Hong Kong Disneyland plans Iron Man addition

Hong Kong Disneyland is adding an Iron Man-themed area in the hopes that the Marvel superhero’s success at the Chinese box office will draw more visitors to the underachieving resort.

The park said the Iron Man Experience, set to open by late 2016, will include a thrill ride that will let visitors “take flight with Iron Man on an epic adventure” involving a “battle against alien invaders” across Hong Kong.

Fans will be able to take photos with the action character, view the different Iron Man suits and visit a gift shop.

Hong Kong Disneyland revealed few other details, such as the project’s budget.

It’s the latest in a series of expansions aimed at bolstering visitor numbers at the struggling park. At just 311 acres when it opened, Hong Kong Disneyland was the smallest of California-based Walt Disney Co.’s parks worldwide. Some $465 million in new attractions added over the past two years, including rides based on the “Toy Story” movies, have added a quarter to the park’s size.

The expansion efforts so far appear to be paying off. The park earned a small profit of $14 million in its latest financial year, its first after losing hundreds of millions since opening in 2005.

The Iron Man ride would be the first based on a Marvel franchise for Disney, which bought Marvel for $4.2 billion in December 2009.

Vietnam Vet Memorial model arrives in DC

A half-scale model of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial that usually travels the country has been brought to Washington because the government shutdown is restricting access to the actual wall.

The memorial’s creator, Jan C. Scruggs, brought the wall to Washington from Corvallis, Ore. The copy, which is metal and 250 feet long, and has been set up on the Georgetown University campus. It was open to the public, with free shuttles taking visitors to the campus from the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial on the Mall is technically closed and entrances have been barricaded, but that hasn’t prevented tourists from getting around the barricades. Still, there have been reports that Park Police have periodically shooed visitors away.

“If we can’t open it, we just bring in a replica!” Scruggs said in an email. “This really is an outrage.”

At Georgetown, the model wall has been set up in front of Healy Hall and outside the Joseph Mark Lauinger Memorial Library. The library is named for a Georgetown student who died serving in Vietnam in 1970. Lauinger’s name is on one of the wall’s panels, and officials with the wall have been pointing it out to students.

The model wall is called “The Wall That Heals.” It will remain on campus through Monday.

Milwaukee museum features Sully exhibit

The Milwaukee Art Museum is exhibiting more than 70 works done by 19th-century portrait painter Thomas Sully.

It’s the first retrospective of the artist in 30 years and the first to present the artist’s portraits and subject pictures.

Sully was known for employing drama and theatricality to his works. In some of his full-length portraits, he composed his figures as if they were onstage. Some of his subjects even seem to be trying to directly engage the viewer.

“Thomas Sully: Painted Performance” runs through Jan. 5. It travels to the San Antonio Museum of Art on Feb. 5.

Associated Press