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Marvel Magic at Disney: Military Vacation Idea

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In this article, we dig into Marvel Avenger offerings at Disney resorts. It may be a great vacation idea for military service members! As of 2020, Avengers Campus is open at Disneyland, so we’re asking before your kids do: have booked a visit yet? With great military discounts at lodging resorts, this is a great family trip that you can take during your next block leave!

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Fans of Marvel Comics, animated Marvel movies and TV shows and Disney’s Marvel Cinematic Universe probably won’t want to leave, once they’ve arrived. Like most productions of el reino del ratón, it’s been in the works for a long time, so the wow factor for first-timers should be high.

A Disney Parks blog post from Marvel Global Portfolio Creative Executive Scot Drake made the first official announcement to the world:

“There was an idea. To bring together a group of remarkable people, to see if they could become something more.

It was called the Avengers Initiative.

That original idea has now evolved into a brand-new global Avengers Initiative. One that brings us—the next generation of remarkable people—together. To find our power and become something more. To see if we can work alongside the Avengers so we may all become stronger together.

The Stark Expo in Hong Kong was to be a first step: A world exposition whose theme of ‘A Better Tomorrow Today,’ was meant to inspire and motivate through technological innovation. However, shortly after it opened, the Expo was attacked by the forces of Hydra. When even more powerful forces threatened the entire planet, the Avengers realized that the Earth needs more heroes.

So today, to better defend the planet, the Avengers are setting up new Headquarters and technology sharing exchanges around the globe to empower and inspire all potential recruits willing to step up and become heroes.

In California and Paris, Tony Stark is retrofitting two of his father’s Stark Industries sites into new hubs for training and innovation. Through partnerships with S.H.I.E.L.D., Pym Technologies, Masters of the Mystic Arts and the new Worldwide Engineering Brigade, The Avengers and their allies will forge new global campuses to champion the next generation of heroes. Who’s ready to answer the call?”

If you’re not getting dogpiled by little people in Hulk- and Avengers-themed PJs demanding that you take them, parents, rest assured that you will be.

Your children will probably want to go as well. But in the meantime, you should probably start locking the door at night: Those pajama-clad neighbors shouldn’t be wandering in.

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Infinity War

Eons ago, as the universe was still cooling, a pulp magazine publisher named Martin Goodman started the company we now know as Marvel Comics in 1939. Looking to capitalize on the growing popularity of superhero comic books, Goodman launched Timely Comics. The first comic book produced by Timely was Marvel Comics #1, published that October: it featured the Sub-Mariner and (a strangely orange-werewolf-looking cover rendition of) the Human Torch.

By 1941—during what’s often called the “Golden Age” of comics—Timely Comics introduced the world to Captain America. Echoing the sentiments of most Americans, cap is depicted as punching Hitler across a room. Timely’s characters were often portrayed as fighting the Nazis and the Japanese even before the United States officially entered World War II. The classic comics lineup of characters known and beloved today as the Avengers; Tony Stark (AKA Iron Man), The Hulk, Black Widow, Thor, Hawkeye, Vision, and Ant-man would emerge decades later.

The amazing fantasy world is known today as the Marvel universe was unveiled by Goodman in 1961, when he commissioned writer Stan Lee and artist Jack Kirby to create the Fantastic Four. With the release of Fantastic Four #1, Lee and Kirby took things in a bold new, more modern direction. Instead of following sometimes laughably overpowered comics tropes, in November of 1961, they introduced readers to superheroes who had real-world problems and issues. Instead of focusing 100% on how a perfect super character would just happen to beat another bad guy (that everybody knew that he would), these heroes had rent to pay, character flaws… and sometimes even personality conflicts with each other.

Marvel Comics exploded faster and further in the early 1960’s, introducing a seemingly never-ending flood of new heroes, villains, and realistic supporting characters. Before long, Spider-Man was swinging overhead, the Incredible Hulk was a smashing success and the X-Men began their rise to popularity. The rest, as the saying goes, is history.

Numerous cheesy or just-plain-embarrassing attempts preceded the dawning of what we now know as the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Areas of YouTube are a sort of graveyard memorial to the craptacular creations filmed in the 70’s and 80’s, alone. The lamest of them were outmoded in an instant, however, with the release of “IronMan” in 2008. Recast as Tony Stark, former Hollywood (rehab) headline star Robert Downey, Jr. was catapulted back into tinsel town’s big leagues by his charismatic breakout performance. Just as fans rooted for Tony Stark to beat his sometimes disastrous alcoholism in the comics, it was good seeing Downey get back on the horse(in and out of character), too.

The world was captivated. The Walt Disney Company announced a deal to acquire Marvel Entertainment for $4.24 billion, the shareholders voted on December 31, 2009, and the Disney-Marvel merger was approved. The Net was rife with mocking caricatures of Mickey-Mouse-logo-wearing Marvel superheroes heralding what some Marvel Comics fans assumed to be the doom of superhero films. Others insisted that it would be a good thing, but nobody really knew how it would pan out.

By the time “The Avengers” premiered in 2012, it was clear that Marvel movies were becoming every bit the juggernaut that the comics were famous for being. Talk of Marvel’s plans for an entire cinematic universe began to be taken much more seriously (and eagerly). Now, 3 more Avengers movies—and multiple Marvel character-centered films—later, with who knows how many films currently in the works, a theme park seems like the next logical step.

Marvel Avengers, Assemble!

Similar to what Disney has done with Star Wars in developing their Galaxy’s Edge theme park lands, Avengers Campus involves immersion and roleplaying. Downey fans will be delighted to learn that a multimedia version of his Iron Man factors insignificantly.

“The idea is that Tony Stark has come to the D23 Expo to showcase the Global Avengers Initiative, which is the Avengers Campus in Disneyland California—and the campus in Disneyland Paris, as well as his partnerships with the Worldwide Engineering Brigade and Pym Technologies,” said Caroline May, Walt Disney Imagineering’s Creative Director.

Avengers Campusat Disney California Adventure occupies the area that previously housed A Bug’s Land, which closed on September 5, 2018. Disney announced at the 2017 D23 Expo that the Guardians of the Galaxy would be joined by Spider-Man and the Avengers as part of the new immersive Superhero area at the park. According to Disney, this is just phase one of their superhero-themed area. A 1994 contract with Universal Parks & Resorts prevents the Walt Disney Company from using the “Marvel” name in the area name or attractions. We don’t expect to see many tears over it, though.

The Spider-Man ride sits on the former site of the“Tough to Be a Bug!” attraction.“Guardians of the Galaxy — Mission: Breakout!” fits in well alongside “Tony Stark’s Worldwide Engineering Brigade,” which features Spider-Man in a brand-new suit. The Collector’s Warehouse retail shop has also been added as a part of Hollywood Land. Slated future additions include “Doctor Strange: Journey Into The Mystic Arts,” another Spidey attraction, and another Avengers attraction. Hungry visitors should be able to dine at the Pym Test Kitchen restaurant, as well.

Disney World Lodging for Military

Disney’s official hotels trounce their off-premises counterparts with proximity to their parks that are unbeatable, but this convenience doesn’t come cheap. Military personnel can get discounts of 30-40% off, but if your budget still won’t cover it, we’ve been there and we’ve got you: While staying at a regular motel can mean more time spent driving and then parking yourself (as well as longer walks), it should reduce the bite on your wallet.

There’s also a third option if you’re headed east: Shades of Green is an Armed Forces Recreation Center (AFRC) in Orlando (within the Walt Disney World complex). They offer affordable room rates and discounted tickets for all Disney venues. They also have complimentary bus transportation to the parks and ticket center (in addition to offering the Extra Magic Hours perk).

It’s no sin if you’re not a Marvel fan, either. Even starry-eyed folk who grew up on the comics may need a breather after a while. That’s why we suggest considering the 3- and 4-day park hopper deals. These packages facilitate a buffet approach to the Magic Kingdom, the Animal Kingdom, Blizzard Beach, and more. You can visit one area, hit another… and then go back and forth from Avengers Campus as much as the mood strikes.

Shades of Green sells park hopper packages, though we don’t recommend waiting until you’ve gotten there to buy them. The same deals can also be purchased at your military installation’s ticket office. One word of warning, though: these tickets can’t be used in combination with another promotion or discount. You’re also limited to six tickets and they’re not valid on certain blackout dates, so it’s a good idea to check your desired destination’s schedule before making any purchases.

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