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Disney Just Hid Something Marvel-ous in Plain Sight

Where does a theme park really begin?

Image: Christian Lambert, Flickr (license)

According to what we know about the contract between Marvel and Universal, Universal has exclusive rights to use specific Marvel characters inside its theme parks east of the Mississippi. Which is why Disney Springs is able to have a Marvel store, when Disney’s Hollywood Studios cannot. However, it looks like Disney is really trying to push the definition of “inside” theme parks. In 2012, when the first Avengers film was released in theaters, Disney wrapped one of its monorails in a special Avengers-themed skin that featured several of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, including Iron Man, the Hulk, etc.  However, because the Epcot monorail technically goes behind the front gate of this park, this monorail only ran on the Magic Kingdom line, which does not go past the front turnstiles. And now, it looks like Disney is attempting to use this logic again.

According to the most recent update about the Skyliner project, it looks like the Disney’s Hollywood Studios station will be on the parking side of the entrance, with the actual structure being built on the waterfront, near where the Friendship Boats station is. Now, that is clearly before the park turnstiles, but does this entrance area still count as "inside" a theme park? Disney is betting not, and it looks like they are confident enough in this assumption to bring the Avengers as far "in" to Disney parks as possible, without actually going past the turnstiles. 

What else have we learned about the Disney Skyliner project?

Image: Disney

Though we were most excited by the superhero spotting in the concept art, Disney also showed off some other images of this new transportation system that confirmed some long-running rumors, including the fact that gondola stations will load and unload at the ground level, and there will be different "routes" guests can take, which will require the use of transfer stations, depending on where guests are trying to get to. And in addition to the Marvel character confirmation, the image above also shows that Disney princesses will be getting in on the Gondola action as well. 

While Disney stopped short of confirming an opening target for this project (rumors suggest we could be riding the Disney Skyliner as soon as early 2019), it looks like Disney is really fast-tracking this project, and we're excited to hear more soon! Are you excited for this new Disney transportation option? 

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