Editorial: Marvel Land works at Disney California Adventure


With a few short months until D23, it’s time to start speculating about what Disney executives might announce. My prediction: Marvel, Marvel, Marvel.

If you haven’t figured it out yet, I go to Disneyland a lot. A lot. I’m one of the people who lamented the end of the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, but the more I see the Guardians of the Galaxy — Mission: BREAKOUT edifice, the more excited I am. I’m counting on a big announcement from Disney at their biennial D23 celebration of all things Disney (and, by extension, Star Wars and Marvel) this summer.

In 2016 I completed the Doctor Strange 10k in the runDisney circuit, which is part of the Marvel Superheroes Marathon weekend at Disneyland. After running the course, I started to see what was possible for Marvel in Disney California Adventure, and we’re seeing the start of it this summer with the Summer of Heroes promotion at DCA.

Photo courtesy Sarabeth Pollock

The Doctor Strange 10k ties into this conversation because part of the 10k course took us through the backstage area, including the massive open space behind Mission: BREAKOUT. There’s enough room back there for an expansion that won’t have to impact DCA’s Hollywood Land.

Many Marvel fans have been frustrated that Marvel has taken a backseat to Star Wars, and the hope is that the new Guardians of the Galaxy ride can be the push that Disney needs to get moving on Marvel Land.

In terms of timing, it makes perfect sense for Disney to start work on Marvel Land in 2018 as work wraps up on Star Wars Land. By the time Star Wars Land debuts in 2019, Marvel Land will be in full construction mode. Then again, Disney executives might wait to begin construction until after they have seen how well Star Wars Land is received. Though Disney recently noted that they experienced higher than projected numbers in park attendance, the fact is that Shanghai Disneyland was riddled with cost overruns and it might be too soon to start any new major projects.

Next: Marvel Summer of Heroes to take over Disney California Adventure

Mission: BREAKOUT was easy to justify because it is a relatively simple overlay of an existing structure, which makes it a cheap addition as opposed to tearing down a structure and building a new one. It also means that Disney is using its own IP rather than having to pay licensing fees to CBS for the use of The Twilight Zone.

We’ve already talked about Disney California Adventure’s Summer of Heroes initiatives, and the emphasis on Marvel (#HeroUp) suggests that Disney wants to test the water. Summer of Heroes will be in full swing by the time D23 hits in mid-July, and if it’s successful it will only add to the excitement of a big Marvel announcement.

More from Bam Smack Pow

With D23 just two short months away, the rumor mill is swirling and Her Cape will keep you looped in on the latest news coming out of the Disneyland Resort.