The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man is a dark ride manufactured by Oceaneering International and is located at Universal’s Islands of Adventure in Orlando and Universal Studios Japan. For this review we will be looking at the IoA version. The ride officially opened with the park on May 28, 1999, and is located in the Marvel Super Hero Island area of the park. In this post I will be giving you an in depth look into the ride experience as well as my thoughts on it!
You will enter off the street as you will first notice the big facade of Spider-Man and enter the queue under it. The first room of the queue is the lobby of the Daily Bugle. You proceed from that into the offices of the newspaper. I really loved this part of the queue, as I really didn’t feel like I was going on to a theme park ride rather I was in an actual office, it was really well done. After going through the empty office, you enter a room where a screen is playing a clip explaining the story of the attraction, that Doctor Octopus is starting a take over of the city and the guests need to take the Bugle’s new vehicle, “The Scoop”, to try and stop him. You then pick up your “night vision googles”, and proceed to the loading station.
The ride vehicle sits 12 people per vehicle, 4 people across in 3 rows. You pull down the big lap bar that goes across the entire row, and you then begin your experience. The vehicle spots the spider signal on the way out and you are quickly met by Spider-Man himself. He warns the people in the vehicle of what lies ahead and hops on with you. After escaping danger in Manhattan, you enter a warehouse where Sinister Syndicate are holding the Statue of Liberty hostage, and then the ride vehicle is thrown in a sewer where villains such as Doctor Octopus, Electro, and Scream try to attack the riders. You then are thrown deeper in the sewer where Hydro-Man tries to attack while also getting the riders wet. You are then thrown into the streets where you are attacked by Doc Oc again. Hobogoblin then attacks with pumpkin bombs, which sets off a real fire effect, an extremely cool moment for the ride. You are then lifted to the top of a 400 foot building by Doc Oc. Before trying to be pulled down by Spider-Man, Doc Oc releases you and by virtue of many effects, the ride motions like it is falling off of the building. I did not feel the sensation many people do quite frankly. Spider-Man saves you at the last second and thanks you for your help as you are sent back to the Daily Bugle into the unloading station.
After exiting, you are lead into the Spider-Man shop, where you can purchase ride and other Spider-Man related merchandise.
My Thoughts: This has been voted one of the best dark rides in the world by the Golden Ticket Awards for a number of years now and I can see why. This ride has the best mix of screens and practical effects out of any of these kind of rides I’ve been on. I thought it was a lot of fun. The 3D was really well done, the effects were awesome, and the whole experience was second to none! I came in with high expectations and it met those expectations. In my Transformers review I said it was not even close to being as good as this and that is true. Despite it being older, Spider-Man just integrates it’s use of screens and effects that much better. It is by far one of my favorite dark rides at Universal, maybe one of my favorites in the world.
Tips: This ride even on a regular day can see long waits. Waits are normally 5-20 minutes on light days, 30-60 on normal days, and 60-120+ on busy days. Try to make this one of the first attractions you do for the day as this ride is normally a very short wait early in the morning. Keep in mind that if the line is long, there is a single rider line, which I hear can save a considerable amount of time if the line is long. There is also a child swap option, so if your child is too small parents can still go on the attraction.
Final Thoughts: The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man is a must-do for anyone who goes to Universal Islands of Adventure. It’s extremely well use of screens and practical effects make this one of if not the best dark ride in the park, and even possibly the world. Do NOT miss this attraction if you find yourself at Marvel Super Hero Island at IoA!