Mr. Stark, we don’t feel so good

Only weeks separate us and the release of Avengers: Endgame; the seat-gripping finale to the Avengers franchise. The year-long wait since the Mad Titan’s recklessly devastating snap, fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe simply can't wait for the many cliffhangers to be answered—How will Captain Marvel fit into the narrative? Will the dusted ever re-materialise? Does Tony ever make it out of space alive?

As things get heated in the Marvel fandom, a brand new attraction opens in Hong Kong Disneyland featuring two extremely tiny, yet critical players in the franchise, as we’ve learnt in the end credit scene of Infinity War. Behold Ant-man and The Wasp: Nano Battle!, a new ride launched as an IP attraction in the Tomorrowland district of Hong Kong Disneyland just last month on Mar 31.

The concept of the ride ties in with the storyline of the Iron Man attraction directly adjacent to the building, in which Tony Stark is battling criminal organisation Hydra when its army infiltrates the Stark Tower. Meanwhile, guests enjoying a tour of the new facility at the S.H.I.E.L.D. Science and Technology Pavilion are interrupted when Swarmbots invade the pavilion to steal a data core containing all of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s valuable research, as per Arnim Zola’s command. That is when hero Ant-Man and heroine The Wasp are deployed by none other than Stark himself to defend the base from a second attack. However, the titular Avengers require the help of the guests to defeat Hydra’s Swarmbots—by shrinking them down into an ant-sized army and sending them into the bots’ system to destroy them from the inside.

Guests wind through a queue that’s almost an attraction by itself, jam-packed with references to the film. Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lilly reprise their roles as Ant-Man and The Wasp on screens around the queue area, hilariously updating ride-goers on the situation as well as giving out instructions to defeat the bots while receiving word from Iron Man. As an exclusive touch to Hong Kong Disneyland, a brand new Hong Kong-native character named Leslie Lam is introduced. Leslie plays the chief engineer of the S.H.I.E.L.D Science and Technology Pavilion, alternating between Cantonese and English instructions as he communicates with the defence team.

An easter egg bearing the name and birthdate of Stan Lee hides among the minuscule details as a tribute to the late Marvel writer and cameo king

The style of the attraction encompasses interactive elements that are similar to Buzz Lightyear’s Astro Blasters that has been replaced in the Ant-Man ride. Essentially, riders board DAG/R (pronounced dagger) combat vehicles that are equipped with EMP blasters to aim at specific targets throughout the ride. Set design within the dark ride is also spectacular, as expected of a Disney ride. Awarded points from shooting at the Swarmbots are, of course, recorded for bragging rights.

In other Avengers news, the sale of public tickets for Avengers: Endgame will be launched tomorrow (Apr 10) across cinemas in Singapore. To (hopefully) catch Scott Lang and Hope van Dyne crawling across the silver screens in what is arguably about to be the biggest blockbuster of 2019, cop a ticket and perhaps a monstrous bucket of popcorn, for we hear the screen time runs just beyond a bladder-busting three hours.

More info on Hong Kong Disneyland and Ant-man and The Wasp: Nano Battle! here.