In only a couple of weeks I’ll be off on an adventure with Disney Cruise Line and Marvel Day at Sea! Therefore, this seems like an excellent time to refresh my memory on the characters of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. If you want to be up-to-date on the characters that will specifically be appearing on Marvel Day at Sea, then the films on this list will introduce you to everyone you’ll be able to meet on this awesome day at sea – and you can make your own Marvel Day at Sea Movie Marathon!
Now, if you’d like to get into the Marvel Cinematic Universe as a whole and want to be ready for Avengers: Infinity War when it comes out this May, I’ve also included other films that could be considered ‘optional’ as far as Marvel Day at Sea is concerned, but that you’ll want to see if you want the whole story. If you’re dedicated and want to marathon the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe, one film a week starting this week would allow you to finish all of them before Infinity War is released in May.
Much of this is my opinion on the films, so I’m sure some will disagree, but if you’re just wanting an introduction to the characters, or a refresher on the specific characters you’ll see on Marvel Day at Sea, this list should serve you well.
Iron Man (2008) – This is the movie that kicked off the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and for the first time guests are able to meet Iron Man on Marvel Day at Sea.
Optional: The Incredible Hulk (2008) – This is considered the origin film for the Hulk in the MCU, although Bruce Banner is played by Edward Norton instead of Mark Ruffalo. It’s worth including if you want to conquer the entire MCU in your marathon.
Thor (2011) – The first Thor film introduces its title character and his mischievous brother Loki, who also continues to be important throughout the film universe. This film also includes our first glimpse of Hawkeye.
Optional: Iron Man 2 (2010) – If you’re only trying to get a general introduction to the MCU this film isn’t required, though it does contain the first major appearances from Black Widow and Nick Fury and starts laying the groundwork for the Avengers, as well as the first appearance of War Machine.
Captain America: The First Avenger (2011) – This film introduces the background of Steve Rogers becoming Captain America and fighting against Hydra with his friend Bucky Barnes and the Howling Commandos. A lot of this background ties into later stories significantly.
The Avengers (2012) – The movie that brought all of them together! If for some reason you’re short on time, you can get away with starting with this film, as it does give short introductions to each of the Avengers within the film, and if you already know a little about each of the Avengers you can dive right into this film without too much trouble.
Optional: Iron Man 3 (2013) – Continuing the adventures of Iron Man, and one of my favorites of the Iron Man films, but if you’re having an abbreviated marathon it’s not absolutely necessary to understanding later events.
Optional: Thor: The Dark World (2013) – Same as Iron Man 3, although this one does include a plot point that eventually leads to Infinity War, and you’ll want to see this in order to understand what’s happening at the beginning of the third Thor film.
Optional: Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014) – It hurts me a little to call this optional because it’s my favorite of all the MCU films, but for the purpose of preparing for Marvel Day at Sea it is not required. This one does include a great plotline that is important for later films, as well as the introduction of the Winter Soldier and Falcon.
Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) – Very different from many of the other MCU films with its irreverent humor, Marvel Day at Sea will feature several characters from Guardians of the Galaxy. It’s also a must-watch for the purposes of getting ready for Infinity War.
Optional: Guardians of the Galaxy 2 (2017) – A fun follow-up to the first film, though all the characters you’ll see on Marvel Day at Sea were introduced in the first film. Its ending does lead right into Infinity War.
Optional: Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015) – While this film does introduce several new characters such as the Scarlet Witch and Vision, it isn’t required as far as Marvel Day at Sea is concerned. It does set up the situations that will lead into later films.
Optional: Ant-Man (2015) – This is a fun and funny film introducing characters that will participate in later films, though it isn’t strictly required to understand what’s going on during Marvel Day at Sea or in later films.
Captain America: Civil War (2016) – This entry feels more like an Avengers film due to the sheer number of characters, and sets the stage for where most of our characters are at as we head towards Infinity War. It also introduces Black Panther, who will be appearing on Marvel Day at Sea, as well as Spider-Man.
Doctor Strange (2016) – Doctor Strange is taking a large role in Marvel Day at Sea with a special stage show, and he will also be appearing in Infinity War, so this is the best option to get to know him and his story.
Optional: Thor: Ragnarok (2017) – A change in tone for the Thor movies, this isn’t required viewing for Marvel Day at Sea, though it does set up where Thor and Loki are at going into Infinity War.
Optional: Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017) – Spider-Man is on both Marvel Day at Sea and in Infinity War, though he gets a good introduction in Captain America: Civil War. This movie is fun if you want more Spider-Man.
Whether you’re getting ready for an adventure on Marvel Day at Sea or are just getting a marathon ready before Avengers: Infinity War opens, you can refer to this for the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
To start your own adventure with Marvel Day at Sea on Disney Cruise Line, contact Elizabeth@theaffordablemouse.com.
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