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Tuesday, July 27, 2021

avengers assemble

so i've mentioned that one of my pandemic goals was to watch all of the marvel movies in order.  super important accomplishment, i know.  but still...with the marvel universe consisting of 20+ movies, that's a shitload of time sitting in front of the tv.  i mean, that's a lot of effort, amirite?  heh.  and i did manage to finish them all off and now i can officially count myself as a pretty big avengers fan.  the old lady watched all of the movies too, although the bean was less interested and only sat through a couple of them with me.

when disney announced that they were remodeling the old bug's land area into avengers campus at california adventure, i really had no interest in it.  but by the time they finally set an opening date, i was all in.  we could see glimpses of it from behind the walls when we visited the park, and there's always some excitement surrounding brand new things at a disney park.  we'd already used up both of our days from the two-day passes we'd bought and reservations were already full for the first week after the unveiling of the new area.

but then i happened to check again one day and noticed availability on the one day that worked perfectly for us to go.  it was after the bean's last day of school, before she started art camp and just under the wire for when california was set to reopen - removing social distancing and some masking requirements, not to mention increasing capacity limits.  and so i went ahead and snapped up tickets and reserved our date, even though we'd just been to the parks a couple of weeks prior.  is there ever "too much disney" for us?  nope.

that morning, we went through the now-familiar routine of getting up at the ass crack of dawn to secure a parking spot at the anaheim hotel.  we headed straight to the resort entrance, and it was way WAY more crowded than it had ever been for us since the pandemic.




we followed the crowds to the avengers campus entrance, where the line was already forming outside.  they were limiting capacity, only allowing new visitors in once others exited.




after hearing horror stories from opening day of lines stretching out all the way back to the pier, we were happy to see that we'd arrived early enough so that our wait to enter was less than an hour.  while we waited, we checked out menus for the new pym tasting lab and pym test kitchen.  both spots accepted mobile ordering for food and drinks, but when we tried to place an order we got this:


oh well.  no biggie.  it wasn't too much longer before it was finally our turn to go in.





spiderman was already out for socially distanced meet & greets and photo ops.


the area isn't really that big, and so there are only two rides in avengers campus - guardians of the galaxy and a newly created spiderman-themed attraction, webslingers.  you can only get on with a virtual boarding pass, like the rise of the resistance attraction at galaxy's edge, and you have to have fast fingers at either 7am or noon to get it.  unfortunately, we were not lucky enough to score one and had to just walk past, gazing at it longingly.



we hadn't eaten, so when we saw the shawarma palace kiosk we got in line to grab some food.





it was still early, so the breakfast wrap was our only option.


and we snickered at the infinity gauntlet drink holders - because do you really want to have to lug that thing around all day long?


while we waited we caught the literal backside of the show put on by one of the wakanda warriors.


the wrap doesn't look great, but it was actually really tasty.  we found a spot near the avengers jeep and did some peoplewatching while we ate.



and there was a photo op area reserved for legacy passholders nearby.  





this is doctor strange's ancient sanctum.  i don't know why, but that sounds either dirty or like an uncomfortable medical condition to me.  i hear this area is really cool at night, but we weren't there long enough to see for ourselves.








as we made our way around campus, we looked up to find captain marvel watching over everyone.




the pym tasting lab just so happened to be available for walk-up orders, so we got in line to try out a couple of the new adult beverages.  don't worry about what time it was.

the menu boards were cute - shaped like phones that beeped every so often with a new text message from one of the avengers.  



the old lady opted for the x-periment: tequila with mango and habanero syrups, topped with mango exploding boba.  mine was the honey buzz - gin with honey and lemon juice and a honey straw.



the bean snacked on some "snack particles" - mini pretzels, honey roasted peanuts and sweet and spicy popcorn.




because the guardians of the galaxy ride is inside avengers campus, that meant that access to it was somewhat limited.  the line was really short, so of course we took advantage as soon as we'd finished our drinks.



there was a second shawarma palace kiosk near the ride's exit, and just beyond that the barriers were set up that marked the end of avengers campus.



we walked through campus again, this time stopping at the web suppliers store.  it's the only souvenir shop in the area.




by then, the wakanda warrior was back out to do another performance.  we got to see most of it this time as we stood in line to order snacks at the pym test kitchen.








look at the "quantum pretzel" - it's bigger than my head!


this was the "choco smash" candy bar - dark chocolate, peanuts, caramel, nougat and a layer of brownie at the bottom.  SO good.



you know what's NOT good here, though?  the proton pb&j punch.  i guess we should've known from the description - lemonade with peanut butter and strawberry flavoring topped with peanut butter-infused whipped cream and peanut butter pretzel spheres.  i know, i know.  but still - we had to try it!  at least now we know.




and with that, we exited avengers campus and walked into cars land to get on mater's junkyard jamboree.  


mickey was out for meet & greets that afternoon.


a little while later, it was time for our reservation at the legacy passholders-only alfresco tasting terrace.






we shared some meatballs and charcuterie:



and the bean had a specialty drink - lemonade with granny smith apple syrup and topped with a wedge of fresh watermelon.


by then, we'd had our fill of disney magic.  we stopped to look in a few of the shops, where we made the old lady model this:


and then we headed on home.  the park was pretty crowded and there wasn't really anything else we wanted to stand in line to ride or see or do, and so that was that.  it'd been a really fun day and we'd enjoyed our leisurely stroll through the new area.  and we'd tried all kinds of fun new treats!  i'd call that a pretty successful disney day.

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