Web Slingers: A Spider-Man Adventure will be the first ride opening with Disney’s new Marvel-themed land, Avengers Campus, on July 18. If you’re familiar with Disney Parks’ recent Star Wars expansions, think of the Spider-Man ride as the Avenger’s Campus’ equivalent of Millenium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run. While a grander, bigger ride is planned down the road (for Star Wars Land, that was Rise of the Resistance), Web Slingers will be a comparably more straightforward and interactive experience that melds theme park attractions with arcade games.
We recently had an opportunity to visit California Adventure and learn more about the attraction.
The ride takes place in the Worldwide Engineering Brigade (or WEB). In the grand story of the land, Tony Stark designed the WEB organization to showcase bright young scientists. Housed in a former Stark Automotives manufacturing plant, WEB isn’t as polished as a Tony Stark investment would suggest. It’s scrappy and messy — after all, it’s basically been put together by a group of teenagers working on science projects.
After walking through the queue — which, just like the queue up for Millenium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run, promises to be full of Easter eggs — guests will meet an animatronic Spider-Man voiced by Tom Holland. Spidey will give them the WEB elevator pitch and introduce them to his project: the Spider-Bots. But something goes awry and the Spider-Bots won’t stop self-replication and end up running amok. So Spider-Man turns the tour into a training exercise and sends guests to WEB’s latest invention, the Web Slinging vehicle.
Guests will wear 3D glasses, board vehicles, and stretch out their hands to sling animated webs, just like the friendly neighborhood hero himself. The vehicles are equipped with a gesture recognition system that tracks movements 60 times per second. This allows the screens to accurately replicate guests hand gestures; think of it like a game of Just Dance on Kinect, but with web slinging instead. The imagineers referred to what unfolds on the screens of the rides as “gameplay footage,” which suggest that, following in the footsteps of Smuggler’s Run, the Spider-Man ride will be one big video game.
The goal of this game is to knock out all the Spider-Bots. The ride is designed to be approachable to first time riders and young kids, but for seasoned riders, includes trickier shots and strategies for chances at high scores. While it is possible to earn a high score on your own, scores are tracked by car, not individual. So the goal ultimately is to work with the three other riders in your vehicle to collect a cumulative high score. Avengers love team work!
The attraction will combine a mix of real, physical sets and virtual elements. Within the storyline, the Web Slinger Vehicles will take guests all around Avengers Campus, through other locations, as they try to wrangle the Spider-Bots. In reality, the ride won’t ever leave the building. As the ride progresses, it’ll get harder and harder to wrangle all the bots.
“There will be gameplay for our die hard gamers,” said Brent Strong, executive creative director of Walt Disney Imagineering. “And layers of fun for our diehard comic fans,” he added, referring to the multitudes of Easter eggs that will be embedded into the ride and line area. He mentioned that characters without MCU prescences (yet), like Lunella Lafayette (Moon Girl) and Doreen Allene Green (Squirrel Girl), will have some presence within the WEB area.
Web Slingers: A Spider-Man Adventure will open with the park on July 18 in Disney’s California Adventure.