Hong Kong Disneyland set to debut first Iron Man ride
Don’t get your hopes up, Marvel fans.
The new Iron Man ride coming to Hong Kong Disneyland in 2016 won’t be easily replicated at other Disney theme parks around the world.
The $100-million Iron Man Experience will be similar to Star Tours, a simulator ride based on another of Disney’s tent-pole properties: Star Wars.
Recent updates to the Star Tours attractions at Disneyland in California and Tokyo Disneyland in Japan mean Tony Stark won’t be replacing Darth Vader anytime soon.
Leaked ride lineups for Shanghai Disneyland don’t indicate any Marvel attractions — and Disney officials have said the new Iron Man ride is intended to distinguish the Hong Kong park from the $4.4 billion Shanghai park set to debut in 2015.
And Iron Man won’t be flying into any of the four parks at the Walt Disney World resort in the near future, as Universal Studios maintains exclusive rights to use Marvel characters in Florida.
That leaves only Disneyland Paris, whose executives have publicly pined for a Marvel theme park but might settle for an Iron Man makeover of its “classic” Star Tours attraction.
Disney promises the new Iron Man simulator will be more technologically advanced than the updated Star Tours attractions that first debuted in 2010 with multiple ride scenarios.
The first Marvel ride at any Disney theme park will be built on a location once set aside in Hong Kong’s Tomorrowland for a Star Tours attraction that never materialized. Visitors entering the Stark Expo pavilion will encounter an exhibition of Iron Man suits and other innovations by the man behind the metal, billionaire industrialist Tony Stark.
After entering the red and gold shuttle, riders will fly alongside Iron Man as he battles alien invaders in the sky above Hong Kong. Intrepid online investigators have noted that the aliens in the concept art look remarkably similar to the Hydra Octopus Robots battled by Iron Man.
After exiting the new E-Ticket, visitors will get to meet Iron Man and pose for photos.
Hong Kong Disneyland recently completed a $465 million multiyear expansion that added Toy Story Playland (starring Buzz and Woody), Grizzly Gulch (think Frontierland meets Critter Country) and Mystic Point (a rain forest-themed Haunted Mansion).
The new areas significantly increased the size of the underperforming park, which has lost hundreds of millions of dollars since opening in 2005 and suffered from lower than expected attendance in part because of its small size and lack of marquee attractions.
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