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Widely regarded as one of the best theme park attractions in Orlando, and one of our favorite rides anywhere in the world, and is at the top of IOA's “Must Do” list. The attraction moves a spinning, tilting ride vehicle through thirteen scenes (covering 1 ½ acres) of mayhem, which fuse 3-D digital projections almost seamlessly with actual sets and props, accompanied by special effects including fog, water, and fire. In many instances guests cannot tell until the action begins whether they’re looking at a movie screen or an actual brick wall.
The total package is astonishing—frenetic yet fluid, and visually rich. The ride is wild yet very smooth. Though the attraction opened over fifteen years ago, Spider-Man is still technologically ahead of almost everything at Walt Disney World — which is to say it will leave you in awe.
The storyline is that you’re visiting the Daily Bugle newspaper (where Peter Parker, a.k.a. Spider-Man, works as a mild-mannered photographer), when crime reports start coming in. The Sinister Syndicate – consisting of Spidey's archenimies Doctor Octopus, Hobgoblin, Electro, Hydro, and Scream – have used and anti-gravity gun to steal – we promise we’re not making this up – the Statue of Liberty. You’re drafted on the spot by cantankerous editor J. Jonah Jameson to go get the story. You board a 12-passenger SCOOP vehicle – a mobile open-top motion simulator identical to the cars used in USF's Transformers – and follow the “Spider Signal” straight into an epic battle between the web-slinger and his foes.
The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man combines your ride vehicle’s motion so smoothly with the film sequences that you quickly believe you’re part of the action. Without giving away too much of the surprise, one part of the attraction has you raised high above the city skyline. After speeding around, you experience a 400-foot “sensory drop” from a skyscraper roof all the way to the pavement. The blending of 3-D film and pitching of the ride car is so convincing that during our first ride we were sure we were being lifted inside the building; we had to ride a second time, with our glasses off, to see how the effect was done while keeping the car on the ground.
Even though Spidey's cybertronic sibling in USF has proven popular, the original 3-D dark ride has held it's ground as the first and still favorite in its genre. It's less frantic and frenetic, than Transformers, and features more dialogue and humor. And despite using similar systems, some folks who get motion sick on Transformers find they can tolerate this ride better.
Note that this attraction is sometimes open during Early Park Admission, typically at very busy times of year.
If you were on hand for Early Park Admission, ride after experiencing the Wizarding World, Skull Island, and The Incredible Hulk Coaster. If you elect to bypass all the congestion at the Wizarding World, ride after the Hulk.
Seats in first row are the most “immersive” but we find the 3-D effects focus better from a row or two back. The rear corners get the most movement, while the center of the second row is the most stable.
The standby and Express queues both wind through portions of the Daily Bugle newsroom; Express cuts through Peter Parker’s darkroom (look for Spidey’s glowing hand-prints on the ceiling) while Standby get to see J. J.’s trophy case, with hidden tributes to the designers. There is also an on-ride photo, but the camera is in an odd position, so everyone comes out facing the wrong way. The single rider option, when available, can greatly cut your wait as long as the line doesn't reach the stroller parking area.
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Here's roughly how many minutes you'll wait for The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man at each Islands of Adventure Crowd Level.
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