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BWW Blog: A Most Thorough Review of Disneyland's Avengers Campus

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I am delighted to report here that Avengers Campus handily met and exceeded my very, very high expectations. 

BWW Blog: A Most Thorough Review of Disneyland's Avengers Campus
Unidentified Marvel Superhero at Avengers Campus.
(Just kidding, it's me.)

Mere minutes after Disneyland California announced that, come June 15th, 2021, out-of-state residents would be welcome to visit the park - mask-free for vaccinated folks, no less - I did what any sane person would do: I booked my butt on a last-minute flight to California and, miraculously, scored a ticket to the brand-new Avengers Campus. (Hey-you only live once, and who knows whether Thanos will ever return and snap his fingers again?)

The Avengers Campus debuted to the public on June 4, 2021 with a "Marvel-ous" opening ceremony. The video record features remarks from Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige and Disney's Creative Director Michael Serna.

Faces familiar to MCU fans also make live and video cameo appearances: Paul Rudd (Ant-Man), Anthony Mackie (Captain America), Scarlett Johansson (Black Widow), Zoe Saldana (Gamora), Brie Larson (Captain Marvel), and others. Watch the opening ceremony live stream replay here.

Nary an inch of space in the 6 acres Avengers Campus is wasted. As soon as I entered, I was transported to the world of my beloved superheroes, complete with the iconic Avengers theme playing a musical welcome.

As someone on the autism spectrum, I am able to focus intensely on things I really enjoy (aptly called "special interests"). Marvel is my most favorite special interest, so I am a living library of all things Marvel. I have instant recall of infinite "fun facts" about the franchise and get ridiculously excited about all Marvel has to offer. I am delighted to report here that Avengers Campus handily met and exceeded my very, very high expectations.

"WEB SLINGERS: A Spider-Man Adventure" was my first stop. Currently, the only way to bypass the long line outside of the Campus is to grab a spot in the virtual queue for this ride via the official Disneyland mobile app (which you can download here for IOS users). You have only two daily opportunities to do so: at 7am and 12pm (PST). Both fill up within a minute or two after the times, so you must be quick! I was among the lucky app users who skipped the line in this way and got to experience "WEB SLINGERS".

The ride experience opens with a hologram-like video of Tom Holland as the lovable Peter Parker/ Spider-Man, who introduces us to the Avengers Campus and explains the Campus "tour" he is about to take us on. He also shows us his new creation, Spider-Bots. As he continues, the Spider-Bots replicate at insane speed and begin to "destroy" the Campus.

I was simply giddy when F.R.I.D.A.Y. suggested that Peter call Tony Stark for assistance. Should this video presentation be linked to the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), it implies that Iron Man somehow evaded his seemingly permanent fate in Avengers: Endgame (2018), which is set in the year 2023. However, the same video also briefly featured an unpainted prototype of Captain America's shield, which was only seen in Captain America: The First Avenger (2011), which takes place in 1942. The time gap makes things complicated and unclear, but in any case, it definitely seems to me that Marvel loves to plant Easter eggs everywhere for fans to interpret and theorize about future movie plots, but I digress!

Holographic Peter suddenly cancels the "tour" and recruits us to help stop the Spider-Bots from taking over Avengers Campus. I was grateful that I didn't skip arm day at the gym because the ride itself relies completely on motion-sensor technology.

The object of the game is to use your arms to shoot "webs" at the bots, and destroy as many as you can in each round. I found myself insanely focused and had a brief power-high with my near-400,000 score, which was quickly obliterated by the highest score of the day, 901,000.

The rest of the Campus features an exact replica of the Avengers headquarters building you've seen in the movies, a Guardians of the Galaxy ride ("Guardians of the Galaxy - Mission: BREAKOUT!"), and several restaurants and shops. The headquarters house staff that are lookalikes to MCU actors. The characters perform shows periodically throughout the day as well as meet and greets.

If you're a fan of thrill rides, "Guardians of the Galaxy - Mission: BREAKOUT!" is for you. The ride features death-defying drops reminiscent of Hollywood Studios' Tower of Terror. I personally was ecstatic to see by the decor inside and recognize details from the Guardians movies.

Pym Test Kitchen and Pym Tasting Lab (for those over 21), named after quantum expert and scientist Hank Pym from the Ant-Man films, serves clever dishes that highlight size manipulation, like a tiny sandwich or a gigantic pretzel.

Shawarma Palace offers a fast-serve kiosk option, which is an homage to Tony Stark's famous line in The Avengers (2012): "You ever tried shawarma? There's a shawarma joint about two blocks from here. I don't know what it is but I wanna try it.", as well as the post-credits scene of the same film that features no dialogue while the whole team eats shawarma at Shawarma Palace (which - fun fact! - is an actual restaurant in New York City and the kiosk food stop namesake). Watch both iconic film moments here.

Pym Test Kitchen and Shawarma Palace offer guests Impossible Meat, a plant-based alternative to traditional meat. Both restaurants, as well as Pym Tasting Lab, accommodate most allergies, and modified meals may be requested to fit your dietary needs.

If you're craving something sweet, you can stop by Terran Treats, a food cart for those with an "out of this world" sweet tooth.

The three Avengers Campus gift shops offer a wide array of souvenirs, so you're bound to find what you're looking for.

WEB Suppliers is perfect for anyone wanting to commemorate their victory in "WEB SLINGERS: A Spider-Man Adventure" with their very own Spider-Bot, or other Peter Parker paraphernalia.

Campus Supply Pod is for those who prefer Avengers Campus specific merchandise. Lastly, The Collector's Warehouse offers a galaxy of items that span across the entire Marvel Universe.

My day ended with a visit to the Ancient Sanctum of Dr. Strange that was simply magical. An immersive show that runs multiple times throughout the day uses projections, sound effects, lighting, an exquisitely detailed set and "magic" to make the audience feel like they are actually helping Dr. Strange save the world from an imminent evil.

The actor playing Doctor Stephen Strange was magnificent; he precisely mimicked Benedict Cumberbatch's iconic character down to the mannerisms, facial movements and mystique.

Avengers Campus at Disneyland California, the latest of Disney's impressive string of "bucket list caliber" family entertainment experiences is not to be missed.

Learn more about Avengers Campus and plan your own trip at disneyland.disney.go.com.


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