Anyone walking into my office would determine quickly that I am a Marvel fan. For record, my fandom evolved from comic books. Very recently, as I discussed with a group of teens at the church I attend, I read actual comic books. Yes, I follow the Marvel Cinematic Universe. However, my appreciation for Marvel dates before that time. Perhaps, this explains my adoration for Marvel Super Hero Island at Universal Orlando.
Marvel Super Hero Island serves Marvel comic book fans well. Yet, this land confuses Marvel movie fans. In an awkward type of custody agreement, Disney and Universal Orlando “partner” as theme park guardians of Marvel. Back when Marvel was going bankrupt, they sold large portion of their company in terms of rights. If you are a Marvel Cinematic Universe film buff, then you know Marvel Studios has been forced to work around not having rights to certain characters. The Disney megalith has been patching this back together. However, the infamous Marvel theme park contract with Universal Orlando has no end date if Universal continues to pay the rights fees. This awkward relationship means Marvel fans on east coast will have to visit Universal’s Island of Adventure for most of their Marvel fun.
Good news, Universal Orlando creates excellent character interactions for guests. Now, these Marvel interactions feature a limited number of Marvel character due to theme park contract. In addition, these interactions have gone through significant adjustments since the park closed to the virus.
These exchanges between guest and Marvel character returned slowly. They started off as very distanced photos. Guests could take photos but while wearing masks from a distance.
After some time, guests were allowed closer, and they could take photos with masks removed. Slowly, guests photo spots moved closer to the Marvel characters. Most of these photos spots happened at a stage near boundary between Marvel Super Hero Island and Toon Lagoon.
Recently, the character interactions evolved again. Over last few weeks, Marvel characters have been returning to photo locations throughout Marvel Super Hero Island. Guests were allowed closer. We have not returned to being able to stand next to Captain America asking to hold his shield yet. Also, the Marvel character dining remains temporarily closed according to Universal Orlando.
Related to this, the Marvel Boutique reopened with a new purpose. Previously, this tiny store located next to artwork of Dr Octopus trying to steal a pretzel offered specialty clothing and accessories. Several month ago, this store location closed. Now, this location converted to an indoor Marvel character photo spot. In this location now, a dedicated photographer takes your picture. Previously when Marvel characters roamed free within the land, guests might have to take their own picture. That issue disappears with this adjustment.
So far, Marvel characters rotate within this photo area. Still, Marvel characters sometimes appear on the streets of Marvel Super Hero Island available for photos also.
What does this change mean? Good news, if you desire photo with a Marvel character, guests basically guaranteed to get one now with less effort. Bad news, these experiences lack spontaneity that used to happen before March 2020.
If you are a Marvel comic book fan like me, these characters play their part very well. Now, Spiderman offers guests photos at his own dedicated indoor area on other side of Marvel Super Hero Island. Based on history, guests encounter Captain America, Wolverine, Rogue, Storm, Cyclops, Dr. Doom, and Green Goblin within Marvel Super Hero Island. We expect them to rotate through the new photo spot. With this new set-up, guests should experience better photos while avoiding the Florida sun. Universal Orlando operates well with character interactions so feel free to enjoy on your next trip.
Pirates & Princesses (PNP) is an independent, opinionated fan-powered news blog that covers Disney and Universal Theme Parks, Themed Entertainment and related Pop Culture from a consumer's point of view. Opinions expressed by our contributors do not necessarily reflect the views of PNP, its editors, affiliates, sponsors or advertisers. PNP is an unofficial news source and has no connection to The Walt Disney Company, NBCUniversal or any other company that we may cover.