Iron Man lands in Tomorrowland as Long Lost Friends bring Limited Time Magic to Disneyland

Written by Andy Castro. Posted in Dateline Disneyland, Disneyland Resort

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Published on April 15, 2013 at 5:05 am with 35 Comments

About Andy Castro

Andy is a Southern California native, raised with Disneyland and a life-long fan of Disney theme parks and animation. Andy writes the weekly Dateline Disneyland column, which can be found every Monday on MiceChat.

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  • Trumpet

    Great Update Andy

    Personally, Innovations should be replaced with an IronMan attraction, as something needs to be done with Tomorrowland.

    Thanks Again Andy


  • Ravjay12

    It’s nice to see Disney trying out the Marvel thing in Tomorrowland. The response has been overwhelming for a walk thru attraction. Maybe a Marvel themed Tomorrowland would be a great thing for Disneyland. Universal has proven movie franchises make the best attractions.

    It’s good to see Mark Twain get some love. It looks really clean and new.

    As for the windows on Buena Vista Street? People need to see what merchandise is in the store to draw them in, including myself. They should do a better job placing the merchandise better, but I can see why it was done. Maybe next time they’ll have the Imagineers design the windows with the merchandise department so it won’t be such a mess.

  • markwcricket

    Classic window displays have been an enticement to get customers into a store, and seasonal merchandise would always lead the way. The old department stores had it down pat, planned and stocked. BVS is the perfect opportunity to do just that, but they have screwed it up. Retail is easy if you have what people want, Disney seems to think people only want what they have, and the success of Cars and HM merchandise might suggest people want unique. What’s being done to the Hillbillies is a shame, hopefully if the park doesn’t want them, just admit it . If they do, give them their home back. A ‘Woody’s Round-Up” show at the BTR could be real fun, and draw in lots of guests, and include the Hillbillies real easy. Thanks for the update.

  • Justonedream

    I avoided looking at the detail photos of BVS before visiting. I wanted to be surprised. Boy was I!!! The window displays all caught my eye besides me not even knowing what to look for. The new ones are autrocious. Especially the Big Top Toys. Who designed this? Was there any effort in this whatsoever? It looks completely haphazard. What anything careful or intentional? It is like some random kid’s closet full of plush. I would at least expect each toy to be proportiional to their respective bases. Or to have some focal point of some sort instead of a field of crap?

    I liked what someone said about Walt putting show before sale. I know in my heart that he truly believed this. Walt would sacrifice making money for the sake of the work and final product. The changes in these windows serve as a devestating reminder of the blatant commercialism Disney hhas come to personify.

    For those saying that these windows are a small detail that no one will notice: What is the point of setting your standards so low? The American experience, wether it be the products we have made, the cities we have built, or the great customer service standards of the past, has been built on an eye for detail. This is what sets apart experiences. It is what elevates something that is forgettable into artistic, and emotionally affecting.

  • JCSkipr79

    Decorating paper airplanes and having a flying contest???!?? I expect ghetto stuff like that at WDW but not at DL and certainly not DCA. And the Buena Vista St. drama proves once and for all that Disney will NEVER surpass Uni on any front because Merch DISDAINS themeing and any effort WDI puts in.

    • MrTour

      I bet they tried to pull off the paper airplane gig without proper safety masks and protective gear! CAL OSHA or someone is surely out to get another fine out of this!

    • Westsider

      The paper airplane story got around the Resort fast via Facebook and the KCML Shuttle. The opening Lead at Soarin’ came in to work Saturday and was told “Your ride is closed today”, so he came up with the paper airplanes on his own to help keep things fun with his CM’s and Guests in front of his closed ride. It wasn’t meant to replace going on Soarin’, it was merely a way to soften the blow for an unplanned closure that no guest would have known about in advance. Matterhorn set out a lone pin trader, and Space Mountain did absolutely nothing but put up ugly barricades and have their CM’s talk amongst themselves. I think DCA wins on the way to handle a sudden closure of an E Ticket on a Saturday morning. Out of curiosity, since you’re a former CM, if you were the opening Soarin’ Lead that day, what would you have done?

  • jcruise86

    Thanks again, Norm!

    I strongly disagree with this:
    “the Iron Man Tech exhibit is a notable contrast to and a lot more fun than anything else featured in Innoventions.”
    What about the other metal biped, ASIMO?
    And my seven year old has loved some of the video games and (in the past) the Peter Pan storytelling. And there is one area with benches so I can read while she checks out of some of the really boring stuff.

    I LOVE the Carousel of Progress & wish that would come back. Maybe hosted by the Starks.

    • jcruise86

      Oops! I meant “ANDY,” not Norm.
      Sorry, Andy!

  • StevenSokulski

    I think you’re missing some info on the scheduled Matterhorn closured. They are closed Tuesday – Friday this week and next week, but remain open for the weekend. It is also worth noting that the closures here were scheduled weeks ago and appear unrelated to the recent DOSH citations.

  • eicarr

    Iron man is the coolest thing I’ve seen in DL park in a LONG time for teen and adult males. I hope they take note at the draw Marvel is to this important spending demographic willing to also buy expensive Marvel merchandise.

    Saw ride closer coverage on KPIX CBS and of the 4-5 park guests interviewed outside the gate, only one was angry and all would rather see the rides shut down than risk employees’ lives.

    I just walk past BVS shops because I can never tell what they sell inside from their windows. It’s ok at the emporium since regulars know it sells everything in one giant open space.

  • BC_DisneyGeek

    Does DOSH know about the paper airplanes? You could take an eye out with those things.

  • DisneyanaFan

    Thanks as always for a great update.

    One minor correction: The Billy Hill and Hillbillies show is still in the Golden Horseshoe – saw them there last week and they are listed as playing there the next couple weeks on the on-line Disneyland Resort Schedule. They sometimes play outside between acts.

    • I’m glad to hear that Billy Hill and the Hillbillies are back to performing in the Horseshoe! Thanks for the correction and thanks for reading!


  • scarymouse

    Now if they can only get the Ironman suit to level the building its currently housed in , Now that’s an attraction I’d line up to see!

  • Illusion0fLife

    Ergh, the Buena Vista Street windows have become such a frustrating series of events. I might be able to resign myself to the changes if they didn’t have to go and screw with it every couple months. The fact that marketing is obsessively changing the displays seems to indicate that the changes so far have not led to a noticeable increase in sales, why then would they think the 20th time will produce any sort of different result. The definition of insanity and all that…

    The news about Disney Animation is absolutely devastating. Animators like Nik Ranieri and Ruben Aquino are responsible for some of my favorite film characters of all time (animated or otherwise). Iger is proceeding to make the *exact same* mistakes Eisner made, and it’s disgraceful that we’re having to go through this all over again. And what of Lasseter? He’s gone on record in the past saying that quality storytelling is what matters, not whether a film is hand drawn or animated with a computer, yet according to this he’s got his hand in this issue just as much as Iger does. The whole thing is just immensely depressing.

    On a lighter note, I’m happy to say that the Iron Man exhibit looks neat. Certainly not something I’d spend an hour waiting in line for, but for fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (myself being among them) it looks like something that would be fun to see. I know you and I differ on this point, but I’m hoping the positive reaction to this opens the door for a well themed Iron Man/Avengers attraction centered around the Stark Expo.

    Thanks for another great update, Andy. Looking forward to next weeks.

    • The only explanation for them thinking that ANOTHER redesign of the window displays is that they’re desperate and trying anything they can. Unfortunately for Disney, I don’t think the situation will improve until they get merchandise in those stores that isn’t available in countless other shops throughout the Resort. More and more people are wanting more diverse, unique merchandise offerings and Disney is dragging its feet meeting the demand. The tie-dye tourist souvenir t-shirts, 2013 logo hats and gaudy sweatshirts aren’t cutting it anymore!

      Thanks for reading!
      - Andy

    • xboxtravis7992

      Yeah, cutbacks on traditional animation is not a good sign. Hopefully the laid off workers take a page out of Don Bluth’s playbook and start making 2D animated films which take a cut out of Disney’s market share, forcing Disney to be competitive again; that is the only way we will see a 2D animation revival.

  • Tinkbelle

    No Touring Plans today. Did your partnership with them end?

    • We continue to be big fans of Touring Plans, but yes — our sponsorship and content partnership with them is taking a break for the time being.

      Thanks for reading!

  • DisWedWay

    Yes the roof tiles are definitely looking better and more fantasy like at Fantasy Faire with the variation of colors and final clear coat. They really looked like formica before. Hopefully maybe it’s time to bring Carousel of Progress back to Disneyland’s Tomorrowland with a new final act in the not too distant future. Seems like a lot of guests have mentioned they would like to see it again and show their kids who have only heard about it. Your photo of the Big Thunder entrance sign really shows off those out of period gas station lights from the 1930′s. The hooded Dietz lanterns that were always there before looked great and were in period for the 1880′s as the stamp mill reads in front. I believe Walt Disney World Big Thunder still has the Dietz lanterns on their sign.

  • Coheteboy

    The Iron Man poster you posted is actually exclusive to Annual Passholders for the sneak preview. From Saturday onward, a standard Iron Man 3 mini poster was distributed.

    • Ah, thanks for that correction. I wasn’t aware that the posters would be different.

      Thanks for reading