Okay, would-be Web Slingers. Today’s finally your day. You Theme Park Tourists have perennially voted The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man as one of the best overall attractions in the entire industry. Since 1999, this Universal Studios Florida motion simulation ride has operated as the prototype for most of what’s followed during the ascent of Universal Studios as a vacation getaway. Harry Potter gets most of the glory, but it was Aunt May’s favorite nephew that put Universal on the path.
The Marvel character’s adventures through New York City quickly redefined what was possible through the magic of 3-D and some engineering ingenuity. From day one, the Spider-Man ride was such a hit that Universal Studios quickly duplicated it in Japan, where it debuted in 2004. They’ve since embraced the technology to the point that innumerable Universal attractions such as Transformers: The Ride, The Simpsons Ride, Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem, and both major Harry Potter rides follow this formula to some degree.
Clearly, The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man is one of the most influential rides of the 20th century, one whose impact is still felt today. Let’s go Behind the Ride to learn how Universal Studios engineers built one of the most impacting amusement park creations ever.
The Experience: Bringing the Pages of a Comic Book to Life
The Trick: Setting the Tone in the Line Queue
Working at a newspaper like The Daily Bugle is very 20th century. Yes, the newspaper industry is almost extinct today, but it wasn’t when The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man opened in 1999. More important, it was a critical part of Spider-Man’s story since the inception of the comic book. Spider-Man’s rogues’ gallery is epic. The bane of Peter Parker’s existence, however, is J. Jonah Jameson, his employer and boss.
The setting of the line queue is the office of The Daily Bugle. It’s thematic to a fault. To wit, guests oftentimes complain about how bland and gray the backdrop is, failing to understand that this is entirely the point. In developing the ride, Universal planners stress authenticity.
When you look back at comics from the 1960s, the time of Spider-Man’s debut, you’ll note that many cells are dull and lifeless. That was a tactic to save artists from having to draw the entirety of the panel. The locations where the panel has color are the focal point for the action. The line queue is the same in that you’re not supposed to look at the standard items you’d see in a newspaper bullpen. If anything, you should pay attention to the televisions in each area since they’re reporting on a heinous assault perpetrated by the dastardly villains of New York City. The desks, computers, snacks, and other accoutrements standard in a newspaper office shouldn’t distract you away from an apocalyptic assault on the Statue of Liberty, folks!