As part of our ongoing series reviewing the Avengers Campus in Disney California Adventure, we are going to take a look at the newest ride that opened with the land back on June 4th, 20201. WEB SLINGERS: A Spider-Man Adventure is an interactive 3D dark ride that opened with the land, serving as the newest ride in the park and the second ride in the land (after Guardians off the Galaxy: Mission Breakout, which was opened 4 years ago).
Disney describes the ride as follows: Embark on an action-packed adventure alongside the amazing Spider-Man! When Peter Parker’s helpful but otherwise buggy Spider-Bots get stuck in replication mode and escape from a WEB Workshop, Spider-Man must stop the rampaging robots before they wreak total techno-havoc across Avengers Campus. Problem is, they’re rapidly leveling up and becoming tough to beat!
Your task? Hop aboard a WEB Slinger vehicle and help weave a frenzied web to trap these friendly neighborhood sidekicks in true Spidey style. It’s up to you to unleash your inner hero and save the Campus from complete chaos!
While I appreciate a ride’s backstory, I typically glaze over after the first few sentences. Some people really enjoy having full knowledge of the background, as it helps them to fully immerse themselves into the experience. Personally, I like to have the overall gist, and for this ride the gist is “these spider-bots are running amok and we need to help Spider-Man collect them.”
Got it? Good. Let’s get on this ride! But first, we need to get on the ride.
GETTING A SPOT TO RIDE THE RIDE
Like Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, WEB SLINGERS requires a virtual boarding group to experience the ride. To obtain one of these spot, you use the same technique you would for Rise of the Resistance.
You must have a park ticket for the day you planning to go and you must have a park reservation for Disney California Adventure. If you have a park hopper pass and you start in Disneyland, you can only try for the 12PM boarding group time.
You do not need to be IN the park for the 7AM attempt, since the park isn’t opening until 9AM (really, it opens around 8:15AM (you can’t be in the park at that time anyway).
I will do an in-depth video/post on this at a later time, but here are the basics:
- 7AM and 12PM you can obtain these boarding groups on the virtual queues section of the Disneyland app (My Disney Experience)
- You have just a few seconds to snag the boarding group, so you’ll want to refresh this section of the app on the EXACT second the clock changes to 7AM or 12PM
- Once you see ‘Join’ click it, then click ‘Join’ again on the next screen, do this quickly
- If you got one, you will see the boarding group number and an estimated time that that number will be called
- Check the app throughout the day to see what numbers are being called
- Head to the Buena Vista Street entrance when your boarding group is called
This boarding group system has many critics, but personally, I actually like it. I have always gotten a boarding group and it helps so structure my day. Regardless of how you feel about them, they are here for the time being, so get used to it.
QUEUEING UP FOR THE RIDE
You will find the entrance to the ride in the center of the land. It is pretty easy to find, since the land is not that big. Cast members will make sure you have a boarding group that has been called and they will scan you in at some point. You aren’t going to get in without a boarding group, they are checking everyone.
The queue is full of all kinds of details that Spider-Man fans will love. I have to admit, I am not a diehard Spider-Man fan, I have nothing against the property, I just didn’t grow up with it. I have always enjoyed the movies and have a general knowledge about the story and the characters. With that said, even I found the queue to be full of interesting details to look at and get lost in.
The line moves pretty good. I would not say it was a fast line, but it moved very steadily. We did experience a long delay due to a breakdown of the ride, but this happens on all rides at all theme parks. We got stuck in one of the sunniest sections of the line, thanks to two terrible people who would not move forward 20 feet, because they wanted to hog up the shaded area. It was a pretty miserable experience, but that was fully attributed to the two horrible people in ugly Hakuna Matata t-shirts.
Much of the queue was shaded and there were huge fans that rocked back and forth, which kept the sweltering summer temperatures under control (unless, of course, you were stuck behind the two jerks, I promise, I’ll get over this soon).
The line switches back and forth and eventually you enter the pre-show area.
You can find videos of the pre-show all over YouTube. Again, I am a general surface “gist” kind of guy when it comes to ride stories. The basic story is that Peter Parker, played by Tom Holland, has these spider-bots that self replicate and are duplicating at a high rate of speed. They call Spider-Man to help collect them all, before they cause problems (or something). We are assigned to help Spider-Man collect the little mechanical bugs.
I’m sure there is more to it, but that is the idea.
The pre-show is great, it uses projection technology that gives a lot of depth to Peter Parker and the bots. It blends really well with the physical sets around it. Holland does a great job (as always) in the role of Parker. He’s a fantastic actor with a lot of charm and it really comes through in the pre-show.
It is a great addition sitting next to Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout, which uses a phenomenal Rocket animatronic. Between the two rides you get two different, but fantastic pre-shows.
After sh** has hit the fan and the bots are going crazy, the side door slides open and we are funneled into another short line that gets us into the load/unload area.
We are given 3D glasses (I am sure they have a clever name, but I missed it) and sat in the ride vehicles. We were a party of two and were loaded with another party of two, there was plenty of room in the vehicle, which is good, because you are going to do a lot of moving around.
If you haven’t already read, the ride uses the guest’s body movements to control the action on the screen. You fling your arms forward and a web will shoot out from where you are sitting. There is no practice round, like with Toy Story Midway mania, but if you look down on the screen directly in front of you on the vehicle, you will see how the ride is tracking your movement. So check that out and move your arms a bit, to see how it is tracking you.
The ride has four show scenes, in each scene you will fling your arms forward to try and nab as many spider-bots as possible. There are different colored bots that are worth more points and there are other things you can grab with your web that adds even more points.
Each scene is pretty chaotic, there is a lot going on and it gets pretty intense. During some of the press previews I heard guests say that they were pretty wiped out afterward and that their arms were sore, I thought they were just being wimps, but, I can fully attest that the ride will wipe you out. It is exhausting, especially if you are competitive.
The ride keeps track of each guest’s score in your ride vehicle, along with a combined score for the entire car. At the end you are shown how your final score matched up with the other cars for that day. We did pretty good, we were fifth for the hour.
There are add-ons you can purchase that will give you an advantage throughout the ride. Special wrist straps will give you three webs and an Iron Man add-on gives another special ability. A few weeks before we rode the ride, I actually purchased these add-ons. I fitted them to my wrist and got them to work at home. But, when we got to the park I decided to ride the ride without these additions, so I could get a pure experience the first time.
I will definitely be bringing these add-ons for future rides.
REVIEW OF RIDE EXPERIENCE
This was a thoroughly enjoyable ride. It was a lot of fun and is perfect for those who are competitive. The technology used to track arm movements is really impressive and is very accurate. The queue and pre-show area is fully themed with fantastic detail and Spider-Man fans will find countless easter eggs throughout.
One reason I really enjoyed this ride is that I had set my expectations appropriately. I knew that this was not going to be a Rise of the Resistance type ride. It was a medium-level interactive family ride (oh yeah, no height requirement). It was a technologically advanced Toy Story Midway Mania. Knowing this prior to going into the ride, I knew what I was getting myself into, which made the entire experience much more enjoyable.
This is not going to be anyone’s favorite ride of all time, but it is a great addition to the Disney California Adventure and fits in perfectly at Avengers Campus. The entire land is built around interactivity, there are live stunt shows that pop up all over the place and there are meet and greets with over a dozen different Marvel characters that will talk and take pictures with you. This ride first with that idea of being IN the land, not just passively watching the land.
Kids and adults are going to love this attraction and I am sure there will be a number of detractors who were expecting more. There is a massive drop ride that is part of the land that should satiate the appetites of thrill seekers and there is a large e-ticket attraction planned for sometime in the next five years. This family friendly interactive 3D ride is a perfect compliment to the land.