January 1st 2015! While most people were recovering from the hangover they got at last night's New Years Eve party, and others were still at last night's New Years Eve party, I was mentally and physically preparing for what was sure to be the best way to spend New Years Day! Taking a trip to the Marvel Experience!!
What is the Marvel Experience you might ask? Well luckily for you, I'm good friends with people who live under rocks, so I was prepared for this question! The Marvel Experience is a 4-D Hyper Reality super show that travels all over the United States! It features state of the art, 4-D Hyper Reality technology to make it feel like you're right there in the middle of the action!
I was able to go and check out for myself what the big fuss over it was all about; and trust me when I say, the fuss was a lot smaller than it should have been! Now before you go in there thinking you can actually touch the heroes around you and fly around in the heli-carrier, it's not like that. It's "Hyper Reality", now I'm no science whiz but I'm going to go ahead and try to explain what that is. Pay attention now.
Hyper Reality is the inability to distinguish reality from...not reality, or a simulation if you will. It blends together real and unreal to make it seem like something is there when really it isn't. Hyper Reality is good for immersive rides, 4-D constructions, achieving the same effects as taking 60's drugs without actually taking any and looking like an idiot trying to touch that simulated floating object directly in front of your face.
So on to the Marvel Experience. Well first off, I tried to get there at the 2:30 pm entrance time. But unfortunately, when I got there tickets for that time were already sold out. The nearest time they had available was 4:30 pm. So after getting the tickets, my cousin, uncle and I went over to McDonalds to get something to eat while we were waiting.
After eating and nearly freezing to death, it was finally time...to wait in line. The super long 4:30 pm line. Which, because of time restraints, was mixed in with the 5 and 5:30 pm line to make a ultra long line! So there I was, freezing, wondering why Arizona had suddenly become Alaska and waiting for Sarah Palin to come by riding a bear and chasing a moose whose head she was sure to mount on her wall. Finally, we were let in after about 30 minutes, which doesn't seem too long; but it was freezing cold and I was full of anxiousness!
But finally, we were able to go in...to another, slightly warmer line. I hate lines, I mean I know everyone does, but me, I despise them; with a passion! Awkwardly standing in one place, moving only about an inch every ten minutes. It's enough to make a person go insane! Luckily, this line was much better than the last. For one thing, it was inside, where the heater was; so that was nice. Not only that, but there were TV's surrounding the room, where the voice of Jocasta, the Avengers personal A.I can be heard and seen giving everyone information on some of the coolest heroes in the Marvel Universe, like She-Hulk, Black Panther and Iron Fist!
There were also some great posters of Marvel superheroes that I could take some pictures of. While we were waiting a couple of "S.H.I.E.L.D operatives" asked us trivia questions. While I knew most of them, Like what color Luke's lightsaber was on the cover of the Marvel Comics published Star Wars comic book, I had a feeling that even though anyone could answer, it was more meant towards the little kids, so I didn't really yell out the answers.
After a little while in that admittedly much better line and a quick introduction from both Tony Stark and Nick Fury (both computer-generated), we were finally able to go in. Wearing our S.H.I.E.L.D sanctioned training wristbands, we entered the first and second level of training. The first and second were basically in the same room, so we could go in between them as much as we wanted. The first level was more of an exhibit room, showcasing some cool Marvel memorabilia; like vintage comic books and various Marvel superhero and villain weaponry/tech.
There was also an area for food in-between level 1 and 2, but it was a bit overpriced. The only time I'll pay $15 for a hamburger and a side of fries is if I'm starving to death! But besides the overpriced food and the cool Marvel fanfare exhibits, level 1 didn't have much to offer; it's when you reach level 2 that stuff gets good!
This room had tons of "training simulations" to try out; including two kinect-powered training games that had you either flying like Iron Man and shooting drones or smashing like Hulk!
Besides the kinect games, you could try a simulated superhero summoner, where you would make a certain hand symbol or pose in front of a screen and the superhero who matches your pose would appear next to you. After that, you could climb up a wall like Spider-Man and enter a Holo-Blaster Simulation Training area; where you and 23 other participants donned protective 3-D eyewear and shot at some targets on a screen in front of you, battling for the highest score. There was also an agility maze hosted by Black Widow, but due to the line starting as far back as the first training level, I decided to skip that. All in all, levels 1 and 2 weren't entirely impressive. They had some fun things to do, but it was clear that these rooms were merely the introduction levels.
Level 3 was where you would truly experience elements of 4-D and Hyper Reality. Before entering level 3, I recommend that you get your fill of the first two; also use the restroom if you have to because once you enter level 3, there's no turning back. You're instructed to take off your training bands so they can be replaced with official S.H.I.E.L.D agent wristbands, and suddenly you're wharped into an original Marvel story involving these guys:
The Adaptoids! A race of highly intelligent androids created by Hydra that are able to adapt to just about any situation, the Avengers can't take them down because every time they fight, the Adaptoids adapt to the hero's powers. So now it's up to you to help them. When you enter level 3, you're taken into a large dome-shaped area (probably because you're in a dome) and given 4-D glasses. Suddenly, the roof of the dome, and I mean the whole roof, becomes a giant screen showing the Marvel heroes, this is when things get immersive. Not only does everything look like it's right in front of your face, but the characters interact with you and the dome shaped screen makes it feel like you're actually there, where all the action is!
Wolverine, Captain America, Vision and a couple of other heroes travel to a secret Hydra base where Madam Hydra, Red Skull and MODOK are waiting to ambush them. Once they've been ambushed, MODOK, in a move that rivals that of Deadpool, literally breaks the fourth wall and tries to attack you! Luckily, Hulk manages to get you out of there and to safety! I wasn't able to take pictures of this for two reasons. 1: The place was too dark and 2: The pictures would just be super blurry since you'd need their 4-D Hyper Reality glasses to see it all clearly. So instead I'll show you this picture of me next to a poster of Black Panther and Thor, trying to look tough and failing horribly!
After the impressive "Hyper-Dome" experience, you're asked to walk into a theater where a movie is about to play. The movie is another awesome Hyper-Reality experience, but with a catch. Instead of sitting around, watching the action around you, you're sitting down in chairs that move around as the action plays on the screen in front of you. It's a lot like the Star Tours attraction at Disneyland, although even I'll admit that Star Tours is a bit more intense. But the ride is still pretty intense in it's own right. In it, you board the Quinjet and take the battle against Hydra to the skies. I won't spoil it for you, because as this is the end of the experience, it's the best part and I want you to witness it firsthand!!
After the ride's over, you make your way to the final dome—a gift shop! This room needs no explaining, this is where you can buy some pretty cool Marvel merchandise. Like coffee mugs, paintings, posters and action figures. In Disney/Marvel fashion, the stuff there is pretty expensive; it costs about $400 to take a 3-D group photo with your favorite superhero.
So I didn't go home with a picture of me next to Deadpool (I'd hope he was an option despite not being a part of the show), but I did manage to go home with a sweet Funko Pop bobble-head Agent Coulson!
All in all, the Marvel Experience truly lives up to its title. The domed areas mixed with the immersive atmosphere, the Marvel gear and the amazing staff dedication will make you feel like you're really part of the Marvel Universe! Sure there's long lines and overpriced refreshments, but I can assure you, you will not be disappointed! Go check out the Marvel Experience website now to see when it's coming to your town. You don't want to miss out!
Have you gotten a chance to go to the Marvel Experience yet? How'd you like it?