Avengers Land Tips
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Here's Why You May Be Glad You Missed the Opening of Disney's Avengers Campus

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Avengers Land Tips
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More Than a Ticket to Ride

I visited the new Marvel Avengers Campus at California Adventure with my husband and our two tweens on the second day it was open, and while Disney has already announced that changes and alterations have been made, it’s not a bad idea to know about some of the hiccups and don’t-miss things to see when you go. Here’s a breakdown of whether or not it’s worth making the trip.


Related: 26 Ways to Do Disney on a Budget

The Web Slingers Ride Was Awfully Familiar
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There Was a Trick to Entry

Currently just getting a ticket isn’t enough to get into Disneyland or California Adventure — as with lots of attractions across the country, you also need a reservation. For California Adventures, you also need a reservation for the new ride, Web Slingers: A Spider-Man Adventure. What wasn’t made clear was that you really, really needed that reservation to the new ride, because without it, you wouldn’t be able to walk into Avengers Land. To prevent crowding, entry to the entire area was restricted to those going on the ride. The trick was getting that ride reservation.


Related: 19 Expensive Mistakes to Avoid at Disney

Reservations Were Key
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Reservations Were Key — and Hard to Get

Reservations for Web Slingers opened up online at two times — 7 a.m. and noon. Available spots for the entire day were gone within seconds both times. The alternative? The standby line was said to be six or seven hours long and wound from the Avengers Land to The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Undersea Adventure ride, where it was routed into another winding zig-zag line. While this was likely because the area was brand-new, it should also be noted that crowds were limited to 35% capacity at the time due to pandemic restrictions. Apparently, within two weeks the line disappeared, and it was possible to walk right in. The group reservations, however, are still required. 


Related: 19 Vintage Views of Disneyland and Disneyworld

The Web Slingers Ride Was Awfully Familiar
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The Web Slingers Ride Was Awfully Familiar

The Web Slingers ride would be familiar to anyone who has ridden another California Adventures ride — Toy Story Midway Mania. While that ride requires riders to use a hand pull to aim and shoot at digital targets, Web Slingers has removed the gizmo entirely so riders can just point their hands (well, wrists, as they are slinging a web) to aim at digital spiders and blow them away. There’s also an introduction to the ride starring Tom Holland. Is it amazing? No, but if you like Midway Mania, you’ll like this just fine.


Related: I Went to Disneyland and Other Theme Parks After They Reopened — Here's What Was Different

The Avengers Campus Looked Like an Office Park
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The Avengers Campus Looked Like an Office Park

While the Avengers come from some pretty visually impressive lands (Doctor Strange and Thor come to mind), the actual Avengers compound is just a drab building that could be an office-supply company headquarters. There are some corners, such as one for Dr. Strange, that are more visually interesting, but it seems the hope is that you won’t pay much attention to the architecture when there are superheroes running around. 


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There Were a Lot of Costumed Characters
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There Were a Lot of Costumed Characters

The appeal of Avengers Land is getting up close and personal with the characters, and since so many of them have their faces covered by masks, it’s easier to buy into the fantasy than when you’re, say, greeting Elsa and Anna from “Frozen” at Disneyland. The Black Panther managed to get my shy kids to do the Wakanda salute for a picture, even though pandemic restrictions prevented hugs or fist bumps. Not only are characters such as Black Panther and Iron Man walking around, there are also elaborate shows playing out.

There Were Four Live Shows
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There Were Four Live Shows

The shows ranged from stuff to inspire kids (Dora Milaje leader Gen. Okoye gave a lesson on how to be a loyal warrior for Wakanda) to the mystical (a Doctor Strange show) to high-action (Black Widow, Black Panther, and Captain America fight Taskmaster, the bad guy in the new “Black Widow” movie) and to high-tech (an animatronic Spider-Man puts on an aerial show dangling off a building). While the robotic Spider-Man is more impressive if you know it’s not really a guy with impressive aerial skills, the shows (we didn’t see Doctor Strange but we saw the rest) are worth seeing.


Related: 25 Ways Disney Revolutionized Entertainment

Food Was a Nightmare…
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Food Was a Nightmare…

As with Web Slingers, plans for what you wanted to eat had to be made far in advance unless you were happy with the underwhelming Shawarma Palace truck or a dessert truck (sorry, Terran Treat truck) offering purple Cosmic Cream Orbs and green Sweet Spiral Rations (churros wound into a circle shape). Food needed to be ordered online hours in advance of when you might even think about eating.         


… and Not That Incredible
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… and Not That Incredible

The Pym Test Kitchen aimed to have fun with the shrinking and enlarging theme of the Ant-Man films. Toast is oversized or small, same with waffles, same with the chicken in a chicken sandwich. While all of it was Instagram-worthy, eating it seemed almost beside the point. It looked impressive but, at its heart, it was just breakfast foods, pretzels, meatballs, and sandwiches with a gimmick. That $100 sandwich? It’s just big enough to feed up to eight people, but it’s basically a pretty standard panini with ham, salami, and Provolone cheese. A Coors Light was also just under $9 and, while some of the alcoholic beverages sounded interesting (the Molecular Meltdown had marshmallow milk stout and vanilla ice cream), most choices sounded very, very sweet. Not surprisingly, the purple Terran Treats looked great (bright purple!) and tasted … meh.


Related: 25 Official Disney Recipes That Will Make Your Kitchen the Happiest Place on Earth

Eats Weren’t Cheap
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Eats Weren’t Cheap

This wasn’t a big surprise, as no theme park is handing out deals on meals, especially in summer. A super-sized pretzel meant to share was $13, sandwiches were in the $13 to $15 dollar range, and kids’ meals were $8-$9. If you were going to eat anyway, at least you could get some memorable photos out of it (and really, isn’t that the point)? Entering Pym’s Kitchen also was part of the experience, as you could see a pretzel shrink and grow overhead before it eventually landed on a serving plate.

Having the Full Experience Means Buying Something
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Having the Full Experience Means Buying Something

As with Galaxy’s Edge (or Star Wars Land) inside Disneyland, the total “experience” isn’t built into the price of entry. While there was a new ride (Web Slingers) and an existing ride (Guardians of the Galaxy Mission: Breakout!) along with the live shows, Web Slingers seemed to be an excuse to convince you to buy your own animatronic spider for $70 in order to take the action home with you. Beyond that, eating oddly-sized food was the other big draw. That said, there are reportedly plans afoot for another ride to be added to the campus.


The Quinjet Plane Ride Isn’t Open … Yet
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The Quinjet Plane Ride Isn’t Open … Yet

While you can see the plane sitting atop the Avengers Headquarters, the Quinjet isn’t a ride right now, but is expected to be available in 2022. The ride is said to invite visitors to fly alongside the Avengers to Wakanda and beyond as they battle a powerful villain. 

Would I Go Again?
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Would I Go Again?

I have two tweens, so it’s not as if I have a choice. But my kids were more excited about going on the Incredicoaster than wandering around an office park. While most of the people at Disney Adventures seemed content to wait in line for hours, those who didn’t were able to hop onto rides (including the Spider-Man-esque Midway Mania) with far less of a wait than usual, which was more than worth the price of admission. But honestly, the first phase of the Avengers Campus was a tad disappointing. Here’s hoping Quinjet is a game changer.


Related: I Went to Disneyland and Other Theme Parks After They Reopened — Here's What Was Different