A Look Back on the Summer of Heroes at Disney California Adventure

Summer of Heroes Entrance Sign Disney California Adventure

Let's take a look back on the Summer of Heroes promotion at Disney California Adventure. This promotion ran through the summer of 2017 and it represented the first significant permanent Marvel presence in any Disney theme park around the world.

Even though it was entirely based around Marvel superheroes, you won't see any references here to the company that made all the heroes. Due to contracts with Universal made before Disney bought the company, Disney is not allowed to use the word Marvel in any of their parks, even for advertising purposes.

One of the main activities for this promotion are meet and greets. The preexisting Spiderman and Captain America meet and greet got some new popularity, as well as the park adding chances to meet Black Widow and Hawkeye, who come into the park on an Avengers jeep.

Black Widow Disney California Adventure Summer of Heroes

They would then use that jeep as a backdrop for their meet and greet in the shade of the Spiderman/ Captain America meet and greet.

Thor Character Disney California Adventure Summer of Heroes

Thor would also wander the land, but he would not pose for photos or sign autographs.

There was also an attempt at a Marvel-themed version of the classic Jedi Training Academy, but it wasn't that good or popular.

There was a lot of merchandise for this event, but there was also some free items given away daily as part of the event. If you took an Avengers personality quiz, set up in the center of Hollywoodland, you would get a free sticker for the Avenger most like you, and a free Disney Parks themed Marvel comic.

The main attraction of this promotion was the then brand new Guardians of the Galaxy Mission: Breakout. This opened along with the promotion along with the Awesome Dance Off, and they remained as the only parts of the festival that stayed open after the seasonal event.

This might not have been the best seasonal event Disneyland has ever run, but it was the first attempt at bringing Marvel superheroes to life in the Disney Parks in a real way. The lessons learned from this event will likely be applied to the Marvel-themed lands coming to Disney California Adventure, Walt Disney Studios, and Hong Kong Disneyland.