Disney California Adventure finally became a full day park for me when The Mad T Party arrived (although it was almost there with ElecTRONica). However, the influx of all the wonderful new entertainment options for the Summer of Heroes has finally brought me another excuse to want to spend many hours in this park instead of Disneyland Park!
I had a busy day recently checking out most of the new sights and even a few of the new bites! So after that, here are my thoughts…
I first started off in the Hollywood Backlot where I wanted to take the quiz at the Hero Action Center to find out which super hero I’m most like! Similar to all those social media quizzes, I picked the answers on the provided tablets that I most closely related to and wound up with Thor! (Now, while that may be pretty accurate, for the record, I’m still #TeamLoki!) After your identity is selected, a Cast Member gives you a sticker representing your super hero as well as a free comic book. I took the sticker, but skipped the comic as I didn’t want to carry it around all day. Still, freebies at the park always equal awesome!
Next, I noticed there was some kind of Super Hero Showcase going on in the Sunset Showcase Theater. Honestly, I’m not sure what’s in there, but I’m guessing it’s the Marvel equivalent of the Path of the Jedi clip show that started in Tomorrowland for the Season of the Force. I skipped that one, too, since I’ve already seen the movies and I’d rather spend my time at the parks doing unique park things.
As I was leaving the Hollywood Backlot area, I found Black Widow was out at the end of her “Heroic Encounter” before she headed back to S.H.I.E.L.D. headquarters, so I took a quick pic while she was there. But I still wanted to see the entire Encounter later that day.
My next stop was to buy some “I Am Bread” – yes, Groot face-shaped bread! There are two versions of this being sold – I opted for the regular sourdough (sold at Fairfax Market in Hollywood Land) rather than the Jalapeno Cheese. I’d heard these can sell out during the course of the day, so I wanted to grab some early. Plus I had plans for it and couldn’t start eating it quite yet…
Next up: the show I was most excited to see – Guardians of the Galaxy: Awesome Dance Off! Now, this show is actually two events in one. First is the Dance Off with Star-Lord and Gamora appearing in person to dance along with audience participation. Then at the end, Groot arrives and sticks around for a Meet & Greet for about 15 minutes. Since I wound up really loving the Dance Off show (and will give it its own more in-depth show spotlight at a later time), I actually went to it three times that day! The first time was to get a sense of the show. The second time was to get in line for Groot (more about this in a moment). And the third time was to enjoy and film the show (link to that video at the bottom of the page)!
As noted, the Dance Off show won me over immediately – in large part due to the true awesomeness of Star-Lord and Gamora. However, I learned from trying to get in line for the Groot Meet & Greet afterwards, that due to the current size of the crowds – at least on the day I went – it’s better to go to one set to just watch the show and then arrive just prior to another set to get in line to meet Groot.
Here’s where the I Am Bread came in, as he wanted to photobomb Groot!
As you can probably tell from the pictures – Groot is HUGE! I’m sure he’s even taller than Chewbacca – but they both give great hugs so don’t be afraid to ask for one!
While waiting in line to meet Groot, the Heroic Encounter: Black Widow experience began so I could see it from the start.
Mousertainment Tip: If you want to watch the whole procession, stand near the Tower… err… sorry, the Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission: BREAKOUT! building. Black Widow starts her walk from the gate just to the left of the attraction.
I watched her walk for a bit then jump onto her S.H.I.E.L.D. transport (a seriously cool truck) for the rest of the trip to the Hollywood Backlot. Over the loudspeakers you can hear Tony Stark giving her mission parameters. You also hear him speaking when she’s leaving the Backlot area after the Meet & Greet there. This was great atmosphere and a lot of fun and brought more live entertainment energy to the area!
After the Groot Meet & Greet, I needed a snack but wasn’t quite ready to tear into the bread yet, as there was another themed item I really wanted to try – the Angry Little Pudding Cup!
Available at Award Wieners, this chilled yummy treat was mixed layers of chocolate pudding and whipped cream with Oreo cookie crumbles on top and three of the new Funnel Cake Fries stuck in it for even more texture. Now, first off, I’ll say I’m not a big funnel cake or churro fan, however, these were a fun fried treat just to get a taste of (and if you like funnel cakes or churros, I’m going to guess you’re going to want to try the separate serving of just these bites with the Quiver of Funnel Cake Fries also available for sale). But the pudding with cookie crumbles was delicious! Winner! And having something that’s chilled and sweet on a hot day was just perfect as an alternative to ice cream.
There are a lot more food offerings out there to try for the Summer of Heroes – ranging from tacos to nachos to donuts – but the two I bought were the ones I was most eager to taste. More on the Groot bread later…
After enjoying my snack, it was off to go watch the Avengers Training Initiative. Now, my first quibble with this is the location. This area – the former Diamond Mad T Party dance stage in the Hollywood Backlot – was way too small for the amount of people who wanted to watch it. Especially, since they had the benches out, which actually cuts down the amount of people who can fit in the audience as opposed to the floor in front with chairs and tables behind set-up for the Jedi Training in Tomorrowland.
As expected, this show (which I may do a more in-depth spotlight on later if I decide to go see it again) is the Marvel equivalent of that Jedi Star Wars experience. Little ones sign up earlier in the day for a chance to participate in the show. Black Widow and Hawkeye appear, along with some S.H.I.E.L.D. agents to help train the young ones and do some stunt fighting. But overall, it wasn’t quite as much fun as the Jedi version. Maybe because a bunch of kids tossing Cap’s shield against a robot isn’t as impressive as wielding light sabers against the Dark Side villains. But if you have little ones who are Marvel fans, I’m sure they’d get a kick out of doing this. As a lone adult watching, it’s not as much fun – especially with not enough seating, so I had to stand in the back for the whole show.
After this, I was ready to go back and enjoy the Dance Off one more time – still fun! And then it was time to tear into my I Am Bread.
Which was… a great disappointment. I found it dry and a bit stale tasting (although I was told all of the bread had been baked fresh that morning). However, I was expecting sourdough bread that tasted like the magnificent bread I’ve eaten at the Pacific Wharf Café with their soups – or sampled as freebie bites on the factory tour. That wasn’t what I got. Instead this was the hard, dry consistency of breadsticks on a flat panel of bread. I wound up stopping to get butter to slather on it to soften it up and that helped me get some of it down, but I didn’t even finish it. This one for me is a big “not again”. If I want sourdough at the park, I’ll stick to the Café soup or salad bowls!
In all, I had a great day checking out the Summer of Heroes events. I am definitely making the Dance Off a new regular stop and I’ll probably be back to visit the Meet & Greets again.
Mousertainment Tip: Don’t forget, along with the new Summer of Heroes Meet & Greets with Groot and Black Widow that Spider-Man and Captain America are still meeting daily across from the Hyperion Theater!
Check out some video of the Awesome Dance Off! here on the Mousertainment YouTube Channel
What have you most enjoyed or are most looking forward to checking out during the Summer of Heroes? And are you planning on trying any of the new themed snacks?