Approximately 30 members of the media gathered in a small tent in the Fair Park parking lot last Thursday, anxiously waiting for red carpet guests to arrive as the Marvel Experience Tour made its world premiere.
Notable guests included Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, radio host Glenn Beck and Dallas Cowboys defensive tackle Henry Melton.
“This is great for Dallas, it’s very exciting and a great entrepreneurial opportunity,” Cuban said while waiting in line for an activity.
The experience, which will be in Dallas until Feb. 1, allows guests to train to become official agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Once recruits are registered for training, they view briefing videos featuring some of Marvel’s leaders. Then, they are escorted into the Recruit Training Center, where they can participate in a variety of activities such as climbing like Spider-Man, flying like Iron Man, and practice shooting in the Holo-Blaster Training Simulator.
When recruits feel like taking a break, they can head over to the café and purchase food and drinks. Once they’ve gotten their fill, recruits find themselves in the world’s only 360-degree 3D theater and then on a 4D motion ride. If recruits can make it through all these activities, they will go home as official Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Since Marvel Comics have been around for almost 80 years, some recruits are little kids and others are grown adults.
Former Major League Baseball player Vernon Wells was in attendance with his children and he was having as much fun as they were.
“It is a great pleasure to be here, and it is such a neat experience,” Wells said. “Robert Downey, Jr. won me over, so I’m a huge Iron Man fan.”
The happiest person in attendance was Rick Licht, the CEO of Hero Ventures, which is the company behind the Marvel Experience.
“I’ve began planning this since Oct. 9, 2009, and it means the world to me that people young and old are having a great time,” Licht said while hanging out in one of the seven domes that hold the experience.
Because of all the big events that have been at AT&T; Stadium, the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex is quickly becoming the nation’s entertainment capital, and the Marvel Experience is helping the case.
“Outside of New York, LA, and Chicago, we had to find a city that would appreciate something like this,” Licht said. “I’ve done a lot of work with Mark Cuban in the past, so it made sense for Dallas to host the world premiere.”
One of the biggest reasons Dallas-Fort Worth is booming is because of the recent success of the Texas Rangers, led by General Manager Jon Daniels, who was in attendance.
“Having the premiere be here speaks highly about the community,” Daniels said. “When you think about Marvel, you will now think about Dallas.”
Although the Marvel Experience has just begun, Licht sees a bright future for the tour.
“I am hoping there will be a sequel down the road. We were only able to do 20 percent of the things we had originally planned,” he said. “There will be much more to come.”