How Disney Is Incorporating Black Panther Into The Parks

Black Panther has become one of Marvel's biggest movies and it's happened nearly overnight. With that sort of success, you want to strike while the iron is hot, so you can be sure Disney will be looking to translate big screen success into theme park attendance. While we shouldn't go expecting construction on a Black Panther ride at Disneyland to start immediately, Disney CEO Bob Iger recently hinted that such a thing could very well happen down the road. Until then, we have the Black Panther character meet-up to enjoy and the expectation of a lot more Black Panther merchandise. Regarding that theme park attraction, though, Bob Iger recently hinted that a Black Panther ride is very much on the table, saying...

No. We haven't had a chance to build a ride, though I'm sure there are people who are working on it

Bob Iger also confirmed during the investor conference call at the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media & Telecom Conference that more Marvel material was on the way to Disney Parks in California, Europe, and Asia, though no specifics were given. It's long been rumored that a new land dedicated to Marvel was being planned for Disney's California Adventure, the park across the plaza from Disneyland. With the first Marvel ride, Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission - Breakout now constructed on the edge of where that land is expected, it seems likely, though it has never been confirmed by Disney Parks. It's a safe bet that if Disney's Imagineers weren't considering a Black Panther attraction for that space before, they certainly are now.

Before we get the Wakandan Vibranium train roller coaster, one place we can expect to see to more Black Panther in Disney parks is inside the gift shops. Bob Iger says that when Disney realized watching an early cut of Black Panther that the movie was going to be something special, it reached out to its retail partners to amp up the merchandising arm of the promotion. If Disney did that with its partnerships, you can be sure it also did the same thing internally. People are going to want shirts and hats and toys to celebrate the character. Iger fully expects Black Panther to be Disney's 12th billion dollar franchise. It's very nearly done that at the box office already, and when merchandising numbers are included it's very likely already there.

This is especially true because Black Panther is currently a character you can meet and get a photo with at Disney's California Adventure. Lines were nearly three hours long on the character's first day in the park and Bob Iger said on the conference call that lines are still regularly over an hour long. It takes longer to get a picture with Black Panther than it does to get on most rides.

Black Panther is something people like, and Disney Parks are all about bringing the properties people love to life. Expect to see more of Black Panther in Disney theme parks over the next several years.

Dirk Libbey
Content Producer/Theme Park Beat

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian, Dirk began writing for CinemaBlend as a freelancer in 2015 before joining the site full-time in 2018. He has previously held positions as a Staff Writer and Games Editor, but has more recently transformed his true passion into his job as the head of the site's Theme Park section. He has previously done freelance work for various gaming and technology sites. Prior to starting his second career as a writer he worked for 12 years in sales for various companies within the consumer electronics industry. He has a degree in political science from the University of California, Davis.  Is an armchair Imagineer, Epcot Stan, Future Club 33 Member.