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  1. #1

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    Aug. 24, 2012: Marvel Super Hero Island

    Universal’s Islands of Adventure opened May 28, 1999. My first visit was in early 2000. I snapped some photos with a disposable camera.


    Eleven years later, I took new photos of the same subjects. In this photo comparison, you’ll see how little has changed at the park’s Marvel Super Hero Island.




    Please discuss it here.
    Werner Weiss
    Curator of Yesterland, featuring discontinued Disneyland attractions

  2. #2

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    Re: Aug. 24, 2012: Marvel Super Hero Island

    So I wonder how long it will be before Disney decides they're willing to pull up in Universal's drive way with a dump truck full of money and ask for Marvel's toys back?

    At this point it's clear that they're more focussed on the film/TV side of things and getting the film rights to characters like Spider-Man, Fantastic Four, or the X-Men is probably a higher priority than theme park stuff, but you know that some exec at the Parks and Resorts branch of Disney is looking at the box office numbers from The Avengers and daydreaming about how much money that would make at the parks.

  3. #3

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    Re: Aug. 24, 2012: Marvel Super Hero Island

    Disney doesn't need to give any money to Universal, they just have to point out that the Marvel properties have been kept to the same standard that they had when they opened, and point to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter to show how that it is no longer “operated and maintained in a first class manner consistent with the highest standards of the theme park industry.”

    There is precedence for this: when a sports team gets a new stadium they usually sign a contract that says they'll stay as long as the property is maintained to the highest standards that stadia can be held to, and as soon as any other team gets a new stadium that is the new highest standard, and the last one built is no longer the highest standard, and the team can move:

    State-of-the-Art Clauses in NFL Stadium Leases: If You Build It, Will They Stay?

  4. #4

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    Re: Aug. 24, 2012: Marvel Super Hero Island

    I got some 1999 pictures I can add to the mix.

    Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man




    Peter Parker's Office.



    Hulk Coaster from Port of Entry.





    Doom's Fearfall.



    A cool mural ofBlack Panther, Captain America, Ant-Man and She-Hulk.


  5. #5

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    Re: Aug. 24, 2012: Marvel Super Hero Island

    Quote Originally Posted by Freddie Freelance View Post
    Disney doesn't need to give any money to Universal, they just have to point out that the Marvel properties have been kept to the same standard that they had when they opened, and point to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter to show how that it is no longer “operated and maintained in a first class manner consistent with the highest standards of the theme park industry.”

    There is precedence for this: when a sports team gets a new stadium they usually sign a contract that says they'll stay as long as the property is maintained to the highest standards that stadia can be held to, and as soon as any other team gets a new stadium that is the new highest standard, and the last one built is no longer the highest standard, and the team can move:

    State-of-the-Art Clauses in NFL Stadium Leases: If You Build It, Will They Stay?
    The Marquette Sports Review article about the state-of-the-art clause in stadium contracts is very interesting. Thank you for bringing it to my attention (and to the attention of the readers of this thread).

    Marvel Super Hero Island at IoA must be "operated and maintained in a first class manner consistent with the highest standards of the theme park industry," and, at this time, I think it would would be hard for Disney to make a case in court that Universal is not doing so. The language in the Marvel agreement does not call for the pinnacle of theme park design or absolute state-of-the-art.

    The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man was upgraded with state-of-the-art digital projection this year. The whole land is clean, well-maintained, and reflects well on the Marvel brand. Yes, it's not the Wizarding World at Harry Potter, but Marvel Super Hero Island is operated and maintained at a level consistent with Disney's own theme parks — which most people would say represent "the highest standards of the theme park industry."

    I know it's counterintuitive, but having Marvel at IoA really isn't that bad for Disney. It means that a competitor is paying licensing money to Disney, selling licensed merchandise, and effectively promoting movies from Marvel Studios. Disney makes money with no capital expense or operating expense. It provides another reason for people to travel to Orlando — and most of those people also go to Walt Disney World.

    Disney is free to do what they want with the Marvel characters at the Disneyland Resort and the Disney destinations overseas.
    Werner Weiss
    Curator of Yesterland, featuring discontinued Disneyland attractions

  6. #6

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    Re: Aug. 24, 2012: Marvel Super Hero Island

    It really is a shame that Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios Florida were allowed to remain so unchanged for so long and essentially stagnate. The upgrades to the Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man are spectacular and even the under-reported new character costumes look great.

    Not to derail too much, but with the state of Walt Disney World, I think Disney would be hard pressed to argue that Universal is not properly representing the brand. Maybe if Disney had bought Marvel a few years sooner a case could have been made, but not now, Universal is serious about theme parks. Also, if Disney was serious about reclaiming the sold off Marvel theme park rights, I think they would have started with the Dubai project. That project was comatose and, while it is now smaller in scale, it was recently revived while remaining a licensing deal still without the input of any part of Walt Disney parks & Resorts, including Walt Disney Imagineering. I think a near-dead project would have been a lot easier to stop than an existing project owned by another large company.

    Quote Originally Posted by Werner Weiss View Post
    Disney is free to do what they want with the Marvel characters at the Disneyland Resort and the Disney destinations overseas.
    That may not entirely be the case. The deals for Universal Studios Japan (The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man) and Madam Tussaud's London (Marvel Super Heroes 4D) have not yet been posted around the web.

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