This week’s SATURDAY SIX looks at Ways Disney Can Introduce MARVEL Characters into the Theme Parks. Yes, April Fool’s Day was yesterday, but believe it or not the this-can’t-possibly-be-real news stories started earlier last week when word started getting out that Disney was considering a Guardians of the Galaxy overlay to the Hollywood Tower of Terror attractions in Disneyland and Walt Disney World. You may be thinking, “No way! That’s insane!” but on the latest episode of the Disney Dish podcast, Jim Hill and Len Testa lay out exactly why Bob Chapek (chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts) at least wanted to explore this very idea.
Guardians of the Galaxy Hotel. (photo by Mike Sperduto)
Bellhop Groot. (photo by Matt Cleary and Mike Sperduto)
Public reaction to the Guardians of the Galaxy overlay was – to put it politely – overwhelmingly negative. In fact, because of the virulent reaction there is almost no chance this overlay makes it to Florida, but never say never when it comes to the Tower of Terror in Disney’s California Adventure. We here at the SATURDAY SIX headquarters were at first taken aback by this idea, in part because the Tower of Terror took first place in our poll on The Greatest Attractions at Walt Disney World. But then we got to thinking. What if Disney did try to think “outside the box” when it came to introducing Marvel characters in the theme parks? More importantly, how could they do it in the cheapest way possible? We think we have some ideas. As luck would have it, six ideas. So sit back, put down your copy of the Spider-Man Clone Saga, and let’s begin our countdown starting with…
# 6 – Howard the Duck takes over Stitch’s Great Escape
Remember how we mentioned that Tower of Terror came in first in our expert’s list of Best WDW Attractions? Well, guess which attraction took first place in our poll on Worst WDW Attractions? You guessed it: Stitch’s Great Escape. What do you get to overlay one of the all time worst reviewed theme park attractions? Why one of the all time worst reviewed comic book movies. Please welcome Howard the Duck. To put into scale how poorly received Howard the Duck’s movie was, consider that the recent Batman V Superman film took a beating by the critics, scoring a miserable 29% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Howard the Duck sits at 14% fresh.
We have to hurry on this one though. Howard the Duck had a cameo in the recent Guardians of the Galaxy movie. When the Guardians team up with the Avengers in the Infinity War (which is expected in either part 1 in May 2018 or part 2 in May 2019), he may be considered part of the Avengers extended family. If that happens, he could become off limits to the Orlando parks thanks to Universal’s contract with Marvel.
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Late this summer, a brand new Marvel blockbuster called Guardians of the Galaxy will hit theaters. To prepare for this huge release, beginning on July 4, guests at both Walt Disney World and Disneyland can catch an exclusive sneak preview, giving them an extended look at this upcoming film.
At Walt Disney World, guests wishing to see this preview can head to the ABC Sound Studio (the former location of Sounds Dangerous) at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. At Disneyland, the preview will take place at the Magic Eye Theater in Tomorrowland (where Captain EO is currently playing. Disney does say Captain EO is expected to return at a future date).
The preview will be shown in 3D at both locations daily. This is similar to a sneak preview that is currently taking place surrounding the movie Maleficent.
Guardians of the Galaxy hits theaters on August 1.