The Marvel Adventure family entertainment centre is the latest of theme-park attractions slated to open in the United Arab Emirates in 2013. Featuring the usual attractions, restaurants and shops, this is a big move for the Walt Disney Company, who has held off on introducing Marvel characters to its theme parks since it bought the comic book company in 2009. The mini-theme park will be part of the City of Arabia entertainment development in Dubailand.
The venture was originally intended to be a full-size Marvel theme park in Dubai, but fears of the global financial crisis caused several Middle East projects, including this one, to be put on halt. Concept art for the original project revealed plenty of roller coasters and thrill rides, along with various other attractions based around characters such as Iron Man, Electro and the Fantastic Four. Three rides had even been announced, including Flying With Spidey, Fantasticar and X-Men: Danger Room.
Now, it appears that these large rides will have to be on the backburner, as Dubai prepares for a much scaled-down version of their initial project. Although it promises to have "interactive entertainment experiences" with Marvel characters, there has not yet been an official announcement as to what these experiences will include, but it is assumed that large rides will not be a part of this mini-park.
Marvel has also been quick to note that the Walt Disney Company is not heavily involved in this project.
"The Marvel entertainment destination is not a theme park, it is a family entertainment center," a recently released statement by Marvel said
In other released statements, it has also become clear that Marvel Adventures will not be the last Disney funded venture to feature Marvel characters in a theme park. In fact, earlier this year Disney CEO Bob Iger said that Imagineering artists were busy working on designs and concepts for Marvel characters in Disney parks "in a few places around the world."
Furthermore, Disneyland Paris executives suggested that a Marvel superhero theme park could be the next large project for the French theme park. Marvel President Kevin Feige has also said that he dreams of the day when he can walk into Asgard’s Hall of Heroes or the X-Mansion at a Disney theme park.
Naturally, Marvel characters are also expected to make their way to the United States theme parks as well. However, it is likely that they would be restricted to appear only in Disneyland or Disney California Adventure as Universal’s Islands of Adventure have the exclusive right to use Marvel characters in Florida, and prohibit the characters to appear at any of the Disney World resort’s four parks.