The recent announcement regarding the closure of the Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man ride at Universal Studios Japan has been making waves in the theme park industry. With the expiration of Universal Studio Japan’s Marvel license, speculation are starting that Tokyo Disney Resort could be the next destination for Spider-Man-themed attractions.
- 🐭🎢🏰 Universal Studios Japan’s Marvel license will expire on January 22, 2024, potentially opening the door for Disney to introduce Spider-Man-themed attractions at Tokyo Disney Resort.
- 🕷️🕸️The Spider-Man attraction could involve guests touring the Worldwide Engineering Brigade laboratory, where they would board a WEB Slinger vehicle and experience an interactive 3D adventure through various scenes featuring different Marvel connections.
A Brief Recap: Spider-Man Ride Closure at Universal Studios Japan
As previously reported, Universal Studios Japan announced the permanent closure of their popular Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man ride on January 22, 2024. The reason for the closure is due to licensing agreement with Marvel, which was signed for 20 years. Once the license expires, Universal will no longer have the rights to feature Marvel characters in its Osaka park.
Will Tokyo Disney Resort Seize the Opportunity?
With Universal Studios Japan losing its grip on the Marvel rights, it paves the way for Tokyo Disney Resort to introduce Spider-Man-themed rides and attractions. Disney owns Marvel Comics and has already introduced successful Marvel attractions in other Disney theme parks across the globe, making it likely that they would consider expanding into Tokyo as well.
Licensing Agreements between Marvel and Theme Park Operators
A crucial factor influencing this potential move is tied to licensing agreements. In 1994, Universal Studios secured an agreement with Marvel that allowed them to use certain characters east of the Mississippi River in the United States and granted rights for usage in their Japanese park.
When Disney acquired Marvel in 2009, they brought a complicated situation regarding these licensing agreements. While they continued gaining access to most Marvel characters globally, certain restrictions remained due to pre-existing contracts.
Universal’s initial arrangement with Marvel set an end date for their rights in Japan: January 22, 2024. As this day approaches and Universal loses those specific rights, it opens the door for Disney to capitalize on the immensely popular Marvel characters and incorporate them into Tokyo Disney Resort.
How to Implement Spider-Man Attractions in Tokyo Disney Resort
While there are no official announcements on whether Spider-Man-themed rides will be coming to Tokyo Disney Resort, the opportunity presents itself as an exciting prospect for park enthusiasts. The question arises: How will Disney choose to bring Marvel’s web-slinging hero to life in Tokyo?
Disney may opt for a route similar to its recent successful attempts with Avengers Campus at Disney California Adventure and Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind at Epcot, where they introduced new attractions instead of re-themes.
The introduction of Spider-Man rides could coincide with a larger expansion in Tokyo Disney Resort, given the massive appeal of Marvel characters worldwide. This would allow the resort to compete more fiercely against other regional theme parks in Asia.
Worldwide Disney Theme Parks With Marvel Attractions
- Walt Disney World Resort (Florida): Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind is a roller coaster located in EPCOT. It is Disney’s first Marvel-themed attraction and first reverse launch coaster, featuring a train that rotates 360 degrees for an immersive experience. Guests join Marvel characters like Groot, Gamora, Star-Lord, and Rocket on this thrilling family ride.
- Disneyland Resort California: Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout! is a drop tower attraction where guests help the Guardians escape from the Collector’s fortress. Avengers Campus is an area in Disney California Adventure Park set in a version of the MCU where the Snap did not occur. Web Slingers: A Spider-Man Adventure is a 3D attraction where guests join Spider-Man on an adventure.
- Disneyland Paris: Spider-Man W.E.B. Adventure is located at Avengers Campus in Disneyland Paris in Marne-la-Vallée, France. It is a similar attraction to WEB SLINGERS: A Spider-Man Adventure, but it features a different storyline and some different elements.
- Hong Kong Disneyland: There are also plans to open a Spider-Man attraction at Hong Kong Disneyland in the future. The Avengers Campus is under construction at this park, with a similar Marvel Cinematic Universe-themed superhero land.
- Shanghai Disney Resort: Web Slingers: A Spider-Man Adventure is an interactive dark ride allows guests to sling webs and fight crime alongside Spider-Man. Iron Man Experience is a flight simulator ride allows guests to experience what it’s like to fly alongside Iron Man in his iconic suit of armor.
Spider-Man Adventures Attraction at Tokyo Disneyland
Based on the information available about WEB SLINGERS: A Spider-Man Adventure attraction at Disney California Adventure and similar attractions, we can speculate how a potential Tokyo Disneyland version might look like.
The attraction would likely be located in a dedicated Marvel-themed area within Tokyo Disneyland, similar to the Avengers Campus at Disney California Adventure. The storyline would involve guests touring the Worldwide Engineering Brigade (WEB) laboratory, where Peter Parker is testing a way to allow anyone to sling webs like Spider-Man.
Guests would board a WEB Slinger vehicle, which would take them on an interactive 3D adventure through various scenes featuring different Marvel connections. The ride would use sophisticated motion-capture cameras to track guests’ hand movements, allowing them to fling their hands forward and sling virtual webs at self-replicating Spider-Bots that have been accidentally unleashed.
The digital visuals in the attraction would be sharp and vibrant, with the gesture recognition technology being highly responsive, providing an invigorating and immersive experience for guests. The attraction would be suitable for all ages and heights, making it a family-friendly experience.
Comparing it to other Disneyland attractions around the world, WEB SLINGERS: A Spider-Man Adventure at Tokyo Disneyland would likely be similar to the Disney California Adventure version, as well as the Spider-Man W.E.B. Adventure in Disneyland Paris. However, it might also incorporate unique elements or cultural references specific to the Japanese audience, making it a distinct experience for Tokyo Disneyland visitors.
Could Spidey Be Coming to Tokyo Disneyland?
While it remains to be seen whether Spider-Man and other Marvel characters will indeed make their way into Tokyo Disney Resort, the expiration of Universal Studios Japan‘s license offers a unique opportunity. By seizing this chance, Disney has the potential to introduce wildly popular attractions based on their Marvel properties and boost attendance numbers across their Tokyo theme park.