One of the more interesting byproducts of the contract that Universal signed with Marvel before the latter’s subsequent sale to Disney is the fact that, even though Disney can create attractions based on Marvel properties west of the Mississippi River (and some on the East Coast as well), no matter where any of these attractions are created (in North America at least) the word “Marvel” cannot be used to describe or promote them.
It is against this backdrop then that Disney recently announced its “Summer of Heroes” event for Disney California Adventure. Though this new event will feature tons of Marvel characters, including Captain America, Black Widow, Spider-Man, and the Guardians of the Galaxy, you won’t find any kind of Marvel signage or branding here at all. However, if you are visiting this park during the summer, here’s what you will find:
1. Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT to launch the as-yet unnamed Marvel Land May 27th
Disney hasn’t spent a lot of time really discussing it, but the launch of the Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT attraction will actually be the beginning of an all-new Marvel-themed land, which will be constructed at the far side the park. And in an effort to beef up the early offerings of this upcoming land while details on additional attractions are coming together, Disney has announced that on May 27th, 2017, which is the opening date for Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT, Disney California Adventure will also be debuting the following year-round character-based attractions:
- Guardians of the Galaxy: Awesome Dance Off!: This character dance party will feature classic tunes inspired by the soundtracks of both of the Guardians of the Galaxy films, and will include character encounters with both Star-Lord and Gamora. Interestingly, no location has been announced for this dance party, but based on history we’d assume that this new, permanent entertainment option will take place where the Mad T Party used to take place in Hollywood Land.
- Super Hero Encounters – Though superheroes like Thor and Captain America have been able to meet guests at Disneyland for several years now, and Spider-Man has also been available for guests to meet at Disney California Adventure, it looks like fans will have a central place to meet all of their favorite heroes at the latter, beginning this summer. When it opens in just a few weeks, the lineup for this enhanced attraction will include Captain America, Spider-Man, and Groot from The Guardians of the Galaxy, but like the Star Wars Launch Bay and Princess Fairytale Hall, the lineup for this character attraction is expected to change regularly.
While the re-skinned Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT ride plus a pair of new character experiences seem like a pretty anemic way to launch a whole new section of Disney California Adventure, we are hearing that Disney isn't quite ready to commit to a name yet, as plans are still coming together for the future of this section of the park.
And though Disney technically can't say the words "Marvel Land" for the aforementioned legal reasons, we know there are some big plans in the future to incorporate some of your favorite characters at this park in what is currently being called "a broader universe of Super Heroes"....