Disney is known to be a world brimming with story-tellers who have persistent imaginations. What with recreating Disney animated classics into live-action films and expanding their theme parks, the fun never seems to end. The theme parks in particular have already undergone major transformations, including Animal Kingdom's recent opening of Pandora — The World of Avatar and the highly anticipated Star Wars-themed land which is set to premiere at Disney parks in 2019.
Those who are familiar with Disney's purchase of the Star Wars franchise may also be aware of Disney's other large purchase, Marvel Entertainment. Many have questioned if and when Disney will bring our favorite Marvel superheroes to their parks. Well the answer is, they're already looking into it.
Disney Is Working On A Captain America Ride For Its Theme Parks
A not-so-secret application submitted by Disney includes plans to bring a Captain America ride to Disneyland in California (sorry Disney World fans — but more on that later). The patent application describes a shield throwing experience, which instructs guests to secure Captain America's shield to their arm. Guests can then become the Super-Soldier by imitating a throw to virtually release the shield down a rail. If it hits the designated target, it will simulate the shield boomeranging back to the throwers arm or will instruct on the missed targets. The simulation plans on having various levels of difficulty depending on who Captain America faces. Super villains will be harder for users to defeat, as opposed to combating simple henchman.
The application states that the ride may include tangible targets as well:
“In one embodiment, the throwing apparatus is a toy device that permits the user to play the role of a superhero who uses the projectile to attack virtual or physical targets (e.g., toys) or defend against attacks from the targets or other players in an immersive storytelling environment.”
The ride is rumored to be joining Disneyland's Marvel-inspired section Guardians of the Galaxy-Mission Breakout! that came to life in May 2017. While the Captain America ride is only toying on the verge on reality, it looks to be a promising concept that could bring the MCU into the theme parks.
What About Disney's Florida Parks?
This plan is only viable for Disney's California adventure parks in adherence to Marvel's previous joint-custody with Universal Orlando theme parks. Currently, Universal's Islands of Adventure devotes an entire section to the characters in their Marvel Super Hero Island, with gems such as the Hulk Coaster being renovated as recently as last year.
They obtained the rights to present these characters back in the 1990s, way before Disney's purchase of Marvel. The contract is excruciatingly tight, and ensures that Universal is the only Orlando theme park within a 60-mile radius that can represent Marvel characters, with some restrictions on their use for the entire east side of the country. So unfortunately for east coasters, this means Marvel cannot implement the Captain America ride into Disney's Florida attractions.
What Other Marvel Rides Could There Be?
While previous speculations of new Disney features such as The Dark Kingdom (which would center around famous Disney villains) never came to be, the potential for an Avengers-themed sector has sent fans into a frenzy. We poked around the internet to see what kind of Marvel rides Disney enthusiasts might like to see at the parks. Movie Pilot creator, Jenika Enoch said:
"I would love to see a Star Tours-like MCU ride. Ideally it would have better fit the GOTG but now that the tower is done, it wouldn't make much sense. But maybe a motion simulator ride like that would work for Iron Man? Have them facing off against various villains and create different battle sequences or character/villain cameos that could change with each experience."
Another Creator, Ghezal Amiri-Damon, suggested a star-studded MCU adventure that we could get in on:
"I would love to see an Asgardian-themed Thor ride where the colors are bountiful and you get your very own Chris Hemsworth at the end of the ride ;)"
Within the depths of Reddit we discovered even more Disney disciples who were keen on seeing Marvel-themed rides. User Gittinator started the conversation by suggesting a few Marvel conceptions of his own:
Stark Industries- Iron Man X-Flight (not sure whether dark ride or coaster) and an innovation centre similar to that of Epcots.
-Genosha/X-Mansion- Some kind of dark ride in the X-Mansion- maybe related to the riders hidden powers?
cheddarhead4 had one particularly solid proposal:
We Are Groot: A old-school wooden roller-coaster. Lots of "baby groots" sticking out of various parts, all of the support beams carved to look like legs.
And just for an overall immersive experience, Reddit user Seventhson74 suggested:
Would also like laser tag throughout the park so you can shoot Hydra agents... Make just walking around part of the experience....
While the Captain America ride isn't a done deal yet, the idea is out there and Disney is kicking it into gear. While the Spider-Man virtual experience and Hulk coaster are infamous at Universal parks, it would be exciting to see new rides spring up at the Disney parks to give riders a true Marvel Cinematic Universe experience.
Until then, tell us your idea for a Marvel ride in the comments below!