Right now at Disney California Adventure Park at the Disneyland Resort, guests have the opportunity to immerse themselves in a fun, interactive Marvel experience as part of the limited-time Summer of Heroes. Spoiler, that “limited-time” is this summer.
The Summer of Heroes offers a number of events, all located in the Hollywood Land section of the park, including a new family favorite: Avengers Training Initiative. Parents can sign their young children/future Avengers up for an on-stage training experience with heroes Black Widow and Hawkeye (plus a surprise video appearance from Tony Stark, a.k.a. Iron Man), in which they learn what it takes to become “Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.”
Of course, training to be a superhero can work up quite an appetite (funny enough, watching said training can also make you hungry). Fortunately, “The Most Dangerous Tacos in the Galaxy” are now available on Terra (Earth). In total, there are six different dining locations in Hollywood Land featuring food and drink (some with alcohol) items inspired by super heroes. We were partial to the Groot-shaped “I am Bread,” and the Spider Bites, a cinnamon doughnut that we liked way too much to share (sorry, Spidey).
Speaking of Spider-Man, your friendly neighborhood movie star is available for autographs, photo-ops, and a quick joke or two. He splits time in the meet and greet with Captain America, so one of them is always fighting crime while the other handles crowd control. Being a hero isn’t easy, people (especially when they don’t share their snacks).
We also found a nice spot to take a family photo in front of some trees. I like to call this one, “I am Honea.”
As you may have guessed, the big super hero draw in Disney California Adventure Park, which is NOT a limited-time experience, is the new Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: Breakout! ride (previously The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror). I’ll spare you the suspense. It is freaking awesome. In fact, my whole family liked it better than the last tenant (sorry, Tower of Terror, don’t let the elevator door hit you).
The attraction (above) houses more than 2,200 props from, and inspired by, the superhero universe. We also spotted several items from other Disney worlds, including tributes to the location’s predecessor. There are six ride profiles, each paired with a pop song inspired by the Guardians of the Galaxy soundtracks, all with different drop sequences (yes, it still drops!) and hero action.
Spoiler alert: If you want a spoiler-filled idea of the new Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: Breakout! ride, I highly recommend these hilarious videos from local news outlets. Seriously, they’re too funny.
There is also a Guardians of the Galaxy: Awesome Dance Off! with Star-Lord and Gamora, OBVIOUSLY. Wear your dancing/walking shoes.
We all know that any limited-time event worth its salt will have a plethora of tied-in merchandise, and the Summer of Heroes does not disappoint. There is also a wide array of other Marvel-centric fun for your souvenir collection, including, and I don’t think I can stress this enough, a Howard the Duck plush.
But that’s not all, because of course it isn’t. There are a lot of other new, timely and otherwise awesome things happening at the Disneyland Resort:
- For instance, in Cars Land, Cruz Ramirez has joined the crew of characters cruising around Radiator Springs.
- Meanwhile, over at Disneyland Park, the popular Pirates Lair on Tom Sawyer’s Island has returned and will soon be joined by the Disneyland Railroad, Mark Twain River Boat and Sailing Ship Columbia. The Rivers of America itself features a stunning new addition, the Columbia Gorge, highlighted by five fantastic waterfalls.
- Also, “Fantasmic!” Disney’s longest-running and still my favorite nighttime spectacular, returns with enhanced state-of-the-art projection technology and new scenes with characters from Aladdin, Tangled, The Lion King and Pirates of the Caribbean.
- And last, but not least, but seriously, last, this summer is your last chance to catch nightly performances of Main Street Electrical Parade at Disneyland (through Aug. 20). It’s the perfect Disney parade, and it will go dark soon. Don’t miss it!
Bottom line, the Summer of Heroes is a must-do for anyone that can-do, especially if they have designs on being an Avenger one day. No cape required.
Photos by Whit and Tricia Honea/Family Life On Earth
My family and I were media guests of Disneyland Resort for the purpose of experiencing Summer of Heroes. All opinions are my own.