The Walt Disney Company recently had its 2016 annual shareholders meeting, and while discussing the various Disney parks and attractions, the question came up about Marvel's implementation into future plans.
The specific question, asked by Matthew Hanson, was "what is the status of the rights to use marvel characters in parks east of the Mississippi? Do we know when those rights will revert and allow Marvel to be used at Walt Disney World?"
I have pondered that same question myself at times, wondering when Disney World would have giant Helicarriers next to its teacup's ride. Unfortunately, it doesn't look like that is going to happen anytime soon according to Bob Iger.
"The rights that we do not have to Marvel east of the Mississippi and prevent us from doing certain things in Orlando with the Marvel characters and franchises are I believe in perpetuity. There is nothing imminent and there isn't an expiration date to my knowledge. We have from time to time talked about, whether there was a negotiation to be had that would expand our rights to that, but there isn't anything active at the moment."
That kind of issue has become synonymous with Marvel over the last few years. Since the Disney acquisition, they have managed to get multiple licenses and characters back into their exclusive possession, but this one it seems may be a long way off, as I don't suspect Universal Studios is letting that go anytime soon.