Iron Man Coming to Disneyland

Posted by Andrea Shockling on Friday, March 29th, 2013

Iron Man 3

It looks like Marvel fans won’t have to wait long after all before favorite comic book characters make their first appearance at a domestic Disney attraction. Just a few weeks ago, an announcement about a major Disney theme park expansion in Hong Kong had us wondering when we might see the likes of Captain America, Spider-Man and Iron Man closer to home. Yesterday, Disney announced that Iron Man will be the first Marvel superhero with his own exhibit, Iron Man Tech Presented by Stark Industries opening in April at Innoventions in Disneyland. This will be the first time for a significant Marvel presence at a Disney park since Marvel Entertainment was acquired by Walt Disney in 2009.

Iron Man 3 Mark VIII

Iron Man Tech is really an exhibit within an exhibit. Capitalizing on the popularity of the Iron Man movies and the upcoming release of Iron Man 3 on May 3, the interactive installation gives visitors the chance to visit Tony Stark’s Hall of Armor by way of fictional Stark Industries. The Stark Expo is a familiar event to fans of the movies and was modeled after Walt Disney’s own real-life involvement with the World’s Fair in 1964. The GE Pavilion “Progressland” at the Fair was presented as the history of electricity and concluded with Walt Disney’s 160-foot scale model of EPCOT.

Progressland was later installed in Disneyland, becoming the Carousel of Progress. Savvy fans noticed the similarities between images of Walt Disney from that time and the depiction of futurist Howard Stark and his City of the Future in the Iron Man films. Iron Man Tech Presented by Stark Industries takes that comparison one step further by creating an immersive theme for the exhibit components. It’s a clever way to package the attraction that also fits well with Innoventions, which replaced the Carousel of Progress in the heart of Disneyland’s Tomorrowland.

Walt Disney with a map of EPCOT

The Hall of Armor itself could be similar to the Iron Man armor display initially seen at San Diego Comicon in 2012. The Disneyland installation will include new interactive features that will allow guests to virtually “suit up” and operate the Iron Man suits Mark I-VII. Flight simulators will give visitors a taste of flying the Mark 42 armor and firing the “repulsors”. Other set pieces from Iron Man 3 will be on display as well. And since all of these features will be presented in a Stark Expo-like environment, it will really feel like you’ve stepped into the world of Tony Stark’s Iron Man.

Iron Man 3 at San Diego Comicon

We’re excited about the growing presence of Marvel superheroes at Disney parks. There’s a lot of potential for new attractions and new audiences. Kevin Feige, president of production at Marvel Studios said, “I want kids to be able to come experience Marvel the way I would go experience the Disney parks.” Immersive themed exhibits like Iron Man Tech Presented By Stark Industries seem like a great way to bring beloved comic book characters alive with a little Disney magic.

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