Wednesday, October 4, 2023

One thing’s Up at Disney California Journey.

Disney California Journey’s Marvel land is getting a brand new reward store. Development partitions are actually up on the aspect of Avengers Headquarters, which is the longer term house of the King Thanos Multiverse attraction. Nevertheless, this building just isn’t for a brand new journey, based on Disneyland Resort.

From my perspective, there are a number of believable explanations for this. Making use of Occam’s Razor, the most certainly cause why Disneyland Resort is constructing this reward store in Avengers Campus is to extend Marvel merchandise gross sales. The land is small, and the prevailing retail areas in Avengers Campus are as nicely.

That’s exactly why Disneyland Resort opened Tremendous Retailer that includes Avengers Campus in close by Hollywood Land within the first place. This was a logical transfer again when Avengers Campus debuted a few years in the past, as Stage 17 had already been transformed to retail house. The prior yr, it served as an “extension” of the Downtown Disney District and was remodeled into the Disneyland Resort Backlot Premiere Store when the state of California was not permitting theme parks to function.

Previous to that, Stage 17 was used as a flex house for particular occasions. For individuals who are Walt Disney World-centric, consider it as DCA’s model of World ShowPlace at EPCOT. Stage 17 usually hosted personal occasions, however has additionally served as an area for character meet & greets and extra.

It’s additionally been an area for points of interest, akin to “Who Needs to be a Millionaire – Play It!” Extra lately, Stage 17 was the house base of “Frozen Enjoyable” in 2015, when it grew to become the venue for Olaf’s Snow Fest, which featured actual snow, sledding, and different winter actions. We skilled Olaf’s Snow Fest a number of instances, however actually, it feels kinda like a fever dream (or regardless of the chilly model is of a fever dream). It’s virtually exhausting to imagine that truly occurred. However I digress.

Stage 17 is tucked away within the Backlot space of Hollywood Land, proper subsequent to Monsters, Inc. Mike & Sulley to the Rescue. Except you’re going again there for that journey, reside music, or beer, you’re in all probability not heading to that nook of Hollywood Land. And even in case you are, there’s an excellent likelihood you received’t see Tremendous Retailer that includes Avengers Campus. Or notice it’s a giant merchandise store even for those who do see it.

To that time, the final time I had ventured inside Stage 17 (previous to taking photographs particularly for this text) was about 2 years in the past when Avengers Campus first opened. It’s in all probability the spot at Disneyland Resort I go to the least, edging out the Disney Junior Dance Occasion and Alien Pizza Planet–two venues I make each effort to keep away from, however each of which I’ve executed (regrettably) extra lately.

It’s not simply me. After I heading into Stage 17 for the sake of capturing these photographs, it was a pleasant reprieve from the spring break crowds that had descended upon each different nook of Disneyland Resort. It was additionally a stark distinction to the congestion and chaos of Avengers Campus mere minutes later.

So it ought to be fairly apparent that relocating this retail to Avengers Campus correct will increase foot visitors and, by extension, merchandise gross sales. I don’t suppose that’s even up for debate. Disneyland Resort will promote extra tremendous hero stuff because of changing Stage 17 with a correct store in Avengers Campus. Even when it’s a fraction of the scale, that’ll be true.

The second chance–and neither of the following two situations are mutually unique with the primary and even each other; “the entire above” may be very a lot on the desk as a viable rationalization–is that they’re constructing a present store within the Avengers HQ constructing now as a result of there are not any concrete plans within the near-term to construct the King Thanos attraction itself.

There’s an vital piece of context that’s value discussing right here, and it’s how the information of this Avengers Campus reward store broke. This wasn’t found through permits or by a random vlogger working right into a wall whereas recording themselves in DCA. It was given to pick out media and revealed earlier than DCA even opened for the day, previous to the partitions being “found.”

There’s a cause for that. Disneyland Resort didn’t need followers to seek out it on their very own, attain the misguided conclusion that its for the E-Ticket attraction, and publish 1,955 YouTube movies titled “YOU’LL NEVER GUESS WHAT MARVELOUS RIDE IS BEING BUILT AT DCA: KING THANOS CONSTRUCTION CONFIRMED” earlier than Disney had the prospect to subject a clarification.

Disney getting forward of that story means that the reverse is true: journey building just isn’t commencing any time quickly. If it have been slated to begin this summer time or fall, there’d be no cause to not let the hype prepare roll on. Followers would get excited now, and that sentiment would solely construct because the reward store opened and correct building started on the attraction itself. The retail location on the exit might open early as a ‘preview heart’ of types; a method to construct pleasure for the upcoming attraction and promote merchandise within the course of.

Regardless, many followers are getting excited for precisely this cause. Their logic is that if the exit reward store is being constructed, meaning the attraction is subsequent up. Clearly, that’s not the conclusion I’m drawing. I don’t suppose constructing and opening the store now makes the journey any extra possible. (Keep in mind, this was formally introduced final fall. All else being equal, the journey ought to be “100% possible” in consequence.)

If something, I believe constructing this reward store makes the journey much less possible. That’s partly as a result of you’ll be able to’t go over 100% in chance, and partly as a result of I can’t logistically sq. how opening a present store earlier than the attraction itself is sensible. It requires an assumption that Disney will function a present store inside a constructing that’s in any other case an energetic building website, as a substitute of walling off the whole factor, as would usually be the case.

The third chance as to why Disneyland Resort is relocating its tremendous hero stuff to a retailer in Avengers Campus is the house it frees up. Do not forget that non-sequitur about Olaf’s Snow Fest and “Who Needs to be a Millionaire – Play It!” in Stage 17? You in all probability didn’t suppose something of it because it match with my regular rambling, however it was truly purposeful.

Level being, Stage 17 is colossal. It’s an enormous venue with much more house backstage in a quiet nook of Disney California Journey. It’s a primary growth pad at Disneyland Resort, and is also shortly transformed into one thing else. Equally as vital, it’s in an underutilized space, which means that it might be transformed into one thing else that expands park capability at DCA.

Enter Avatar. Throughout the latest earnings name, CEO Bob Iger revealed that an Avatar Expertise Is Coming to Disneyland. He has since made a number of media appearances and talked about this, whereas declining to supply extra particulars in regards to the substance and nature of this.

At this level, what that “expertise” will entail or the place it’ll be positioned is anybody’s guess. Possibly it’ll be a brand new Meta Quest VR recreation in Downtown Disney’s former ESPN Zone. It might be as unambitious as an overlay of the Boudin Bakery Tour, walkaround mech go well with dude in Pixar Pier, or build-a-banshee store. One thing as daring as a complete Pandora land added as half of an entire new gate can also be doable–perhaps that is DisneylandForward lastly coming to fruition?

Or it might be one thing extra center of the highway, an adaptation of an current providing, akin to an interactive and immersive environmental exploration, like Avatar: The Expertise in Singapore. Disney has been exploring experiential displays, and in search of the appropriate car for its personal manner of getting into that area of interest. An adaptation of that might be excellent and positively match the invoice as an “Avatar expertise” (expertise is correct there within the title!).

There are a bunch of how to place these items collectively, and the way you align them relies upon upon your degree of craziness. Essentially the most simple interpretation of all the pieces, in totality, is that Disneyland is clearing out Stage 17 for an Avatar expertise walkthrough much like the one in Singapore, and constructing the reward store in Avengers Campus with the purpose to open it earlier than the attraction. That places the entire puzzle items collectively in a manner the place they match neatly collectively.

I’m a bit extra chaotic and conspiratorial than that. Bob Iger and Disney Parks Chairman Josh D’Amaro have held quite a few interviews lately, throughout which each have mentioned plans for the longer term, bullishness on parks, and need for capacity-expanding additions. We mentioned all of this in nice size in Bob Iger Needs Massive Expansions at Walt Disney World & Disneyland.

I’ve listened to or learn all of these, and never as soon as has the King Thanos Marvel Multiverse attraction been talked about. Against this, Avatar has come up repeatedly. I don’t suppose that is merely coincidental, and it definitely wouldn’t come as a shock if the plans (or lack thereof) for section 2 of Avengers Campus have modified now that Bob Iger is again.

(For those who recall, Bob Chapek personally teased the King Thanos attraction throughout his D23 opening remarks, earlier than D’Amaro made the announcement a pair days later. It’s completely doable this was a Chapek pet undertaking that has been killed by Iger, similar to the metaverse and Prime plans.)

My extra far-fetched prediction is that the Avengers Campus reward store is being constructed partly as a result of that King Thanos attraction was cancelled and partly as a result of Disneyland needs to filter Stage 17. That house can be house to an Avatar providing, however my low-confidence twist right here is that it’s not the Avatar expertise that Iger has teased.

As an alternative, the Avatar expertise can be a separately-ticketed expertise (a la Singapore) opening subsequent yr alongside the newly reimagined stretch of Downtown Disney. That can be a short lived addition to bolster the burgeoning purchasing, eating, and leisure district. The expertise will supply a stopgap for the following ~5 years whereas an precise Avatar attraction is constructed within the house occupied by Stage 17 and different elements of the Hollywood Land Backlot.

As to how that’ll match thematically into the land or park, I’ve no clue. Thematic shoehorning of points of interest and lands into second gates has not been an enormous obstacle for Disney lately. The Avatar franchise is a product of Hollywood (land), California (park)–that’s in all probability ample within the eyes of executives.

In the end, as ought to be clear from all of this hypothesis, there’s a variety of outcomes for what’s occurring in Disney California Journey. It might begin and cease with a brand new reward store in Avengers Campus. That’s definitely the secure wager, and the one one that’s formally confirmed or, for that matter, even rumored. (Now looks like an excellent time of reiterating that each one of that is purely speculative and never inside data of any kind by any means.)

Essentially the most pessimistic prediction can be that it’s a present store and nothing else in any respect, not even the King Thanos attraction. Essentially the most optimistic prediction would in all probability be that it’s a present store and King Thanos attraction, plus Pandora – World of Avatar and (someway) DisneylandForward. I’m skeptical of it being both excessive; DisneylandForward just isn’t an actual factor of substance, however there are different concrete growth plans.

For me, it’s a matter of listening to what Iger and D’Amaro have mentioned lately, plus what they haven’t talked about, and letting my creativeness run wild from there. That plus the Method of Water’s field workplace outcomes plus the truth that management modifications at all times have penalties for early-stage initiatives plus the chance that any pet initiatives of Chapek are particularly weak leads me to imagine Avatar is a high precedence for Disneyland Resort, and extra Marvel just isn’t. Phew. That was loads of (over)evaluation for a number of partitions and a present store!

Planning a Southern California trip? For park admission offers, learn Ideas for Saving Cash on Disneyland Tickets. Study on-site and off-site resorts in our Anaheim Resort Critiques & Rankings. For the place to eat, take a look at our Disneyland Restaurant Critiques. For distinctive concepts of issues that’ll enhance your journey, take a look at What to Pack for Disney. For complete recommendation, seek the advice of our Disneyland Trip Planning Information. Lastly, for guides past Disney, take a look at our Southern California Itineraries for day journeys to Los Angeles, Laguna Seaside, and tons of different locations!


What are your ideas on the reward store coming to Avengers Campus at Disney California Journey? Have any wild hypothesis and supposition of your individual, or suppose that is only a #*$&@ reward store and we’re studying WAAAAY an excessive amount of into it?! Assume this implies the King Thanos Marvel Multiverse journey is shifting ahead or has been shelved? Are you a fan of the Marvel land because it presently exists, or do you agree that this E-Ticket is what’s wanted to make the land really feel full and top-tier? Any questions? Listening to your suggestions–even once you disagree with us–is each attention-grabbing to us and useful to different readers, so please share your ideas under within the feedback!

Related Articles


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Latest Articles