Marvel is coming to Disney Parks. Unfortunately for United States and European fans of Wolverine, Captain America, Iron Man, and the Hulk, it’s initially happening overseas. It was revealed this week that Hong Kong Disneyland will be the first Disney theme park to build a new “themed area” featuring Marvel characters.
In his 2013-14 budget speech delivered yesterday, Hong Kong Financial Secretary John Tsang said, “In the coming few years, Hong Kong Disneyland will launch a new night-time parade and put in place a themed area featuring ‘Marvel heroes’, the first of its kind in the world.”
Hong Kong Disneyland is currently in the midst of wrapping up a large expansion that began with Toy Story Playland, continued with Grizzly Gulch, and will culminate with the opening of Mystic Point later this year. But it seems they’re not stopping there, expanding further with the Marvel universe.
UPDATE (5/5/13): When asked for a comment, a Hong Kong Disneyland representative had little to add to the story, simply stating, “Regarding Tsang’s announcement in his Budget Speech about Hong Kong Disneyland (HKDL), our spokesman would like to share with you that we have nothing to add at the moment. Announcement will be made when ready.”
It’s not clear yet how extensive this Marvel “area” will be. Whether it’s a full new “land” for the park featuring rides and other attractions or just a smaller area for characters to meet and greet remains to be seen. Either way, it will be the first park to fully utilize Disney’s 2009 $4 billion purchase of Marvel.
Due to a prior agreement with Universal Orlando, Disney cannot feature the Marvel characters in its Walt Disney World theme parks, but inclusion in the Disneyland Resort in California is a very real possibility. Many rumors have circulated surrounding potential Marvel rides for the original Disneyland park, starting slowly with the appearance of some of Marvel’s thousands of characters, followed by new attractions down the line. But Disney hasn’t announced anything of the sort yet.
“Marvel’s The Avengers” was Disney’s biggest box office success in 2012, shattering worldwide records. With “Iron Man 3” due out soon, followed by a series of additional Marvel movies, there’s no doubt Marvel will make its presence at Disney’s theme parks in a marvelous way soon, starting in Hong Kong.