Avengers Campus, the all-new land opening this summer at the Disneyland Resort, imagines a version of the Marvel Cinematic Universe where warmonger Thanos never used the collective cosmic power of the six Infinity Stones to snap away half of all life in the universe as he did in Marvel Studios' Avengers: Infinity War, a disaster only reversed when Earth's mightiest heroes travelled back through time in Avengers: Endgame. The blockbuster acts as a point of divergence for the events of Avengers Campus, which calls on the infinite possibilities of the Marvel multiverse to explain its place in the Marvel Cinematic Universe canon.
"So the Avengers and all of us, the guests, we're recruits. We're here to just have eyes on the prize there. I think that you'll find that these events are really happening. It's really happening," Dan Fields, Executive Creative Director, Disney Parks Live Entertainment, said during an Avengers Campus preview attended by ComicBook.com. "This campus exists in the real world, and therefore, those heroes are here and keep an eye on us, keep us all safe. There's no apocalyptic snap happening in this campus."
Fields confirmed Thanos never wiped out half of all living beings in this version of events, inspired by but not canon with the Marvel Cinematic Universe the way Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge is set within the Star Wars film universe.
"As I mentioned, there's no snap. What I mean by that is we want there to be some conflict, but we don't want anyone to feel that there's an apocalyptic threat to the end of humanity," Fields said. "Our friends in the studio do a great job with that. So we want the conflict to be a little more accessible to the daily guests here."
The big screen Marvel Cinematic Universe is now without an Iron Man after Tony Stark valiantly sacrificed himself using the power of the Infinity Gauntlet to destroy the invading alien army commanded by Thanos, who threatened to shred the universe down to its last atom and create a new one.
At Avengers Campus, Stark is alive and well, and has a designated area where he'll meet with recruits and pose for pictures while showcasing his Disney Parks exclusive Mark 80 armor.
"The lovely thing about the comic books and the films is that between them we've seen a million different versions of the multiverse, a million different versions of these characters. Avengers: Endgame especially gave us the opportunity to go back in time and then split off in a different timeline," Walt Disney Imagineering staff writer and Avengers Campus story lead Jillian Pagan explained to ComicBook.com. "So that's how we like to look at our activation that we have, if you think about when [the Avengers] went back to 2012 and Endgame, they had a shared history. The two timelines had a shared history up until that point."
"And then there was a divergence and Loki takes the Tesseract over here and they're doing things over there, and in our timeline we have a shared history with the films," Pagan continued. "We will continue to have a shared history as we move forward, so there'll be a little bit of fluidity to that timeline, but clearly we live in a version of the multiverse where there are some characters who did not sacrifice themselves for us. They are alive and well and now welcome you to it."
Avengers Campus opens July 18 inside Disney California Adventure Park at the Disneyland Resort. Purchase tickets.