To celebrate the occasion, Disney held an Avengers Campus opening ceremony Wednesday night. Prior to the actual ceremony, the live stream featured a virtual tour of the campus led by Tony Stark’s artificial intelligence assistant FRIDAY. The tour provided a look at the numerous attractions, dining options and other features of the new area.
Josh D’Amaro, Disney Parks Experiences and Products chairman, gave opening remarks before inviting Disney CEO Bob Chapek to join. Chapek spoke briefly of the progress of developing Avengers Campus.
Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige then took over. To begin, he expressed his excitement for the occasion. Feige explained that he loves the Disney Parks, having visited them as a child and also now as an adult with his family. In regards to Avengers Campus, he noted how the place allows for a permanent Marvel set — unlike the ones used for the movies and television shows.
“One of the things that is most exciting to me is that Avengers Campus will never be completed,” Feige said. “It’s a living, breathing space that will grow and evolve as our cinematic universe grows and evolves.”
During the approximately 20-minute event, a few Marvel actors were also in attendance: Paul Rudd, Jon Favreau and Anthony Mackie. Other actors, such as Brie Larson and Paul Bettany, were shown via pre-recorded clips, offering their congratulations and expressing their excitement for the new addition to the Disney California Adventure Park.
Here are some of the best moments from the opening ceremony:
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Spider-Man is Running Late
Favreau concluded his quick appearance at the opening ceremony by presenting Iron Man and his new Mark 80 armor. This led to the reveal of various other heroes — such as Black Panther, Thor, Captain America (Steve Rogers) and Captain Marvel to name a few. They emerge from Avengers Headquarters and join Iron Man outside for the celebration.
However, when Feige takes a look at the group of heroes gathered, he is perplexed and asks if anyone has seen Spider-Man, who is noticeably absent.
It turns out that Spidey has been laying down and relaxing on the roof of the Worldwide Engineering Brigade (W.E.B.). FRIDAY is heard calling Spider-Man to join the ceremony. The webslinger then swings his way to Avengers Headquarters to join his fellow heroes, as FRIDAY notes that he is “only 30 seconds late.”
The tardiness and frantic nature of the moment felt especially true to the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Spider-Man, portrayed by Tom Holland. and showed the dedication Marvel has put into making the environment and characters true to what fans have come to love from the MCU.
Sam Wilson Presents Captain America with the Shield
Once Spider-Man is there, Feige mentioned that the group still didn’t feel complete. To help resolve that, he invited Anthony Mackie — whom Feige referred to as “the real Captain America” — to join him.
As Mackie walked up the ramp to join Feige onstage, he carried a light brown leather circular bag, similar to the one that holds the Captain America shield in “Avengers: Endgame” and “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.”
“When Sam Wilson finally became Captain America, it was a moment that was all about the future,” Mackie said. “A moment where kids of all races can look at Captain America and maybe see a little bit of themselves.”
Following his brief speech, Mackie then introduces the Sam Wilson Captain America to Disneyland for the first time. In a heartwarming meta moment, Mackie unzips the bag, takes out the shield and presents it to the new Captain America.
Simu Liu Grabs Some Shawarma
Although this bit didn’t actually occur during the nighttime ceremony, the stream of the event closed with a clip of Simu Liu, who will be starring as the titular character in “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings,” at one of the shawarma carts at Avengers Campus.
The scene comes in from behind, showing Liu walking up to the Shawarma Palace cart. The vendor hands him a shawarma wrap. Liu takes the food, turns around and gives a quick smile and wink to the camera. He will officially join the Marvel Cinematic Universe on September 3, when “Shang-Chi” is released in theaters.
The inclusion of shawarma carts at Avengers Campus is inspired by the post-credits scene in 2012’s “The Avengers.” Following the Battle of New York, Tony Stark suggests that the Avengers go to a shawarma place he saw earlier, and they do indeed try out the place. The scene has become so iconic that it has even been recreated as an official Funko Pop! set.