This summer saw the launch of Avengers Campus at Disney California Adventure, and along with the new Marvel-themed land came the first Spider-Man dark ride in a Disney theme park. Today, we head into the Disneyland Resort to bring you our complete Unofficial Guide to getting into—and getting the most out of—WEB SLINGERS: A Spider-Man Adventure.
Peter Parker (played by Tom Holland) is testing out a way to allow anyone to sling webs like his “good friend” Spider-Man can.
Guests touring the Worldwide Engineering Brigade laboratory have the chance to suit up like a real superhero—or at least slap on some 3-D spectacles and help out when Parker’s adorable self-replicating Spider-Bots are accidentally unleashed on the campus.
After a pre-show briefing from Holland in holographic form, riders snake through the former Stark automotive factory before grabbing 3-D glasses and boarding cubical red-and-blue WEB Slinger vehicles.
If you’ve already been on Toy Story Midway Mania, you’ll instantly recognize this attraction’s format: guests sit on back-to-back benches in a slow-moving vehicle that slides past large 3-D screens showing computer-animated targets to shoot at. The twist here is that instead of aiming a physical gun and tugging on a string to launch projectiles, you simply fling your hands forward and sophisticated motion-capture cameras do the rest, transforming your flailing into flying virtual webbing.
The digital visuals in WEB SLINGERS are far sharper and more vibrant than in earlier interactive rides, and the gesture recognition technology is much more responsive than the similar system found in Legoland’s Ninjago, making for a very invigorating (even exhausting) experience as you strive to out-sling your seatmates. Although the gameplay is involving, the absence of any physical effects in between the screens, or recognizable characters other than Spidey himself, makes WEB SLINGERS seem far less ambitious and immersive than Universal Orlando’s Spider-Man attraction, which is over 20 years old.
Final Unofficial Guide Rating: 4 Stars
WEB SLINGERS Touring Tips
WEB SLINGERS is ultimately a lot of fun to play, but getting to that point can be a very frustrating experience. First, you’ll need to secure a Virtual Queue boarding group. Virtual Queue boarding passes, which are free for all guests, become available each morning exactly at 7 a.m., with a second batch made available daily at noon. Guests must use their smartphone’s Disneyland app to secure their place in the virtual queue; fast fingers are required because passes are all snapped up within a matter of seconds.
If you’re lucky enough to successfully join a Virtual Queue, you won’t receive a set time at which you schedule your return; rather, you’ll be assigned a group number and receive a push notification on your phone when your turn has arrived. At that point you will then have a 1-hour window in which to arrive at the attraction and show your boarding code. (Those without a phone can periodically check their virtual queue status at a designated kiosk.)
Cast members have some discretion in enforcing the boarding end time, so plead your case if you are late because you were stuck on another attraction or had a dining reservation. Guests with DAS should tell a cast member about their status when redeeming their boarding pass so they can bypass most of the subsequent wait.
Guests can try for the 7 a.m. Virtual Queue distribution from anywhere inside or outside the Disneyland Resort area, but you must already have tickets and a theme park reservation at Disney California Adventure booked for that day. For the noon distribution, all members of your party must have scanned their admission at the entrance of the reserved park before joining a Virtual Queue, but guests with park hopper tickets can try for attractions inside either park, or outside the resort entirely, if you want to take a midday break back at your hotel.
You may only join one Virtual Queue at a time, and you can only use the Virtual Queue for a particular ride once per day. It is possible to ride two different Virtual Queue attractions in the same day, but you must get a low boarding group number for the first ride at 7 a.m., and redeem it at the attraction’s entrance before joining your second Virtual Queue at noon. Your virtual place in line can’t be traded or transferred, and a boarding group number doesn’t guarantee you’ll ride if there are unexpected problems with the attraction.
Once your boarding number is called, you’ll probably have to wait in a line stretching around the building just to scan your pass, after which you’ll spend up to an hour in an unshaded outdoor queue whose theme is “ugly industrial parking lot.”
Comics fans can amuse themselves here by searching for characters’ first appearance dates hidden in the signage.
More Marvel Easter eggs (and a few nods to Disney Imagineering) can be found hidden in the interior queue and pre-show.
Your first trip through will feel too chaotic to both enjoy the visuals and play competitively. To score high, aim for green and gold targets in the background and corners of the screens. Riders seated on the ends of the row have an easier time, and there’s no need to make Spidey’s split-finger gesture—just keep karate chopping like crazy.
Wrist-mounted WEB Power Bands that can boost your blasting power (and score) are sold for $35 in the nearby gift shop. Since guests can only ride once per day, and because the devices don’t interact outside of the ride, they seem like an even bigger waste than paid upgrades in video games.
The customizable remote-controlled Spider-Bots ($80 and up) make much cuter and more functional souvenirs.
Have you had a chance to experience WEB SLINGERS yet? Let us know what you think about the ride in the comments!
For all there is to see and do at Disneyland, check out The Unofficial Guide to Disneyland by Seth Kubersky with Bob Sehlinger, Len Testa, and Guy Selga Jr. All Disneyland fans should also check out The Disneyland Story: The Unofficial Guide to the Evolution of Walt Disney’s Dream by Sam Gennawey. If you enjoyed this post, please subscribe to our YouTube channel and sign up for our newsletter here. Be sure to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube.