Will HKDR's New Iron Man Experience Replace DLR's Star Tours?

November 3, 2016, 11:48 AM

With Star Wars Land to open in the near future at Disneyland, will Star Tours remain in Tomorrowland or will it be replaced with the new Iron Man Experience from Hong Kong? Both are motion simulators with the same ride vehicles (with only aesthetics differences) and size footprint within their parks. If not Iron Man, maybe a Big Hero 6 or Wall-E motion simulator attraction?

Replies (8)

November 3, 2016, 3:33 PM

About the only thing I think it is safe to say for sure is that Star Tours will not be simply converted into the Iron Man Experience. Disney wishes to keep Marvel in DCA since it skews toward a slightly older audience just like the park does. How long Star Tours remains following the opening of Star Wars Land is to be determined, but I highly suspect it will be replaced before the 70th anniversary as Tomorrowland will supposedly be getting a long overdue overhaul at that time. Whether a new simulator attraction or something completely different occupies that space is anyone's guess at this point.

As for the Iron Man Experience, from various things I've heard this is going to be one of the attractions in Marvel Land (though plans can always change this far out). It will not be the same as the Hong Kong attraction, but it will be a similar type of ride. If Star Tours is replaced with something else, the simulators could potentially be relocated and reused for the new attraction, but given their age that may or may not be cost effective.

November 3, 2016, 4:41 PM

AJ, what do you foresee will be done during the rumored overhaul of Tomorrowland?

November 4, 2016, 11:22 AM

There has been a lot of discussion that HK will have exclusive rights to the Iron Man Experience for a period of time, commonly thought to be 5 years. If that is true, don't expect it to roll up in California any time soon.

Edited: November 4, 2016, 11:51 PM

Keith, it is really difficult to predict this far out what will happen to Tomorrowland. That said, I'm guessing the entire bottleneck area will be redone. Astro Orbitor will likely be relocated to somewhere else in Tomorrowland, preferably back on top of the tower where it belongs, but I could also see it put in front of Space Mountain (either on the deck or at ground level), particularly if the tower was removed. I've got a feeling all the rockwork at the entrance will be removed to widen the opening and the PeopleMover track above this area will be completely removed (unless a new PeopleMover is added, which I'd like to see but am not betting on). Star Tours will be replaced with a new attraction, but Buzz Lightyear will likely stay, and the architecture of the buildings is likely going to be updated (although the movie was awful, I'd still like to see Tomorrowland resemble the movie Tomorrowland). Further back in Tomorrowland, I expect a big new E-ticket attraction to utilize the Innoventions building, with a new permanent show added in the theater under Space Mountain (if the theater isn't removed). If Disney really wants to go all out, I could potentially see the entire Autopia/Subs area being leveled and replaced with something new, but I've got a feeling both these attractions will remain (possibly with upgrades, such as electric vehicles on Autopia). As for IP, at the moment Wall-E, Big Hero 6, Tron, and Inside Out are the ones I see as most likely to come to Tomorrowland, but there could certainly be more added based on future projects. One thing I expect is that the land will adopt more of a science theme than a futuristic theme, as technology is advancing so rapidly the latter is too difficult to keep current.

Kent, I have heard various things regarding Hong Kong exclusivity of the Iron Man Experience. Some say it is the entire attraction, while others believe it is only that particular film. What I've heard reliably for DCA is only that one of the main attractions in Marvel Land will be an "Iron Man simulator," which combined with the closure of Star Tours leads me to think it will be a clone of Hong Kong's ride with a different film. I could very well be wrong, and things could definitely change (particularly if Robert Downey, Jr. chooses not to renew his contract beyond Phase Three), but even if there is a five year exclusivity it wouldn't be opening for five years anyway.

November 11, 2016, 12:29 PM

Boy, I really hope they put something moving back on the People Mover track. One of the reasons I feel DL's Tomorrowland lacks kinetic interest. Once you get past the Astro Orbiter, nothing is moving in the land. Yes, there are Autopia cars and Submarines, but you really have to be at those attractions to see that movement.

November 11, 2016, 2:04 PM

The Star Tours ride vehicle is way too old, which makes me wonder if the Hong Kong version is a 2.0 version. Thus, it justifies the demolition of Anaheim's version and the relocation to DCA. Then again, it seems like a waste to not do a simple movie replacement as a filler for Tomorrowland. I suggest a Star Tours 1.1 attraction with the original pilot and see the various Star Wars planets in Episodes 1 through 3.

I like the movie's look of Tomorrowland, but unfortunately, the environment isn't fully realized since they turned the storyline into an insufferable chase scene with the eco-environment subplot. Ridiculous. Give the buildings a white fa├žade with tall spires similar to Space Mountain.

They should remove the People Mover tracks and remove the central platform to free up more space in the interior. Remove Innoventions and put in a multi-level building with stores and restaurants on the first level, a dark ride in the second level, and the relocated Astro Orbiter at the highest level.

The entrance must be cleared of the ugly space rocks for better fireworks and parade viewing.

As for Autopia and Submarines, rip them both out in favor of the Tron roller coaster. Remove the People Mover tracks.

November 11, 2016, 3:53 PM

Unfortunately, the one thing I'm pretty confident we won't see in Disneyland is the Tron coaster from Shanghai. With Space Mountain, it doesn't make a whole lot of sense to build it, and the Marvel Land rumors I've heard say the coaster there will be similar to Tron (though there is so much floating around the internet that I wouldn't be surprised if it ends up being a bit different). I would like to see a Tron attraction added to Tomorrowland, but I'd prefer something unique. My suggestion: Tear out Autopia and the Subs, then build an enclosed mini-land themed to the Grid with 2-3 smaller attractions.

I do agree that they really need to infuse Tomorrowland with more kinetic energy. If the PeopleMover comes back, great. If not, put the Astro Orbitor in a centralized location and tear out anything obstructing views of it. For a land that is supposed to represent a dynamic theme, everything is surprisingly static in the current incarnation.

November 12, 2016, 6:06 PM

What makes the Tron coaster so unique is the motorcycle type ride vehicles. I see no conflict with Space Mountain on having a second roller coaster in Tomorrowland. The Marvel coaster ride at California Adventure might not be that similar if they can make it work. Nonetheless, Marvel Land doesn't have to have a coaster with space issues.

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