Enter through the gift shop.
In what some parents are calling a sneaky move, at Disneyland’s new WEB Slingers: A Spider-Man Adventure, there’s a choice between the standard ride experience and an enhanced one, all involving the purchase of a plastic accessory.
The ride debuts Friday at the new Avengers Campus (it stands for Centralized Assembly Mobilized to Prepare, Unite, and Safeguard, in case you couldn’t guess) in Disney’s California Adventure Park. The 6-acre land creates a Marvel universe, although in a complicated legal twist involving licensing rights you can’t call it that, because that belongs to Universal Studios, a glitch that means there’s unlikely to be a duplicate Campus coming to Florida’s Disney World anytime soon.
WEB Slingers: A Spider-Man Adventure has emerged where It’s Tough to be a Bug used to be. The pre-show has Peter Parker hosting an open house (courtesy of a Tom Holland cameo) and demonstrating his cute but mischievous Spider Bots. An “unscripted” malfunction in their reproduction mode (think Gremlins after hitting the water) sends a vast multiplication of Bots swarming out of the workshop to create mayhem.
You are now a recruit and must don your 3-D glasses and ride the WEB slinger vehicle (that’s Worldwide Engineering Brigade, by the way) to capture them and save the Campus.
With some exciting and ingenious visual effects, riders can shoot webs from their wrists like Spider-Man, defeat villains and log a tally on their ride vehicle. “We have invented a ton of technology to make it possible,” said Brent Strong, executive creative director of Walt Disney Imagineering. “With nothing in your hands, you get to reach out and sling webs. It’s like magic.”
And here’s the twist. If you want to accentuate your ride and rack up a cracking score, you’ll need to invest $29.99 in the handy-dandy WEB Power Band conveniently available at the three merchandise outlets in AC. This chunky armband straps onto the rider’s forearm (ages 3 and up, it says right there on the box) and unlocks a mode for multiple webs along with other additional options inspired by Marvel heroes, with things like “repulsor blasts” to fend off foes.
The accessory does little outside the ride except light up, although fans say its design has “cool factors.” After dark, it can also beam up a Spider-Man logo, so there’s that. (And don’t even think about buying it, cruising through the ride and then taking it back — there’s a strict no refunds policy.)
You can also splurge on an interactive Spider Bot of your own, for a cool $79.99. Some forthcoming film-related add-ons for the AI arachnids are promised.
We’re wondering if there will be a sign next to the ride: Pleading children ahead.