Earlier this week Disneyland Resort revealed new details about the major attraction opening with Avengers Campus at Disney California Adventure, WEB SLINGERS: A Spider-Man Adventure. The attraction will see guests shooting webs at targets by doing simple arm movements. It would seem that the attraction is a more advanced version of rides like Toy Story Midway Mania and Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters, which include a competitive element and keep score.
However, there's a new wrinkle that was just added with the reveal of WEB power bands, which are both merchandise and an enhancement to the attraction. They are toys that light up and make noise, but can also be used on the attraction to give the user special abilities, like the ability to fire multiple webs at once or turn your webs into an Iron Man repulsor blast.
It sounds pretty cool, but it sparked a conversation on Twitter where many were upset because to some the power bands look like a "pay to win" feature, that the power bands, that will cost $35 and up depending on what add-ons you want to include, will give those willing and able to pay the money and unfair advantage in the ride, allowing them to more easily get a higher score.
While it remains to be seen whether or not this is true, I honestly found the entire conversation strange because, while I enjoy the rides like Toy Story Midway Mania, I've never cared about my score beyond my ability to beat my own friends and family. I could not tell you what my score was the last time I rode these rides or what my highest score has been. It led me to ask the question on Twitter, but as it turns out, a lot of people have strong opinions on this.
I have discovered a lot of people do care about their score in these attractions. Of course, the degree to which people care does vary pretty wildly. Most of the people responding certainly wanted to do well while on the ride, and had a goal of beating whoever they were competing against within their group. But in most cases it appears that the competitive streak ends the moment the attraction does.
However, while maybe most people don't care all that much about how they score on these rides, there are a lot of people who do care a great deal. More than one person who responded told me that along with these rides can come bets on the outcome, so there isn't always just pride on the line. Again, here the actual score doesn't usually matter, it's just about winning among your family or friends, but winning has its advantages beyond gloating rights.
From here, things take a turn because there are a lot of people who take their total score totally seriously. They will keep track of their best score on the ride so the next time they're on it they can try to beat it, and there are even people who will publish strategies, and thus those that will read/watch those strategies, in order to get the best possible score. Both attractions have different tricks to them and knowing those tricks can drastically improve your performance.
And those strategies largely work. More than one person who responded to me told me that the reason they don't care about Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters (or Space Ranger Spin if you're a Disney World fan first) is because they already "beat the game" and so there's no reason to care anymore. And yes, some gave me photographic proof of their Space Ranger abilities.
Based on my completely non-scientific sample set, it feels like even if the WEB Tech devices give the users an unfair advantage, and there's no proof at this point that they actually will, I don't think it will bother most people. When a family of four gets on the ride odds are either everybody will have one, or none of them will, and at least the playing field will be even. And whoever has the best score wins. People who compete to have the best score of the day or the month on Toy Story Midway Mania probably won't have a problem spending the money to get the extra advantage, and if it makes them happy, that's fine.
I suppose we'll find out how it all works when Avengers Campus opens June 4. What do you think? Does your score on these rides matter to you? Let us know in the poll below, or just tweet at me and let me know.