Doctor Strange is coming to Walt Disney World. You may be asking “Doctor who?” To which I respond, “No, not Doctor Who. Doctor Strange.” Steven Strange first appeared in Marvel Comics in 1963. He was an arrogant medical doctor who, after a tragic accident, lost the use of his hands. He searches the globe looking for a way to heal his hands and encounters the Ancient One who then teaches Strange to become the Sorcerer Supreme.
Doctor Strange is coming to theaters as the next installment of the Marvel Cinematic Universe on November 4, 2016, starring Benedict Cumberbatch in the titular role, but if you’re in Disney’s Hollywood Studios (or Disney’s California Adventure) you can get a sneak peek of the movie starting October 7, 2016. Head over to the Walt Disney: One Man’s Dream attraction to catch the 10-minute preview.
Related to this is an interesting rumor floating around the internet. It seems Disney is auditioning for someone to play the Sorcerer Supreme in a possible Meet and Greet which raises a question: Isn’t Disney not allowed to use Marvel characters in the Florida parks because of contractual obligations with Universal?
This is a question I started asking when they held a Guardians of the Galaxy preview in Disney’s Hollywood Studios in 2014. Then they hired a couple of people to be Starlord and Gamora during the Villains Unleashed party that year. Interestingly, this was not a normal character interaction for Disney Parks. They walked around and mingled with the crowd, but there wasn’t an official Meet and Greet. There was no line for pictures, and they didn’t sign autographs.
That, plus the fact that there is a Marvel-themed store at Disney Springs, starts making fans wonder…what’s in that contract with Universal anyway?
The content is kind of muddled up, but basically no one (including Disney) is allowed to use certain Marvel characters in their theme parks on the East Coast. Most of these characters are in the Avengers family or the X-Men family covering most of Marvel’s most popular characters. Prior to 2010, Disney had no reason to think bringing the Guardians of the Galaxy into the parks would be a good idea. Then the movie became a surprise hit, and Disney decided to take a second look at that contract. It would seem that obscure characters like the Guardians and even Doctor Strange are not a part of the agreement, and Disney is free to use them. They seemed to be testing the waters with the unofficial Starlord and Gamora, and when that went over well, they decided to move forward with other plans, like the Super Hero Headquarters store and possibly bringing in Doctor Strange as a Meet and Greet character.
This is exciting news for those of us who are Marvel fans, but remember, for now, the Meet and Greet is just a rumor.
Would you like to see more Marvel in Walt Disney World?
Chris grew up during the Disney renaissance of animation and took his first trip to Disney World when he was ten. Even though he has loved Disney his whole life, his obsession didn’t start until he began planning a trip for his honeymoon. Right now, his primary job (at least the one that doesn’t pay the bills) is to indoctrinate his daughter with his love of Disney while at the same time convincing his wife to move to Orlando so he can become a tour guide in the parks.