The first phase of the Avengers Campus at Disney California Adventure was slated to open in 2020 but due to the COVID-19 Pandemic opened in 2021. It features W.E.B. Slingers(attraction), Pym Labs Test Kitchen, W.E.B. Suppliers (Store) and an assortment of heroic encounters. There has been no announcement of a timeline or details but Phase II is expected to include an E-Ticket Avengers attraction where you will travel on a Quinjet to Wakanda.
My first impressions from August 27, 2021
- Avengers Campus was my first destination this morning. I entered through the walkway off the performance corridor/parade route so WEB SLINGERS: A Spider-Man Adventure was on my left and Maters Junkyard Jamboree on my right. There are some plants and a wall between the two areas. The background sound/music for Avengers Campus is played a higher volume than other areas it seemed and it was fairly good at drowning out Maters only a few feet away.
- My boarding group for WEB SLINGERS: A Spider-Man Adventure was called a few minutes after the park opened so I made my way there first. There was no real wait, except for a slight delay because the attraction was not running yet. A team was just finishing up on on something as I arrived in the loading area. The boarding group process worked smoothly for me, but later in the day I saw the queue was full and you had to wait substantially longer to board. I do not understand this with boarding groups, why not call less groups to keep the wait minimal outside.
- WEB SLINGERS: A Spider-Man Adventure can best be described as an experience similar to Toy Story Midway Mania. You board a vehicle and are taken from screen to screen where you shoot at targets. The difference is this time you are using your hands to trigger the device to shoot vs a pull string. The attraction has a much higher game like feel to it and the scoring system seemed a little more complex and video game like. The experience is a bit louder and more of a video game feel to them too. I thought it was an OK experience, I am not a big video game person so I think that weighed on my first impression. With so much happening and so little time a first time rider is at a disadvantage. I think the boarding group system is a handicap for the attraction as it limits each guest to one ride per day. For an attraction that is designed to be re-ridden that makes for an incomplete experience. After a single ride I think I prefer Midway Mania but I really need to experience it a few more times to see how it feels then.
- Throughout the day I passed through Avengers Campus and spent time there checking out the various entertainment offerings, character encounters, and buildings. I really enjoyed exploring the campus in the quiet morning hours but come dusk when the crowd grew it was not as pleasant of an experience. The campus encompasses the former Bugs Land space, so the plot of land is relatively small and L shaped more or less. The overall feel of the Campus I am neutral on. I think they achieved what they set out for but I am just not a huge fan of it. I thought the number of character encounters and entertainment offerings was great and really shows what Galaxy's Edge is lacking. The background sound was on the loud side for me and did not add to the experience, it was more of a distraction bordering on annoyance at times.
- Warriors of Wakanda: The Disciplines of the Dora Milaje - This show features a Dora Milaje walking out and hosting a training session in the center of Avengers Campus. I caught the first show of the morning and only one warrior was present. It was a fairly typical guest interaction type show with an arrival and introduction then selection of guests to join the training session. The Dora Milaje walks in and then up to an elevated stage area. All guests are on level ground though and there is no shade close by. The crowd gathers quickly and the area felt crowded fast.
- The Amazing Spider-Man! - This show features Spider-Man testing some of his suit and doing some tumbling stunts above the walkway of Avengers Campus on the WEB Slingers building. The highlight of this show is the finale where a stunt robot flies through the air. Spider-Man also descends from the roof top and then comes out for pictures with guests. The concept of the show is great. The dialog left something to be desired to me, especially if you watch it multiple times, it is the same. The stunttronic used for the finale is extremely impressive and many seemed to believe it was a person flying through the air.
- Avengers Assemble - This stunt show takes place on the Avengers Headquarters building. The Taskmaster is trying to steal something and its up to Black Widow with an assist from the Black Panther to stop him and his sidekicks. The show features several fighting scenes as well as some students including repelling down the building, climbing up the building and a performer being pulled through the air when hit at one point. I thought it was great to add some life to the area and engage people in the story.
- I visited the campus again around sunset with he goal of seeing the Dr. Strange and Guardians shows that start later in the day. Neither one was going on, they were cancelled for some reason, so next visit I will have to try to catch them again.
- Transitioning from Avengers Campus to Cars Land was not as awkward as I thought it would be. There is enough distance on Cross Street to make it feel smooth. The new backstage building behind Luigis was completed since my last visit. The park facing side has a facade that works as a nice backdrop for the attraction. Speaking of the attraction about half the cars were not on the dance floor/in service on Friday. I counted 11 in use only, which meant for a very slow moving queue for those who wanted to ride. The residents have started to decorate for Halloween and so far it looks status quo with nothing new jumping out to me. I went for a spin on Radiator Springs Racers since the single rider queue was available. Turned out to have no wait which was great. Interesting to note they were only using the first two load stations. During my ride only one tractor tipped, Frank did not work nor did the whitewall effect on Luigis.
For more on this new land here is the Disney Press Release from the D23 Expo 2019