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Universal Studios Closes One of Its Most Popular Attractions After 20 Years

universal studios japan
Credit: Universal Parks & Experiences

Universal Studios has closed one of its most popular attractions that has been in operation for more than 20 years at the Universal Park.

universal studios japan

Credit: Universal

Everybody’s Got a “Favorite”

Fans of Disney Parks and Universal Studios theme parks have certain loyalties–and certain things they love most about their favorite theme park. For some, it’s a favorite restaurant at Magic Kingdom, visiting Avengers Campus at Disney California Adventure Park, or enjoying the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at either of Universal Orlando Resort’s two theme parks.

For others, it’s the Jurassic World ride at Universal Studios Hollywood or the Tower of Terror attraction at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Others simply enjoy all the thrill ride options at Universal Islands of Adventure Park.

Related: Exciting “Level 13” Experience at Tower of Terror Attraction Through April 7

Those “favorite things” at the theme parks often translate into experiences without which a visit simply feels incomplete.

theme parks top 10

Credit: Disney/Becky Burkett/Universal Parks/Cedar Fair/Herschend Entertainment/Canva

The Closure of a Fan-Favorite Ride After 20 Years

Such might just be the case for some of the more than 100 million visitors who have enjoyed the Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man experience at Universal Studios Japan. The ride opened on January 22, 2024, as part of part of a major expansion at the Japanese Universal Studios resort, which first opened to the public in March 2001.

spider man attraction at universal studios japan

Credit: Universal

The Spider-Man attraction at the park closed on Monday, just 24 hours short of its 20-year anniversary at Universal Japan, as Marvel’s 20-year licensing agreement with NBCUniversal, owner and operator of Universal Studios Japan, as the Japanese rights have expired.

Disney Now Has Free Reign With Marvel Characters. Almost.

Now that the Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man ride is closed at Universal Studios Japan, Disney Parks can bring Spider-Man, Avengers, and other Marvel characters to Tokyo Disney Resort without infringing on Universal’s IP rights, per the terms of a contract between Disney and Universal that has been in effect since 2003.

tokyo disney resort

Credit: Tokyo Disney Resort

That means that the Walt Disney World Resort remains the company’s only theme park resort that does not enjoy unlimited use of Marvel characters. As of the time of this post, Disney World is prohibited from using a Marvel character that is used at Universal Studios Orlando Resort’s Islands of Adventure Park, including Spider-Man, Hulk, Doctor Doom, and others.

More Than 100 Million Riders

Universal first announced plans for the closure in May 2023, describing the ride as a “very popular” attraction “which has spun so many webs of emotion and memories for the 100 million visitors who experienced the ride in Japan.”

The park continued, saying that the Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man ride “has brought super excitement and awesome thrills to so many park visitors from both inside and outside of Japan for [more than] 20 years.”

spider man ride at universal studios japan

Credit: Universal

A Special Send-Off Event

Because of the ride’s popularity, Universal created a special farewell event in celebration of the attraction’s 20 years at Universal Studios Japan.

As part of the event, which began on July 4, 2023, guests could receive a commemorative sticker inspired by the ride, and new limited-edition themed merchandise was also available for purchase, including a re-issue of themed souvenirs that were previously no longer available.

Fans Wait For Hours to Say Good-bye

Fans lined up in droves for the chance to experience the ride one final time, and on Monday, lines in the queue for the attraction exceeded 220 minutes or over 3.5 hours.

spider man ride universal studios japan wait time screenshot

Credit: TDRExplorer/Screenshot/Universal

January 22nd will forever mark the final day of operation of the attraction, but Universal has not yet confirmed what might replace the attraction, although fans have no doubt already begun speculating and making their wish lists.

What type of attraction do you think might replace the now-closed Spider-Man-themed experience, and which characters and IP do you think might be featured?

About Becky Burkett

Becky's from the Lone Star State and has been writing since she was 10 and encountered her first Disney Park when she was 11. It was love at first Main Street Electrical Parade. Joy is blank lined journals, 0.7 mm pens, and all things Walt, Woody and Buzz, PIXAR, Imagineering, Sleeping Beauty (make it blue!), Disney Parks history and EPCOT. At Disney World, you'll find her croonin' with the birdies at the Enchanted Tiki Room or hangin' with Woody and the gang at Toy Story Land. If you can dream, you really can do it!

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