Earth’s Mightiest Heroes are assembling at Avengers Campus for the common good. In fact, the name C.A.M.P.U.S. stands for Centralized Assembly Mobilized to Prepare, Unite, and Safeguard. Yes, Avengers Campus will be jam-packed with nods to fan-favorite characters and films (as well as hidden-in-plain-sight references to upcoming big-screen and Disney+ projects we have yet to see); truly heroic encounters with an unprecedented roster of Super Heroes; and an extraordinary lineup of food and beverages. But most importantly, guests will be able to help the Avengers in their efforts throughout the land via a variety of offerings, including the interactive, high-tech family attraction WEB SLINGERS: A Spider-Man Adventure, which will feature Tom Holland reprising his role as Spider-Man.
“Since day one we have been trying to figure out, how do we bring this land to life—and not just bring it to life where you get to see your favorite heroes or you get to meet your favorite heroes, but where you get to become a hero,” says Brent Strong, executive creative director, Walt Disney Imagineering. “And within the story that we’ve created, the idea here is that every time we’ve seen the Avengers go up against bigger and bigger threats—from Loki to Ultron to Thanos—the way that they’ve persevered, the way that they’ve succeeded, is with a bigger and bigger team. So this land is finally the invitation for all of us to join the Avengers—all of us to join the team—and all of us to actually find the hero within, which is just incredibly exciting.”
The new land is coming together through an amazing collaboration within The Walt Disney Company, says both Drake and Dave Bushore, vice president of Franchise Creative & Marketing for Marvel Studios, who notes that even the challenges faced by this team have been driven by the desire not to miss any opportunities. “They’re the kind of challenges you want. They’re the ones [that come] when you’re on the cutting edge of storytelling. We’re trying to keep up with what we do at the Studio because that’s what people want to step into,” Bushore says.
Avengers Campus will be a living, breathing land that’s forward-looking and incorporates not just films that have already been released, but stories yet to be told. This is something new for the Imagineers, Drake shares, noting, “It takes a lot of trust from our whole organization to say, hey, we’re going to start building this building. But the story, we’re going to wait on until we know the full series of what’s happening with all the Disney+ shows. So that’s definitely been the dynamic part of this. These lands start multiple years ahead of time. We have to commit to what are those core values we want to have, knowing we want to pepper in all of these fun Easter eggs, all of these different story twists along the way.”
And just as the worlds of our Super Heroes have been interconnected on the big screen, guests should look for this same interconnectivity in Disney parks around the world. Avengers Campus is part of a larger story that extends to Hong Kong Disneyland—where the attractions Iron Man Experience and Ant-Man and The Wasp: Nano Battle! are already open—and Disneyland Paris, where an Avengers Campus is planned to open in 2021.
Drake recalls that the teams frequently referenced the iconic quote from Nick Fury, who initially brought together the Avengers: “You’ve become part of a bigger universe. You just don’t know it yet.” Drake emphasizes, “We take that into every attraction, every heroic encounter. Everything should make you feel like you’re part of something even bigger.”
Speaking of vast, the Imagineers had 80 years of comics and more than a decade of films to draw upon as they determined what lies at the heart of Avengers Campus. WDI staff writer Jillian Pagan explains, “As we were starting with Avengers Campus, we took a look at the films and the comics and we took a look at those characters and realized that the core of the Avengers universe—the core themes—are heroism, optimism, and empowerment. So we are trying to stretch those themes across every activation of the land.” As they roam through the land, guests will notice older buildings that have been retrofitted for a new, optimistic purpose. They will go on missions with Spider-Man and Rocket Raccoon. And these themes will extend to food and beverage offerings and merchandise, as well, as guests live out their own heroic stories.
Several important addresses comprise Avengers Campus, and the level of immersive detail in each will blow you away. “Think about the difference between being a moviegoer and being a theme park goer,” says Heidi Rosendahl, principal color and paint artisan for WDI, who describes her job as being responsible for the “skin” that goes over the “bones” that have been built by other teams. She points out, “When you walk into a movie theater, the filmmaker has set the parameters for you. They tell you what to look at, when to look at it, and you can’t move around inside of their environment. It’s a very focused experience that you have.” In Avengers Campus, you get to choose what you see and where you go. And here are some of the locales you’ll want to be sure to visit.
There’s no mistaking Avengers Headquarters at the center of the land. Look for the signature Avengers logo, the Quinjet on the roof, and Avengers themselves springing into action to head off threats from various foes.
Not far from Avengers Headquarters, the Worldwide Engineering Brigade is better known as WEB. Once home to Stark Automotive, the 80-year-old building now houses an enthusiastic group of young inventors—including Peter Parker—who have been brought together by Tony Stark to invent new technologies and equip everyday people to become heroes like the Avengers. You’ll see their technology in full force in WEB SLINGERS: A Spider-Man Adventure—but more on that later. And look up to the rooftop to take in Spider-Man’s gravity-defying moves, more than 60 feet in the air. When our friendly neighborhood Spider-Man comes back down to Earth, he’ll greet new recruits at ground level outside WEB.
The Sanctum is one of the most beautiful locales to be found in Avengers Campus. These overgrown ruins are the perfect spot for guests to encounter Doctor Strange and learn his secrets of the mystic arts. Doctor Strange will use powerful spells to bring The Sanctum to life, and you’ll want to return to the area after dark, when it will glow even more vividly with majestic colors and lights and its mystic energy will seem even more vibrant.
Our favorite Super Heroes have taught us that “with great power comes great responsibility,” and the teams working on Avengers Campus keep that iconic sentiment in mind as they bring these beloved Avengers into the real world. Bushore says, “There is a lot of responsibility that comes with the iconography of that and bringing it to life for people. We’re fans, first and foremost, and people take this stuff really seriously, which is awesome. And that’s a really great thing to be able to tap into.”
Avengers Campus officially begins recruiting the next generation of Super Heroes July 18th.