Disney construction crews have returned to resume limited “essential work” on Avengers Campus while the theme parks remain closed amid the COVID-19 pandemic in Anaheim, CA, on Thursday, May 7, 2020. Flight provided by Hanger 21 Helicopter. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)
Disney has set a 2021 opening date for the new Marvel super hero land that will see Spider-Man swinging across the sky, Doctor Strange conjuring up magic spells and Captain America fighting villains along rooftops.
The new Marvel-themed Avengers Campus will debut in 2021 at Disney California Adventure, according to the D23 Disney fan club.
Disneyland initially set a July 18, 2020 opening date for Avengers Campus just a few days before Disney’s Anaheim theme parks closed in mid-March as the COVID-19 pandemic first threatened the United States. The opening date for Avengers Campus had been pushed back to an indefinite “coming soon” — until now.
A 2021 opening date had always been expected for Avengers Campus after the coronavirus delay — but never a certainty.
A key remaining question: Will Avengers Campus debut when DCA reopens or will Disney wait until COVID-19 concerns subside and consumer confidence rebounds?
Rolling out a new themed land as soon as California theme parks can reopen may not make much sense. The point of a new attraction is to drive attendance — something Disneyland and DCA could be trying to avoid amid state-mandated capacity limitations and visitors’ reluctance about returning to theme parks.
In September, Disney designated Avengers Campus as a “priority project” amid $700 million in budget cuts in the company’s theme park division.
Avengers Campus appears to be nearly complete based on aerial photos of the 6-acre themed land with work continuing at a steady rate during the coronavirus closure of DCA.
The first phase of the new land will open with a Spider-Man dark ride, Doctor Strange special effects show, Ant-Man and the Wasp restaurant and Marvel character meet-and-greets and rooftop shows. A second phase will open at an unannounced date with an Avengers E-ticket attraction.
The backstory for the new Marvel land envisions Avengers Campus as a training ground for a new generation of superheroes.
The new Web Slingers: A Spider-Man Adventure attraction will use gesture-recognition technology that will track the body and eye movements of riders as they sling virtual webs from their wrists at escaped spider-bots.
Doctor Strange will host an outdoor stage show that is expected to use special effects and projections to simulate the ruined remains of his crumbling Sanctum Sanctorum.
The new land’s Pym Test Kitchen, themed to Ant-Man and the Wasp, will serve food that has been shrunk or expanded in size. The Pym Tasting Lab outdoor cocktail bar will be attached to the restaurant near the center of the new Marvel themed land.
Avengers Campus will be teeming with Marvel character meet-and-greet opportunities, including appearances by Iron Man, Black Widow, Black Panther, Thor and Captain Marvel.