The Disney-Marvel Purchase & Islands of Adventure

Theme Park News

Will Spidey Be Climbing Disney’s Castle? Are the Heroes Leaving IOA?
File this one under: “No one saw it coming”. Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man | Islands of AdventureYesterday, Disney announced that they were planning to buy Marvel for $4 billion. In case you’re not into comics or haven’t been in a theater for the last decade or so, the Marvel brand includes popular super heroes like: Spider-Man, the X-Men, Wolverine, Hulk, Iron Man, and the Fantastic Four. This is big news in the corporate business and entertainment worlds, but also has some interesting implications for the theme park world. Disney has a major competitor in Orlando and L.A. in Universal which has Marvel-themed rides, attractions, and walk around characters.

What Will Happen to Universal’s Islands of Adventure?
Universal Studios Orlando’s Islands of Adventure has been anchored by its most popular section, the Marvel Super Hero Island since it opened in 1999. The technologically ground-breaking Spider-Man ride simulator and thrilling Incredible Hulk Coaster at Islands of AdventureHulk roller coaster have helped to put the relatively new park on the map. So what will happen to the Marvel-themed rides and characters that protect guests from evil-doers? Nothing. Seems a bit anti-climactic, but according to the LATimes Funland Blog visitors to the popular park won’t see any changes.

“Our agreement with Marvel stands for as long as we follow the terms of our existing contract and for as long as we want there to be a Marvel Super Hero Island,” said Universal Studios Florida spokesman Tom Schroder. -LA Times

No changes also in a literal sense. It appears that while the Universal’s Marvel license will protect the current rides and attractions, Disney will likely disallow Universal from adding new Marvel-themed rides. There’s also a weird situation here where Disney will not only benefit from being able to use the Marvel brand in new theme park attractions, but it will also receive licensing fees (generate revenue) from a competing park in Universal. I’ve also heard some buzz around a geographic limitation in the Universal-Marvel license. According to what I’ve read it could keep other Orlando parks from creating Marvel-themed rides. So Islands of Adventure fans needn’t worry anytime soon.

Wolverine - Islands of Adventure

While I love theme parks and roller coasters, I’m most concerned about Marvel’s upcoming movies. Paramount already plans to release the next five Marvel movies: “Iron Man 2”, “Thor”, “The First Avenger: Captain America”, “The Avengers”, and “Iron Man 3”. After that, Disney wants to distribute the movies. If people thought this year’s Wolverine movie was a little watered down wait until the ‘Mouse’ is distributing it. Good thing the Blade trilogy is done. Ugh…. Maybe if they release darker super hero movies under Miramax or Touchstone (also owned by Disney) then they won’t have to make all future releases family friendly.

What’s Your Take?
What do you think of Disney purchasing Marvel? What Marvel characters would you like to see incorporated into Disney parks? Leave a comment below.


  1. Disney just bought Marvel comics… What could this do to disney parks?… AND ISLANDS OF ADVENTURE!

  2. Make it so IOA has to pay disney, snicker, snicker.

    Now back on topic.

  3. where do you live? And disney is just little kid crap. they need at least one real coaster

  4. Nowhere near disney. Never been there. And they do have some- Space Mountain: Mission 2 in Paris, the Rockin’ Rollercoasters, California Screamin’, and Expidition Everest. And I don’t think Disney spends 50 million bucks on crap. If they wanted crap, they’d buy lil’ Renegade.

    Any way, I went “snicker, snicker” because Universal and Disney are in an epic battle to defeat each other. Universal pays for Marvel comic rights. And now because Disney owns Marvel, Universal is paying Disney.

  5. James, Disney is perfect for its target audience and of course its just little kids rides because Disney make family films and its a family park, if people wanted big thrills I doubt Disney would be their first port of call.

  6. This reminds me of the Hanna-Barbera characters who first had a home at the regional Kings parks, then went national with Universal parks, and then were sold to Turner…later Warner Bros. and added to the Six Flags parks.

  7. Disney needs a REALLY REAL COASTER. Not just a show ride, but a real one, like scream!

  8. I'd prefer to go to Universal over Disney world. I prefer their rides. I'd like to see a Dare Devil themed ride and call it dive devil. the ride is a diving machine and it dives off a building, like Dare Devil

  9. I`ve got an idea for a disney ride, an E.A.C coaster, like in finding nemo, youi ride in turtle-like cars as you ride along, the beginning is tame but for the finale, you remember the twisting torflex of terror, right?

  10. I heard that disny is going to re-name some of their rides to the marvel comic theme.

  11. I won't be surprised if Disney cancells Punisher. Both movies have been R, and the Pirates trilogy bordered on R, but the rides Kept them from that R rating.

  12. Oh, I forgot to add that I heard a rumor that Disney will create an all Marvel-themed park.

  13. if disney makes marvel rides in there parks they better be good or it will ruin the reputation. i would have liked to see another marvel themed coster at islands of adventure

  14. punisher. a mafia like ride pops into my head the moment i hear it.

  15. Marvel is my favorite comics brand. I wish six flags had Marvel rather than D.C. The only superhero in D.C. I like is Batman. I think disney purchasing Marvel might incorporate some Marvel themed rides to their parks, but unfortunately the rides probrably wont be very big or thrilling. Nothing ever is with disney. Thats why six flags should have purchased Marvel. Or better yet- CEDAR FAIR! Then six flags would have D.C. and Cedar Fair would have Marvel and the two best amusement park companies would have the two best comic brands. But cedar fair would have the better one. Cedar fair really needs a license on something other than charlie brown. (snoopy) I've noticed alot of cedar's rides arent very well themed.

  16. Everyone seems to forget Disney does have thrill rides. Tower of Terror cannot be ridden by everyone, with its major elevator drops. And as for roller coasters-theirs may not be huge ones but they are thrilling and not very family oriented with 42" min heights. and I have heard talk even before the Marvel purchase that disney wanted to create an all thrill/roller coaster park.

  17. This is the dumbest thing i ever heard of planning to buy marvel for 4 million and ruin what makes IOA the park it is, so disney wants to distrubte spider man and other marvel movies, i can tell you this if they make them cartoons im out.

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