Discussion in 'Other Ride Construction' started by peep, Oct 8, 2013.
I quite like the screen - it screams Tony Stark and his obnoxious ways, it's quite clever!
Is the tech showcase not just the iron man experience? Where you put on the gloves and pretend to be iron man in a game.
Interesting about Autopia, that's certainly out of the blue. Japan just closed theirs too. I'll be very happy if the other parks follow, such a rubbish attraction that takes up far too much space.
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^ You say that, and I agree that it's crap, but it was also incredibly popular. Throughput would have something to do with it, but it always, without fail, had the longest queues at the park.
Opening 11th Jan...
Not too thrilled about the queue line. Not a whole lot to it apart from objects/models to look at.
Still trying to find a f**k to give about the thing. It's the first ride they've added since I've lived here, and I just don't care. It's my Derren Brown.
Well at least yours is actually going to be somewhat enjoyable.
I know which I'd rather have...
I really like how it's set in Hong Kong.
But, um, these sort of rides are so outdated why.
^ That's my thought as well. I find it disappointing that after years of unique and "first" attractions - Big Grizzly Mountain, Mystic Manor, Fairytale Forest (crap, but unique), Paint the Night, Wondrous Book and constant Halloween stuff - they've just gone with Star Tours with a new film and taken a ridiculous amount of time in the process.
Obviously, none of us have tried it yet. It could be an improvement and it will be an amazing simulator. At the end of the day though, it's still a simulator.
From the brief clips of the film I've seen, I really do like that it's using Hong Kong. They've added some "Stark Tower" skyscraper right next to Hong Kong's current tallest building and it looks pretty good and fits the area. That building is right next to my flat, so it will be cool to see that area in a ride. Depending on the height and angle around that section, you might even be able to see my building in it, which would be quite fab.
It seems that it's soft opening from December 23rd at the latest since hotel guests can get priority access from that date. I'm of on holiday from the 24th, but could potentially swing by on the evening of the 23rd. I'll see closer to the time. I'm still hoping/waiting for a members' preview, but nothing has come of that yet.
They're doing passholder previews from December 16th, for a couple of hours each day. I've just registered to go on the 17th since I'll be at work on the 16th.
It's then soft opening from the 23rd, with hotel guests getting priority access, before the official opening on January 11th.
I’m a couple of days late getting this up since it was the weekend and I’d rather do it while I’m at work than waste valuable time in front of the TV. I’ve decided to stick it in here rather than do a report since I’d only be repeating other stuff.
Iron Man is now in previews for annual pass holders, so I booked the Saturday slot. Preview guests got a little bonus gift:
The entrance is actually quite imposing when you get up close. The circular logo-type thing at the top lights up – it wasn’t lit before – so the whole thing at night will look quite fab.
It’s confirmed that it will have fastpass. There are no machines next to it, so I’m assuming the old ones from Buzz Lightyear will be repurposed. It was stupid to ever have fastpass on that anyway considering the massive throughput.
The Tech Showcase thing wasn’t open for my session, but someone else, Disney Magical Kingdom Blog, has uploaded a video. It seems to basically be an overworked meet ‘n’ greet.
There are various posters around the area. The whole thing is the Stark Expo, basically a tech museum. Sorry for some wonky angles, but the computer I’m using doesn’t have anything more advanced than Paint on it for photo editing.
The outdoor area of the queue is less than inspired. However, those things on the ceiling are pretty powerful fans, which are great considering how hot it gets.
They were holding people outside and letting them in gradually, rather than utilizing the whole queue. It made no difference to waiting time though.
This thing in the entrance was cool. It’s hard to see from photos, but there are screens the whole way around them.
The whole queue line is a museum to Stark Industries and is actually very well done. It’s organised by theme and every “exhibit” has signs and information as if it’s an actual real thing.
This is one of the cleverest things about it really: Stark Tower. They’ve built it in a very realistic location since that land is currently empty. The other building is currently Hong Kong’s tallest, but everything in front of that has been added in. It’s used as an outdoor event space at the moment, but will be used as a “Cultural District” with the building of a museum, art gallery, theatre and other event spaces. So, rather than shove it just anywhere, it’s easy to imagine it as real if that makes sense.
Two of the rooms have curved screens around one corner. The first one shows off some of the tech, while the second one explains more about the “tour” that you’ll take on the ride. I didn’t stand around and watch everything, but they seem to alternate between English and Cantonese, with subtitles for both.
The final room before the ride shows the development of the flying car things, which I’ve forgotten the proper name of.
Thoughts on the queue then. It’s excellent really. It may seem a bit bland, mostly being “stuff in cases”, but it works perfectly as a “museum”. They still seem to be working out how to use it effectively since we were bit stuck in earlier rooms while the later ones were empty, meaning we kind of just rushed through them to get to the ride. If the queue was moving slowly through the whole thing, there’s plenty to look at and read – more than you could get through in one go really – and coupled with the videos it means that while it looks a bit bland, it’s probably the best queue at HKDL since there’s so much to look at. Having the stuff on the screens running on a continuous loop is also much better then shoving them in as a preshow.
Again, not my video, but Disney Magical Kingdom Blog has uploaded a few. This one shows the queue line video. Just to clarify, you don’t have to stand and watch the whole thing!
And then there’s this walkthrough:
The batching area is quite weird, and I can see it being a bit of a clusterf**k to be honest. Guests enter at one end, and then the actual rides spread down from there.
They’re going to have to have a fair few members of staff on that floor, who will have to be well-coordinated with the staff letting people in from the queue, otherwise it’s going to be a mess. People are already absolutely thick as s**t when following instructions and going into the correct loading bays even when it’s right in front of them – constant instances of three people trying to get into one bay for Space Mountain as just one example - so sending them down to those far simulators is going to be a nightmare unless staff are really on the ball.
Obviously this was a preview, which is a chance for staff training more than anything, but the cars weren’t getting fully loaded despite lots of people in the queue. As I mentioned before, the last couple of rooms of the queue line weren’t fully open. They had a staff member letting people through into those sections in groups, meaning that those sections of the queue were empty, and people were arriving at the dispatching area in dribs and drabs while the first half of the queue was totally full and led outside. That break in the queue seems 100% unnecessary and is hopefully temporary while the staff in the batching area are getting used to things.
Actually, scratch that. As I was typing it I just realised that that is probably where fastpass holders will join the queue. If that’s the case – and I can’t see where else they would join – that makes a lot more sense. Either way, for effective dispatching without seats going empty, they will need to be using those final two rooms as a full queue.
The boarding video – again not mine – featuring a fab little cameo.
Inside the simulator:
The ride then. You take off from Stark Expo and fly over/out of Disneyland. This big screen/roof thing above the shop makes LOADS more sense now, since it’s actually the “launching bay” for the ride.
You fly over to Stark Tower, some robot thing attacks the car/ship and there’s a bit of a fight in the Hong Kong streets - I need to ride it again to pay more attention to which streets it’s using – before flying back to Disneyland.
Thoughts on the ride then. Meh.
It is well done in that you take off and leave from that building, having been on a tour through the various tech beforehand. I thought you’d just start at Stark Tower and it wouldn’t be too cohesive, but it does all work together very well.
The vehicles move very realistically with the screen. There are some very subtle floating/flying sections which could be seen as a bit boring – the vehicles aren’t just throwing you around constantly - but actually they’re very effective since they feel very realistic.
It is, however, just Star Tours with a different film. It may be the case that the tech for the vehicles has been improved upon, but as a rider you really wouldn’t know. People seemed to be really enjoying it, so that’s obviously good, but a large part of that would be down to them not knowing what it was before riding, whereas I was fully expecting Star Tours, which I couldn’t give a flying f**k about. It also has very little reride value to be honest, unlike the vast majority of the other rides at HKDL.
I’m not disappointed by the final product, since it’s exactly what I was expecting, but, for me, the whole thing has been a disappointment from the outset. I was hoping that there might be something extra to it that we didn’t know about to differentiate it further from Star Tours, but there really isn’t. The fact that it was announced over three years ago and has only just opened is still something I find bizarre. I’m not pretending to be an expert here, but I can’t see how this has taken 3 years. Admittedly, Disney have had other new stuff in the meantime, but it’s still all a bit of an anticlimax.
Having said all that, the whole area looks great and really compliments Tomorrowland rather than detracting from it. Plus, I think it’ll actually go down really well. Iron Man is a massive property in China, so tourists will lap it up. Featuring Hong Kong is clever in that it will also get locals interested. The majority of guests won’t have done a Star Tours ride either, so it’s actually a very “new” concept in that sense. Fantawild have a crappy space simulator in a lot of their parks, but it’s more the “Back to the Future” style with one big screen, no 3D, and without the same immersion of the individual cars here.
So to sum it all up then. It probably is/was a good idea for the park as a whole, but on a personal level I still just don’t care. I’ll likely fastpass it every now and then, but I can see myself just not bothering at all a lot of the time.
Thank you. I agree about Tech Showcase. Reminds me of Enchanted Tales with Belle.
The queue line looks alright. I never cared for Marvel so I don't think the museum part would interest me as I don't care what I'm looking at. I like how modern everything else looks though.
Happy it's finally (almost) open.
The Tech Showcase and queue look fab.
The ride though, womp womp. I agree, I don't understand how it can possibly take them this long to build these rides - it looked half done in 2014 and it's only just opened... And Disney wonder why Universal have outstripped them...
^Yep. HKDL managed to open a new land a year for three consecutive years - including Mystic Manor and Big Grizzly Mountain, which are two of the most complex rides that Disney have ever done in any park - the same length of time it took to get Star Tours done with a new film. In the words of the great philosopher, Britney Spears, "OUTRAGEOUS".
Yeah, they've had other stuff opening in the meantime. Paint the Night and Wondrous Book are both major additions, so it's not like HKDL were waiting all that time with nothing new, but that still doesn't mean that the three-year time-scale for this makes any sense.
If you're like me and rather spoil the surprise than wait, here's a pov
Even though it was stated in the review, I can now see how effective blasting out of the park and flying over to Hong Kong is. Looks less exciting than the original Star Tours though.
Absolutely love leaving Disney and flying to Hong Kong. That's really really fab - but, it seems really same-y? Like, the footage seems to feel like it's repeating the exact same action over and over again, although I do like the humour delivery.
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