We suspected that we would get some amazing Avengers Campus details soon — and we’re happy to report that we were right!
During the first installment in the collaborative series between D23, The Official Disney Fan Club and Walt Disney Imagineering, we got to learn about the history and future of Disney California Adventure Park, which just celebrated its 20th anniversary in February 2021.
While the presentation dove into DCA’s past, the reimagining of the theme park, and what is coming in the future, something we Disneyland Resort fans were thrilled to learn about is Avengers Campus, the Marvel-themed land opening at Disney California Adventure later this year.
The Imagineers on the panel shared some insight into the progress that Avengers Campus has made and a sneak peek of what Guests can expect. In particular, the team behind the new land spoke about the all-new Spider-Man ride, WEB-SLINGERS: A Spider-Man Adventure, including why Spider-Man was the perfect character to base a new attraction on.
“Jeanette, Brent, and I all have young kids, and it was almost a mandate from within the team to have an attraction with no height restriction,” said Scot Drake, Portfolio Creative Executive at Walt Disney Imagineering. “And that’s what we’re really proud of with WEB-SLINGERS is that this can be for all ages and the ability that my seven-year-old slinging webs and all of us have done that pose forever — now we’re going to be able to live that out and be able to sling webs with Spider-Man. That’s going to be a pretty amazing thing to give to everybody.”
“It’s great that I think Spider-Man, of all the Avengers characters — he’s beloved by all ages and by our young children,” said Steve Spiegel, Executive Story Editor at Walt Disney Imagineering. “So it’s important — it was very important to us to do something that was not height restricted at all that welcomes anybody that wanted to sling webs like Spider-Man could do it.”
Brent Strong, Executive Creative Director at Walt Disney Imagineering, shared that he knew the team was on the right track with the new Spider-Man ride when his three-year-old child looked at his work, saw Spider-Man, and recognized him immediately, pretending to sling webs from his hands. It’s clear from this presentation that the Imagineers are confident that Spider-Man was the best choice for a family-friendly attraction at Avengers Campus.
Leslie Iwerks, the host of the panel and the director of The Imagineering Story on Disney+, asked the Imagineers what it was like working during the pandemic. John Mauro, Portfolio Producer, shared that it was challenging having to work almost exclusively over Zoom, but Drake also shared that there was one benefit: having more time to put the finishing touches on the new attraction, which will open when Avengers Campus opens in 2021.
Read More Magic: Our Guide to Avengers Campus at Disney California Adventure
“We usually are in a race to the finish to get to the end of a project, and there was definitely more time than I think we’ve ever had,” Drake said. “We were able to just think through all these extra Easter eggs and details that we know the fans would get. And we were able to put things into this attraction that I think maybe someone gets within the first weekend on YouTube but I think that will be unfolding within the next couple years, so it will be fun to share.”
Strong echoed Drake’s sentiments, sharing that the extra time they were allotted to finish WEB-SLINGERS allowed them to hide even more Easter eggs and details within the attraction. Spiegel even shared that the way the ride was built allows Imagineers to add additional Easter eggs as time goes on.
As many fans know, Avengers Campus was originally scheduled to open in summer 2020, right around the 65th anniversary of the Disneyland Resort — the next day, to be exact. That, of course, was delayed due to the ongoing pandemic.
“I will say that Disneyland and our leadership have never wavered from their commitment around this project,” said Jeanette Lomboy, Site Portfolio Executive for the Disneyland Resort. “Kind of what has given us hope this entire time — all of the Cast Members, our construction crews, our Imagineers, our operators — is knowing that we were so close to the finish line on this project. It has really taken a village, despite all of the challenges during COVID.”
Lomboy continued, “As we look to the rest of 2021 when we know we’re going to reopen our doors and open this, I think it will be that much sweeter. Because this was going to be our tentpole for last summer, and we’re happy to make that be the case for this year.”
Disney also provided viewers of the D23 and Walt Disney Imagineering presentation an inside look at the testing that is being done on WEB-SLINGERS: A Spider-Man Adventure.
Brittany Howell, a technical project coordinator at Walt Disney Imagineering, shared that Disney is continuing to test the new attraction to get it ready for Guests to experience in 2021.
“As we’re testing the attraction, we’re taking a look at the lighting, we’re listening to the audio, and we’re confirming that the game gives proper scoring and accuracy so that it is just right when you all come to play,” Howell said.
She continued to echo what so many of us are so excited about when it comes to this new attraction at Avengers Campus — it gives every Guest, no matter their age, the opportunity to become a hero. She also hinted that Guests will actually be able to receive scores in the game, making it sound like this attraction is an even more immersive gaming experience than rides like Toy Story Midway Mania and Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters.
“I’ve probably ridden the attraction at least a hundred or more times,” Howell shared. “My highest score is about 480,000, but it’s all about teamwork. With my colleague, we were able to score 1,000,600, so I look forward to you guys coming down to beat our high score.”
We don’t yet know an official opening date for Avengers Campus at Disney California Adventure, as we don’t even know when Disneyland Park and DCA will actually reopen their gates (though that news should be coming soon). But we do know this: Avengers Campus is going to be worth the hype.
Are you excited to visit Avengers Campus and experience WEB-SLINGERS: A Spider-Man Adventure this year? Let us know in the comments!