On February 28, when the Disneyland Fire Department quickly extinguished a backstage spot fire on the side of the its a small world show building after a fireworks display, it was really no big deal. More sparks have flown among the fan community over the quiet Friday announcement of the shuttering of Innoventions on March 31st.
Not that folks loved the exhibition style attraction, the smaller sister of the sprawling Epcot overhaul of 1982’s Communicore. The show space has been gradually diminished, even its 1998 debut with an Audio-Animatric host, contemporary computers, gaming opportunities and other slightly forward looking oddities. The space lurched forward in later years, mainly operating as a meet and greet area for characters from the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
“As part of our continuing efforts to offer our guests new magic, we regularly make modifications and enhancements throughout the Disneyland Resort, said park spokesman John McClintock on Friday. “We have nothing further to announce at this time.”
Fans meanwhile are agog at the possibilities for Innoventions’ replacement.
Busting the idea that the “paperboy” can’t land the internet on your porch, the Orange County Register laced its Saturday Innoventions closure article with blog-esque Star Wars attraction speculation. The Disney Parks have also fed this brand of breathless speculation through the legions of U.S. park enthusiasts, by sitting silently on an abundance of popular franchises, Star Wars and Marvel among them. Under agreements Marvel struck before its acquisition by Disney in 2009, it is barred from creating U.S. attractions “east of the Mississippi.” This has focused intense interest on the Disneyland Resort and on Disney off-shore parks, particularly those in Asia, as sites for high-end Marvel attractions.
But the idea that something substantial in scope will be announced or begin to be built in or on the site of the former Carousel Theatre in the short term seems unlikely, even though some persist that a 60th anniversary exhibit would fill the former Dream Home space downstairs. A promotional space for the Tomorrowland theatrical film that opens May 22 – the same day that the Diamond Celebration entertainment premieres at the Disneyland Resort, also does not appear to be imminent (at least for this particular space).
No plans have been revealed for the future of the Marvel meet and greets that already exist in the Innoventions building. Grander announcements are far more likely during D23 Expo, August 14 -16th at the Anaheim Convention Center.