If you’re a fan of the Marvel Universe, then you (like us), often spend your time fantasizing about escaping to one of the many mystical cities and alternate worlds where our beloved stories take place. And while you can’t exactly whisk off to Asgard across the rainbow bridge, or pop into Stark Tower for a sneak peek at the infamous Arc Reactor, you can, however, lose yourself in some “real world” action-packed destinations.
From mind-blowing 4D experiences to the movie locations themselves, if you’re planning a super vacation, then these destinations will satisfy your inner-hero and leave you screaming “Excelsior”!
Universal’s Islands of Adventure, Marvel Super Hero Island, Orlando
This Florida theme park offers thrill-seeking entertainment of superhero proportions! With Marvel inspired rides, shopping, and restaurants, amid unique comic book-style architecture, you’ll feel as if you just stepped into the mind of Stan Lee! Home to epic attractions including the Incredible Hulk roller coaster, where you will be able to “Hulk Out” at 40 mph, as you are launched through loops and subterranean dips. Then there’s The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man, a multi-sensory 3-D experience that is filled with web-slinging, stimulated action. And Doctor Doom’s Fearfall can be a nightmare for fans who have a fear of heights. On top of that, you’ll also be able to meet Spiderman, members of the X-Men and other superheroes throughout the day.
Madame Tussauds, New York
Can you imagine standing toe to toe with the Incredible Hulk? Or stepping behind Captain America’s indestructible adamantium shield? Well, at Madame Tussauds New York location you can! The famed wax museum has put on a treat for all fans with lifelike statues of Spider-Man, Iron Man, Captain America and many more. Not only will you be able to get up close and personal with your favorite hero, you can also try your hand at lifting Thor’s legendary hammer, Mjolnir! Next, you can stop by the “contamination station” to size-up the 15-foot tall Incredible Hulk and to make sure you haven’t been exposed to any mutating gamma rays. The icing on the cake is “Marvel Superheroes 4-D Experience,” a 3-D film complete with 4-D special effects simulating water, wind and earthquake tremors. For $35, your Marvel dreams can come true.
Superhero Walking Tour, New York
Serving as inspiration and home to so many legendary superheroes, New York is steeped in comic book lore and is the top destination for Marvel fans. The streets of New York City are filled with comic book history, and on this guided two-hour walking tour, you can see everything from the film locations themselves to the actual office where Bob Kane worked to co-create Batman (we know this is Marvel focused, but still)! Starting off at JHU Comics, you’ll check out famous New York landmarks, such as the Flatiron Building, which was The Daily Bugle in the Spiderman movies and the magnificent Chrysler Building, a skyscraper where Spidey regularly perches. And as a bonus, the tour ends at a hidden bar, where famous comic book artists have been drawing cartoons on the walls since the 1960s. The perfect place to kick back and toast to your favorite heroes. Tickets are $35 each.
Bonus: While in NYC, make sure you check out the largest comic book store in the United States, Midtown Comics.
Professor Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters, Ontario
If you’ve started developing mutant powers, or want to work towards a future where humans and mutants can live in harmony, then you’re going to want to check out the Parkwood Estate in Oshawa, Ontario. Better known in the Marvel Universe as Professor Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters, this historic estate with pristine gardens (located less than an hour east of the city of nearby Oshawa) was used for the exterior of Professor Xavier’s special institute in the X-Men films. And while you can’t exactly enroll, you can enjoy a stroll through the gardens and visit the Teahouse restaurant free of charge. The estate has been used in countless movies, and a walk around the exterior is all you need to feel as though you’ve joined the fight against Magneto.
Have you had a vacation with an extra side of superhero? Tell us all about it in the comments below!