The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror in Disney World’s Hollywood Studios is an iconic ride. From the towering building, to one of the best and most immersive ques on Disney property, to great thrills this attraction really has it all. With the Tower of Terror being a premier attraction at Disney World it also has a lot of history, and there are things about it that will surprise and amaze you.”
So get ready because:
“You are about to discover what lies beyond the fifth dimension. Beyond the deepest, darkest corner of the imagination… in the Tower of Terror.”
1. Creating the Tower of Terror took a lot of research and tv watching. The Disney Imagineers watched 156 episodes of the Twilight Zone in order to get a real feel for the show, and what they were creating.
2. Even though it feels like you are actually dropping in an elevator you are actually never just freely falling. You are actually being pulled down faster then you would naturally fall if this whole thing was left to gravity. You are also smoothly pulled up before being pulled down so that you get that thrilling butt off the seat thrill.
3. One of my favorite things about the Tower of Terror is that every ride is different because it features a randomized drop sequence. You never know how many times you will drop, or just how far. This helps to keep every ride fresh and different, and makes this an attraction with high repeatability.
4. While you are traveling up the first elevator shaft to the 5th dimension you stop at a landing. Here you see a family, and with them is a little girl. If you look closely she is holding an old original Mickey Mouse doll in her hand.
5. In the lobby Disney uses a lot of furniture that was purchased from antique stores. There are also plenty of replicas from furniture that would be used in the 1930’s. There is also a set of luggage made from actual alligator skin in the corner by the fireplace in the lobby.
6. Disney really went all out in the Tower of Terror que that in the lobby there is an actual abandoned game of Mah Jongg. To make this game as realistic as possible Imagineers actually brought in professional Mah Jongg players. They then had these players play the game for a certain amount of time, and then walk away after that time was up. This definitely helps the game look authentic, and like it was truly abandoned.
7. While moving through the 5th dimension you are actually in a car on wheels that drives itself. Instead of the elevator car being on a track or getting pulled along it is actually on its own set of wheels. This vehicle is guided by wires under the floor. Once the vehicle reaches the end of the 5th dimension hallway they are locked into another vehicle. This vehicle is a vertical motion cab, and handles the pulling, and pushing of the drop sequence.
8. The Hollywood Tower Hotel is tallest attraction in Hollywood Stuidio’s, as well as the second tallest attraction at Walt Disney World reaching 199 ft tall. This is second only to Expedition Everest (199.5ft)in Animal Kingdom. The reason behind this attraction being 199 ft is interesting as well. According to FAA regulations any building that is 200ft or taller has to have a fixed red light beacon added to the top. The Disney Imagineers thought that the beacon would take away from the experience and the 1939 hotel theme, but still wanted to be able to make the attraction as tall as possible.
9. There are two drop shafts on the attraction. You can actually see where these drop shafts are located if you look up at the ride. Towards the top of the tower you will periodically see two big windows lined up that open. This is the one thing you can be sure of in your drop sequence. ( Every sequence includes you being able to look out over the park from these windows before you plummet down.) There are however 4 elevator lifts for increased capacity. These lift the vehicles up to the 5th dimension scene where they merge into a single corridor ( there are two of these corridors on the ride, one for each drop shaft).
10. There is a chicken exit once you get into the boiler room for the ride which is ironically an actual working elevator. This elevator takes you from the boiler room down to the photopass area (which is where the ride itself disembarks.) If you are too scared, or just do not like drop rides all you have to do is tell a Cast member, and you will be shown to the proper elevator…. ( it tickles me that if you get to “ride” a dropping elevator either way).
Oh yeah and remember:
” A warm welcome back to those of you who made it and a friendly word of warning; something you won’t find in any guide book. The next time you check into a deserted hotel on the dark side of Hollywood, make sure you know just what kind of vacancy you’re filling or you may find yourself a permanent resident… of the Twilight Zone.”
Also in the 10 things you didn’t know series:10 Things You Didn’t Know About Splash Mountain