Iron Man Comes To Disneyland

Is this the beginning of a Marvel presence at Disneyland? Devin goes to Anaheim to investigate.

Last week I made my first ever trip to Disneyland, Disney's flagship theme park here in California. The occasion: the opening of a 'Stark Industries' exhibit at the Innoventions Pavilion in Tomorrowland. This Stark Industries exhibit was, of course, all about the Iron Man armor. 

On display was the Hall of Armor, a grouping of Iron Man suits from Iron Man and Iron Man 2. Standing regally before them was the Mark 42, the new suit that Tony Stark builds after the events of The Avengers; this is the suit that's intended to help him meet any menace, whether it be on Earth or in deep space. It's worth noting that these suits aren't prop replicas - they're actual screen-used items. If you come to the exhibit, you'll be visiting with the actual suits in the movie.

The exhibit also featured a very advanced, Kinect-like motion game. You stand in front of a screen and are outfitted with Iron Man armor. To get used to the idea fo using your body to control the armor on screen there's a small dance bit (I saw a lot of high quality Iron Man dancing happening at this event!) that leads into some repulsor target practice and then some flying around. It's small scale stuff - the entire thing is set in Tony Stark's lab - but it's a ton of fun. I asked the Disney folks if this was a prototype for some sort of Iron Man Kinect game, but they were generally schtum - pretty much as far as I can tell this bit of the display was made just for the display. It's the best part of the exhibit, though, so I do hope somebody figures out how to replicate it at home.

When it was announced there was going to be a Stark Tech display at Disneyland many of us immediately figured this was the first foray by Marvel into the park. Right now Universal Studios has the Marvel Adventure Island at their Florida park, but it seems only sensible that Disney, who now owns Marvel, would want those characters to get their own Land in Disney parks. That doesn't seem to be the case, though, and if it were, this is a semi-underwhelming first appearance by Marvel. It's best to accept it just as a promotion for Iron Man 3 and not as some change to the park itself - especially since the display will be closing at the end of the summer.

Jay Dreves, a representative from Walt Disney Imagineering, wouldn't talk about whether or not Marvel would be coming to Disneyland, but he did say that the park is always looking for ways to feature all of Disney's brands and companies. 

I recommend hitting the Stark Tech exhibit if you're killing a little time waiting for the next show of Captain Eo, but be warned that I'm not entirely sure it's worth a long wait in line - and long waits were being reported this weekend. It's a cool exhibit, and the fact that you can get so close to the armors means that you're likely to end up with a kick-ass new Facebook photo. There's also likely to be a long wait for the interactive bit of the experience once you're actually in the exhibit - there are only two screens doing the armor suit-up. Still, it's a TON of fun, and it'll make a goofy Vine if someone happens to be sneakily filming you: