5 Differences Between Disney and Universal’s Spider-Man Rides

Disneyland’s Avengers Campus opened to the public on June 4, 2021, unveiling their newest attraction, WEB SLINGERS: A Spider-Man Adventure. While this is Disney’s first Spidey-themed ride, it is not the only one in existence. Across the U.S., Peter Parker makes his home at Universal’s Islands of Adventure. This fan favorite attraction has been around since the Orlando park opened in 1999 and was later cloned for Universal Studios Japan.

With both theme park giants constructing rides based on the same source material, naturally the final products will be compared. From web slinging to thrills and pyrotechnics, we broke down the biggest differences between these attractions.

Modern Marvel

Tom Holland dressed as Spider-Man standing in front of a train.

Now that Disney is a parent company to Marvel, it’s no surprise they want to include this incredibly successful franchise in their parks. Because of this, they feature the most up-to-date iteration of Spider-Man, currently portrayed by Tom Holland in the MCU films. He appears in the queue and speaks throughout the attraction, further bolstering this Disney IP.

On the other hand, Marvel Superhero Island at Universal’s Islands of Adventure opened ten years before The Walt Disney Company acquired Marvel Entertainment. Disney continues to honor the contract with Universal that gives their biggest theme park competitor the right to maintain their Marvel land in perpetuity, or indefinitely, unless Universal closes the land, stops making the contractual payments, or Marvel determines Universal has caused damage to Marvel’s brand.

The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man attraction is more generically themed towards the comic books, without tying the character to a specific film portrayal. As riders walk through the queue, they become immersed in scenes from The Daily Bugle, appearing lifted straight from a comic book. Throughout the attraction, riders come face-to-face with a variety of Spider-Man villains, who have not brought to life in film.

Thrill Factor

Riders on The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man at Universal's Islands of Adventure
Universal Orlando

People of all ages love Spider-Man, so naturally Universal and Disney want these rides to appeal to all ages. That said, it appears the Universal’s option is the way to go if you’re looking for more thrills.

In The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man, riders get the scoop on the latest super villain plot to steal the Statue of Liberty. While the dark ride doesn’t include any actual flips or major drops, they simulate these effects through a combination of 3D projection, physical sets, and both practical and tactile effects.

Over on Web Slingers, experimental Spider-Bots are causing mayhem across Avengers Campus and riders have to help Spider-Man stop them by joining in on the web-slinging. Admittedly, they are less threatening than the batch of Spider-Man villains in Universal’s ride. This dark ride also keeps its movements and speed mundane to give players enough time to take aim at their targets.


Concept art for Disneyland's Avengers Campus WEB SLINGERS: A Spider-Man Adventure ride

Another major difference between these two rides is their levels of interactivity. On The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man, you’re ideally going to have the same experience every time you board the ride vehicle. If for some reason you don’t, it’s likely that there was a malfunction of some sort.

But Web Slingers is both a ride and a game — the more Spider-Bots you web up, the more points you get. And the more you ride, the more opportunities you have to beat your high score and beat your friends. Fans have imagined slinging webs like Spider-Man for decades, and this interactive element truly brings this dream to life.

Pay to Play

Web-shooter attachment for WEB SLINGERS: A Spider-Man Adventure

While park admission is enough to board either of these rides, Web Slingers has an option to upgrade and personalize the experience — for a price. Park-goers can purchase WEB Power Band and add-ons. The band enables a multi-fire mode and the additional add-on customizes the experience even more. This includes shooting electro-dynamic webs or repulsor blasts with the writst piece.

Despite The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man, not having an upgraded option, the Universal parks are not strangers to this concept. In the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, interactive wands are available for purchase that enable users to perform spells throughout the lands. Super Nintendo World also has a similar concept for their Power-Up Bands that are used to compete and earn points around the land.

Timeless Classic

Spider-Man fist bumping a child in front of The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man at Universal's Islands of Adventure
Universal Orlando

Avengers Campus and Web Slingers have only opened recently. As a result, the ride and the land haven’t had a chance to truly establish themselves just yet. Only time will tell if this ride holds up with fans over the years. Disney seems to have big hopes for Avengers Campus, with plans to develop similar lands at Disneyland Paris and Hong Kong Disneyland. Early reviews tend to be positive.

Meanwhile, The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man was a success since it opened in 1999. The ride received much critical acclaim, including winning the Golden Ticket Award for Best Dark Ride for twelve consecutive years. Even ten years on from its last major refurbishment, The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man is still considered one of the best attractions out there.

The 5 Times Disneyland Closed Unexpectedly, Explained

It takes a lot to stop Disneyland from opening. Over its 65 years of operation, the park has only experienced six unscheduled closures. National crises and weather hazards are the main reasons that the castle has closed the gates, but did you know that a confrontation with the Yippies also caused the park to close up for the day in 1970? The fair and few closings of the park show their dedication to their business and serving their customers.

The Assassination of John F. Kennedy

The first time Disneyland unexpectedly closed down was for the national day of mourning following the assassination of John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963. According to Disney Parks Blog, Kennedy is only known to have visited Disneyland once in October 1959 when he was a senator.

An Anti-Vietnam War Riot

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by People’s Guide to OC (@pg2oc)

On August 6, 1970, the Youth International Party, a countercultural free speech and anti-war movement, invaded Disneyland. Before the riot police arrived and closed down the park for the day, their members, commonly referred to as Yippies, raised a flag at City Hall and managed to take over Tom Sawyer Island.

A Winter Storm

Disneyland’s third closure in 24 years took place on December 16, 1987, due to a winter storm. The fierce snowstorm moved quickly across Southern California, reaching from Malibu to the extremities of the Mojave Desert. The Los Angeles Times reported that Disneyland did not see snow but did face rain and strong winds.

The September 11 Attacks

DesignOil / PIXABAY

The September 11 attacks on the United States resulted in nearly 3,000 deaths and sparked the country’s war on terror. Disney closed down their parks nationwide in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks on the United States. According to Disney Food Blog, the Disneyland reopened the next day with additional police, a K9 unit, and security screenings in place.

The COVID-19 Pandemic

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Marcela (@disneysweetstuff)

Disneyland closed on March 14, 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. That summer, Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park announced plans to reopen in time for the 65th anniversary of Disneyland Resort, but these plans were delayed. Downtown Disney was able to reopen that summer, however, the California parks both remain closed until the magic returned on April 30, 2021.

Questionable: The Northridge Earthquake


In the early hours of January 17, 1994 a 6.7 magnitude earthquake shook the San Fernando Valley. The Northridge Earthquake killed around 60 people, injured thousands, and resulted in over $20 billion in damage. There is debate as to whether the whole park was shut down due to the earthquake or whether rides were just temporarily closed, but either way it seems that safety checks occurred to ensure rides were secure.