By Urisara Kowitdamrong
ANT-MAN AND the Wasp are the latest characters delighting visitors to Hong Kong Disneyland, making this a great time to visit or revisit the theme park.
No other amusement park in the world can boast the presence of superheroes Ant-Man and the Wasp. If you love the two iconic characters from the 2018 blockbuster film, the sooner your visit, the better.
The rides on tap for “AntMan and The Wasp: Nano Battle!” are amazing.
There is no need to worry about fast rides and scary heights either. Hong Kong Disneyland makes sure children and adults alike have fun with its latest attraction, “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Nano Battle!”
Actor Paul Rudd, who has portrayed Ant-Man in at least three Marvel films so far, shares in the excitement over the new attraction.
“I can’t wait to share this experience with my kids – they’re going to love it,” he said at a recent sneak-peak event. He and co-star Evangeline Lilly, who plays the Wasp, reprised their superhero roles just for the fans in Hong Kong.
“Nano Battle” invites riders of all sizes to jump on SHIELD’s newest combat vehicle, the Dagger, grab a laser gun or EMP Blaster and fight the Swarmbots. The more Swarmbots you can disable during the ride and the higher your score.
The latest attraction at Hong Kong Disneyland makes visitors feel like they’re recruits at SHIELD headquarters.
I was among the big crowd gathered for the sneak peek, three days before opening to the public.
Frankly speaking, I’m not very good at shooting games, but after hearing I’d been assigned to help protect the SHIELD Pavilion, I was keen to do my best. My fondness for Marvel, SHIELD included, has grown steadily ever since the first Avengers film in 2012.
I’ve seen all the sequels and all the movies about the Avengers ever since. I’ve also found Ant-Man funny and think it’s a good idea to help him fight off the villains.
Iron Man shakes hands with an iron grip.
Once aboard the vehicle, I firmly grasped my laser gun and trained my eyes on targets that varied in size and shape.
My tip to other riders heading into “Nano Battle” is that each type of target shape and size has a different score – the smaller the target, the higher the score. And if you want to find out what shape scores the most, read the instruction before you board the Dagger.
My score at the end of the game was 66,260 with an accuracy rate of just 32 per cent. My seatmate scored 107,090 with an accuracy rate of 36. So my message to others who’ve already experienced “Nano Battle” and scored higher is “You should be proud.”
Paul Rudd, who portrays AntMan onscreen, poses with a fan at a recent sneakpeek of the new attraction.
Hong Kong Disneyland takes pride in becoming established as the ultimate Marvel hub in Asia.
“Marvel stories are deeply loved by guests from all around the world, and our markets especially resonate with these stories,” said Stephanie Young, the park’s managing director.
She said “Iron Man Experience” has consistently been rated the park’s most popular attraction since its opening in 2017.
Just as I imagined, “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Nano Battle!” sits right next to “Iron Man Experience”. But to my surprise, the latter was a lot more fun if you sit in the front row of the simulator vehicle than it is in the back row. I tried both because I’m a theme-park fan.
AntMan and the Wasp Easter Eggs
This was likely because the vehicle seemed to fly and move more realistically when I didn’t have other people’s heads in my field of vision. But the middle and back rows are probably best for anyone feeling timid and not wanting to be scared.
I have another secret to share. This simulator-enabled attraction really does climb high and twists and swerves. We’re not talking minor shakes and dodges here. I discovered this during a Back of the House Tour arranged for visiting foreign media late last month.
Collectors will love the interesting AntMan and the Wasp merchandise available.
Beneath the simulator is a mechanical platform that hoists the vehicle several metres and swings it right and left. The vehicle stays entirely separate from the aisle entrances and exits along which riders walk. The aisle segment only connects with the vehicle when the riders are getting in and out, and then becomes completely independent in its movements.
To culminate the Marvel experiences at Hong Kong Disneyland, no one should miss the opportunity to meet Iron Man. Looking as if he walked right out of the world’s best-loved action films, Iron Man doesn’t just pose for photos but also interacts and jokes with you.
A hamburger meal inspired by AntMan and the Wasp
I asked him, “Can I shake your hand?” and he very nicely obliged.
Then he encouraged me to pose for a photo with his hand held out front. Just as I put my hand forward too, I heard him asking, “Does the light come out of my armour, or is it my aura?” Given that Iron Man too is my favourite superhero, I didn’t hesitate to reply. “Your aura, of course!”
The writer travelled as a guest of Hong Kong Disneyland and Hong Kong Airlines.
IF YOU GO
There are multiple daily direct flights between Bangkok and Hong Kong. Hong Kong Airlines is among full-service carriers with several flights a day.
Hong Kong Disneyland also operates several resorts with tempting packages that include both your room and your park admission.