Before The Walt Disney Company acquired Lucasfilm in an attempt to gain an upper hand in the young boys demographic, they acquired Marvel for the exact same reason. While many joked about it back then, the comic book juggernaut became even more of a success under the House of Mouse. There were often serious talks about when we’d start seeing more Marvel integration into Disney ventures began to pick up steam, specifically in regards to the theme parks around the world. Apparently, that time of integration is now as it appears that the superheroes of the Marvel Universe are planned to make an appearance at Disneyland! Sorta…
According to The Wall Street Journal, Hong Kong Disneyland will be expanding in order to include an area dedicated to Marvel and it’s roster of characters. Financial Secretary John Tsang announced on the 2013-2014 budget call that this new expansion would be coming soon, so it’s very possible that construction could start as soon as this year or next. Here’s what the executive had to say in the call about the park being the first to utilize the comic book characters:
“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.”
Well, I wouldn’t call it the “first of its kind in the world” since Universal’s Islands of Adventure in Orlando, Florida has a whole land dedicated the characters already, but I like Tsang’s enthusiasm. It’s certainly a first in any Disney park. Also, he doesn’t make clear if Marvel will be getting an entire land or just a small area for meet and greets, but either way it will be a welcome addition to the theme park. The announcement comes at a time where Hong Kong Disneyland, the smallest and lowest grossing of all the Disney parks around the world, is in a state of change. Since 2009, three lands have been added to the park in order to accommodate for more visitors. Now, after they add the Marvel area to the park, they’ll definitely need that extra space because it’s sure to draw so many patrons to their front door. Sure, ‘The Avengers’ grossed high domestically, but it’s the #13 all-time top grossing films of all time in China. Asia is going to go wild for this new addition when it’s finished.
While Disney fans stateside may be disappointed that Marvel heroes like Captain America, Iron Man, and The Hulk aren’t coming to our Disneyland just yet, keep in mind that the original Disney park is in the process of an expansion as well. The company spent $4 billion for Marvel, so you can bet that they’ll slowly start integrating the characters in some way into the parks at some point, especially if the Hong Kong endeavor is successful. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if they even pulled out something small to start soon for the release of ‘Iron Man 3’, which has a number of Chinese backers.
What do you think about Marvel characters being integrated into Disney’s theme parks? Which ones would you like to see rolled out first? Share your thoughts in the comments below!