2010 Best Theme Park Attraction nominee: The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man at Universal's Islands of Adventure
Published: March 16, 2010 at 9:14 AM
The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man at Universal's Islands of Adventure.
Spider-Man opened with Islands of Adventure in 1999 and immediately won praise as the world's most advanced theme park attraction. Blending flight simulator technology with a traditional track ride, 3-D film and stage effects, The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man redefined what a themed ride could be, elevating a concept first expressed by Disneyland's Indiana Jones Adventure to the next level.
You're riding with the staff of the Daily Bugle in publisher Jonah Jameson's new SCOOP vehicles, tracking news that the Statue of Liberty's been stolen. (Forgive me an insider's moment here, but as a journalist, I have to give Spider-Man's designers huge bonus points for portraying the convergence of print and video journalism - something that was very cutting-edge in 1999.) The Sinister Syndicate's used its anti-gravity gun to swipe the statue, and Spider-Man's joined you in the chase.
One by one, Spider-Man fights the Syndicate's bad guys, Electro, Hydro-Man, Hobgoblin and finally, Doc Ock. In the final battle, Doc Ock attacks your SCOOP with the anti-gravity gun, setting up a 400-foot plunge off a skyscraper.
But, of course, Spider-Man saves the day.
With so much rich detail in each scene, The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man rewards repeat visitors - you can't possibly catch all the detail in a single ride on this attraction. Despite the ride's immense popularity, its immense expense has kept it from being duplicated throughout the industry. A second version of the ride debuted at Universal Studios Japan in 2004. Busch Gardens Williamsburg's Curse of DarKastle (the 2005 Theme Park Insider Award winner for Best New Attraction) runs a similar system and the Transformers rides that will debut at Universal Studios Singapore in 2011 and Universal Studios Hollywood in 2012 are said to similar to Spider-Man, as well. But that's it.
The bracket's set, and tomorrow I will publish the schedule for the first-round match-ups. Let's hear your thoughts about The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man, as well as your tournament picks, in the comments.