In 1962, readers first cracked open their copies of “Amazing Fantasy #15” to find a new young protagonist, Peter Parker, bitten by a radioactive spider. Pouring over their paneled pages, people of all ages could relate to this teenager who had to learn how to balance the stresses of high school — and eventually working as a photographer — with being a ground-level Super Hero. Many movies and countless comics, video games, cartoons later, and… Well, you know the rest.
Nowadays, the legacy of Spider-Man lives on as a premiere attraction right in the center of Universal Orlando Resort’s Marvel Super Hero Island. I’ve been going to theme parks my whole life and nothing hits quite like The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man. Part of the opening lineup at Universal’s Islands of Adventure in 1999, this classic dark ride with a 3-D/4- D twist HOLDS UP, believe me.
Honestly, if you’re a Marvel fan like me, all you really need to know is that you’ll actually encounter the beloved masked web slinger. Isn’t that enough to make you run to the marquee and queue up?! But fine, I’ll channel my inner journalist and give you the full scoop.
The good news is that you’re getting a peek inside the inner workings of a popular New York newsroom. The bad news is that you’re immediately put to work because the Sinister Syndicate has taken the Statue of Liberty hostage using an anti-gravity cannon in a bid to control the city. In the absence of more experienced reporters, Editor-in-Chief J. Jonah Jameson sends you out as a volunteer in a new high-tech news-gathering vehicle called a “Scoop” (speaking of scoops) to cover the night’s events. You might meet some pretty big villains along the way, but your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man is on your side.
You enter through the Daily Bugle offices for a tour, weaving through cubicles, break areas, display cases for the publication’s many awards, and even a dark room. Meanwhile, television screens relay the news about the ongoing crime. If things seem empty, it’s because all other reporters and photographers have fled due to the chaos. This story is all yours, so it’s time to grab your night vision goggles and head out!
This experience has it all — practical sets and effects, animated characters that seem to jump off the screen as they interact with your ride vehicle, and even a cameo or four.
Head into the back alleys of Manhattan where Spider-Man jumps on the hood of your Scoop to warn you about the dangers ahead. Regardless, you proceed into a warehouse where the villains are plotting. You don’t exactly go unnoticed and it’s a run for your life from there…
- Electro attempts to jolt you with a sparking wire. “You’re in for a shock!”
- Doctor Octopus threatens with fire. “Things are just starting to heat up!”
- Hobgoblin is armed with pumpkin bombs. “Time to blow you off the streets!”
- Hydro-Man messes with the plumbing. “You’re taking a dive!”
- Scream takes a swipe and eggs on her co-conspirators. “Blast them again!”
Spider-Man is with you every step of the way, even when Doc Ock uses that anti-gravity cannon to lift your vehicle to a simulated height of 400 feet up into the concrete jungle. Our Hero tries to pull the Scoop down, but is attacked once again by the full force of the Sinister Syndicate. Of course, he is able to thwart the group, but not before you tumble all the way to the street, coming face-to-face with a manhole cover and some strong, protective webbing.
- Height requirement: 40” (102 cm)
- Children under 48” (122 cm) require a supervising companion
- Child Swap is available upon request
- Universal Express Pass is available
- This was the first-ever ride built that combines moving, motion-based vehicles, 3-D film, and live action.
- The ride building is over 2 acres in size. That’s 1.5 football fields!
- 25 different projectors are in use throughout the ride duration.
- Your Scoop vehicle is capable of rotating a complete 360 degrees in 2 seconds.
THE STORE:SPIDER-MAN SHOP
Once off the ride, be sure to take some time browsing all the Spidey merch. With toys, action figures, mugs, and apparel, there is something for every fan.
You can also take a look across the street at Marvel Alterniverse Store for goodies related to all your favorite Heroes, or head to Comic Book Shop if you want to take home some actual Marvel comics or graphic novels.
BONUS: MEET AND GREET
If you’re lucky, you might catch Spider-Man, himself, on a break. (Swinging from skyscrapers can tire a guy out, but not enough to spurn his biggest admirers.) Flex that web-shooter pose and grab a picture worthy of any edition of the Daily Bugle.
Superfans can seek out even more Heroes like Captain America, Cyclops, Wolverine, Storm and Rogue, as well as Marvel Villains like Doctor Doom and the Green Goblin, who all have meet-and-greets nearby.
To quote our Hero, “Guess that wraps things up!”