The moment Marvel Comics fans around country have been waiting for is almost here. A brand new land built around Marvel’s Avengers franchise, Avengers Campus, opens June 4, 2021 at Disney California Adventure Park in the Disneyland Resort.
I just went into Avengers Campus for a media preview to see the Super Hero attractions, characters, and entertainment as well as to sample a lot of the new food. Plus, I investigated all the details so I can bring you the very best tips to make the most of your time in the land and avoid stumbling points that may trip up others.
What is the verdict on all things Avengers Campus at Disneyland? Read on to find out.
Last updated: June 6, 2021.
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Avengers Campus Basics
As the name suggests, Avengers Campus is themed to be a training center for new Super Heroes. Many of your favorites from the movies are there to train new recruits. The Campus itself isn’t something you’ll see in any of the movies, but is instead a clever Imagineering construct to explain why all the characters would be together in one place. Naturally, Tony Stark funded it all.
(Aside: Wondering why Disney always talks about Super Heroes and not superheroes? The answer: trademark lawyers. Yes, my former profession. But I digress.)
The land is located in Disney California Adventure park in the space formerly occupied by A Bug’s Land. Entrances into and exits from the land are located in the following places:
- Just beyond Cathay Circle Theater before you turn into Cars Land
- As you pass the Hyperion Theater and head towards Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT!
- The path from Cars Land that passes Luigi’s Rollickin’ Roadsters
In the early days the land is open, you likely won’t be using all these entrances and will not be able to cut through the land. If the land reaches capacity (as it has quickly every day since its June 4 opening), access is available only at the main entrance just beyond Carthay Circle Theater across from Golden Vine. A standby queue forms there.
Avengers Campus Attractions
Avengers Campus opened with two attractions – one old and one new.
There have been details about a third attraction circulating since Avengers Campus was announced back at the D23 Expo in 2019. This E-Ticket attraction would have guests boarding a Quinjet flying over Wakanda and engaging in an epic battle with a variety of Avengers. Whether this attraction is now off the table post-reopening or merely delayed is currently unknown.
Here’s what in the land today.
WEB SLINGERS: A Spider-Man Adventure
WEB SLINGERS: A Spider-Man Adventure is an attraction where guest battle Spider-Bots, a well-intentioned Peter Parker experiment gone wrong that self-replicate and threaten to take over the Campus. The ride has no real villain, making it a less scary choice for those with young kids. And since the ride has no height limit, that’s a smart and thoughtful choice by Disney that truly makes it a family-friendly ride.
While in some ways WEB SLINGERS is another shooter attraction in the vein of Toy Story Midway Mania or Buzz Lightyear’s Astro Blasters, its technology is definitely a step up. Instead of a slingshot or ray gun, guests use their hands to fling webs at Spider-Bots. Sensors and cameras read riders’ body movements and hand gestures and then render them onto the screen. I definitely got into it – enough that my arms were pretty tired afterwards (tip: don’t turn your wrists up like Spidey does to fling webs or you’ll be extra sore. The cameras can read your hands throwing webs just like you’d throw a baseball.)
The battles themselves are screen-based but there are physical sets the WEB SLINGERS vehicles travel through too. Vehicles seat four and scoring is kept both at the individual and vehicle level. Tom Holland makes an appearance in the pre-show (which is thankfully able to run right now in spite of indoor time limits and social distancing restrictions) and voices Spidey in the attraction itself.
The ride is interoperable with new WEB Tech for sale at the various stores in the land. Devices called Web-Shooters, Power Bands, and Repulsors are available for sale within retail locations within the land as well as in the Backlot Store outside the land at Stage 17. They change the gameplay on the attraction, unlocking different Super Hero strengths and abilities for guests using them.
These devices are an upcharge, although the price is not as bad as I feared – under $30 for all three options. Superfans and frequent visitors will likely find them fun. Since our family has only casual interest in the Avengers (and my Disney parks day bag is always pretty packed full of other essential stuff), this isn’t something we’ll likely be investing in. Right now while the attraction is limited to one ride per day per guest, I’m guessing a lot of other guests may adopt a wait and see approach on these extras too.
WEB SLINGERS Virtual Queue Strategy
The most important thing to know about Avengers Campus for new visitors is simply how to ride WEB SLINGERS. There will not be a standby line for this attraction at all. If you want to ride it, you have to know how to make that happen and be prepared before your trip.
Instead of a standby line, Disneyland utilizes a virtual queue for WEB SLINGERS that assigns boarding groups to guests. The process for this queue is identical to the one already in place for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, with time slots being released only at 7 am and 12 noon each day. So if you are up on how that attraction works, this will be familiar to you – although still not necessarily easy!
If you are brand new to all of it, then be sure to check out my detailed post for how to join the virtual queue for WEB SLINGERS: A Spider-Man Adventure.
The essential things you need to know about the WEB SLINGERS virtual queue are as follows:
- Boarding groups are released daily at 7:00 am and 12 noon.
- Only guests with a confirmed DCA park reservation for the day may try for both the 7:00 am and noon releases. Anyone with a park hopper ticket who has scanned into either park for the day may try only for the 12 noon drop.
- Guests are not able to hold a boarding group for both Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance and WEB SLINGERS: A Spider-Man Adventure at the same time.
- If your boarding pass is called, you are given access to the land, even if the land is at capacity and there is a standby queue at the entrance.
- Boarding groups run out in a matter of a second or two. You have to be speedy and up on the latest procedures to be successful. Even experts may need more than one try to secure a spot in the virtual queue.
Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT!
While it has been around for several years, there is already an E-ticket attraction not to be overlooked in the land too. Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! takes its place within the campus walls in a location that now makes (somewhat) more sense. Formerly the Tower of Terror, this ride has a 40 inch height minimum to ride and is definitely only for thrill ride fans.
I have complete ride details on my Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! post. Even though it’s four years old now, this is one attraction that never gets old in my book. The six different songs and different drop sequences keep things interesting and fun every time.
Guardians has always been very popular, but it is now located behind the borders of the capacity-controlled area. The result has been that wait times for this attraction are much lower than before, as many guests in Avengers Campus are busy trying the new offerings in the land instead like food and character encounters. So if you are a fan of this ride, this may be your chance to try it with shorter waits for a bit – at least until Avengers Campus itself no longer needs a standby line for capacity reasons.
Avengers Campus Food
Food in Avengers Campus is almost as much of an attraction as the new ride is. It’s innovative and whimsical and generally very well done. What I loved about the food overall was how it brought quite a few new flavors into the mix you can’t regularly find at Disneyland.
But it also has some kid-friendly safer favorites for picky eaters. A critique I had of the last land that opened at Disneyland, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, was that the food was generally too innovative for my kids to like anything on the menu. Avengers Campus walks that fine line between keeping adults intrigued but kids satisfied a LOT better.
I tasted a sampling of foods during my time in the land and look forward to returning to try even more. I’m not going attempt to comprehensively cover each dish right now. Disneyland’s Foodie Guide to Avengers Campus does that job quite well. But I’ll highlight some of the most interesting I’ve tried as well as tips for getting food in the land.
Before we get to the restaurants and the dishes, there is an essential part of the 2021 food experience at Disneyland that we have to discuss first. If you want to eat almost anywhere, you need to mobile order your meal first.
Because Avengers Campus is new, the demand for mobile ordering is especially high. This demand caused some major opening day hiccups. Times slots filled by about 9:00am for the entire day! But many of those guests were not yet in the land due to capacity controls, leaving a lot of people unable to pick up their food orders (note: having a mobile order pickup window does not guarantee you access to the land).
Disney is rapidly changing the operations of mobile and food ordering to find what works. For now at least, Disney is encouraging guests to wait to mobile order until they enter the land. But slots are nevertheless filling quickly for the restaurants that offer mobile order (for now, those are Pym Test Kitchen and Pym Tasting Lab).
My best advice? If you plan to rope drop the land and are near the front of the crowds (i.e., you think you can get into the land before it reaches capacity), go ahead and place mobile orders for food the second the system opens at 8:00am. If you have an early boarding group for WEB SLINGERS, go ahead and do the same.
Everyone else getting into the land later is going to have to play things by ear. You can try to place a mobile order hoping you can get into the land, but be prepared to cancel if if you don’t. (As of the last update to this post, Disney is encouraging that guests be in the land before mobile ordering but is not requiring it by using location gating on mobile devices.) Watch for new times slots to be added later in the day as Disney tries to meter this process as well. Also, you may find slots becoming available as others cancel. I anticipate further changes to this process, so keep checking back here for updates or follow me on Twitter.
Pym Test Kitchen
The largest restaurant in the land is the Pym Test Kitchen, where Ant-Man and The Wasp’s pym particles are used to grow and shrink foods. The menu features some super sized items as well and some extra tiny ones, often in combination for a fun visual contrast. Is it a little gimmicky? Yes. Are kids (and adults) going to get a major kick out of it anyway? Yes.
I tried the Impossible Spoonful, a dish with pastas of several sizes topped with plant-based Impossible meatballs – one big and one small. The Impossible dishes at Disneyland are usually pretty tasty, and the meatballs almost fooled me into thinking I was eating the real thing. The pasta sauce was a little bland – I would have preferred more spice and kick.
I really loved the Not So Little Chicken sandwich topped with cole slaw. The sauce combination (teriyaki and red chili) was a perfect mix of flavors. The chicken had a crunch that I always expect and appreciate as a Southern girl. There’s a kids version on the menu that omits the sauces and slaw.
The drink superstar at Pym Test Kitchen that I highly recommend is the Pingo Doce – an Avengers Campus exclusive lemon-line soft drink based upon a movie reference. It’s available from the freestyle Coke machines on either side of the counter in both a regular and diet version.
Pym Test Kitchen also has extra large pretzels, paninis (Pym-inis) and quite a few kids dishes. Breakfast will be served there as well. The morning menu has a lot of dishes that look especially fun.
For now at least, there is overflow seating for Pym Test Kitchen in the queue area for Hyperion Theater, just past Guardians of the Galaxy. This area has some shade as well.
Pym Tasting Lab
Adjacent to Pym Test Kitchen closer to Guardians of the Galaxy is Pym Tasting Lab, where grown-up Super Heroes can whet their whistle. There’s an innovative system that fills beer glasses from the bottom up (see my Instagram stories for a visual demonstration). This will be a fun place for a cocktail in the evening hours for sure.
Taking a cue from the movies where Tony Stark recommends a shawarma joint, this Mediterranean and Middle Eastern inspired dish makes an appearance in the land at a shawarma cart near the entrance to WEB SLINGERS. I tried the standard chicken sharwarma and it was delicious – perfect for splitting as a snack or as a light meal. There’s an Impossible version for guests who don’t eat meat as well as a breakfast version.
For now at least, there’s a second cart located near the extra seating area for Pym Test Kitchen, Shawarma Palace Too, to allow more DCA guests to try the dish. Both of these location are walk up only; mobile order is currently unavailable after the challenges with it opening day.
The final food location is a snack cart near Guardians of the Galaxy that will serve brightly colored themed desserts. Churro lovers will find a variety of flavors of nearly every color of the rainbow. I didn’t get to taste these treats yet, but stay tuned for a further review soon! This location is currently walk up only as well (no mobile order).
Marvel Characters & Entertainment in Avengers Campus
So enough food – let’s talk everything else in the land. Probably the greatest strength of Avengers Campus is the characters and entertainment offerings. The land truly feels alive with Super Heroes. And I saw only a fraction of the characters that will be in attendance when the land opens to the public! As a result, I have high hopes for this part of the experience, especially as public health restrictions loosen and characters can more freely roam and interact.
The more compact layout of the land really does it a service, creating lots of little nooks and crannies that create more intimate experiences with the various Avengers. Look especially for the following shows and character experiences:
- General Okoye and the Dora Milaje training recruits in more than just fighting – talking wisdom, courage, and compassion.
- Dr. Strange at the Inner Sanctum demonstrating the mystic arts. At night, the area will be lit creating a whole new mythical backdrop to experience.
- Spider-Man flying near the entrance to the land in a stunt spectacular.
- Black Panther, Black Widow, and Captain America battling new villain Taskmaster above Avengers Headquarters.
Several characters make their debut in the land, including Ant-Man at The Wasp. Tony Stark’s Iron Man debuts a brand new suit, the Mark 80. The villain Taskmaster appears for the first time. For character fans and completists, the complete list of characters slated to be in the land include:
- Doctor Strange
- Black Panther
- General Okoye and the Dora Milaje
- Black Widow
- Iron Man
- The Wasp
- Guardians of the Galaxy
- Captain America
- Captain Marvel
The land has a few other fun entertaining interactive features, including some cute Instagram walls and photo opps. I didn’t even get to test the options available in the Play Disney Parks app for the land, so I’ll look forward to that on my next trip.
There’s also plenty of merchandise for this new land. WEB Suppliers is the store within the land (there’s also one outdoor kiosk Campus Supply Pod), but it’s small and tight and often runs a long line. Disney is making the same merchandise available – and much more – at the Backlot Premiere Shop in Stage 17 next to Monsters Inc. outside the land. Save your time in the land for the rides, characters, and entertainment, and shop outside of it!
Avengers Campus Tips
So if you are headed to Avengers Campus in the coming weeks and months, what are the tips you need to know? I’ve sprinkled a lot of them in the sections above, but have distilled the essential ones here in one place.
- The only way to ride WEB Slingers: A Spider-Man Adventure is by securing a boarding group in the virtual queue. There is no standby line for now for the attraction. Be prepared for how to get one with my WEB SLINGERS virtual queue guide.
- If WEB Slingers is a must-ride attraction for you, you will have more chances to try for a boarding group for it if you reserve DCA as your starting park for more than one day. I highly recommend purchasing a park hopper ticket so you can also hop to Disneyland later in the afternoon and won’t be stuck doing DCA only on several days of a multi-day vacation.
- Want Avengers Campus food? You need to mobile order from Pym Test Kitchen and Pym Tasting Lab early, and monitor how mobile ordering continues to change, sometimes on a day by day basis, until the kinks are worked out.
- Make time for the shows, characters, and entertainment offering – truly a standout in the land.
Final Thoughts about Avengers Campus
So what did I think about Avengers Campus as a whole? It’s a very solid addition to Disney California Adventure. While we all would hope that the land could open with more than one new attraction, multi-phased openings are pretty much the new normal for Disney. WEB SLINGERS itself is highly entertaining and serves a broader audience than did Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run did when it was the sole attraction that opened with Galaxy’s Edge, so it shoulders the load of being the only new attraction well.
The land isn’t as visually arresting as Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge although its highly detailed with lots of Easter Eggs to explore. The Quinjet atop Avengers Headquarters doesn’t quite hold the star power to a massive Millennium Falcon.
But Disney’s chefs wowed me more than they did at Galaxy’s Edge. The food was innovative and exotic without being so weird that my kids would turn their noses up at it.
And the entertainment team really hit it out of the park. I’m not a Marvel superfan and even I was fangirling seeing Dr. Strange in the flesh and making jokes with a sheepish Spidey after his stunt show. I can’t wait to come back with my kids and see what they think!
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Disclosure: I visited Avengers Campus as a media guest of Disneyland on June 2, 2021. Since I always want to give this site’s readers real world expertise and not just experiences available only to media, rest assured that additional updates are coming to this post soon once the land opens. I’ll be visiting with my husband and kids again in less than two weeks on a family vacation – just enough time for operations to settle into predictable patterns. So come back then and be ready for even more Avenger Campus tips and hacks!