Like Marvel Studios' premiere feature Iron Man, which ended with Samuel L. Jackson's S.H.I.E.L.D. super spy Nick Fury telling Robert Downey Jr's Tony Stark he's "become part of a bigger universe," guests recruited to join Earth's mightiest heroes at Avengers Campus step into their own version of the Avengers Initiative. An entirely new land dedicated to discovering, recruiting and training the next generation of heroes, Avengers Campus at the Disneyland Resort is a fully immersive land populated by an unprecedented amount of superheroes. In a first for Walt Disney Imagineering, the land opening soon inside Disney California Adventure Park at the Disneyland Resort features interconnected storytelling mirroring the connectivity of the shared Marvel Cinematic Universe.
"I think [Dave Bushore, Vice President, Franchise Creative & Marketing, Marvel Studios was] always bringing this line in the very beginning, the Nick Fury line. 'You're part of a bigger universe, you just didn't know it yet,'" Scot Drake, Portfolio Creative Executive, Walt Disney Imagineering, said during an Avengers Campus media preview attended by ComicBook.com. "And we take that into every attraction, every Heroic Encounter, everything should make you feel like you're part of something even bigger."
Like the Marvel comics or the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it's all connected: a shared story thread links the California campus, inside Disney California Adventure Park opposite Disneyland Park, to the Avengers' campuses opening at Disneyland Paris in 2021 and Hong Kong Disneyland in 2023.
Borrowing a famous line from Spider-Man, Bushore said Marvel Studios and Disney creatives felt a "great responsibility" to capture fan reaction to Marvel's blockbusters and translate that into theme park attractions.
"There is a lot of responsibility that comes with the iconography of that and bringing it to life for people," Bushore said. "Because we're fans first and foremost, but people take this stuff, as we know, really seriously, which is awesome. And that's a really great thing to be able to tap into."
Bushore specifically wanted to recreate the feelings of excitement from a crowded movie theater witnessing Chris Evans' Captain America calling on and wielding Mjolnir, the magical hammer belonging to Chris Hemsworth's Thor, in the rousing climax of Avengers: Endgame.
"This guy behind me sitting there, and right before Captain America catches Thor's hammer and the pan down the line of all the heroes, and he's behind me and he, all I hear is, 'Say it. Say it. Say it.' And I'm like, 'This guy's losing his mind,'" Bushore said. "But I knew what he was talking about, because they hadn't gotten it yet. And I think that's the key point is they hadn't been able to get the thing that they had waited their whole life for it."
He continued, "We had teased Cap saying that famous line, 'Avengers assemble,' in so many films, and this guy is like, 'Say it, say it.' [Captain America] catches the hammer, and he says it, and this guy, to say he lost his mind would be putting it lightly! But I think that's the fun. You have to take that as someone who's lucky enough to get to work on these projects, bringing that into all of this stuff. And I think hopefully we’ve injected that into what people are going to get to walk into because they will come with that scope."0comments
Bushore "brought that story to every meeting after that," Drake added. "He bottled it up like, 'This is the excitement we need to have when these attractions open.' It's awesome."