Who wouldn’t want to be Tony Stark? He’s a wealthy corporate magnate, a brilliant innovator responsible for the world’s best high-tech gadgets, and of course, he’s also Iron Man. While there may not be a new starring role for Mr. Stark on the horizon, Robert Downey Jr. will reprise his role as the iconic superhero in both the upcoming Avengers sequels and 2017’s Spider-Man: Homecoming.
The world of Tony Stark and Iron Man has always lent itself well to high-concept commercialization as a Marvel property. But the Disney-owned Marvel Entertainment, which has produced dozens of movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, has never extended to Disney-owned theme parks until recent years. After years of development, however, Marvel is ready to reveal its first Disney-based theme park attraction to the world, and it’s on the shoulders of Stark Industries.
The Iron Man Experience is expected to debut at Hong Kong Disneyland’s Tomorrowland on January 11, 2017. The above video gives a sneak preview of the 3D motion simulator ride. The attraction will introduce visitors to Stark Industries and eventually lead them to join Iron Man in battle against evil forces. The video’s description calls the ride a “multi-sensory immersive motion experience,” which sounds similar to The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man at Universal Studios’ Islands of Adventure in Orlando and Osaka, Japan.
Executive Vice President and Managing Director of Hong Kong Disneyland Resort Samuel Lau said the following about the ride:
“Hong Kong Disneyland is excited to bring the first-ever Marvel-themed ride in a Disney Park to Hong Kong. … We are proud to give local and overseas guests a different perspective and experience of Hong Kong while promoting our vibrant city to the world at the same time.”
The incorporation of the Hong Kong skyline into the ride itself is expected to give added appeal to visitors who are from the area. The Hong Kong Disneyland website describes the experience as follows:
“Put on a pair of StarkVision glasses and explore Tony Stark’s latest innovations up close and fly in the gravity-defying Iron Wing flight vehicle in Iron Man Experience. Whizz alongside Iron Man through streets that resemble those in West Kowloon and downtown, and fly over iconic Hong Kong landmarks like Hong Kong Stark Tower, Tsing Ma Bridge, Victoria Harbour and the city’s pristine mountain ranges.”
While it’s somewhat surprising that Marvel and Disney never collaborated on theme park attractions until recently, The Iron Man Experience is a project that had been in development since 2009; soon after Disney’s $4 billion acquisition of Marvel Entertainment. The two companies are betting big that The Iron Man Experience will only be the start of a long, lucrative partnership.
Unfortunately for the most die-hard Iron Man fans who do not reside in Hong Kong, they will have to do some serious traveling to be able to get their own taste of the Iron Man Experience. They’ll also have to wait a while for the next solo cinematic vehicle for Downey Jr. as Iron Man, if it even happens. But considering the technology and innovative minds at work with this ride, it would come as a shock if The Iron Man Experience were not to prove a success.