Expect more Marvel Themed Rides at Disney Parks
Back in 2009, Disney acquired Marvel for a cool $4 billion. As if making box office busting films wasn’t enough, Disney is now funneling a lot of that material into its theme parks. Earlier this year, Hong Kong Disneyland opened the Iron Man Experience. Now we get a Marvel ride stateside.
This weekend, Disney’s California Adventure Park opened its new ride, Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: Breakout! After a seven-month refurbishment of the old Tower of Terror ride, guests are now led through The Collector‘s (Benicio Del Toro) fortress by Rocket Raccoon (Bradley Cooper) to help rescue the other Guardians. People waited a reported seven hours for the two and a half minute ride (even fast pass holders had a five-hour wait), so it looks like Disney might be on to something.
Disney has already done similar rides after its acquisition of Pixar in 2006 for over $7 billion, with Cars Land, which opened in 2012, and the upcoming Toy Story Land opening in 2018 (replacing the Studio Backlot ride), as well as rides based on Monsters Inc. and Finding Nemo. After its more recent acquisition of Lucasfilms in 2012, also for $4 billion, it is currently creating Star Wars Land (scheduled to open in 2019) to replace Big Thunder Ranch.
Alongside the Guardians of the Galaxy ride, is the interactive show, Avengers Training Initiative where kids sign up to go through a series of activities that determine whether they are ready to join The Avengers. Both events are located at California Adventure Park, outside Disneyland proper. The Orange County Register speculates that any more superhero themed rides would most likely be located in the nearby sister park to help alleviate crowds at the original park, which reached capacity in the afternoon of May 20th, and after Star Wars Land opens, might reach capacity before noon.
The Guardians ride was actually directed by James Gunn alongside the filming of the movie. It includes several Easter eggs from the films, and a number of the original cast was involved. There are six different adventures that cycle randomly so guests can get a different ride each time if they are willing to spend an entire day at the park and only go on two rides. If Disney maintains this level of involvement with the movies the rides are based on and continues to incorporate this level of production value, then that $4 billion will definitely be money well spent. Disnerds will have a lot to look forward to in the coming years.