Recap: Talking Marvel in Disney Parks at NYCC 2022

At this year’s New York Comic-Con, a panel celebrating Marvel’s presence in the Disney Parks brought Imagineers together to discuss some existing projects while teasing what’s ahead. Titled “Suiting Up with Super Heroes at Disney Parks and Experiences,” the panelists included Scot Drake (Portfolio Creative Executive), Wyatt Winter (Executive Producer, Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind), Sachi Handke (Project Coordinator, Disney Cruise Line), Beth Clapperton (Creative Director, Avengers Campus Paris), Michael Serna (Executive Creative Director, Disney Live Entertainment), and Dave Bushore (Marvel Studios, Vice President, Franchise Creative & Marketing).

Up first, Michael Serna spoke about what it was like bringing dozens of new characters to Avengers Campus since the land’s opening — though he joked that “one-tenth have been Loki variants.” As he points out, the ability to consistently introduce characters to the Campus makes it the most relevant area in any Disney Park. Of course, Disney plans to continue this trend, announcing during the panel that M’Baku would be arriving in time for the release of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. Serna also noted the recent debut of the Incredible Hulk and vowed that they’d continue working on bringing things guests never thought possible to life. On that note, the panel took a brief look at the evolution of the Stickman and then Stuntronics project that would enable Spider-Man to swing through the land.

Next, it was time to talk Cosmic Rewind with Wyatt Winter. This segment also broke some news as it was revealed that the previously-announced holiday overlay for the attraction would feature a unique mashup of holiday tunes. However, Winter did tease some “custom lyrics” for that mash-up, which should bring plenty of fun to this special edition of the ride.

In addition to Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, another Marvel experience that recently debuted is the World of Marvel restaurant aboard the Disney Wish featuring Avengers: Quantum Encounter.  Sachi Handke talked a bit about creating this experience and shared how it tied into some other Marvel attractions around the world (more on that in a minute). She also noted that Imagineers knew they’d done a good job when some children in the audience have tried to leave the restaurant, head up to the upper decks, and join the fight shown in the film. Interestingly, Dave Bushore added that some alternate takes were filmed so that changes can be made as the MCU evolves. For example, at this point, Kamala Khan has not yet met Carol Danvers but, following the release of The Marvels (when it seems likely that the two heroes will interact), it sounds as though an update could be inserted. Elsewhere on the Disney Cruise Line, it was announced that Marvel Day at Sea would be returning in 2023 — but, this time, would be featured on the Disney Dream.

Moving over to Paris, Beth Clapperton shared a couple peeks at Walt Disney Studios Park’s Avengers Campus with the domestic audience. She along with Dave Bushore also pointed out that Avengers: Flight Force attraction makes direct reference to the Quantum Encounter show on the Wish. Another memorable moment from Clapperton’s section of the panel was when she spoke about watching the Quinjet arrive in the land, which really brought the construction zone closer to being a finished product.

Last but not least, Scot Drake and Bushore spoke a bit about the Disney California Adventure Avengers Campus expansion that was announced at D23. With the addition of a new attraction, the Campus will be entering the multiverse. While Drake mentions that the ride will be fun, he did catch himself at one point and laughed at the idea of King Thanos being “fun.”

Throughout the panel, it was emphasized again and again that the Marvel attractions in Disney Parks are all part of a larger story. Obviously, as the MCU expands and new projects open, this story will grow even larger. Hopefully, as that happens, we’ll get great insights from panels such as this one at future NYCC events.

For the full “Suiting Up with Super Heroes at Disney Parks and Experiences” click the video below.

Following the “Suiting Up with Super Heroes at Disney Parks and Experiences” panel, the first ever Disney Parks Panel at New York Comic Con, we had a chance to sit down and speak with Walt Disney Imigineer Scot Drake, Creative Executive MARVEL Global Portfolio. Scot shared with us some fun details about MARVEL experiences around the world and talked about the story telling and how it connects with the guests.

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Jeremiah Good
Our main correspondent for Walt Disney World and the Orlando area and a heck of a paleontologist if he does say so himself.