Iron Man Experience begins previews at Hong Kong Disneyland

December 23, 2016, 11:58 AM · It won't open officially until next month, but Disney's first Marvel-themed ride, Iron Man Experience, has begun previews at Hong Kong Disneyland.

The Star Tours-like flying theater simulator ride starts with a walk through a display of various Stark Industries products, including Captain America's shield and early Iron Man suits. Then it's time to board for a flight across Hong Kong on one of Stark Industries' latest projects, an "Iron Wing."

Of course, it all goes terribly wrong. Hydra attacks, and you'll need to team up with Iron Man to save the day.

With its flight and fight across a cityscape, Iron Man Experience feels a bit like a less active version of Universal's Transformers ride. (I say "less active" since you're in a theater rather than a moving ride vehicle.) And the final scene is straight out of Return of the Jedi. But the ride film does start and finish in Tomorrowland's Stark Expo, avoiding the problem in Star Tours: The Adventurers Continue where you end up on a completely different planet than where you started, breaking any sense of being in a specific place as you exit the ride. One wonders if Disney will replace the ride film when it retops the park's castle, though. Otherwise, that's gonna look awkward.

But Iron Man Experience offers a lively ride that gives fans the opportunity to flight alongside one of the Marvel Cinematic Universe's most popular heroes, so it delivers what many Disney fans have been wanting for some time.

Iron Man Experience opens officially on January 11.

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Replies (9)

December 23, 2016 at 1:05 PM · Many bothans died to bring Iron Man that idea.
December 23, 2016 at 1:40 PM · Ok, the Internet has been won for the day. Happy holidays, everyone!
December 23, 2016 at 7:16 PM · Body wars made more sense then that ride
December 23, 2016 at 9:52 PM · "I say "less active" since you're in a theater rather than a moving ride vehicle."

You mean a stationery simulator, right? Like Star Tours. A theater would be like Minion Mayhem. Star Tours doesn't move along a track, but I regard it as a true simulator since what you see out the window is coordinated with the movement of the vehicle, not just a wiggling seat in a theater or moving along a track.

December 23, 2016 at 10:28 PM · Can't tell if that's Robert Downey Jr. or not doing the voice, but it's a pretty darn good imitation otherwise.
December 23, 2016 at 11:50 PM · Disfan, the distinctions between simulators, flying theaters, and motion base rides are really breaking down and I'm putting high on my to-do list an explainer post.
December 25, 2016 at 9:09 AM · The technology on that ride is now really old. Budget attraction.
December 25, 2016 at 9:24 AM · Because it's a simulator ride it's really hard to get a sense of how the attraction will appear/feel in person, sitting in a chair watching it on my computer. As far as the castle goes, it goes by so quick I wonder if most people will even notice? Since it's all CGI I reckon it wouldn't be hard to modify it but I know nothing about the process. I'm not complaining. This is HKDL's first simulator ride and is going to be part a larger Marvel-ized Tomorrowland. I suspect that means Shanghai or Tokyo will get Star Wars Land in the future.
December 27, 2016 at 12:14 PM · The cynical side of me says "Soooo it's Star Tours reskinned to Iron Man? Phew... finally something that Shanghai or Hong Kong has that doesn't make me get up and want to fly immediately over there."

But seriously, HKDL needed a simulator ride, and this is a good move. Do I want it in other parks? Probably not, but I won't complain if they do clone it.

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