Spider-Man Ride California Adventure

Disney has announced that a new Marvel-themed experience is coming to California Adventure and Disneyland Paris that includes a new attraction “where guests of all ages can join the heroes in action.” The news is relatively vague, but based on some existing patents, we have a good idea of what the attraction is going to be like. In addition to some more story details about this overall expansion of their universe, the company also unveiled concept art for a brand-new Spider-Man suit that was designed by Marvel Studios and the parks’ Imagineers. Check it all out below.

The Concept Art

Disney Parks Spider-Man suit concept art

First, here’s our first look at a new Spider-Man suit designed by Disney Imagineers and Ryan Meinerding, the head of visual development at Marvel Studios. In a statement, Meinderding said in part, “knowing that park guests can get up close to that suit and really take in all the detail the astounding Imagineers packed into it means that we have truly brought a new version of the character to life.” That seems to indicate that the suit will actually be on display somewhere, maybe like those Iron Man suits people could previously see at the Innoventions exhibit.

The Attraction

The Disney Parks Blog is frustratingly vague when it comes to what the new attraction is going to be like – there’s no name yet, for example – but they do say they’re going to “debut a brand-new, cutting-edge interface as part of this fun, interactive attraction. Through a blend of never-before-seen technology and practical effects, guests will get to experience for themselves what it is like to have the abilities of a Super Hero.”

Cutting through the hype-speak, what does this actually mean? We think the combination of Spidey, new technology, and practical effects points toward a Spider-Man ride that Disney has been developing for a couple of years.

In 2017, they applied for a patent for a “Track-based Swing Ride with Long Arm Pendulum” that’s intended to give guests a swinging sensation as they move forward along a ride path. Have you ever ridden Toy Story Mania? In it, riders travel through a circus-style environment and use a mounted “gun” to launch digital projectiles at targets on screens as you pass through, and you get points for each target you hit. It’s very easy for us to imagine a similar set-up here, with each guest having access to a web-shooter, swinging over the streets of New York City on this pendulum ride, and shooting digital webs at targets all the while.

They may also be interested in integrating augmented reality technology (maybe in the queue area?), or potentially even incorporating virtual reality tech somehow, since Disney owns the well-known VR company The Void and wants to add VR to the park experience.

WEB logo

The Story

Finally, the announcement also included this blurb about the new story element Disney is adding to these theme park areas:

The Avengers are setting up new Headquarters and training facilities around the globe to inspire all potential recruits willing to step up and become something more. As part of this global initiative, Tony Stark has founded the Worldwide Engineering Brigade — or WEB for short— to develop advancements in super-powered technology, including new enhancements to Spider-Man’s suit as their debut project. By bringing together the world’s brightest young inventors, the WEB is creating new interfaces that will empower all of us to join the ranks of Earth’s Mightiest.

We’ve written about the company’s larger plans to incorporate these heroes into the parks before, but this WEB initiative is new and will be the setting for this experience. Sounds like it might be a new branding opportunity for Disney as well – I can already picture the WEB shirts and hats they’ll be selling in the gift shop after you exit the ride. Phase one of this new land will open at California Adventure sometime in 2020.

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