Monday, May 7, 2012

Considering the Tremendous Avengers Success, Will WDI Introduce an Avengers Ride in Disney Theme Parks ?

As announced on Sunday evening The Avengers has set a new opening week-end record with an amazing $200M on its first week-end! If you include the foreign box-office - $441,500,000 so far -The Avengers has already gross $641,800,000 worldwide in just EIGHT days, which is indeed remarkable. No one needs to be a medium to guess that The Avengers will reach easily $1Billion and this might happen even sooner than expected.

Bob Iger and everyone at Disney and Marvel are probably "happy happy" by now and as usual Disney will now begin to think in terms of synergy and what they can do to surf on the phenomenal Avengers success to bring more cash in. So far, it's business as usual but, as there is nothing better to bring back guests in the parks than an attraction based on a huge movie success the question of an Avengers ride in a near future looks legitimate. Will it be the case? Well, and although i have absolutely no infos at all about this one, my guess is that the answer is "yes", and here is why.

The first reason is simple: Disney acquired Marvel for a huge amount of money and in pure logic Disney will want to use the Marvel license as much as possible. Marvel merchandise products are already on sale in the parks - and also on the Disney Store online - but that won't be enough for the mouse. What Disney probably wants now is at least a major E-Ticket if not a whole land based on Marvel super-heroes. On that point we can be sure that they already think about it, at least for Disneyland Resort Paris as Philippe Gas, DLP CEO, revealed last year in an interview that the third park in Paris would be partly based on Marvel super-heroes. But considering that this third park won't probably open at DLP before 2020 if not 2025 i doubt that Disney will accept to wait all this time for the opening of a Marvel ride.

I also remind you that, for now, the only land paying tribute to Marvel super-heroes is at Universal Islands of Adventure, Disney's biggest competitor, and not only you can find there one of the best ride in the world - the Spiderman ride - but Universal didn't had to spent all the money that Disney did. In two words, Disney is the one who has spent the money to acquire Marvel but in terms of theme park rides it's still only Universal which takes profit of the Marvel universe and no need to say that this situation won't stay forever. When Disney has said that he will respect the previous contracts signed between Marvel and others companies, this probably mean that Marvel super-heroes island will stay at IOA but it won't stop Iger to ask WDI to design Marvel rides as soon as possible.

As a matter of fact there is by now probably several Marvel rides concepts ready at Imagineering and the question is probably "where do we build them" more than "when". Do we include a Marvel ride in a park or do we create a special land, or do we create a whole theme park? That's probably the questions that Disney must give an answer to. On DLP forum, one of the big rumors recently is that a new land dedicated to Marvel super-heroes would be added at the Walt Disney Studios, but considering the bad financial results announced yesterday by DLP i don't see this happening anytime soon...

To come back to an Avengers ride - and indeed there is a potential for a great ride based on The Avengers - there is a more important question: what kind of ride could WDI design? I don't see WDI designing an all Audio-Animatronics ride and for sure the same technology that Universal used on the Spiderman and Transformers rides would probably be the best one to use for an Avengers ride. But Universal did it so well that it's not gonna be easy for WDI to top the two UNI rides. Still, WDI can add improvements, for instance they could use the same technology than in the Spiderman ride, i.e a vehicle moving inside a place with a mix of real decor and 3D projections BUT with the addition of Audio-Animatronics, something missing in the Universal rides - although i think there is briefly one AA with Dr Octopus in the Spidey ride. Of course WDI could come with a brand new technology, something we've never heard about and which might be even better. And by the way, an Avengers ride using the famous Kuka robot arm - the one used in the Potter ride at IOA - could be great....if Universal didn't had the exclusivity on the Kuka arm for the next eight years, at least in the U.S.

Whatever technology WDI will use for an Avengers ride i think we can count on it also for another reason. WDI could indeed create a ride based solely on one Marvel super-hero - Iron Man, for instance. But if they want to create a ride which will be an instant hit they will need, as i've said, to top the Universal rides. And the best - and may be only - way to do it is to create an Avengers ride as there is five super-heroes in it instead of one. An Avengers ride with a stunning ride technology will be without doubt a home run, in two words exactly what Bob Iger is looking for.

Picture: copyright Disney - Marvel

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Timekeeper said...

Goodbye Avatarland, CANCELED!
Welcome Avengersland on Animal Kingdom…

What? Why not? It's not a place to avatar and Avengers is a better licence :-P

Anonymous said...

Please, please no superhero stuff in Disney parks... I don´t want to insult anybody who likes that Marvel characters (personally, I detest them, but again, if you like them, fine with me) - but they just don´t belong in a Disney park. Spiderman is an amazing ride - but just look at the attendance figures for IoA and then at the figures for the MK -- seems pretty obvious that Disney has got sth that people want that all the superheroes in the world cannot give them. Disney should not water down its unique assets by mixing them with stuff that is absolutely *not* Disney.

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Anonymous said...

Interesting article. I see no other option for Marvel than inclusion into the current theme parks.
My idea would be to create an "Avengers Assemble Studio Backlot Tour" where you are immersed in a story of danger and the Avengers come in to save the day.
If you want to maintain the Hollywood movie making theme, bring in Joss Whedon to talk about filming and stunt work intermittently in between large set pieces.

Make it happen Disney!

Marco Antonio Garcia said...

I would love to see a Marvel land or attraction in CA or DSP, it would be great! But I would not like to see it in a MK style park.

About the ride technology, I agree with you Alain, I also think that the technology used on Spider Man, with AA's or some other upgrades would be the best one for a Marvel ride (by the way, I don't remember any AA in Spider Man, just some "real" props, like pieces of the Statue of Liberty.

Regarding the Kuka robot arm, I don't think that this technology is such a big deal. The video simulation part of the Harry Potter ride, outside the castle, in my opinion is not better than the old back to the future simulator, and it makes me a little motion sick (something that I was not in the back to the future attraction).

Another question I think is: in case they are really going to do an Avengers attraction, will it be based on the movie, on the comics (from what series?) or on the Disney XD cartoon? My vote would be on the excellent Disney XD cartoon, because I think that cartoon characters would look better than live action ones in this attraction, because they would have many more characters to use, and because I really like this cartoon, it is very well done and much more faithful to the original comics than the movie.

Marco Antonio Garcia said...

The only problem Timekeeper is that Disney is not allowed to use Marvel in its Florida Parks, because that license belongs to Universal and Anonymous, Disney uses already Lucas films in its parks, now it's going to use Avatar, and there are other non Disney characters that they use, so why not Marvel, that belongs to Disney now and is becoming incredibly popular? I agree that it wouldn't fit very nicely in a MK style park, but why not in a Studio or in California Adventure for instance? They could even build it in the place currently occupied by the terrible Bug's land, so they could "solve two problems" with one project.

Anonymous said...

The Universal/Marvel contract will end soon. It is not perpetual, it's a license contract. It should happen within the next few years.

Anonymous said...

I sure hope so! Marvel themed attractions would be a fantastic addition to the Disney theme parks!

To the person who said please no superheroes; if they can plaster Star Wars all over the parks then Marvel characters should fit in just fine. :)

kuta hotels said...

hope that will happen, Make it happen Disney! please