I assume you’re well aware of Disney World’s $US6,000 (A$8,117) Star Wars Galactic Starcruiser hotel/high-end LARPing experience. If you’ve been hoping for a Marvel Cinematic Universe equivalent, you’ll have to settle for lunch. But, if it makes you feel any better, it’s surely going to be an extremely expensive lunch, as the “Marvel cinematic dining adventure” called Quantum Encounter will only take place on the Disney cruiseliner Wish.
How does this sea experience compare to living in a hotel where everything looks and everyone pretends they’re part of the Star Wars galaxy? Well, again, this is only for a restaurant on a large ship, so ratchet down your expectations a notch. However, Disney announced Brie Larsen, Anthony Mackie, Paul Rudd, and Evangeline Lilly will be reprising their roles in a special video. Joining forces as Captain Marvel, Captain America, Ant-Man, and the Wasp they’ll fight the evil Ultron (The Walking Dead’s Ross Marquand, who not only voiced the AI in What If but played the Red Skull in Infinity War and Endgame) during your meal.
Obviously, there’s no chance these celebrities would be willing to go on a crowded cruise for god-knows how many days of the year just to do a dog-and-pony show for the masses, but bear with me. It was previously announced that Ant-Man and the Wasp — a helmeted Ant-Man and the Wasp, I suspect — would be doing a presentation of Avengers ephemera and Hank Pym’s particle technology, which will somehow allow guests to shrink and grow things, as seen in this early promo vid:
But again, Rudd, Lilly, Larsen, and Mackie are definitely not setting sail on the ship. So how will their video presences make things feel real for the guests? Here’s how Walt Disney Imagineering Senior Creative Director Danny Handke describes it over at the Disney Parks blog: “To bring this action-packed spectacle to life, we have specially designed the restaurant with immersive cinematic technology, including hundreds of screens and special effects embedded throughout. Filming with the actors has already wrapped and we are now working on the post-production editing and effects.”
If the Disney Imagineers say they can make a cruise ship dining room look like it’s been attacked by an army of Ultron drones, I have to give them the benefit of the doubt; these guys made a functional lightsaber, after all. I’m sure the various screens will simulate the room’s windows so you can constantly pivot your head and try to follow the fisticuffs and it’ll probably look pretty cool. I’ll even ignore the fact that somehow Ant-Man (who certainly will be Paul Rudd when he’s “outside” the ship, and an actor inside the dining room) will somehow need “even the brave diners of the Disney Wish for back-up,” because I understand some people like interactive theatre even though I do not.
Here’s my one issue: how do you convincingly stage an Ultron attack while I’m eating that doesn’t ruin my lunch? Will drinks get knocked over? Will laser blasts be fired? Will Ultron’s minions get into the restaurant somehow? While the dinners next to me get gunned down in the prime of their lives? Or is my chair going to jostle a bit while a widescreen Marvel short plays around me? Take all the time you need to answer, Disney. I’ll never be able to afford this anyway.