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.

8 Essentials You Can’t Forget on Next Universal Studios Trip

There are plenty of factors to consider when planning a trip to any of the Universal theme parks—and you do not want to show up unprepared. Forgetting to pack something or leaving it back in your hotel room can cost time and money, and Universal knows that. You’d be surprised how much even a simple bottle of water can cost. 

To keep you from shelling out more than you planned on your Universal theme park vacation, here are some must-haves that you should make sure don’t get left at home.

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Power Bank

Your cell phone will be your lifeline in the park. Alongside normal communication functions, it gives you easy access to a map that lists wait times for each ride so you can optimize your day. It’s easy to say that complications can arise if your phone dies, which is why you should travel with a power bank. Portable chargers, like this solar-powered one by SOXONO, make charging on the go easy, so you don’t have to stop to find a charging station or head back to your hotel room earlier than expected.


The Universal parks were built in sunny areas where visitors can travel comfortably throughout the year. Forgetting sunscreen can lead to an uncomfortable sunburn that can put a damper on your trip. Keep sunscreen in your bag and remember to reapply throughout the day. Feel free to choose your brand and SPF of choice, but this 30 SPF sunscreen from Sun Bum should get the job done.

Small Backpack

How did you plan to carry all of these items around with you? A small backpack is the easiest way to transport all of your personal items around the park, and it can also double as a fashion statement. Go with something that can show off your love for your favorite franchise in the park, like this Loungefly Spider-Man backpack. It’s small enough to squeeze in and out of the free lockers with ease, so you can easily and safely store your items when you go to ride your favorite coaster.

Rain Jacket

Who likes to walk around in wet clothes all day? While the parks are generally in hot climates, that doesn’t keep them from experiencing the occasional rainstorm, so be sure to check the forecast beforehand. It helps to have a rain jacket, like this one from Columbia, in your bag, just in case a storm arises. Even if it doesn’t rain, you might be happy you brought it when your party decides it’s time to hop on a water ride.

Water Bottle

When you’re on the go in a theme park, it’s even more important to stay hydrated. The heat and thrills can easily tire anyone out if they don’t have enough water. Save yourself from exorbitantly priced bottles of water by bringing your own into the park. Consider something like this SPECIAL MADE collapsable water bottle so you can maximize space in your bag as you travel throughout the park.

Card Holder

Bulky wallets are a drag to carry around all day. Try swapping out your usual wallet for something light and slim, like this Hershel RFID card holder. That way you can have your ticket and credit card on you, for any park hopping or souvenir purchases that arise, without having to stop to put your wallet in a locker for large rides that don’t allow you to carry on items.

Fandom T-shirt

Show off your love for your favorite fandom by wearing some merch to the park. Whether you wear a vintage Jurassic Park cap or try this Harry Potter-inspired herbology shirt, you want to be confident in your outfit of choice. Merch will not only look great in pictures, but it can also help you find fellow fans in the parks.

Hand Sanitizer

With thousands of people traveling in and out of the parks every day, there’s a chance that someone will be carrying around some sort of cold or virus you could catch. Protect yourself and those around you by using hand sanitizer when soap and water are not readily available. These Purell bottles are great for traveling because they are small and come with a jelly carrier that can attach to a bag for easy access.