Disney Plans to Move Marvel Into Its Parks
Back in 2009, Disney made a bold move to acquire Marvel Entertainment for the modest sum of $4.3 billion. It’s a takeover that will see Disney receive a share from the comic book universe including the novels, games and movies. Now Disney is planning to take it one step further by bringing the Marvel superheroes and characters into their parks.
We will already get a glimpse of the joint venture with the new animated series of Ultimate Spider-Man hitting the Disney XD channel in April and the upcoming blockbuster, The Avengers which could be anticipated as the biggest success for the two names yet. However, this will be the first cross over where the two universes will collide.
There has been no mention of which Disney Park will host the arrival of the superheroes yet, but this could be considered as a blatant move to compete against Universal Studios, who own the rights to the Marvel Super Hero Island attraction at Islands of Adventure in Orlando. Here, guests can already take part in rides such as The New Adventure of Spiderman, Dr. Doom and the Hulk, whilst meeting superhero characters. So would this cause confusion amongst guests?
It’s been clear that Universal Studios has enjoyed a successful growth over the last few years, mainly in part to the latest addition, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. In fact this has been such an influential area of the park, Universal are planning to expand with a new area not just in Islands of Adventure, but in the Universal Studios Park as well. This has obviously given Walt Disney World some competition to attract guests and is now starting their own retaliation by expanding as well.
The first phase of Walt Disney World’s Fantasyland is now complete and with the projects end in sight for late 2013, the park will be setting its goals on other themes such as the newly acquired Marvel theme. Although still in the concept phase, Disney’s Chief Executive Bob Iger has attended meetings with shareholders to discuss the proposals.
“We haven’t announced anything yet,” Iger said. “But we’re working on some concepts.”
But this isn’t the only plan Disney has to expand its park. Not so long ago an announcement was made that James Cameron will be the advisor for a new Avatar themed area in Animal Kingdom. This project will be inspired by the science fiction blockbuster movie set to open in 2015 with a strong reference to the environment and wildlife.
It seems that Disney are now looking beyond their own creative influence for inspiration and with the ever increasing competition from other Orlando attractions, we can expect this to be a growing trend. Movies as a media have a huge effect on the public, so incorporating this into theme parks can be predicted to be a popular undertaking.