Disney may not be able to integrate its main Marvel characters like Spider-Man, Iron Man and the Incredible Hulk into its theme parks, as long as they're being featured at Universal Studios' Islands of Adventure, but it's still found a unique way to introduce them at its resorts: cruise ships.

The company has created an "Avengers Academy" on board its Disney Magic cruise ship that's designed to resemble the interior of the S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier seen in "The Avengers," and features props like Iron Man's suit, Captain America's shield and Thor's hammer.

Captain America will also become the first costumed character featured at a Disney property, and only appear on board the ship. It also has plans to turn four other characters into "captains."



Designed for 3- to 12-year-old children, the "Avengers Academy" will be one of four areas designed for kids as part of Disney's Oceaneer Club on the Disney Magic. Others are designed around "Pirates of the Caribbean," "Toy Story," "Pixie Hollow" and Mickey Mouse Club.

"Storytelling is at the heart of everything we do," says Joe Lanzisero, senior creative vice president for Walt Disney Imagineering. "Walt Disney was a master storyteller and knew how to engage people's emotions into stories. Our job is to take what we learned from Walt and apply it to the experiences on board our ships."

Timing of the revamped kids club comes as Disney XD is airing new animated series "Marvel's Avengers Assemble" and "Marvel's Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H."

New area is also part of the recent overhaul of the Disney Magic, which first set sail in 1998. It can carry 2,400 passengers.

Other updates include a new grand atrium lobby, a three-story water thrill slide and spa, as well as updated restaurants and larger cabins.


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