Disney’s King Thanos Dark Ride Unveils Reality-Jumping Vehicle

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Reality-jumping vehicle concept art for the King Thanos dark ride (©Disney)

With the Avengers franchise becoming an ever more important factor in Disney theme parks, a new dark ride based on the Marvel Cinematic Universe is currently in the making for the Californian Disneyland Resort. At last year’s D23 Expo, the spot where Walt Disney Imagineering shows the developments on current projects, a dark ride based on the Avengers villain King Thanos was announced. At this year’s D23, being held last weekend in Walt Disney World, imagineers revealved the ride vehicle for this new experience.

The Avengers already made their way to the Disneyland Resort, with the Avengers Campus in Disney’s California Adventure which opened in 2021. The campus already includes two dark rides based on Marvel protagonists: Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: Breakout! and WEB Slingers: A Spider-Man Adventure. With King Thanos, a third ride will be added to the area, this time themed around one of the series’s antagonists.

With the new dark ride, Disney focuses on adding a ride that brings Marvel’s Multiverse to the parks. The multiverse, a setting which allows for time travel and alternate realities, has become increasingly important in the most recent phases of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The King Thanos ride is based in such an alternative reality. In the films Avengers: Infinity War (2018) and Avengers: Endgame (2019), the Avengers battle against the odds to fight, and eventually defeat Thanos. The new dark ride, however, is based on an alternative reality in which Thanos, here known as King Thanos, won this battle.

As mentioned at the D23 Expo by Kevin Feige, head of Marvel Studios, guests of the new ride will be “able to battle alongside all the foes from everywhere and “everywhen“”. To allow them to do so, the Imagineers came up with the new Reality-jumping ride vehicles. According to the backstory, the design and functions of these vehicles are a combination between Tony’s Starks timesuits with Xandarian jumppoints and Wakandan technology. This combination enables guests to experience both manouvering through the skies and portal jumps. Note that the ride vehicles for Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind have also been described as ‘Tony’s Starks timesuits with Xandarian jumppoints’.

The new reality-jumping ride vehicles have a capacity of 12 guests, sitting in three rows of four. The vehicle shares a resemblance with the vehicles shown last year for Peter Pan Never Land Adventure, a dark ride under construction at Tokyo DisneySea, but it is unknown whether these are the same. For both rides, it is rumoured that the vehicles feature motion-based movements similar to the Oceaneering-vehicles used for rides like The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man.

Peter Pan ride vehicle model – (© Laughing Place)