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Disney Hatches Plans to Sneak Marvel Super Heroes into its Walt Disney World Parks

Guardians of the Galaxy is still on the horizon for Epcot

Image: Disney

This summer it was reported that Disney executives were considering a plan to gut the current Universe of Energy building in Future World and build a new attraction featuring the Guardians of the Galaxy (possibly an indoor roller coaster, according to some) in this space. While nothing has been confirmed quite yet, insiders are saying this plan is almost ready for the green light, and the recent presence of height balloons (which are commonly used to test sight lines throughout the park while plans for new attractions are being drawn up and finalized) seem to confirm this. 

While we might be months (or perhaps even longer) away from an official announcement confirming a Guardians of the Galaxy ride for Epcot, we would be surprised if a closing date for Ellen’s Energy Adventure isn’t announced in the very near future as the park gets ready to move on what would be the resort's very first Marvel-themed ride. But will this be the last?

Looking towards the future

Image: Disney 

Even with Guardians of the Galaxy and Doctor Strange being cleared for use inside Walt Disney World, would this pair of heroes be enough for Walt Disney World to truly capitalize on Marvel the way this blockbuster property deserves inside its theme parks? Without the ability to use the word "Marvel" inside its parks or in any advertising, it would be very difficult for Disney to brand and/or market any further attractions from the Marvel library. Furthermore, beyond the Guardians of the Galaxy (and apparently Doctor Strange as well), there really aren't that many more super heroes that Walt Disney World can use inside their parks without a renegotiation with Universal, who still retains the exclusive rights to characters like Iron Man, The Hulk, Daredevil, and Spider-Man. While such a renegotiation is always possible, Universal has no real incentive to come to the table, which makes this a highly unlikely (though not technically impossible) situation for Disney. 

Right now it seems like Walt Disney World is trying as hard as possible to get characters from the billion-dollar Marvel franchise into their parks, but without headlining characters, this effort seems like a bit of a half-measure. Doctor Strange and the Guardians of the Galaxy are certainly popular in their own right, but these characters certainly don't have Avengers-level popularity, and its hard not to feel like Disney is scraping the bottom of the barrel here to try and get whatever Marvel characters they legally can under the current arrangement into their east coast parks. 

Image: Disney

How do you feel about Disney's recent efforts to get Marvel characters into Walt Disney World? Do you think this is a good idea, or would you rather Disney focus their efforts on Disney California Adventure, which doesn't have as many restrictions? 

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There are 3 comments.

Marvel doesn't fit the Disneyparks. That brand screams Universal.

Then what about "The Twilight Zone"? James Cameron's "Avatar"? The majority of THE GREAT MOVIE RIDE??

That brand is still owned by Disney. It only screams Universal because that is where we are used to seeing it in Orlando parks.

Disney is responsible for the current popularity of Marvel Movies. X-Men and Fantastic 4 are currently licensed to FOX for movies, and they are taking a downturn in ratings (especially Fantastic 4 after their last outing). Spiderman is now in the MCU after Sony's mishandling of the franchise. But Disney distributed Marvel movies are huge now, and Disney deserves the credit.

Knowing that, who knows what we may see in the coming years. We are almost certain to get a Guardians of the Galaxy attraction in some form at Disney World. GotG was considered a second class group, and Universal passed on them. Looks like Dr. Strange is fair game for Disney, too. We know the Inhumans, another little known Marvel group, is getting their own movie late this decade. Universal never used them, either, and we can expect Disney to capitalize on that oversight, too.


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