superhero line. If Disney wishes, they can build attractions and rides themed around said line, right now. The only problem, as it always has been, is space. In the case of the Disneyland Resort, something (unfortunately) must be demolished in order to create a “Marvel Studios Land”. (A case in point: multiple attractions in Disneyland Park’s Critter Country and Frontierland had to permanently close to pave way for “Star Wars Land”.)
As an avid fan of Marvel Studios, I am disappointed that there has not been progress (nor any allusion or mention) in constructing such a themed land. Disney had bought Marvel Studios back in 2009—close to ten years later, there has not been much of a Marvel Studios presence in the parks/resorts, and that is not acceptable.
Pandora: The World of Avatar had its soft opening at Walt Disney World the exact day that Mission: Breakout! had opened at DCA. Avatar was not produced by Disney; yet, they spent money and time to create a themed land based on the universe of Avatar. I, personally, am in love with the Avatar-themed land; however, I just wish for Disney to build more lands based on what they do own—Marvel Studios.
The short-lived Super Hero HQ at Disneyland was a disappointment, and that hurts me to say, because I am such a Disney fan (I am Pure Fandom’s resident Disney expert, after all). It had potential… a lot of it. I had expected a mind-altering experience—a fun, interactive look into the stunning world of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (or, MCU). Apparently, my expectations were too high.
The Super Hero HQ was only one level, and the only two aspects that I was keen on were (virtually) suiting up as Iron Man, piece by piece in his armor, and testing my agility, as well as the meet-and-greet with Captain America, Spider-Man, and Thor. But, even that was not satisfying enough, for there were days when both Captain America and Thor did not appear as actual in-person characters (I would know, I am an Annual Passholder).
The MCU deserves better than to be dismissed or ignored. The MCU deserves better than to fall into the Dark Dimension.
Now, I will probably enjoy Mission: Breakout! as much as I did Tower of Terror. (Yes, I have yet to ride it—who am I to have an opinion, right?) But, think about how magical it would be if a “Marvel Studios Land” were to exist in every Disney park/resort! Think about all of the fun you could have at a “Marvel Studios Land”: a real-life replica of the Captain America Exhibit from Captain America: The Winter Soldier, a rooftop bar located at the top of a replicated Avengers Tower, swinging around Queens, New York with your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man (maybe, a ride similar to Soarin’ Around the World), traveling across the Bifrost Bridge to enter all of the Nine Realms and to meet Thor… tell me those do not sound fun!
I, for one, need a place where I can feel as if I am in the MCU. When moving on to a new “land” at Disneyland, I feel in place at that land. I want to feel that for the MCU, too. Unfortunately, it is too late to change the past.
But, as Steve Rogers had said, “things aren’t so bad”…for now. All will be forgiven by me, so long as Disney just builds a “Marvel Studios Land”.
I want to hear your thoughts! In your opinion, do Disney Parks need a “Marvel Studios Land”? Why, or why not? What would you want in a “Marvel Studios Land”? Sign off, below!
(Featured image via The Walt Disney Company)