Hong Kong Disneyland Previews New Iron Man Experience

Written by Rick Wright. Posted in Disney Parks, Features, Hong Kong Disneyland, Weekend Update

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Published on October 13, 2013 at 3:00 am with 18 Comments

Tom Staggs, Chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, announced that Hong Kong Disneyland will receive the Iron Man Experience in 2016. This will be the first Marvel ride to open in a Disney theme park! Alain Littaye of the Disney and more blog has more… ~~Rick

Iron Man Experience: A New $100M E-Ticket Ride Coming to Hong Kong Disneyland in 2016

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Tom Staggs, Chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts announced that an Iron Man attraction called “Iron Man Experience” will come to HKDL in 2016 as the first Marvel ride to open in a Disney theme park!

Iron Man Experience is supposed to have a cost of $100M. It will also include a photo pavilion with an Iron Man meet-and-greet as well as a shopping area. HKDL is doing very well since the opening of the three new additions – this exclusive Iron Man ride could greatly increase Hong Kong Disneyland’s momentum as “Iron Man 3” took in $121.2 million in China this year. “It’s important for us to have a story for our Hong Kong guests, a little bit of bragging rights that they have something that nobody else has,” said Bill Ernest, the president of Disney’s theme parks in Asia.

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Iron Man Experience will be a simulator ride like Star Tours but with an even more advanced technology. As you can see on the pictures above, the simulator shuttle will have an Iron Man design. The attraction will be located at HKDL Tomorrowland behind the Buzz Lightyear ride and on the left of Autopia, where Star Tours was once envisioned to be built. HKDL has decided to keep the space behind Space Mountain available for future additions – perhaps for upcoming Star Wars attractions?

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Tom Staggs made the announcement at Hong Kong Disneyland in front of an Iron Man wall of armor, but gave just a few details about the ride itself, saying only that it will allow guests to take flight with the superhero as he fights alien invaders – see artwork above – across the streets and skyline of Hong Kong. In addition, a kind-of Stark Expo with Tony Stark inventions will be on display, too, probably in the pre-show line.

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Here is Tom Stagg’s official statement as posted on the Disney Parks blog:

As I’ve often said, one of the greatest things about Disney is the treasure trove of characters and rich stories we have to draw upon for the immersive experiences we provide our guests around the world. With Marvel joining the Disney family in 2009, our character and story base grew even further, and the anticipation for how Marvel comes to life in our parks and resorts continues to energize our guests and Cast.

That’s why it was so exciting earlier today at Hong Kong Disneyland to announce that the very first Disney attraction based on a Marvel character experience will debut in Hong Kong Disneyland. And I’m excited to be able to share some of the initial details with you today about this Iron Man Experience.

Audiences around the world have been captivated by the amazing inventions and innovations of Tony Stark and we’re basing this experience within a piece of the Stark Expo. Located in Tomorrowland at Hong Kong Disneyland, the Expo will allow guests to see firsthand the progression of Tony’s Iron Man suits and many other Stark innovations.

Upon entering the ride vehicle our guests will be able to take flight with Iron Man on an epic adventure that not surprisingly pits Iron Man, and our guests, against the forces of evil. This adventure will take place in the streets and skies of Hong Kong, which will make an even more unique and special experience for our Hong Kong Disneyland guests. In addition, guests will be able to meet and take photos with Iron Man.

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It’s obviously no secret that Marvel’s Iron Man movies are immensely popular, and we expect this experience will emulate the success of our most recent expansion – Toy Story Land, Grizzly Gulch and Mystic Point – all of which have been huge hits with our guests.

We are extremely confident in and committed to the continued growth and success of Hong Kong Disneyland. I’m excited to see Iron Man become a part of that success when we welcome guests to the attraction in late 2016.

I have already made plans to be at Hong Kong Disneyland in 2016 to enjoy the Iron Man Experience, a ride that is sure to be full of thrills!

Where exactly will it be located?

On this concept art you can see something that looks like a dome on the bottom right of the artwork? This is in fact the dome under which you will currently find the giant Buzz Lightyear statue…

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…that HKDL guests can see at the entrance of the Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters ride.

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Now, if you have a look at this picture below, you’ll notice that there is a big space on the left of the Buzz Lightyear statue and merchandise shop…

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This is where the big Iron Man building will be located that you can see on the foreground of the above artwork. The entrance of the ride itself will be located where you can see the trees in the background of the picture above, with the show building located on the other side of the HKDL Railroad track.

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Here is a night shot of how it looks right now with the Tomorrowland Merchandise carts on the left. Imagine that the carts will be removed and instead in this big space and up to the back of the picture you’ll have the building you see on the foreground of the artwork, with the Buzz Lightyear statue on the right. That’s where HKDL guests will start their Iron Man Experience!

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Who Are The Aliens In The Iron Man Experience ?

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If you had a close look to the artwork officially released for the announcement of HKDL Iron Man Experience you probably noticed the strange creatures which seems to be the aliens against whom Iron Man will be fighting. If you didn’t see the rendering, here it is.

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Of course Disney and Marvel fans tried to find who in the Marvel Villains mythology could have inspired the Iron Man Experience creatures. They look very similar to the Hydra Octopus Robots that appeared in the Marvel Animated series.

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Well, they do look very similar with their multi legs looking like tentacles, although WDI seems to have redesigned the mouth and eyes a bit. The other thing which is in favor of the Hydra Octopus Robots is that they can go underwater. And remember that the action of the Iron Man Experience movie will take place in Hong Kong which is an island…

So, can you put your bet on these Hydra Octopus Robots as Iron Man Experience aliens? I think so, and so far they are the closest we’ve found to the creatures that we can see on the WDI renderings… Or they might have served as inspiration for a new kind of villain… But we might have to wait until 2016 to have the final answer!

Pictures: copyright Disney Marvel, Hong Kong Disneyland

About Rick Wright

Rick has been a long term MiceChat author and co-founder of the Weekend Update. You will often find Rick in the position of "Greeter" at official events due to his warm and welcoming spirit. If you've got photos, news or trip reports to share, Rick would love to hear from you: [email protected]

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18 Comments

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  1. More advanced technology than Star Tours? Wow!

  2. Looks awesome, wish it was at Disneyland. Whatever happened to that Avengers attraction Disneyland was suppost to get? Maybe star wars was suddenly available for sale, so they snatched it and avengers went out the window. I still hope their will be a marvel 3rd gate someday….

    • Yep, Marvel rides and land are still scheduled for Anaheim but you might have to wait until 2020. Ican’t confirm it’ll be in a third gate but this wouldn’t surprise me.

    • @Orlando71 — there have been several columns here on MiceChat about this. Iron Man was supposed to go into Disneyland Tomorrowland but then the purchase of Star Wars happened. And Star Wars was chosen to go into Tomorrowland instead.

      I personally think Marvel stuff will be going into DCA instead of Disneyland. Disneyland will get Star Wars and DCA will get Marvel stuff. I don’t think they will build a third gate in our lifetime (mine at least…and I am 39).

      • I think DCA would be a great place for Marvel attractions too, they can’t ride on the back of Carsland forever.

  3. Was the conceptional artwork farmed out? This does not look like it’s up to imagineering’s standards.

  4. I must say, I had my expectations set very low for a Marvel ride because I just didn’t see how a Marvel IP could produce a quality attraction…and this concept art is even less impressive than I expected.

    • Well, i think the Spiderman ride at IOA is a good proof of why a Marvel IP can produce quality attraction, isn’t it?

      • No.. it’s not. I don’t get what the hype is about, AT ALL.. I’ll admit, I’m not a huge comic book fan, but I went on with an open mind to see what the hype was about and still came off the ride completely disappointed. It felt like I was watching a bunch of 3D screens ‘fighting’ a bunch of characters I had no connection with. The car spun a bunch of times, some cool effects happened and the ride was done. Marvel just doesn’t lend itself well to a theme park attraction. Period.

    • @Manifest — It’s funny you said this, because I’ve noticed how Disney gets criticized for almost everything it does while Universal gets always praised. Disney is making a Marvel ride, and you say you can’t see how it will be a quality attraction. But one of the things that Universal fans rave about is the Spiderman ride at Universal…which is a Marvel attraction. It just seems to me that more and more there’s this thing where Universal can do no wrong but Disney can do no right in a lot of people’s minds. I don’t think it’s fair but I see a lot of it.

      • Well I’m not one of those people… Islands of Adventure is an amazing place, but Marvel Super Hero Island is a WEAK link. Don’t even get me started on how bad Spider Man is. Aside from Soarin’ it is without question the most overrated ride around.

  5. I’ve got to say that it is very hard for me to get excited about a simulator ride. On top of the fact that the concept art they chose to release is boring, I’m not wowed. Perhaps the Hong Kong government will pressure Disney for something better.

    This isn’t going to help HKDL compete against Shanghai.

    • Consider the difference between Disneyland and Disney World. Each will have its benefits. You don’t just go to Hong Kong for Disneyland, That would be a mistake. You would go to Macau as well.

  6. I would like to know what is more advanced than Star Tours II with 3D, random scenes, and all digital. What else is more advanced?

    • Where they could have a more advanced simulator ride – if we except a new and smoother generation of simulators – could be to have everything Star Tours have PLUS in-theater effects, like the one they did in Storm Rider at TDS where a missile actually suddenly appear INSIDE the shuttle as well as rain effect, always inside the simulator – yes, it’s really raining upon guests in Storm Rider! It can be others kind of in theater effects but what i’m saying is that we could have at the end something which would be a mix of Star Tours 2 for his digital / 3D / random scenes tech with Storm Rider for its in theater effects…

  7. I’m a big Iron Man fan and can’t wait for this ride. I wonder if it will use the large version of the Star Tours system like in Storm Rider….

  8. The building doesn’t look that impressive at all. That said, I really liked Star Tours 2.0, so I’m looking forward to Iron Man Experience anyway.

    • I thought the building was a KFC