Two things are essential to summer fun: theme parks and blockbuster movies. But I never felt represented in either experience growing up, and frankly, I did not realize how much the absence of diversity mattered. Until this week, when I visited the new Avengers Campus at Disney California Adventure Park, celebrating the superheroes we’ve come to love, Black Panther, Iron Man, Spider-Man and more. The new campus is fit with all the bells and whistles recruits of all ages will enjoy; stem education integration, fun food (with adult spirits available), a super-fun Spider-man-themed ride and that Disney spark.
Now for the magic. My very grown-up heart sputtered a bit when Black Panther’s Dora Milaje made a grand entrance onto the new campus. Beautiful, Black and powerful women commanding the campus with a battle simulation equipped with spears and choreographed moves. At that moment, it dawned on me that I had never experienced Black women celebrated so boldly at a theme park. My mind started dancing with visions of the young girls in my life enjoying the whole presentation of Okoye and her warriors at the landmark Disney campus. It’s remarkable to see us recognized as the heroes we are and warriors amongst the crime fighters we believe in.
The park is massive and does not disappoint in delivering the fanciful Disney experience straight out of a Hollywood movie. The new Avengers Campus is now open to limited capacity, but only for California residents. Out-of-state thrill-seekers will have to wait until June 15 to wear their best Wakandian outfits to save the planet from evil-doers alongside Black Panther, Spider-Man, Captain America and more.