Fans meet their heroes in new Disney California Adventure land
Spider-Man stands ready to swing into action.
And Thor walks by with the hammer that he alone (at least in theory) can lift.
Nearby, a sign on a building says, “Stark Industries,” and there’s a Shawarma Palace food stand that Iron-Man loves.
Welcome to Avengers Campus.
Fans enter the newest part of Disney California Adventure by walking on — no offense, Tony Stark — a giant version of Iron-Man’s heart. A giant arc reactor, much bigger than the one that saved Tony’s life and powered his Iron-Man suit, is embedded into the concrete.
That sets the stage for a Marvel Comics land that is carefully themed, as the News-Press learned during a recent visit.
Now, yes, it’s true Spider-Bots have threatened the area. Fortunately, Spider-Man has protected everyone by webbing the nasty robots to walls of buildings. But listen carefully: The Spider-Bots are trying to escape!
There’s only one thing to do. You can go on the WEB Slinger ride and stop the Spider-Bots before they wreck havoc.
The News-Press talked with one young man, who compares the interactive attraction to Toy Story Mania.
When the News-Press visited, there was no line outside the WEB Slinger attraction, but there actually is a wait. Fans get on the ride by clicking onto the Disney app on their smartphone and “standing” in a virtual queue. You “jump” into the line by clicking onto the app at 7 a.m. or noon.
Off in the distance on Avengers Campus, you’ll see Guardians of the Galaxy — Mission: Breakout!, the re-themed version of Tower of Terror. Fans fall to great lengths to enjoy this ride! And while it was built long before Avengers Campus, its proximity made it easy to include it in Disney California Adventure’s newest land. Formerly, it was on the edge of Hollywoodland.
There’s a precedent for “moving” large attractions. Over in Disneyland, the Matterhorn was originally in Tomorrowland before Disney decided it was a better fit for Fantasyland. (In 1959, one guide listed Matterhorn in Tomorrowland, and another said it was in Fantasyland.)
The Guardians of the Galaxy tower leaves fans screaming with delight as they experience sudden drops. And now through Halloween, it’s re-themed at night with monsters.
For something more down to Earth, there’s Pym Test Kitchen, where food takes all kinds of sizes in the spirit of the original Ant-Man, Hank Pym. Once you enter the restaurant, you’ll see Disney is taking this seriously.
A tunnel similar to the one Hank Pym uses to reach the quantum universe is suspended above people.
You order your food from scientists in lab coats.
And there’s experimentation with sizes. Some fans bought giant pretzels.
The New-Press recommends the Not So Little Chicken Sandwich, which is similar to a Parmesan chicken. The fried chicken breast is much bigger than the brioche buns on which it rests, which makes sense in the Ant-Man universe.
The dish includes teriyaki and red chili sauces and a pickled cabbage slaw (with cilantro).
Other menu items vary from a PB3 Super Sandwich (essentially a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with banana and candied bacon), Impossible Spoonful (pastas with the Impossible plant-based meatballs), and Caesar Salad and Colossal Croutons.
Avengers Campus boils down to one restaurant, one food stand, gift shops and two rides. That’s pretty much the Disney model for its new lands, and the theming is outstanding. There’s a jet sitting on top of Avengers headquarters, where fans can run into everyone from the Black Panther to Captain Marvel and Black Widow. Don’t be surprised to see the heroes go into action on top of the building.
And if you want to encounter Doctor Strange, you can enter the Ancient Sanctum and learn about the mystic arts.
Avengers Campus opened in June and has remained a big hit.
But Disney made one modification because of the pandemic. Spider-Man and other costumed heroes are willing to greet fans and have their photos taken with them, but the heroes stand more than 6 feet away, often behind a low fence or barrier. This is the Disney practice for its characters throughout its two Anaheim parks.
And you’ll notice something missing from Avengers Campus or any other of DCA or Disneyland. There are no more fast passes at any of the attractions.
But wait times are short on weekdays. The News-Press discovered it could get on any ride in a half-hour or less, which normally is unheard of during the summer tourist season.
Hmm. Maybe Tony Stark is working his technological magic. Go, Iron-Man!