Avengers Campus: Marvel stars assemble to launch Disneyland's new superhero park in California

Paul Rudd and Anthony Mackie attended a ceremony at the Marvel-themed campus, ahead of the venue welcoming guests from Friday

Spider-Man will fly high above Disneyland Resort's new Avengers Campus in California when it starts welcoming visitors on Friday, tumbling through the air as guests below meet Iron Man, Black Panther and other Marvel superheroes.

The sprawling Avengers Campus at Disney California Adventure Park in Anaheim is the Walt Disney Co's latest redesign of its popular theme parks, which were closed for extended periods during the coronavirus pandemic.

Disney held a relatively subdued opening ceremony on Wednesday. It was live-streamed with some celebrities – and fireworks – but without the usual hoopla.

“I’m excited to see the world returning to some level of normalcy,” Josh D’Amaro, head of the entertainment giant’s parks division, said during the event.

Characters from the film "Black Panther" perform during "The Warriors of Wakanda: The Disciplines of the Dora Milaje" show at the Avengers Campus media preview at Disney's California Adventure Park on Wednesday, June 2, 2021, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)
Characters from the film 'Black Panther' perform during 'The Warriors of Wakanda: The Disciplines of the Dora Milaje' show at the Avengers Campus media preview on June 2. AP

Ant-Man actor Paul Rudd, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier star Anthony Mackie and Iron Man actor Jon Favreau were among the famous faces who attended the event.

Highlights at the campus include an aerial Spider-Man robot that performs somersaults while flying 18 metres in the air. A human dressed as Spider-Man will greet visitors at ground level.

Guests also can ride a Spider-Man attraction called Web Slingers, where they team with the character to battle out-of-control Spider-Bots. Physical sets and virtual environments will blend to make visitors feel like they are slinging their own webs, designers said.

Fan favourites from Disney's blockbuster Marvel movies, from Black Widow to Captain America and Ant-Man, also will roam the area and interact with guests.

"It's the first time we are celebrating all of these heroes and bringing them together in one place," said John Mauro, portfolio executive producer at Walt Disney Imagineering.

Food options include a cart offering shawarma, a nod to a scene at the end of the 2012 Avengers film when various superheroes ate the Middle Eastern dish together after saving the world.

The Disneyland Resort, which includes the original Disneyland and adjacent California Adventure Park, reopened to the public on April 30 after being closed for more than a year owing to the pandemic. The Avengers campus had originally been set to open in July 2020. It was built in an area that previously celebrated the animated film A Bug's Life.

As part of ongoing safety measures, Disneyland is accepting guests only from California until Tuesday, June 15, when it will start allowing visitors from other states. Guests are currently required to wear face masks and reserve tickets online.

- Additional reporting by Bloomberg

Updated: June 3, 2021 02:05 PM

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