Disneyland Resort's newest attraction, WEB-SLINGERS: A Spider-Man Adventure, is a technological leap forward in many different ways. While it uses the same basic concept as attractions that came before it, it does so in a new and refreshing way. It's a "shooter" ride that sees guests firing webs at hordes of rampaging Spider-Bots, but it lets guests do this free of any outside device. There's no need to use a plastic gun in order to interact with the world of the ride. Which is not to say that adding a bit of plastic isn't something that you can do if you wish, and it has the ability to change your ride experience in a very real way.
Another one of the ways that WEB-SLINGERS advances attraction technology is in the use of WEB Power Bands, devices that can be purchased in the gift shop next to the ride, which are, at their core, simply Spider-Man toys. But beyond that, Power Band owners can take them on the ride and allow them to do some things that can't be done otherwise. However, since these are gift shop items, that means getting these added features will cost money.
How WEB-SLINGERS: A Spider-Man Adventure Works
The Spider-Man attraction at Disney's California Adventure sees guests get on board special vehicles in order to help Spider-Man stop some Spider-Bots, which were created by Peter Parker and friends, but that have gotten a little out of control. The vehicle takes guests to a series of screens, and by wearing a set of 3D glasses, guests get a three-dimensional view of the underside of Avengers Campus.
From there, riders need to simply throw their arms forward. Sensors on the vehicle pick up the motion and will make a web appear on the screen that will shoot forward and grab onto whatever is at the end of the line. You can hit a Spider-Bot directly, or you can hit anything else. Hit a box that some Spider-Bots are crawling on, and you can then pull your arm back, flinging the box through the air and destroying multiple bots at once.
While there's a bit of variation, that's the basic ride. Riders get points for taking out Spider-Bots, each rider gets an individual score and each ride vehicle of up to four people gets a combined score, which will be posted and compared to other groups. While there is certainly value in doing the ride multiple times, if only to try to beat your old score, there is another way to make the experience worth trying again.
What Are WEB Power Bands?
Head on over to WEB Suppliers, and you'll find a wall of WEB Power Bands and accessories. There are five different parts to the Power Band merchandise line right now, though the possibility that more could be added down the road certainly exists. The core component is the Power Band itself. It straps to your arm like a Spider-Man web-shooter. It makes noise and and has some cool projections if you want to simply use it for fun, but it also has a "ride mode" that lets you fire three webs at once rather than simply the one you can do normally.
But there's more: there are four optional accessories available that can be used on top of the Power Band, each one themed to a different Marvel hero: Spider-Man, Ghost Spider, Iron Man and Rescue. The Spider-Man and Ghost Spider options give you the ability to fire your own web in the form of a piece of string that pops out when you press the button, and then retracts back in. They also give you the ability to fire electro-dynamic webs on the ride. The Iron Man and Rescue options, unsurprisingly, turn the Power Band into a device that more closely resembles Iron man than Spider-Man. Now you can fire repulsor blasts on the ride.
What Do Power Bands Cost?
So if Power Bands sound cool to you, what will it cost to get them? The ultimate price tag can vary somewhat depending on exactly what you're looking for. To start with, you'll need to spend $34.99. That's the cost of the core Power Band piece, which is necessary regardless of whatever else you might want to consider. And as mentioned above, the Power Band by itself does give you functionality both as a toy and on the WEB-SLINGERS attraction, so if all you're looking for is a little something extra, you can stop there.
If, however, you want more than that, it will cost you extra. Each of the four accessories go for $29.99 each. That means that if you want to be Iron Man rather than Spider-Man, you'll need to buy the Power Band and the Iron Man accessory, for a total of $65. Although, if you want to have the freedom to choose all the available options, you'll need to buy at least two of the accessories, either Spider-Man or Ghost Spider, and Iron Man or Rescue, so now you're looking at a $95 price tag.
I suppose if you wanted to go crazy and collect the whole set, you could spend $155 to get all the accessories, but the only thing that's different there is the cosmetics. The Iron Man and Rescue-themed items look different, but they don't do anything differently, as toys or on the ride. So the only reason to buy them both, beyond having two kids who each want a different one, is to be able to own the different looks.
Are Power Bands Worth It?
Whether Power Bands are worth it will, of course, be up to each individual. From anecdotal reports, it does seem that Power Bands help you score better than doing the attraction without them. So if your ultimate goal is to get the best possible score, it may be worth it. Likewise, if you're the type that visits Disneyland Resort a lot, then being able to add some variety to the attraction isn't a bad thing, and if you visit a lot, the Power Band price tag seems less harsh if they're getting a lot of use.
If you're in Disneyland for a once in a lifetime, or at least once in a long while, vacation, it may not price out quite as simply. A Power Band and an accessory make for a not inexpensive souvenir. If they'll get use outside of the attraction, then it will probably ultimately be worth it, but if all you want to do is see how they work on the ride, it's maybe not as worthwhile.
Whether you drop the extra cash to experience WEB-SLINGERS: A Spider-Man Adventure in a new way or not, there's little argument that you should experience the attraction. It really does make you feel like you're Spider-Man, whether or not you're wearing a custom web-shooter on your arm.
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