Plans for an Avengers area began many years ago. Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: Breakout! replaced Tower of Terror in May of 2017. At the 2017 D23 Expo, Chapek announced a Spider-Man themed attraction and a future Avengers attraction would be coming to California Adventure to add a more immersive Marvel experience in the parks. A bug’s land closed on September 4, 2018 to make way for the new Avengers Campus.
Construction began and an opening was planned for July 18, 2020. But then COVID-19 happened and the parks closed the gates in March 2020. At first, construction continued and was even a little easier because there were no guests in the park. Then, as coronavirus cases rose, even construction was put on hold. Disney announced that the opening of Avengers Campus was delayed indefinitely.
After workplace safety precautions were developed for the virus, construction was able to continue. Then, there was more waiting, and Disney finally announced they were opening the parks April 30, 2021. With that news, Disney also announced a new opening date for the long awaited Avengers Campus; on June 4, it would open to the public.
With a lot of restrictions still in place, many wondered if Disney would wait to open Avengers Campus. Typically new lands and attractions are used as a pull to get more people in the parks. With Disneyland having been closed for almost 14 months, they don’t need a new land to get people to visit. And with California’s limits on capacity, they can’t have as many people in the park. So why would Disney decide to open a new land if it can’t really get more people to visit?
Opening Avengers Campus opens more space to put people. If you add more acres and attractions to the park, it means your park capacity can go up. Disney does have to limit capacity to 25%, so California Adventure will “fill up” with fewer people. Adding the new area will let a few more thousand guests in at a time.
It also encourages guests to visit California Adventure. So many people have missed going to Disneyland and they really want to experience the magic. California Adventure, while fun, doesn’t have the same nostalgia Disneyland has. The reservation calendar for April shows how much people prefer Disneyland; most of the days are full for Disneyland, but still available for DCA. So by opening Avengers Campus soon, it encourages guests to visit on multiple days and spend some time at both parks.
But this is still a balancing act. Disney wants more guests in the park (for the revenue), but they also want to use the novelty of a new themed land to draw guests back to California Adventure. Delaying the opening just a bit will allow them to have a revenue surge when the parks open, and a second surge when Avengers Campus opens.
It also gives the company some time to work out some bugs with Disneyland Resort’s COVID-19 protocols. They can use a lot of the principles they’ve learned by running Disney World during the pandemic, but those lessons need to be taught to an entirely new team of cast members. Especially for attraction operators, that’ll take some practice. By waiting until June, Disney has some time to work out the kinks before showing off their newest attraction, restaurant, and immersive environment. If most of the problems are taken care of, Avengers Campus can open with great reviews that aren’t clouded by concerns of COVID-era restrictions.