Universal says good-bye to Spider-Man in Japan

January 22, 2024, 11:54 AM · That's a wrap for the one of the world's most beloved dark rides.

The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man has closed at Universal Studios Japan, after a two-decade run at the Osaka theme park. The attraction was a clone of the Spider-Man ride at Universal Orlando's Islands of Adventure.

Spider-Man closes
The USJ team says good-bye to its Spider-Man ride. Image courtesy USJ Co.

Unlike in Orlando, where Universal holds the theme park rights to select Marvel characters in perpetuity, Universal held those rights for only 20 years in Japan. With the expiration of that license, new Marvel owner Disney and Universal apparently did not complete a deal to extend it, leading to today's closure.

The termination of Universal's Marvel license in Japan now clears the way for Disney to introduce Spider-Man and other Marvel characters at Tokyo Disneyland or Tokyo DisneySea, should the company and its partner, Oriental Land Co., wish. Oriental Land Co. owns and operates the Tokyo Disney Resort under license from The Walt Disney Company.

Universal has not yet announced what will be replacing Spidey in Japan, which will welcome a Donkey Kong Country expansion to its Super Nintendo World land sometime this spring. For tickets to the park, please visit our partner's Universal Studios Japan tickets page.

To keep up to date with more theme park news, please sign up for Theme Park Insider's weekly newsletter.

Replies (11)

January 22, 2024 at 12:32 PM

This ride is amazing. I visited this park and ride this past October and the staff there showed a true appreciation for it. Even gave me and my fam a pretty cool sticker commemorating the rides existence. Hopefully the replacement is a one worthy of this ride's legacy. Hopefully it is quick because with its closure and T2:3-D's abandonment that area of the park is suddenly pretty quiet.

January 22, 2024 at 12:42 PM

While this is just a rumor, Pokemon is the big rumor to replace Spider-Man in Japan. It makes a lot of sense as Universal acquired the theme park rights to Pokemon in 2021 and of course, Pokemon is based in Japan! Maybe an interactive ride based off the 1999/2000 N64 game Pokemon Snap!? Pokemon is also rumored to replace The Simpsons in Florida and maybe Hollywood. Again, all just rumors, but heavy speculation. Pokemon seems to be Universal’s potential solution to deal with Disney’s buyouts.

January 22, 2024 at 1:43 PM

i'm so bummed about the simpsons...certainly a better fit at universal than disney. i was more excited about the expanded springfield section in orlando than i was diagon alley...now about the ride itself, it could definitely benefit from some much needed tlc

January 22, 2024 at 2:33 PM

@mbrussmo Agreed. Disney is worrying me right now while Universal has really upped their game since The Simpsons Ride opened in 2008. All rumor though, no confirmation yet!

January 22, 2024 at 2:45 PM

I think Pokemon could be a good fit for the simpsons area, although eating pokemon might seem odd, there's mushrooms for sale at Toad's Cafe.

That said, I'm suprised The Simpsons as an IP hasn't been sold yet. As an IP it is an even worse fit than the Power Rangers were. It fits better with Warners or Nick IMO.

January 22, 2024 at 3:18 PM

Haven't been to Japan, but I was scared for a moment there.

Still the best ride ever, can't imagine the shooting gallery ride at Disney is anywhere near as good. That one ride is worth Universal keeping the rights in perpetuity east of the Mississippi.

do hope they add Pokemon to Orlando at some point, be it in one of the two existing parks or a new one. I feel the Springfield/ Men in Black area would be a good spot for a new themed land, and of course, could use Japan as a launch pad for that like they did with the Mario stuff.

January 22, 2024 at 4:47 PM

Don't you dare touch MIB! lol

Will be sad to see Springfield go but when they do it will be time. I wish they had done another ride based on the Canyonero that would have been so good!
Also how is that Duff song not playing when at the Duff Brewery. Can't remember the episode but the "Duff beer for you, Duff beer for me". That would have been hilarious.

January 22, 2024 at 7:05 PM

This ride felt like a bit of an oddball in Japan as it's the only Marvel attraction in the park and is tucked back in a corner on its own (for those unfamiliar, USJ's layout is somewhat similar to USF's, and Spider-Man is where Mummy stands in Florida). While a fantastic ride, I don't think it's as critical to the park as it is at IOA, especially if it gets replaced with another high quality dark ride. Turning the entire New York area into a Pokemon land would actually make quite a bit of sense at this park, with a new headliner here and a secondary attraction in the T2:3D building (which is where Fallon is at USF), but given how many seasonal attractions here are based on popular Japanese anime, keeping the same ride system and using that as a reskin would also be a fine option.

January 23, 2024 at 12:49 PM

@francis 24 - that song actually does play inside of the restaurant area there in Springfield. The clip from the show is on the video loop which I think repeats every 10 minutes or so.

January 23, 2024 at 2:25 PM

Great photo!

January 25, 2024 at 8:00 PM

@francis24: great call on Canyonero! But that’s probably too deep of a deep cut for most folks lol

This article has been archived and is no longer accepting comments.

Park tickets

Weekly newsletter

New attraction reviews

News archive