What made Universal Orlando’s Spider-Man Ride so amazing?


October 9, 2021, 2:08 PM The theme park industry’s biggest event celebrates one of the industry’s all-time best attractions next month in Orlando.

I just bought my plane ticket to attend the IAAPA Expo at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando next month. The industry’s largest annual gathering returns in person this year, with a full range of educational sessions in addition to its huge showroom with displays from ride makers, designers and suppliers.

The highlight of the event every year, at least for me, is the Bob Rogers Legends panel, which offers an insider’s perspective on creating some of the most enduring theme park attractions in the world. This year it’s “The Legends Behind The Amazing Spider-Man Adventures”.

The dark ride based on 3D movement at Universal Orlando‘s Islands of Adventure won our Theme Park Insider Award for Best Attraction for the first four years we have bestowed this honor. He dominated so much that we actually took the award for several years as it became clear that Spidey was going to win it anyway.

How did The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man reach such a level? IAAPA Hall of Fame member and two-time Oscar nominee Bob Rogers will lead the discussion with three members of the attraction’s creative team:

  • Phil Hettema, then Senior Vice President of Attraction Development, is now President and Creative Director of The Hettema Group
  • Show producer Scott Trowbridge, now portfolio creative director for Walt Disney Imagineering
  • Thierry Coup, then production designer, is now Senior Vice President and Creative Director at Universal Creative

Obviously, there was talent in this team, as it included the future leaders of Universal’s The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. and Disney Star Wars: Edge of the Galaxy. I have submitted a few questions to Bob for the panel to ask, but I would also like to hear from you.

What would you like to ask these three of these three about Spider-Man’s amazing adventures and his influence on designing themed entertainment? Submit your questions in the comments below and I’ll pass the best on to Bob.

If you’re attending IAAPA this year, don’t miss The Legends Behind The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man at 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday, November 17. After the panel, come back here to ThemeParkInsider.com for my coverage.

See you at the show!

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