Marvel Superhero Island.
Restrictions and access
40 inches; has Express Pass access and a single rider line.
Two sentence insider summary
When it opened, The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man was considered a huge technological achievement, combining 3-D film, ride movement, and special effects for the very first time. Despite being over 10 years old, Spider-Man is still an incredible theme park experience, and one that you will likely want to experience over and over — especially since it is even more detailed after its recent HD upgrade (more info below).
3 out of 5. Lots of motion and special effects, but this one really manages to be far more entertaining than scary.
With the new HD upgrade, lines are still usually around 45 to 60 minutes on moderate to busy days. During really busy times you might see that number climb above 60 — if so, don’t forget that there’s a single rider line!
What you wish you knew before you experienced it
Even though this is a simulator style ride somewhat like Forbidden Journey, its motions are much more traditional. This makes it very family-friendly, and yet it is still very thrilling!
OI fun fact
Look for a Stan Lee cameo toward the end of the ride!
Full Spider-Man refurbishment press release:
May 19, 2011
Already one of the most popular and innovative theme park attractions ever created, The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man at Universal’s Islands of Adventure continues to raise the bar for theme park entertainment – combining advanced motion-based ride vehicles, 3-D digital film and live special effects to create an unparalleled ride experience. It is widely acknowledged as one of the best theme park experiences in the world – and it’s about to get mind-blowingly better.
The newly reanimated, high-definition experience will unfold within the attraction’s towering visual spaces – taking on even larger than larger-than-life proportions. The new digital animation – combined with the new Infitec system and new set enhancements – will transform what is already one of the most technologically advanced attractions ever created into what will feel like an all-new experience.
Facts about the enhanced ride experience:
- All-new digital animation done in 4K high definition – the highest HD resolution available
- The new HD animation will allow guests to experience details they’ve never been able to before – from the flames spewing from Hobgoblin’s pumpkins to the electricity arching through Electro’s body to the stitching on Spider-Man’s gloves.
- To take advantage of new HD clarity and detail, Universal Orlando is adding entirely new details to the film – and leaving it up to guests to find them.
“Guests will not believe their eyes when they experience the new Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man,” said Thierry Coup, senior vice president of the Universal Creative Studio. “We are talking about a larger-than-life environment and the HD animation will make it even more remarkable than it has been. It will seem brand-new.”
What follows is a great article about the refurb that was published on March 7, the day before the ride re-opened:
“The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man,” which reopens Thursday. It quickly gained popularity among theme park fans after debuting in 1999 but has only had minor tweaks since. Lately it had slipped into the also-ran category of Universal rides with the 2010 opening of the immensely popular Harry Potter attraction in another corner of Islands of Adventure.
The ride, which combines motion vehicles, a towering screen and special effects, was reanimated in digital high-definition 3-D and got updated sets, sound system, lighting and music. Universal says the clearer, brighter animation allowed the addition of loads of new details and high-tech gimmicks to the ride, in which the wise-cracking web-slinger battles villains Doctor Octopus, Scream, Electro, Hydro-Man and the Hobgoblin.
“We saw an opportunity to make it ready for a whole new generation of fans, and this was a perfect time to do so,” said Mark Woodbury, president for Universal Creative, the park’s design and development group. “The technology was available to us, (and) we saw the opportunity to create something really unique — more immersive, more detailed, more visual.”
He’s not kidding. It’s 4 minutes of chaotic hurtling around a much more realistic animated version of New York City than before, with all sorts of stuff flying at the rider’s car and the villains getting close enough to make you flinch repeatedly. The digital reanimation adds stunning depth and clarity, the quality of which is a cut above the 3-D seen in the theaters these days.
There’s so much going on in every scene that multiple rides will be necessary to catch all the new details. The sound is noticeably better, too.
As Lee has done in some of the movies based on his characters, he steps into the ride three times for subtle cameos. He said he’s not surprised at the enduring draw of his most famous creation, but he’s quick to distribute the credit for Spidey’s longevity.
“The people who are doing the stories after I stopped, and the people who are doing the cartoons and the rides and the motion pictures are doing such a fantastically wonderful job that the public seems to have a renewed interest in Spider-Man every time (something new) comes out,” he said.
Spider-Man re-opens after HD upgrade – video
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The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man – HD video
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The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man – photo gallery
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The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man – map
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View OI’s map of Universal’s Islands of Adventure in a larger map