Tonight Disney and Marvel came together for the opening ceremony of Avengers Campus at Disney California Adventure. While the new land officially opens on June 4, 2021, the new land “powered up” tonight in a ceremony that was hosted by Friday, the A.I. created by Tony Stark.
Avengers Campus Virtual Tour
The ceremony began around 8:15 pm with Friday welcoming viewers to the event. It began with a tour of of Avengers Campus before getting a closer look at some of the areas in the land. Michael Serna, Creative Director, Live Entertainment, welcomed viewers to Avengers Campus started the tour. Different people from both Disney Parks and Walt Disney Imagineering then took over to give a more in-depth look at different parts of the land. During these specific highlights, Dan Fields, Executive Creative Director, Disney Parks Live Entertainment shared the story of how The Collector brought the Tivan Collection to Avengers Campus. This led to a look at many of the Super Heroes that would be seen in Avengers Campus.
Next, Executive Creative Director, Walt Disney Imagineering, Brent Strong gave a look at WEB-SLINGERS: A Spider-Man Adventure. Not only did Strong explain the premise of the attraction, but also demonstrated how guests will become Super Heroes when they visit. The World Engineering Brigade, or WEB, is a workshop of young engineers who are trying to empower everyone to be Super Heroes, even when they don’t have super powers. While guests may start visiting WEB to get a demonstration, they end up experiencing some of the technology as they join Spider-Man against some out of control Spider-Bots.
Caroline May, Creative Director, Walt Disney Imagineering, then shared how the tech that can be found and purchased at Avengers Campus was inspired by those who were visiting WEB. Everything comes from their perspective. This includes the add on tech for guests who can use the tech on WEB-SLINGS: A Spider-Man Adventure.
John State, Culinary Director, Disneyland Resort, then shared how some of the food at Avengers Campus was created. Bringing the Pym Particles to life in the land was especially important as they created food that fit in the experience of the restaurant. They also took great care to create shawarma for guests to experience in the land.
Michael Serna then took over again to give a look at Doctor Strange’s Ancient Sanctum. Heidi Rosendahl, Art Director, Avengers Campus, shared about the challenge of bringing the look of the world of the Marvel Cinematic Universe into Avengers Campus. This leads to some incredible visual experiences throughout the lands, but particularly in Doctor Strange’s Ancient Sanctum.
There will be a lot of Marvel’s Super Heroes found in the land Serna explained. This includes Doctor Strange, Ant-Man and the Wasp, Black Widow, Black Panther, Captain America, and even General Okoye from Black Panther. In fact, Okaye will be part of an experience where guests learn from the Dora Milaje. Show Director Deena Selenow shared about the experience. She shared how important that this experience was “authentic and there was a feeling of human to human connection.” They also wanted people to feel that being a hero is achievable. The experience is interactive for the guests and unique to each experience. They are creating new “warrior allies” to have around in case the time comes when they are needed.
Serna then moved the tour forward sharing how they wanted the land to deliver what guests experienced in the films. Scot Drake, Creative Executive, Walt Disney Imagineering, then talked about the process of actually creating the land. This included 3D models of the spaces. One thing that they really wanted to make sure was the Quinjet was visible from every entrance.
The Avengers HQ is also where there will be some pretty awesome battles happening up above guests. Down on the ground, Super Heroes will be seen walking around and interacting with guests. “You never know what is going to happen here at Avengers Campus,” Drake said as he talked about all of the different things that could be seen. Brie Larson, Captain Marvel/Carol Danvers, then joined the tour to show off the Quinjet from even closer up and share her excitement.
Avengers Campus Opening Ceremony
With the virtual tour over, the ceremony then pivoted to a video that combined Marvel’s Howard Stark sharing a message. As a montage of scenes from the Marvel Cinematic Universe were shown, they were interspersed with text of Walt Disney’s opening day speech of Disneyland. This was a moment that would connect with both Disney and Marvel fans and also bring the two together in a poignant way.
With the montage over, the ceremony moved to Avengers Campus and was live. A stage had been built in front of Avengers HQ. Josh D’Amaro, Chairman, Disney Parks, Experiences and Products walked onto the stage to start the actual ceremony. D’Amaro shared how they had just reopened the Disneyland Resort and how he was delighted to be on hand for the opening of Avengers Campus. “It is our hope that this land will inspire young and old to make the world a better place,” D’Amaro said.
Bob Chapek, CEO, The Walt Disney Company, was then welcomed to the stage. He shared about how this was another big milestone in the reopening of the Disneyland Resort. Chapek said, “If you’ve ever dreamed of being a super hero, and who of us hasn’t, this is the place for you.” Chapek also shared how the team had “pushed the boundaries of what’s possible” in creating this land.
Kevin Feige, Marvel’s Chief Creative Officer, and Marvel President, came to the stage. He started by saying “this is awesome! Holy mackerel!” His passion evident, Feige continued to share about how he was a lifelong Disney fan who now brings his family to the Disney Parks. As he talked about the process of the land being developed, his voice seemed to waver with emotion. He also shared about how the land will truly come to life when there are guests in it. He also focused on how the “sets can be permanent” in Avengers Campus unlike the movies. “One of the things that is most exciting to me is that Avengers Campus will never be completed,” Feige said evoking Walt Disney’s memory. He continued to talk about how things seen on Disney+ could end up in the land at Disney California Adventure. “We feel a huge responsibility at the studio to be stewards of these characters and the worlds they inhabit,” Feige said. He then thanked all who were involved in Avengers Campus for making his “childhood dreams come true.”
Paul Rudd, known in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Ant-Man, then came to the stage. He was excited to be there and shared about how he loved being in Hong Kong for the opening of Ant-Man and the Wasp: Nano Battle. He continued on saying “but this is the whole ball of wax” and it is a whole campus. His favorite part is the Pym Test Kitchen. He did try to get them to call it the Lang Test Kitchen, “but I guess those emails never went through.” He moved on sharing how he called some friends who sent messages for the occasion.
The greetings and congratulations included messages from:
- Zoe Saldana – Gamora
- Scarlett Johansson – Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow
- Mark Ruffalo – Bruce Banner/Hulk
- Danai Gurira – Okoye
- Paul Bettany – Vision
- Brie Larson – Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel
Following these greetings, Jon Favreau (director of Iron Man and also portrays Happy) was found on an upper level of Avengers HQ. “I’m the director of Iron Man, and if you are under 10 years old Happy Hogan” Favreau said. He talked about how much had expanded since the original MCU movie Iron Man. Now, this land allows guests to experience their own “super hero story.” He then invited the original Iron Man Mark 80 to join him. Iron Man then came out and joined him on the second level of Avengers HQ.
This was followed by Kevin Feige thanking him for coming and wondering why he was “up there.” “Now that Iron Man has arrived, it is time for the largest team of heroes ever assembled to help us open Avengers Campus.” As the music of The Avengers played, over a dozen heroes appeared all over Avengers HQ. Unfortunately one hero was missing. Spider-Man was that hero that was missing and Feige realized that. Friday came to the rescue and reminded Spider-Man that he was needed at Avengers HQ for the ceremony. This led to some stunts with Spider-Man including him soaring over Avengers Campus! Once he arrived, Friday said “our heroes have assembled.”
Feige then shared that there is “one more thing.” He thought one more person was missing. That person, “the real Captain America Anthony Mackie.” Mackie walked onto the stage carrying a case that was the shape of Captain America’s shield. Mackie shared how he loves being a part of the movies and the Disney+ series. The moment when Sam Wilson became Captain America, “it was all about the future.” He shared how proud he was of being a part of the MCU and “now all this.” This was followed by introducing Captain America, as seen in The Falcon and The Winter Soldier. As Captain America joined him on stage, Mackie opened the case and then presented him with his shield. “Now Captain America belongs in Avengers Campus!” Mackie exclaimed.
The grand finale of the ceremony was called for by Josh D’Amaro who asked Friday to “activate” Avengers Campus. This was followed by epic music, fireworks, and glamour shots of the heroes and all involved in the ceremony on and in front of Avengers HQ. The ceremony concluded with Chapek saying “Avengers Campus is official activated! We look forward to you visiting and living out your own heroic stories. Thank you everyone!”
Avengers Campus Opening Details
Avengers Campus officially opens to the public on June 4, 2021. Guests wishing to visit will need a ticket and park reservation to Disney California Adventure for the day that they want to visit. To ride on WEB-SLINGERS: A Spider-Man Adventure, a virtual boarding pass will also be needed. Guests can attempt to get those via the Disneyland App at 7:00 AM on the morning of their reservation or again at 12:00 PM if they are unsuccessful the first time. The land can be accessed without a virtual boarding group until it reaches capacity. At that point, there will be a standby queue to enter.
What do you think about the opening ceremony of Avengers Campus? When are you going to visit this new land at Disney California Adventure? Share your thoughts and opinions in the comments below!