UPDATE: The opening date for The Marvel Experience has been pushed back to Friday, December 19.
If you have ever sat there in a movie theater or on your couch at home and wondered what it would be like to actually be in one of the Marvel movies you love so much, you're going to have the opportunity to do just that and more when the Marvel Experience debuts Salt River Fields at Talking Stick for its first-ever preview.
For the lucky audience members who take part in the Marvel Experience's extensive December preview, it is going to be a "game changer" says Rick Licht, one of the founding partners and CEO of Hero Ventures, the company producing the attraction. The centerpiece of the two-acre Marvel Experience is a 4D motion ride (think Star Tours at Disneyland).
Adding holograms and the "best 3D anyone has ever seen" to the mix will make this a truly unique experience, as audience members experience the feeling of moving through or being in a Marvel movie as a new S.H.I.E.L.D. recruit due to the nature of the "ride" aspect of the Marvel Experience.
"We're taking them into hyper reality," Licht says. "We're putting them in a Marvel movie. This will be bigger, more unique, and dynamic than anything they've ever experienced. There are so many firsts associated with this show, not just in touring, but in live events. We're going to make their heads spin. There is going to be a lot of smiles when the Marvel Experience comes to Phoenix on December
12 19." Partnering with Hero Ventures is longtime rock and roll tour impresario and Broadway producer Michael Cohl, who has produced concert tours for acts like The Who, the Rolling Stones, U2, and Barbra Streisand.
"I was looking for a Godfather. Someone who had been there and done that when it comes to just about everything in live entertainment... and Michael was there. We reached out with a cold package and he was kind enough to take a look at it," Licht says about his partner, Cohl, who seems absolutely excited to be part of the team. For Cohl, the chance to work with super heroes is probably not as daunting as it would be to those who hadn't worked with folks like Bono, Mick Jagger, and Stevie Wonder.
Of working with superheroes, Cohl says, "Their riders are much easier... They don't talk back. I like to use the line, 'it's the same only different.' All of the big shows and the big licensing opportunities, whether it's Marvel or it's Rolling Stones... They all have their own nuances and their own demands, but more than anything else, you're all moving in the same direction. You're creating an event and trying to create the best possible experience for the audience. In that respect, they're somewhat different, but they're also the same."
The extended preview of the Marvel Experience runs from Friday, December
12 19, 2014, to Saturday, January 3, 2015, with hours from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. each day. Tickets are $32.50 per person (not including service fees) and currently on sale through Ticketmaster. And with an included feature of augmented reality to how this show is programmed, no trip to the Marvel Experience will be the same.
Check out themarvelexperiencetour.com and see for yourself.
Editor's note: This post has been updated from its original version.