A few months ago, Disney announced plans for a new Marvel Studios-themed dining experience coming to the Disney Cruise Line. And on Monday, it was revealed that the experience, titled Avengers: Quantum Encounter, will feature appearances by the actual Avengers themselves. Brie Larson (Captain Marvel), Anthony Mackie (Captain America, formerly Falcon), Paul Rudd (Ant-Man) and Evangeline Lilly (The Wasp) will all reprise their MCU roles for the experience, which is set to debut aboard the fleet’s newest ship, the Disney Wish (sailing next summer). Stars who were able to film new material while on the set of other Marvel Studios productions, assemble.
According to the official announcement on the Disney Parks Blog, the actors will “be featured on-screen throughout the restaurant.” In addition to Larson, Mackie, Rudd and Lily, Kerry Condon will reprise her role as cheery virtual assistant F.R.I.D.A.Y. and Ross Marquand will provide the voice of Ultron. James Spader voiced and did performance capture for the character for 2015’s “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” but Marquand recently stepped in for the Marvel Studios animated series “What If …?” and will be reprising the role here. Apparently there is at least one more superhero who makes a surprise appearance, but that announcement is forthcoming.
The official announcement said the show “will follow Ant-Man and The Wasp as they host a presentation of the most powerful Super Hero technologies in the world, including a hands-on demonstration of the latest and greatest Pym Tech. But when Ultron turns up with an army of robot sentries eager to take control of this world-changing technology, Ant-Man and The Wasp will need all the help they can get to save the day – calling on Captain America, Captain Marvel and even the brave diners of the Disney Wish for back-up.” Earlier announcements made it seem like in addition to appearing on the screen, the costumed characters would be moving throughout the restaurant.
Bringing this ambitious production to life required Disney Imagineers (the artists and engineers responsible for all of Disney’s theme parks and Cruise Line ships) to “specially designed the restaurant with immersive cinematic technology, including hundreds of screens and special effects embedded throughout.” The official announcement, written by Disney Imagineer Danny Handke, also notes that post-production is being done on the filmed show elements at the same time that the ship is being completed. But no pressure, no pressure at all.
These kinds of filmed elements have become more commonplace in theme park attractions, including in the queues, and have unique significance in the attractions based on the Marvel Studios properties. James Gunn filmed all of the ride and pre-show elements for Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission – Breakout! at Disney California Adventure during production of “Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2” (and he recently said on social media that he had begun filming show elements for Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, coming to EPCOT at Walt Disney World in Florida next year). Likewise, Peyton Reed filmed Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lilly for Ant-Man and The Wasp: Nano-Battle! at Hong Kong Disneyland. And Tom Holland recently reprised his role as Peter Parker in a queue film for WEB Slingers: A Spider-Man Adventure, which opened earlier this year at Disney California Adventure. “Spider-Man: No Way Home” director Jon Watts was involved in the production of that shoot.
Avengers: Quantum Encounter marks the first time that multiple characters from different franchises will appear in the same experience – and for a dinner show, no less! There are plans for a full-fledged Avengers attraction at Disney California Adventure’s Avengers Campus area, although the status of that attraction remains unclear after a fairly heavy layoff last year and a recent announcement that Walt Disney Imagineering would be relocating to Florida for tax purposes leading to even more layoffs and resignations. We should know more about that attraction (and many others) at next year’s D23 Expo in Anaheim. Until then, maybe it’s time to start looking at booking that Disney Cruise you’ve always wanted?