Universal Studios Says Goodbye to Spider-Man Ride, Heading For Permanent Closure

in Universal Studios Japan

Spider-Man points at guests on the ride

Credit: Universal

One Universal Studios park has started the official farewell campaign for its Spider-Man attraction.

The Walt Disney Company may own the rights to (most) Marvel Comics characters on the big screen, but it gets a little bit more complicated when it comes to theme park attractions.

Spider-Man in front of the ride at Islands of Adventure
Credit: Universal

Over 10 years before Disney acquired Marvel, Universal made a theme park licensing agreement to open Marvel Super Hero Island at Islands of Adventure in 1999. Over 20 years later, the area is still thriving at the Universal Orlando Resort and boasts four Marvel-themed attractions: The Incredible Hulk Coaster, Doctor Doom’s Fearfall, Storm Force Accelatron, and The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man.

While Universal still possesses the rights to operate these attractions today, there are strict rules as to what it and Disney can and can’t do with the characters. Due to its close proximity, Walt Disney World Resort is forbidden from using the same characters as Universal Orlando Resort. Disney is also unable to use the name “Marvel” in any American theme park (which is why its Marvel-themed land at California Adventure is known as Avengers Campus, and as Marvel’s Avengers Campus at Disneyland Paris).

Heroes gather together at Avengers Campus
Credit: Disney

Similar rules apply further afield. In 2004, Universal Studios Japan opened a clone of The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man simulator in its New York City area. For that reason, Tokyo Disney Resort is also unable to use the term “Marvel.”

But that may be about to change. Earlier this year, Universal Studios Japan announced the permanent closure of The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man. From January 22, 2024 – exactly 20 years after it opened – guests will no longer be able to join Peter Parker as last-minute reporters for the Daily Bugle or fight members of the Sinister Syndicate.

Spider-Man on the ride
Credit: Universal

For now, Universal hasn’t announced what’s replacing The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man ride. The park already boasts The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, SUPER NINTENDO WORLD, and Minion Park, and is heavily rumored to be the first Universal theme park to receive a Pokémon-themed attraction.

In the meantime, Universal is deep in the farewell campaign for the attraction. As of November 13, the park is officially preparing Osaka residents to say goodbye to the beloved 3D dark ride. According to USJ 1, an advertisement has been placed at the city’s Umeda Station saying “Goodbye Spider-Man, thank you for the bonds that have lasted for 20 years.”

(Breaking News) Starting November 13th, an advertisement with messages from many USJ fans will be placed at Umeda Station in Osaka, saying, ‘Goodbye Spider-Man, thank you for the bonds that have lasted for 20 years.’

X (formerly known as Twitter) user @home08771582 shared a picture of the advertisement, emblazoned with farewell messages in Japanese from Universal parkgoers.

There was a Spider-Man advertisement at Umeda Station! 🕷️🌏
It’s a really heartbreaking thing… 😭 There were a lot of comments from everyone 😭 I’ll keep the account name anonymous and connect to the replies ↓🕷️🕸️

The closure of its Spider-Man ride isn’t the only change happening at Universal Studios Japan in the next few years. Its Jurassic Park (1994) attraction, Jurassic Park: The Ride, is currently in the middle of a major two-year refurbishment. The park is also set to open an expansion for SUPER NINTENDO WORLD, this time inspired by the Donkey Kong Country spin-off series.

Which ride’s closure would you be most devastated by at a Universal theme park? Let us know in the comments!

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