WHAT do a 40-year-old man and a three-year-old have in common at Disneyland Paris?
They both go weak at the knees at the sight of Spider-Man on a rooftop.
I’m at the launch of the Marvel Avengers Campus at Walt Disney Studios Park and Spider-Man is doing backflips alongside Black Widow and Black Panther while my son Harry (dressed head to toe as “Spidey”) squeals with delight . . . as does the father of three wearing a Marvel T-shirt next to him.
Disney has always had a talent for creating “lands” for all ages — it’s not odd to see an older couple enjoying the Dumbo flying elephant ride.
But the new Marvel Land takes it to the next level, as everything apart from the terrifying new rollercoaster — Avengers Assemble: Flight Force — can be enjoyed by everyone aged two to 82.
The Avengers Campus, which has just opened, is the first of three new lands planned in a grand expansion of the theme park.
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The bare bones of the new campus are: two new rides, three restaurants, two food trucks, a meet and greet and a new Marvel store, plus mini open-air shows with the Avengers cast; think Black Widow battling Taskmaster on a rooftop and a Guardians Of The Galaxy dance-off
We began with Spider-Man W.E.B. Adventure, arguably the jewel in the crown of the new land.
It starts with a presentation from Peter Parker (aka Spider-Man) in Iron Man Tony Stark’s lab, where he needs your help catching Spider-bots that are causing havoc.
You’re sent into a machine that takes you on a journey in front of four different screens where, by some incredible feat of modern technology, you appear to sling webs from your wrists to catch the bots.
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The aim of the game is to snare as many as you can and get the highest score.
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We enjoyed it so much we endured the queue three times.
That meant we had to pass the cleverly positioned gift shop a few times, which was crammed full of Spider-Man dolls, masks and costumes.
I’m not usually a gift store kind of girl, but even I couldn’t resist the extra-shiny Marvel merchandise, although I held back from splashing out on the remote control spider-bots and web slinger wrist guards.
Some Disneyland fans may recognise the other ride, Avengers Assemble: Flight Force, as the old Rock ’n’ Roller Coaster.
It’s been revamped as a story about Iron Man and Captain Marvel.
Guests are briefed on their mission by Iron Man in an impressive pre-ride show, before boarding the coaster for the same thrilling, high-speed twists and turns in the dark as the original ride, but with screens playing a battle between Captain Marvel, Iron Man and the Kree missiles.
If you fancy some time on firmer ground, book into the Avengers Training Camp, for a meet-and-greet with one of the Marvel characters.
This isn’t your average meet-and-greet, though — it takes place inside a high-tech training facility designed by Tony Stark himself, which really adds to the suspense when waiting to see your favourite superhero.
There are a range of Marvel characters to meet but our highlight was meeting Spider-Man, who taught my starstruck son the exact motion for slinging webs.
The moment is captured in a 180-degree multi-frame photo, accessed through the Disney photo pass.
We’d worked up a hunger after saving the world, and headed to PYM Kitchen, a buffet of unusually large and small dishes created using Ant-Man and The Wasp’s PYM Particle “shrinking and growing” technology.
I sipped a bright blue glass of wine, while we dined on giant pretzel sandwiches and jumbo dogs, oversized pastablue jelly and bite-sized pecan pie.
This is France, so there was also excellent brie, French fries and shellfish, alongside the American-style corn dogs and devils chocolate fudge cake.
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Fortified, we headed back out and bumped into Thor, who was taking a stroll around the campus.
While the new land only comprises of two rides so far, the entire package on offer allowed us to spend four hours as Avengers and we left feeling like we’d been in another world.
GO: Disneyland Paris
GETTING/STAYING THERE: A two-night stay at Disney’s Hotel Santa Fe at Disneyland Paris costs from £386pp, including access to the Disney Parks for three days and return Eurostar travel via Lille.
See disneyholidays.co.uk or call 0800 169 0737.
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