The Marvel universe has been fully realized for the first time in a Disney attraction, not in a theme park but aboard the newly re-imagined Disney Magic cruise ship. Though Disneyland’s Innoventions has featured the Iron Man Hall of Armor exhibit, it pales in comparison to the exciting interactivity and sense of adventure and importance found in Marvel’s Avengers Academy. And that’s just one of several fun new areas that make up the ship’s all-new Oceaneer Club.
Marvel’s Avengers Academy is easily the highlight of the Oceaneer Club – if not the entire ship. It’s like stepping into S.H.I.E.L.D. headquarters, with plenty of recognizable logos to prove it. Children enrolled can embark on a 2-day recruitment experience that has them team up with various Avengers, get tips from Captain America, and suit up like Iron Man to battle Red Skull.
Disney’s creators of Marvel’s Avengers Academy gave me a tour of the new hot spot, explaining how the experience works in the video below – with a few tips from Steve Rogers himself.
Video: Marvel’s Avengers Academy on the Disney Magic
Stepping through the S.H.I.E.L.D. scanner is one of those magical Disney moments, triggering special lighting effects to sort kids into loyalties of different Avengers, including Iron Man, Captain America, Hulk, Black Widow, and more. Children receive special ID badges (as seen in the video above) to prove they are being recruited.
Then the exploration can begin, getting up close with one of Iron Man’s suits, Thor’s hammer, and Captain America’s shield. Of course, these aren’t their actual weapons, since they need those to fight bad guys, instead offering these training replicas on display.
The first day of the Avengers Academy experience gives kids instructions on how to become part of the team, culminating with a visit from Cap himself.
Then on day two, kids can suit up with Iron Man to complete their training in an experience similar to that available in Disneyland’s Innoventions, but slightly updated to feature the traditional red-and-gold suit.
It’s a shame that this experience is intended for kids only, as adults will surely want to play in there too. Fortunately, a couple hours of Avengers time are offered at the start of each cruise during the open house period. Plus Captain America hosts meet-and-greets elsewhere on the ship, outside of the Avengers Academy regularly throughout each voyage.