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New Disney Wish cruise ship delights fans with Marvel, Star Wars and Frozen experiences

New Disney Wish cruise ship delights fans with Marvel, Star Wars and Frozen experiences

A look at Ant-Man and the Wasp at inside the Worlds of Marvel experience on the Disney Wish.
A look at Ant-Man and the Wasp at inside the Worlds of Marvel experience on the Disney Wish. Photo by Disney

PORT CANAVERAL, Fla. — The worlds of Marvel, Star Wars and Frozen are coming to life in a brand-new way aboard the Disney Wish cruise liner.

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Fans travelling on three- and four-night adventures out of Port Canaveral, Fla., will be treated to new dining experiences, one of which casts them in the middle of the Marvel universe alongside Ant-Man and the Wasp.

Part of the Worlds of Marvel attraction, Avengers: Quantum Encounter finds guests interacting virtually with Ant-Man (Paul Rudd) and the Wasp (Evangeline Lilly) as they demonstrate the tech behind Pym Particles. But midway through their playful banter, the villainous Ultron shows up to try and steal the technology. As Ant-Man gets a helping hand from his fellow Avengers, including Captain America (Anthony Mackie), Captain Marvel (Brie Larson) and newbie Ms. Marvel (Iman Vellani), diners get involved to help save the day by using a Quantum Core, which grows and shrinks objects virtually.

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It’s a storyline that was co-scripted by Loki and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness writer Michael Waldron and features a joke inspired by the “Thanus Theory”.

The premise posited that the superhero could have killed Thanos in Avengers: Endgame by shrinking himself down and sneaking into the Mad Titan’s butt before exploding him as he grew to Giant-Man size.

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“Let me address the elephant in the room. There’s a lot of chatter out there asking why I didn’t shrink down, go in, and uh… kill Thanos in a really creative way,” Rudd’s Scott Lang says. “First of all: gross. Secondly, it’s much more complicated than that …”

Lilly’s Hope van Dyn cuts him off telling Lang that they don’t have time for his explanation and their Pym Tech presentation quickly continues before chaos ensues.

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“Ant-Man and Wasp felt like the most natural presentation hosts. There’s a humour in seeing them onscreen, so it made a lot of sense to choose them as a way into this story,” Imagineer Danny Handke tells the Sun in an interview. “Then later in the final act, we have a big battle break out on the top of the ship and they call in some friends, including the Sam Wilson version of Captain America, Captain Marvel and Ms. Marvel. It becomes this really amazing seven-minute sequence that has these amazing in-house lighting effects.”

Ant-Man and the Wasp greet diners inside the Worlds of Marvel aboard the Disney Wish.
Ant-Man and the Wasp greet diners inside the Worlds of Marvel aboard the Disney Wish. Photo by Disney

Quantum Encounter isn’t tied to the MCU, but acts as a part of what Handke calls the “theme park universe” that also includes Avengers Campuses in Anaheim and Paris, the Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind coaster at Epcot and Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! at Disneyland.

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“We kind of have our own universe going on that’s adjacent to the Marvel Cinematic Universe,” Handke says. “In our stories, in the [theme] parks and cruise line, the audience is the protagonist. We’re enjoying dinner and we get to be part of the action.”

Actors dressed as Ant-Man and Wasp show up to thank patrons for their help after Ultron is vanquished.

Minnie and Mickey Mouse stand outside the Disney Wish.
Minnie and Mickey Mouse stand outside the Disney Wish. Photo by Disney

As the MCU grows, the experience may change and feature newer characters as the 4,000-passenger Wish continues to sail over the years. And just like the films, don’t be in a hurry to run out right after dessert. A “post-credit” sets up potential future storylines.

Elsewhere on the Wish, the fifth ship in the Disney Cruise Line fleet, fans of Star Wars can enjoy galactic beverages inside the Hyperspace Lounge, which is designed to resemble an intergalactic yacht ship and is billed as the first adult attraction themed to Star Wars on any of Disney’s cruise ships.

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“We got our inspiration from [Dryden Vos’] First Light in Solo: A Star Wars Story,” Pam Rawlins, an executive producer for Walt Disney Imagineering, tells the Sun.

After stepping inside, visitors get a panoramic view of the galaxy designed by Industrial Light and Magic and displayed on digital screens behind a bar stacked with libations. Famous ships like the Millennium Falcon, TIE Fighters, X-wing starfighters and the Halcyon from the Galactic Starcruiser at the Walt Disney World Resort whiz by as we also make hyperspace jumps past planets like Batuu, the Moons of Endor, Tatooine, Mustafar and Coruscant.

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“We have very authentic background music that includes scores from all the Star Wars films as well as The Book of Boba Fett and The Mandalorian,” Rawlins says.

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Gearing an attraction to adults specifically happened because it was something Disney found guests asking for on other cruises.

“All of our ships have a Star Wars presence in the kids’ areas, but the grownups would want to know, ‘Where’s my Star Wars experience?’ They were asking for this … so we wanted to take it to a sophisticated level. We’re on a yacht class ship.”

Guests can sip on Star Wars-inspired drinks or one of George Lucas’ wines from his Skywalker Vineyard in Napa Valley. During the Sun’s visit, attendees were buzzing about a $5,000 Kaiburr Crystal drink with social media posts showing the refreshment being served up in a droid-inspired container.

“I don’t know what spies you’ve been talking to,” Rawlins teases when asked about the price tag, before passing me a reasonably-priced Temple Twist and a glass of the Chancellor, a drink made up of Hennessy James and Calvados Menorval 1972.

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A glimpse inside the Star Wars: Hyperspace Lounge aboard the Disney Wish.
A glimpse inside the Star Wars: Hyperspace Lounge aboard the Disney Wish. Photo by Disney

Later on, I learn that the Kaiburr Crystal includes a voucher to visit Lucas’ private Skywalker Ranch and other assorted Star Wars goodies.

Of course, while Marvel and Star Wars cater to similar fan bases, the Disney Wish has also put together an interactive encounter for fans of Frozen.

Jumping off from Frozen II, guests are brought into the world of the animated film as they are invited to Arendelle to celebrate the engagement of Kristoff and Queen Anna alongside Elsa and Olaf at a party catered by Oaken.

Frozen comes to life aboard the Disney Wish in Arendelle: A Frozen Dining Adventure.
Frozen comes to life aboard the Disney Wish in Arendelle: A Frozen Dining Adventure. Photo by Disney

Throughout the Norwegian-inspired dinner, patrons are treated to live musical interludes featuring music from Frozen and Frozen II.

Frozen is a beloved franchise and we saw such a great opportunity to bring that to life in a new way onboard the ship,” Jessica Jackson, Sr. Marketing Leader at Disney Cruise Line, tells the Sun.

On the Disney Wish, vacationers can also take a spin on the company’s first attraction at sea, the AquaMouse. The water coaster blasts guests through winding tubes over the ship’s upper decks as short films featuring Mickey Mouse and other Disney characters play inside.

Disney Wish sets sail for its maiden voyage on July 14. For more info, visit disneycruise.disney.go.com

mdaniell@postmedia.com

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