I should preface this article by explaining that I am a diehard Marvel Comics fan. I was born in the 1990s but raised on black-and-white reprints of comics that originally came out from Marvel in the sixties. I am also a huge fan of Disney, both the man and the company. Toy Story is one of the seminal movies of my life, along with other Pixar and more classically animated Disney films. To top that all off, I was never a very big fan of Universal Studios' attempts to translate the Marvel stories into theme park attractions. The rides are serviceable, I suppose, but I knew and still know that Disney can do the Marvel properties better justice.
Why, then, aren’t I eager for Walt Disney World to get its hands on the characters and world of the Marvel Universe I so adore? There are quite a number of reasons, actually. Read on to learn why I believe Disney should avoid chasing after Marvel attractions for Walt Disney World and instead focus on the plethora of concepts and characters already available to them.
Editor's Note: Matt's opinions in no way reflect those of Theme Park Tourist or its staff.
1. Disney can’t even make room for all of its great in-house properties.
I’ve written two articles about Disney film properties that would be well-suited for adaptions into theme park attractions, and easily have enough material for a third. That’s not even touching all of Disney’s television properties that haven’t been mined by the theme parks yet. With all the options available to the Imagineers and theme parks under the traditional Disney umbrella, the focus shouldn’t be on getting the rights to a whole other universe and set of characters. It’s upsetting enough to many that Avatar - The World of Pandora is invading the Animal Kingdom instead of making room for more Disney properties in the Disney parks. The addition of Marvel attractions and entertainment would in some ways compound that problem for many fans who want traditional, classic Disney to continue to dominate.
2. Universal would lose a lot more than Disney would gain.
Like I said, Disney doesn’t need those Marvel properties at Walt Disney World in the slightest. They have more than enough to adapt into theme parks. On the other hand, Universal, even if they might not do as good a job with them, relies on its Marvel license a lot more than Disney ever would. Marvel Super Hero Island is an integral part of the Universal Studios Orlando Resort experience. Even though The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is extremely popular, Universal still relies on its Marvel area to stay relevant in many ways. Disney has no such restrictions, and therefore, even if it makes business sense for them to snatch up the Marvel licenses, it ultimately probably wouldn’t benefit attendants of Florida theme parks.