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  • MiceChat's Dateline Disneyland review of Avengers Campus


    A comprehensive review. The reader's comments are particularly interesting.


    Dateline Disneyland: Avengers Campus Opening Was No Marvel



    "Disneyland is often called a magic kingdom because
    it combines fantasy and history, adventure and learning,
    together with every variety of recreation and fun,
    designed to appeal to everyone."

    - Walt Disney

    "Disneyland is all about turning movies into rides."
    - Michael Eisner

    "It's very symbiotic."
    - Bob Chapek

  • #2
    I read the article this morning. All in all, a well-balanced review. I actually appreciated that Andy Castro brought some focus to the Easter Eggs around the land (I'm not a huge Marvel fan, but even I appreciated seeing the Miles Morales tags up close). To be honest, there is a bit of charm in the micro details of the land, but the overall execution is not good. Avengers Campus makes Galaxy's Edge look far superior, even with the slashed entertainment and lack of atmosphere to go with the grand design of Batuu.

    Really upset that Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout is now fenced in with this cluster-muck of a land. A ride that was easy to get to is unnecessarily fenced into an awful queuing system.

    I agree with most of the comments. I think we need to begin tiering Disney's failures because while this is not as bad as leaving Tomorrowland in a state of decay, it's a little better than Pixar Pier (by a smidgen).

    All in all, I had a lot of hope for this land. I don't know where that hope was coming from. Maybe I assumed with all the talk of Disney being a "premier vacation spot," I was expecting better. After the extended closure, I expected rides that needed TLC to be primmed up. I expected better strategies for dining and outdoor seating. I expected Avengers Campus to bring some hope for creativity and Imagineering. Instead, I should stick to assuming that as long as Chapek controls things, we will be seeing the worst for the parks, and I should save my money towards more inspiring destinations.

    (cue Debby Downer trombone)

    Comment


    • #3
      The article asks why they didn’t use the reservation system from SWGE and I think the answer lies in the appearance of success PR wise.

      Articles and threads cherry-picked pics of an empty SWGE, making the land seem unpopular. Despite a (overly) packed Cantina and merchandise flying of the shelves, SWGE was deemed a failure by perceived “lack” of demand.

      Keeping people in line waiting for your attraction makes it seem popular. There is a reason nightclubs and bars inflate their lines. The appearance of desirability is a powerful tool.

      That is why Avengers Campus has line. If the land/attractions is disappointing, it will be overshadowed by the massive demand “proven” by the line.

      BTW the very article still perpetuates this perceived lack of demand for SWGE by calling it mild. Unlike Avengers, SWGE had been opened to pass holders a month before the official start date. This is what Disney wants to avoid repeating.

      Comment


      • #4
        Wow, just wow. I took this from one of the comments..."I went on opening day and got in line a little before 6am. I didn’t get into the land until close to noon and I know I was one of the luckier ones."

        WTH is wrong with people? Waiting nearly 6 hours to enter a land is beyond mind blowing.
        Big Thunder Ranch > Galaxys Edge

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by BigThunda View Post
          Wow, just wow. I took this from one of the comments..."I went on opening day and got in line a little before 6am. I didn’t get into the land until close to noon and I know I was one of the luckier ones."

          WTH is wrong with people? Waiting nearly 6 hours to enter a land is beyond mind blowing.
          agreed...but not just a land...this land??

          Comment


          • #6
            The photos definitely give me a better idea of what this land looks like, and as I pointed out in another thread, Avengers Campus is very reminiscent of DCA 1.0. The boxy, industrial building look is what characterized Sunshine Plaza, Hollywood Pictures Backlot, Condor Flats, and Paradise Pier back in the day. And really, a building covered in graffiti? That design choice reminds me of the decision to put a seaside carnival area in DCA: no attempt at escapism or enhancement of real world elements. I'm generally optimistic, but Avengers Campus looks to me like DCA regressed ten years.
            Last edited by Brian PieGuy; 06-07-2021, 03:24 PM.
            Brian the Pooh

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by BigThunda View Post
              Wow, just wow. I took this from one of the comments..."I went on opening day and got in line a little before 6am. I didn’t get into the land until close to noon and I know I was one of the luckier ones."

              WTH is wrong with people? Waiting nearly 6 hours to enter a land is beyond mind blowing.
              I've done this sort of thing before; I waited in a four+ hour line for Disney World's Frozen ride on opening day, and a three+ hour line for Universal's King Kong ride during a preview ride-through. There is a novelty factor to experiencing attractions early, which makes it bearable to wait in ridiculous lines. That being said, I had moments in the four hour lines where I thought what am I doing with my time.
              (Can't wait to undergo five hour lines at the next D23 expo).
              Last edited by Brian PieGuy; 06-07-2021, 03:18 PM.
              Brian the Pooh

              Comment


              • #8
                On Sunday the entire system crashed to the point that IT was called out onsite to fix it. We were getting off Rise and playing virtual que roulette trying to get our spot for Avengers when it said we were in crashed and locked us out of everything -including mobile order. We were able to get guest relations to help us in DCA, but this matters because everything is tied to an app and not everyone will think to go to Guest Relations for help when it does. The whole thing is just a house of cards waiting to fall.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I wonder if they could cook up another update for Mission Breakout. Dave Bautista has recently said he's ready to step down from the role. Presumably if they wanted to shoot new scenes they'd do so when Guardians 3 is in production.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I miss reading Andy's weekly updates, but his views are generally on point.

                    I think at this point, everyone on Micechat is basically blursed. Blessed knowing how lucky we were to experience the good parts of the Disney Parks memories that we still hold dear to this day. But forever cursed of knowing exactly when and how things come up short. Whether it's the potential for historical California theming left on the table, screen-based videogame rides that don't use any new technology, or leaning heavy on IP that some people just plain don't care about, we always know what we're missing.

                    The blursed life of a true Disney fan.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I think the article was trying to explain the harsh realities while also not trying to tick off DLR and upset some fans that can't handle criticism of the parks. I think the comments by those that went are the real story and that story is DLR for reasons beyond even chapeks greed can't seem to figure things out. meanwhile Knott's, Universal, Lego land, Six Flags all have masses returning after being on lockdown for the past year, most of the those parks also have new attractions/lands, food. Are they as big as DLR? No but they are about a third of the size and have had less than 1:10th of the issues. Universal, Knott's and Six Flags are closer to main SoCal crowds living in LA so they are geographically more in the storm of crowds. I have talked to numerous friends and associates who have gone to the other parks in SoCal during the past month and the only gripes are the restrictions due to Covid, masks and some longer then expected lines here and there, nothing shocking but maybe an hour wait when they expected 45min. etc.

                      In short DLR has zero excuses for this it is an epic failure on DLR management. I do no blame CM's I do not blame Imagineering I blame the executives they failed their staff and now they have failed their customers ( I refuse to call them guests until they are once again treated as such ) I think if the stock took a good enough hit over this they could do some house cleaning and right the ship. If not expect this nightmare to continue well beyond Halloween.

                      DLR has the park, CM's and branding to return to the magical place it was just a couple of years ago. 2019 going into 2020 was actually very pleasant and we went numerous times where crowds were not that bad at all and seem to already be getting lighter then previous years. The moves they had made were working, then management changed and covid happened and queue Goofy going off the sky jump "HooHooHooeeeyyyy!!!!!!"


                      Disneyland Fan since the 70's

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by WaltDisney'sAlec View Post
                        I miss reading Andy's weekly updates, but his views are generally on point.

                        I think at this point, everyone on Micechat is basically blursed. Blessed knowing how lucky we were to experience the good parts of the Disney Parks memories that we still hold dear to this day. But forever cursed of knowing exactly when and how things come up short. Whether it's the potential for historical California theming left on the table, screen-based videogame rides that don't use any new technology, or leaning heavy on IP that some people just plain don't care about, we always know what we're missing.

                        The blursed life of a true Disney fan.
                        That's got my vote for Post of the Year.
                        "Disneyland is often called a magic kingdom because
                        it combines fantasy and history, adventure and learning,
                        together with every variety of recreation and fun,
                        designed to appeal to everyone."

                        - Walt Disney

                        "Disneyland is all about turning movies into rides."
                        - Michael Eisner

                        "It's very symbiotic."
                        - Bob Chapek

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by JLee1226 View Post
                          I wonder if they could cook up another update for Mission Breakout. Dave Bautista has recently said he's ready to step down from the role. Presumably if they wanted to shoot new scenes they'd do so when Guardians 3 is in production.
                          If any ride were to do a quick update, it would Mission: Breakout. They might not even need to close the ride for the update, just as they don't for the Halloween version. Now that you mention it, I'm fairly certain there will be a Guardians 3 tie-in in the next two years.
                          Brian the Pooh

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            As a Marvel fan, I like how the land has been crammed with details(the hulk tree, pizza dog, Squirrel girl). One deep dive detail that has made me smile, is that on one of Howard Stark's flying cars posters, is LOLA, Agent Coulson's Car from Agents of SHIELD.

                            I'm still very bitter about the size & scope of the land, and (I feel bad for saying this) I hope guests complain how it's a letdown. Avengers Endgame is the 2nd highest grossing movie of all time(non-adjusted). And THIS is it?

                            Andy C. did make a mistake in his report. The E-ticket ride was not delayed because of Covid. By the time ground-breaking happen in 2019, word had already gotten out that the Avengers ride would not be open with the land. Insider chatter leaked on these boards, that the former head of parks/now current CEO (Chapek) had rejected at least 2 ride proposals, with one of them over the costs.


                            Originally posted by JLee1226 View Post
                            I wonder if they could cook up another update for Mission Breakout. Dave Bautista has recently said he's ready to step down from the role. Presumably if they wanted to shoot new scenes they'd do so when Guardians 3 is in production.
                            Guardians 3 is set to go into production this year, along with it's Disney+ Holiday Special. So it's very possible they could squeeze that into the production. Epcot's Guardians' ride was originally planned to have its' ride footage filmed during Guardians 3 production.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Aside from its low budget and problematic reservations/mobile app system, there is an issue the Dateline Disneyland article pointed out that may be a longterm problem: It's an IP franchise land that isn't fully enjoyable by people who aren't familiar with the details of the franchise.

                              From the article:

                              "Avengers Campus is a relatively small theme park land, measuring in at only 6 acres; less than half the size of Galaxy’s Edge. Avengers Campus is themed as an industrial complex built by Howard Stark and later converted into a training and recruiting facility for the Avengers. If the land’s theme works at all, it’s because of the countless Easter eggs and references to other characters and events in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and comics. In that regard, Avengers Campus differs from other large-scale IP-based lands like Galaxy’s Edge or Universal’s Wizarding World of Harry Potter because it requires a greater level of familiarity with the franchise for guests to truly connect with and enjoy the experience.

                              "Where Galaxy’s Edge can be enjoyed as an interesting intergalactic world even if you don’t know anything about Star Wars, Avengers Campus’ bland overall theme requires you know something about Marvel’s characters and stories to really get anything out of it. Even the new Spider-Man attraction requires you go into the experience knowing how Spider-Man shoot webs (it’s barely mentioned in the pre-show and explained on a sign in the indoor queue, which guests quickly walk past).

                              "But this base level of Marvel knowledge is more of an issue elsewhere, as much of the land’s theming relies on signage (parking signs for famous Marvel characters), visual references (“Kirby Krackle” around Guardians of the Galaxy for instance), and inside jokes (Pym Particles shrinking and enlarging food) that help the land become a Marvel-themed experience. Without these things, much of the land reads as not much more than a colorful industrial park with a couple of other-worldly features."



                              It's ironic that Disney created a land based on an enormously successfully IP, but aimed it primarily at fans of the IP. Much of its content will go over the heads of non-fans. At the same time, the land's content does not appear to offer enough "Wow" value to compel multiple repeat visits for fans. It may be that the more deeply a fan is connected to the MCU and the comics, the less satisfying this "Marvel Land Lite" will be -- and the less it will compel return visits.
                              Last edited by Mr Wiggins; 06-07-2021, 08:52 PM.
                              "Disneyland is often called a magic kingdom because
                              it combines fantasy and history, adventure and learning,
                              together with every variety of recreation and fun,
                              designed to appeal to everyone."

                              - Walt Disney

                              "Disneyland is all about turning movies into rides."
                              - Michael Eisner

                              "It's very symbiotic."
                              - Bob Chapek

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by Mr Wiggins View Post
                                It's ironic that Disney created a land based on an enormously successfully IP, but aimed it primarily at fans of the IP. Much of its content will go over the heads of non-fans. At the same time, the land's content does not appear to offer enough "Wow" value to compel multiple repeat visits for fans. It may be that the more deeply a fan is connected to the MCU and the comics, the less satisfying this "Marvel Land Lite" will be -- and the less it will compel return visits.
                                I'd argue this is the same problem with GE.

                                I get the broad appeal of superheroes, the Greek-God like mythology they tap into. But at the same time, as I watch a Dland vlogger giddily talk about spotting a reference to Squirrel Lady or whatever, I feel Disney is designing lands largely for Comic Con nerds now.

                                It's all very LARP-y, Universal Studios-y, IP-worshipy....

                                Comment


                                • #17

                                  From Dusty Sage's Disneyland Update today:


                                  "I posted the following comment on Facebook that I think explains my frustration pretty well:

                                  "This land just wasn’t made to handle Disney-sized crowds. I really enjoyed my previews of the land before it opened to the public (no crowds). However, opening day was the WORST day I think I’ve ever spent in a Disney park, and I’ve been on packed New Year’s Eve days, rainy days, 110º days, opening days for dozens of attractions, I was even at the disastrous premiere of Light Magic. Why on earth would they gate off the entry to the land and then gate the attraction and restaurant behind their own walls (virtual queue and mobile order), leaving guests NOTHING to do after 6+ hours in line??? Folks were so packed into the land that there was no social distancing and guests practically forced into unsafe conditions. We saw so many zombies camped out all day in the land because they knew they wouldn’t be able to get back in if they left. Every time a little show or character would arrive, everyone would swarm into a tight space to see them. We couldn’t even find a spot to eat! I was so upset by the time I left that I did contact both guest relations and our Disney press contacts to let them know about the horrible experience we had."



                                  "Disneyland is often called a magic kingdom because
                                  it combines fantasy and history, adventure and learning,
                                  together with every variety of recreation and fun,
                                  designed to appeal to everyone."

                                  - Walt Disney

                                  "Disneyland is all about turning movies into rides."
                                  - Michael Eisner

                                  "It's very symbiotic."
                                  - Bob Chapek

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by Mr Wiggins View Post
                                    From Dusty Sage's Disneyland Update today:


                                    "I posted the following comment on Facebook that I think explains my frustration pretty well:

                                    "This land just wasn’t made to handle Disney-sized crowds. I really enjoyed my previews of the land before it opened to the public (no crowds). However, opening day was the WORST day I think I’ve ever spent in a Disney park, and I’ve been on packed New Year’s Eve days, rainy days, 110º days, opening days for dozens of attractions, I was even at the disastrous premiere of Light Magic. Why on earth would they gate off the entry to the land and then gate the attraction and restaurant behind their own walls (virtual queue and mobile order), leaving guests NOTHING to do after 6+ hours in line??? Folks were so packed into the land that there was no social distancing and guests practically forced into unsafe conditions. We saw so many zombies camped out all day in the land because they knew they wouldn’t be able to get back in if they left. Every time a little show or character would arrive, everyone would swarm into a tight space to see them. We couldn’t even find a spot to eat! I was so upset by the time I left that I did contact both guest relations and our Disney press contacts to let them know about the horrible experience we had."


                                    Cue Disney laughing their way to the bank.

                                    Seems like the guest experience isn't the top of mind these days.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by Captain Andy View Post

                                      Cue Disney laughing their way to the bank.

                                      Seems like the guest experience isn't the top of mind these days.
                                      I sure of it ...Disney is using P. T. Barnum
                                      -PLAY BOOK-SAD
                                      Last edited by Eagleman; 06-08-2021, 08:27 PM.
                                      Soaring like an EAGLE !

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Well, well. After reading the "Review", people's comments, and SoCal Attractions 360's YouTube video, I have to say it's rather disappointing. Seriously, this is the best they could do?

                                        Two things stick out in what I see.

                                        1. The "Land" itself is pretty plain and boring. To me it's just a bunch of sheet metal cobbled together with some un-impressive set pieces. Looks like something I would see from Magic Mountain or any other "amusement" park…not something from the world-renowned Walt Disney Imagineering.

                                        2. Web Slingers Attraction. Complete fail IMO. Again, no imagination, doing it on the cheap, and not a very universally accessible "Attraction". Unlike POC, where just about any and everyone can enjoy the attraction without having to be interactive, WS is fine as long as you have two fully functioning arms. Sure feel sorry for the individual who has a handicap. Besides, even if you do have the use of your arms, who in their right mind wants to spend the whole time flailing their arms around like some spasmatic?

                                        What a complete zero. Disney gets an "F" on this one.

                                        Looks like I'm not alone in my assessment.

                                        Click image for larger version

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                                        Last edited by stovk; 06-09-2021, 10:19 AM.
                                        “Not the least hard thing to bear when they go from us, these quiet friends, is that they carry away with them so many years of our own lives.”

                                        DL Trips: '58, '59, '61, '65, '66, '67, '68x2, '69x2, '70x2, '71x2, '73x2, '74x2, '75x2, '76x2, '77, '78,x2, '79x2, '80x2, '81, '82, '83, '88, '89x3, '90x2, '91, '93, '94, '95x2, '96, '97, '98x4, '99, '00, '01, '02, '03, '04, '05, '06, '07x2, '08, '09x2, '10, '11, '13
                                        WDW Trips: '81
                                        EPCOT Trips: '93
                                        Tokyo DL Trips: '86

                                        Comment

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