Forget Spider-Man Popsicles or cookies shaped like Iron Man’s mask — Disneyland’s new Avengers Campus is bringing the cuisine of the Marvel Cinematic Universe to life. The new area inside Disney California Adventure, which opens July 18, features an Ant-Man-themed restaurant serving oversized pretzels, gigantic meatballs, and a foot-long candy bar. There are also two new snack kiosks, a tip of the cap (er, helmet?) to Disney fans by way of themed colorful churros, and several homages to on-screen foods including shawarma.
This is food worthy of the top-grossing film franchise of all time, setting a high bar for quick-service Disney dining with items you could see superheroes enjoying on their off time. (Though it is hard to imagine Captain America housing a foot-long homemade candy bar before saving the planet.) The Disney team is still in the “science development phase” and the menus are not yet finalized, so things may change prior to opening day.
At Pym Tasting Kitchen, the land’s main restaurant, a “Quantum Tunnel machine” and size-adjusting Pym particles experiment with food — and drinks at the adjacent Pym Tasting Lab — in a menu bolstered by Disney’s corporate partnerships with Coca-Cola and Impossible Foods plant-based meat.
The Quantum Pretzel, an oversized Bavarian twist pretzel, is Pym Tasting Kitchen’s most iconic item. It comes towering over a side of California IPA cheddar-mozzarella beer cheese. Similar to the park’s other large-scale pretzels at first glance, it clocks in at around 14 inches. Another ridiculously oversized dish, the Not So Little Chicken Sandwich, pairs a large chicken schnitzel with a small slider-sized potato bun, topped with Sriracha and teriyaki citrus mayos and pickled cabbage slaw. The gag, like the short skirt-long jacket of theme park cuisine, is executed brilliantly. (See also: the Caesar salad, served wedge-style with a head of baby romaine, vegan dressing, and a “colossal crouton.”)
The Ant-Man schtick only sacrifices flavor for fun once, with the Impossible Spoonful. It’s a massive vegan meatball served in a comically large ladle-turned-bowl, finished with a teensy fork stuck on top. The idea is great, but the rigatoni and ditalini pasta mix is tossed in a pedestrian tomato sauce that would feel more at home on the kids menu.
An early favorite, the PYM-ini, is served as either a multiportioned mega-sandwich or by the slice like pizza. The focaccia sandwich is filled with two types of salami, provolone cheese, and Fra’Mani ham, along with rice vinegar-based slaw, grain mustard, and a mayo-based giardiniera spread. It also comes with marinara sauce for dipping and a pepperoncini dressing-tossed arugula salad.
Kids can opt for a PB&J Flavor Lab, a deconstructed DIY sandwich served on a cutesy cafeteria tray with “Pym particle” bread, which is decorated with colorful swirls, and a peel-top container of jelly and peanut butter. It’s one of several smaller versions of adult cuisine at the restaurant, like a kid-sized chicken sandwich, mini Impossible meatballs and pasta, and the Teeny PYM-ini.
There are also smaller soft pretzels done Buffalo-style (topped with chicken, blue cheese, ranch dressing, and pickled vegetables) or dressed up like elote (with sweet corn sauce, chile-lime mayo, and cotija cheese) — though only one will debut at opening. Whatever you do, save room for the unfathomably good foot-long Candy Bar, an exceptional high-low play on a Snickers with a chocolate brownie base. You would pray that it wouldn’t turn into a gooey mess in the restaurant’s all-outdoor seating if it were possible to resist immediately scarfing it down.
Pym Tasting Lab, a similar-in-concept bar, will share the same seating area and serve beer-based cocktails and hard seltzers. Drinks will be pre-batched, so don’t anticipate a full bar, but some beverages will come in themed beaker glasses. Specialty cocktails will include the Molecular Meltdown, a marshmallow milk stout with vanilla ice cream and mini marshmallows, and the Regulator, which pairs Golden Road Mango Cart Wheat Ale with Patron Silver, lime juice, and habanero-mango syrup. That beer mug with never-ending refills Thor gets from Dr. Strange won’t be on offer, but a reverse-tap system will recreate a bit of the magic for guests ordering one of the many beers available, while souvenir flights come on serving platters shaped like oversized rulers. And if you’re not already full from next door, a Snack Molecules mix of caramel popcorn, mini-pretzels, peanuts, and Sriracha or strawberry cheesecake-flavored popped sorghum will pair well with the drinks.
The Avengers don’t have much time to snack on-screen while saving half the universe from Thanos, but Disney did incorporate the few iconic eats from the films, like the neon green Pingo Doce soda from 2008’s The Incredible Hulk, which is served in Pym Tasting Kitchen’s Coca-Cola Freestyle machines. And for the gang’s only major on-screen meal, swing by the food-stand version of Shawarma Palace from The Avengers to eat New York’s Tastiest, a warm chicken wrap with garlic sauce, or an Impossible Victory Falafel with hummus and crusted cauliflower, both dippable in a creamy lemon tahini sauce.
Churros are already a favorite at Disneyland Resort, and Avengers Campus will continue that tradition with the soon-to-be-Instagram-famous Sweet Spiral Ration. There’s a bit of magic baked in, and the bright colors won’t always line up to flavors you might expect. Rotating options will be served along with a Cosmic Cream Orb, similar to a raspberry cheesecake pate a choux, at Terran Treats, a new snack stand themed to the nearby Guardians of the Galaxy Mission Breakout! ride.
Adding to the tech-savvy theme of the land, both Pym Test Kitchen and Pym Tasting Lab will utilize Disneyland’s Mobile Ordering feature at launch, meaning you can order lunch with time left over to save the world. Just what a superhero would expect.
Carlye Wisel is a theme park journalist who lives on a steady diet of popcorn and cotton candy.