A plaza themed as a “meteor crash” by the Fruit Stand in Marvel Super Hero Island is now reopened to guests at Universal’s Islands of Adventure.
‘Meteor Crash’ Plaza Reopened
Five days ago, we reported walls were up around this plaza for refurbishment. As of today, the walls have been taken down, and guests are able to access this themed space.
The area has been refurbished with fresh paint to give it a cleaner look overall.
Fresh-looking characters emblazon the pylons.
The affected area stands across from The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man, beside a newly constructed snack cart we spotted in March — replacing Chomp Hot Dogs.
Previously, the walls around this space held signs reading “Set Enhancement in Progress” around the work area.
In recent months, multiple touch-ups or returns of long-lost set pieces have occurred throughout the Island.
The Complicated Marvel Entanglement Between Universal and Disney
In a 1994 agreement, Universal secured the theme park rights to the Marvel brand east of the Mississippi River, and eventually opened Marvel Super Hero Island along with Universal’s Islands of Adventure in 1999. All of this happened before the Hollywood superhero box office boom we know today. Bryan Singer’s “X-Men” released in 2000 with great success, soon followed by Sam Raimi’s revolutionary 2002 iteration of “Spider-Man.” The latter became the highest-grossing film based on a comic book of all time upon release, and prompted major investment in a vast array of DC and Marvel film forays.
In 2008, Marvel Studios produced “Iron Man,” initially distributed by Paramount Pictures and foundational in the creation of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The Walt Disney Company acquired Marvel the following year, and this is where the theme park complications arise.
Since the Marvel Cinematic Universe has ballooned to unparalleled popularity, some guests may be confused to see Captain America or Wolverine at a Universal park, while nearby Walt Disney World seems to be missing these characters entirely. While Disney does technically own Marvel, the older agreement regarding the intellectual property holds firm.
Disney officially owns Marvel, and is now involved with all of Marvel’s films; however, the 1994 agreement stands in full legality and respect. Universal is under no obligation to forfeit their rights to the various characters and franchises. That being said, the interwoven nature of Marvel’s various partnerships from the past, including Sony’s previous involvement, causes issues for both parties.
At a recent Disney shareholders’ meeting, CEO Bob Iger was asked about these restrictions, and he responded:
We certainly would love to be able to do more with Marvel in our parks, but I’ll leave it at that.
Only time will tell how both companies wish to proceed. How are you hoping to see this agreement work out? Do you like seeing Marvel in both parks?
Will you be visiting this refurbished crash site? We’d love to see your opinions about this refresh and the Marvel agreement in the comments below.