On October 3, 2019, Walt Disney Imagineering hosted their first ever panel at New York Comic Con. Entitled “Disney Parks: Creating Super Hero Experiences Around the World,” the panel focused on the addition of Marvel attractions at Disney Parks around the world.
For those who couldn’t be in the city that never sleeps for New York Comic Con, AllEars was on hand to bring you full details. (You’re welcome.)
The panel began with a brief video on the history of Imagineering, followed by the introduction and background of each of the panelists: Imagineering’s Scot Drake and Caroline May and Brian Crosby, Dave Bushore, and Dan Fields from Marvel Entertainment.
Following these intros the panelists discussed what it’s like working with “iconic” characters as well as their objective to allow guests to “feel what it’s like to be a superhero” and “help solve problems” when brainstorming Marvel attractions.
From here, the panel went into a breakdown of the already opened/announced Marvel projects in Disney Parks around the world. First up was an update on the transformation of Disneyland Paris’s Hotel New York into Disney’s Hotel New York – The Art of Marvel.
After a short video featuring visual artists Andy Park and Ryan Meinerding of Marvel Studios, the panelists discussed the hotel’s new Marvel-centric layout and room-types, as well as the 300+ pieces of original artwork — ranging from original comic art to Marvel Cinematic Universe pieces to commissioned art — that will be present in the hotel’s rooms, lobby, and restaurant.
At this point May announced – to thunderous applause – that each person at the panel would receive a print of an exclusive piece of the hotel’s Spider-Man art on their way out.
Moving on from Hotel New York, the panelists briefly touched on the live shows on Disney Cruise Line as well as character meet and greets including Captain Marvel and Black Panther at Disney’s California Adventure.
The panelists then moved on to attractions, first discussing Hong Kong Disneyland’s Iron Man Experience and Ant-Man and the Wasp: Nano Battle! rides. After videos featuring Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige and other stars of the films describing the attractions aired, the panelists discussed their interlocking storyline and how the concept of attractions sharing the same story influenced the development of further Marvel attractions.
The panel also touched on how appropriate it was that Disney’s first Marvel attraction was Iron Man-themed, given the fact that 2008’s Iron Man was the first film in the wildly successful Marvel Cinematic Universe.
After a relatively quick video on the history of Guardians of the Galaxy — Mission: Breakout! and some discussion of the Easter eggs present in the ride, the panel moved on to discussion of Disney World’s upcoming Marvel attractions, beginning with Epcot’s Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind.
After a time-lapse video showing construction of the coaster’s massive show-building and a second that showed off the attraction’s spinning vehicles, the panelists discussed Cosmic Rewind’s multiple launches, as well as vaguely discussing the ride’s time travel theme. The also discussed the ride’s backstory, which involves the planet Xandar opening up an “off-world showcase” on Earth.
The panel next moved on to the upcoming Avengers Campus expansions coming to the Hong Kong Disneyland, California Adventure, and Walt Disney Studios Paris theme parks. Picking up on the themes discussed regarding the Hong Kong attractions, the panelists explained that the lands would tell an interconnected story built around The Avengers recruiting a “new generation of heroes” following the events of Avengers: Endgame.
With the help of a 3D model displayed on large screens, the panelists went through each of the land’s attractions: the Spider-Man ride, complete with Park-exclusive suit design; the Doctor Strange meet and greet show that will have “portals” allowing other characters to appear; the Ant-Man themed microbrewery; and Avengers headquarters.
As they toured the virtual land, the panelists described it’s immersive elements, noting that there will be a full-size Quinjet and Avengers characters battling villains throughout the land. They also stressed there would be Galaxy’s Edge-style themed merchandise and food offerings, including “highly Instagrammable” food and drink of “varying sizes” at the Ant-Man-themed brew pub.
From there, the panel moved on to the Avengers E-Ticket attraction first announced at this 2019’s D23 expo. Showing the same pieces of concept art, the panelists discussed how the attractions “new ride system” would allow guests to fly in a full-size, detailed Quinjet before an attack would destroy their transportation, allowing for individual ride vehicles to put each guest right in the middle of an Avengers battle in Wakanda.
Following the final presentation, the panelists opened up the floor to questions from the audience. Some of the more worthwhile answers included a confirmation that the Cosmic Rewind attraction will have an educational component to tie into Epcot and a subtle “We were happy with recent developments” when asked whether Tom Holland would be reprising his role as Peter Parker in the Spider-Man attraction.
While there weren’t any new major announcements made, Disney Parks’ New York Comic Con debut successfully displayed all of Imagineering’s present and future Marvel projects for an audience who may not follow theme park news closely.
Are you excited for the Marvel developments coming to Disney parks worldwide? Let us know in the comments below.