While this is not an official theme park visit, I would bet there is some interest for this. This won't be as long as the last one. Weather - Mostly pleasant. Here goes...
I went into the city with the family yesterday because Mother Fluxer had tickets to a Broadway show (Mo’Town – which she loved) with her cousin. PreFlux and I went to the Discovery Center which was in the middle of the Theatre District and the parking lot (that we had a coupon for and still cost us $30).
The goal was to see the Avengers Station Exhibit. We are both big fans of the Marvel Movies along with most of the world and it’s just something that we enjoy together. That being said, while are “fans” we are not “fanatics.” We don’t dress up and allow it to rule our lives, but we just tend to enjoy super hero movies.
Knowing that my wife would be enjoying a matinee performance and then go out to dinner with her cousin, I knew we would have a lot time so I purchased a three – event ticket. There were 3 separate admissions and areas for Avengers, LEGO “The Art of The Brick” and Body Worlds Plus.
LEGO – THE ART OF THE BRICK
Due to the longer lines at Avengers, we opted to start with Lego. It started with a brief film about the artist (Nathan Sawaya) which was interesting, short and appropriate for all ages. At the end of the film there is a little surprise which I won’t spoil for you, but it was quite cool. (The movie does review that Nathan kind of cheats…he uses glue at times which is in my mind…well…cheating.)
The rest of the exhibit was just that…an art exhibit. It was very impressive though. There were no areas to build your own stuff…just appreciate what this man has done. He often takes regular works of art and then replicates them in LEGO. The effect is wonderful. He also does his own originals too…which are impressive.
Sadly…the exhibit is a traveling one and is moving to Boston in about a week. A film crew was shooting a documentary for it at the time. At the end we were given a brick to sign and he was going to make a mosaic out of all of the signed bricks. It already looks impressive. He does build special things for the cities that the exhibit travels to. I’m sure he’ll have some Boston things for the next leg of the tour.
We spent about an hour here which is a lot of time for me to be in an art gallery. Impressive…? yes! Especially if you are a LEGO fan. Exit through the gift shop.
Before going in I expected that this would be the most “theme-park-like” exhibit of the three.
When you queue up you are led to an area where each person is given an ID card. You enter your name, email, gender and other stuff in order to create a card with a scanable QR code. This is now your ID badge that tracks your progress through the exhibits.
The storyline is simple. We are newly recruited SHIELD Agents and we are reporting for training. “Actors” in Shield Garb guide you along the way. First is a photo where we were encouraged to make our best super hero pose. (Take a guess…it would later be available at the gift shop with a background of the major players (Thor, Iron Man, Black Widow, Hulk, Captain America and the guy who shoots the arrows)
The layout and settings of the exhibit were very well done. Our mission as new recruits was to learn as much as possible about the organization and it’s members. We saw many of the costumes that were cool and could have even been some of the originals. We also went to touch screens to learn more about each member. Some screens had video clips from the movie.
At the Captain America station there was a scan for weight. (Guess what…I weigh a lot for a Shield Agent.) Then I scanned the test for a hand exercise test. (Guess what…I didn’t go as fast as Steve Rogers.)
Similar tests followed in other stations. I was tested for Gamma Rays in the Hulk room and I didn’t have any. Some of this started getting redundant.
The most popular room was last which was the Iron Man Room. There they had a test where you control a scanner with your eyes in order to hit targets. I did not do well with this at all and during the test I was told…. WELL DONE, YOU GOT ZERO OUT OF SEVEN TARGETS. Apparently, Shield has low standards. There were 3 stations for this test…one was down and the guy dressed as an agent was wiping down the apparatus after each recruit with alcohol wipes.
The biggest draw was something that we did not do due to a very long line. Flying Training. Here each recruit would stand on a circle and the computer would generate an IronMan suit onto the image. The participant would move and the computer would add fire and motion to the image. There were two stations for this and each turn took about 7 minutes. Unlike a theme-park no photos of any kind were allowed. Except the ones you can buy.
Exit through the gift shop.
The time to go through this was about an hour and change. It’s not that there was so much to see and do. It’s that you had to wait for everything that made it long. The seriousness of the Sheild agents and the “theme” of being recruits kind of diminished as we went through it. On a scale of 1 – 10, I would give it a 4. Perhaps a 5 of you are a HUGE fan. I found more adults than kids in the exhibit which was odd. Many adults did not have children with them.
There is a cupcake counter with a few tables so we decided to go elsewhere for a snack. I wanted to go to Shake Shack, but the line was too long so we opted for Schnippers. It was ok and the best part was that we didn’t have to wait too long. On a scale of 1 – 10, I would give it a 6.
We did stop to take a look at the George Rhoads Sculpture at the Port Authority Bus Terminal and sadly it was in its broken-down, non-working and filthy condition. This is in dire need of repair.
BODY WORLDS PLUS
Back to Discovery. The Body Worlds exhibit was respectfully quiet interesting, educational and even motivational. There was another brief movie (with an abrupt ending) to start the exhibit. The premise of it was that 1) Despite our looks – we are all the same on the inside. 2) We have too many labor-saving devices and too many choices creating more stress on our bodies than our ancestors. This causes even more stress on our internal bio-medical infrastructures. 3) Death is investable so make life as meaningful as possible. (AND TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF!)
The exhibits are BRILLANTLY displayed and fascinating to see. Of course this is not something for young children but there were a few (about 8 year old children and up) quietly asking proper questions to their parents about what they were seeing.
Variations of this exhibit have been around for many years and one even made its way into a James Bond Film (Casino Royale)…but this particular layout was awe inspiring.
Seeing actual displays of embryos and pregnancies was intriguing.
No photos were allowed – except for the display of the horse and rider which was 2/3 into the exhibit.
And yes…exit to the gift shop.
Bathrooms were clean and in decent shape.
Now I need to mention the cost of all of this.
Adult Ticket Prices for Each Show Are As Follows:
Avengers $27 Body Works $27 Lego $22.50
Child Ticket Prices for Each Show Are:
Avengers $19.50 Body World Plus $19.50 Lego $17.50
If you go to more than one show you can save a little and if you go to all three it was something like $115.
It wasn’t cheap…but it was a very interesting day.
Here is the website for Discovery Center:
Thank you for reading this.
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