The past seven days

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Iron Man coming to Disneyland?

If you didn't know I am a fairly big Disneyland buff. I love the park and all things Disney in general, for the most part. While doing some reading I found some interesting insider information that confirms what many people have been pondering, or dreading, since Disney obtained Marvel... will Marvel characters be integrated into the Disney theme parks? The answer is yes.

According to Al Lutz, a credible Disney blogger and editor-in-chief MiceAge, Disney has begun plans to place none other than Iron Man into the Disneyland Resort. The word is an unnamed and undisclosed Iron Man thrill ride will replace the current unpopular attraction Innoventions in Disneyland's Tomorrowland. Hit the jump for more details!

Welcome back. =^D

So the article written by Lutz lays out quite a few upcoming changes to Disneyland and not just the Marvel integration, but I will talk about that first.
It is being thrown around that Bob Iger is the one responsible for this move primarily because of the success Disney's California Adventure has had with Cars Land. Cars Land increased the daily guest average from around 18,000 to 40,000 and increased the daily average for both California Adventure and Disneyland combined from 75,000 to 95,000. Yes it did decrease the numbers in Disneyland, but they don't care because it is all the same resort. It's like how they don't care if more people are in Epcot than the Magic Kingdom at Disneyworld in Florida. It's still Disneyworld. Iger seems to think that Marvel is just a cash cow for Disney and that placing Marvel characters into the parks will increase guest volume even more. Along with that idea, the other question is whether Disney will try to keep this as a rumor until the D23 Expo in August 2013 or if they will announce it this winter to give people a heads up that Innoventions will only be around until February.
The last time I have been through Innoventions was back in 2008 and I thought it was stupid. It isn't futuristic like Tomorrowland should be, was incredibly dated, and was quite boring. When thinking of ways to spruce up Tomorrowland the first thing that crossed my mind was a Stark Expo similar to what was displayed in Captain America: The First Avenger and in the Iron Man films. It is futuristic and is a great opportunity to involve the Marvel Universe without shoving it completely down the throats of the guests.

The main arguments against the integration of Marvel into the Disney Parks is the simple fact that it is yet another existing company with existing characters and movies. It has nothing to do with classic Disney characters and it isn't anything brand new. People want new ideas and new attractions. They don't just want superheroes and box office smash movies in the parks.
I agree with that to an extent, but at the same time we need to realize that Disney isn't necessarily pumping out new ideas these days. Since 2008, 3 of the 5 Pixar films have been sequels and we currently have a Monsters, Inc prequel coming out next year along with a sequel to Finding Nemo in the works for 2016. Not to mention we have had countless 3D re-releases of Disney films whether they are classic animations or Pixar films. This year alone we have Beauty and the Beast 3D and Finding Nemo 3D. Next year we have Monsters, Inc 3D and The Little Mermaid 3D.
And like it or not Marvel is a part of Disney now. There is no reason why they would or should have to ignore a valuable aspect of their company just because a small amount of people don't want Marvel themed attractions inside Disneyland. Seeing that people are still pissed about the integration of Pixar characters into the parks, and Pixar has been part of Disney for a long time, I highly doubt people will ever stop bitching about Marvel. Disney's box office revenue has increased significantly with the release of The Avengers and will continue to increase with future releases of Iron Man 3, Thor: The Dark World, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Guardians of the Galaxy, and The Avengers 2. It was only just a matter of time before we saw Marvel characters and story arcs enter the parks.

This is the way I see it...

1. At least Marvel fits in Tomorrowland. It's not like they are trying to put a superhero ride in Adventureland or something.
2. Innoventions is finally leaving! Look on the bright side, ffs.

Yes, I do wish they would go for a Stark Expo over yet another "E-ticket" thrill-ride attraction, but hey... anything will better than Innoventions. It has been a waste of space for years.

NOW... the other aspects Lutz mentioned in his article are as follows:

1. Disney is throwing around ideas to make Christmas time in Disneyland similar to Halloween in the sense of making guests purchase separate tickets in order to participate in holiday-themed fireworks shows, parades, snowfall shows on Main Street and at It's a Small World, etc.. The way they do Halloween, as I experienced 2 weeks ago, is the decorations are out and the holiday refurbishments of Space Mountain: Ghost Galaxy and Haunted Mansion Holiday are available but on certain nights throughout September and October they close the park early to have Mickey's Halloween Party. It's a good $60 in addition to your regular park admission ticket and you basically get the park to yourself with the other party guests for 2-3 hours. You also get to see special shows, meet characters, and see a special Halloween themed fireworks show and parade. I skipped it because of the cost and I would most likely skip a Christmas version for the same reason. I can celebrate Christmas and listen to Disney songs at home for free.

2. Disneyland plans to decrease Cast Member presence at rides by eliminating the old-fashioned turnstiles at the rides and replacing them with a electronic device which scans each person entering the park. The devices are called RFID scanners.

3. Disneyland will FINALLY model after Disneyworld's FastPass time enforcement by enforcing the "use it or lose it" policy. The way the FastPass works if you don't know, if a ride has a FP you can scan your ticket and obtain a pass. The pass gives you a one hour window where you can return to the ride and basically skip the stand-by line and enter the FP line. It allows you to ride the attraction faster and easier than hopping in the stand-by line and waiting a potentially long wait time. However, Disneyland does not enforce the hour window. If I get a FP and it gives me a window of 11am to 12pm I can come back at any time after that window and still utilize the pass. The way Disneyworld does it is if you miss your hour window then you basically wasted a FP because you won't be able to use it. I have been waiting for this enforcement so I am happy to hear this.

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