Dare you experience Disney’s Tower of Terror?
Prepare to be scared by the ghosts of the Hollywood Tower Hotel before falling 13 stories down an elevator shaft!
The Hollywood Tower Hotel opened at Disney World in 1994 and has been terrifying guests of Disney’s Hollywood Studios ever since! This brilliant Disney World ride is one of the most popular and innovative ever to be created by the Disney Imagineers.
Board an elevator and you will glide past ghostly images through scary hotel passageways. Then prepare to be plunged into darkness before ‘falling’ 13 stories to the ground! The ride is not over yet as the elevator goes up and down in a random sequence – you never know when it is going to end! Sound like your idea of fun?
Based on the television series The Twilight Zone The Tower of Terror is of course 13 stories high. Walt Disney Imagineers watched all 156 episodes of The Twilight Zone so that they could recreate the mood and feeling of the series.
What can you expect from Disney World’s Tower of Terror? Read on if you dare experience one of the ultimate Disney World attractions.
The Hollywood Tower of Terror Story
According to Disney Imagineer Legend, the Hollywood Tower Hotel dates back to 1917. Located in Hollywood the movie capital of the world it soon became famous for welcoming its film star guests.
But then tragedy strikes on October 31st, 1939. The Tower is struck by lightning and part of the building is destroyed including 2 wings and 2 elevator shafts. Five guests have just boarded the elevator. The guests are a child star with her nanny, two young stars, and a bellhop – you may see them again somewhere……
The other Hollywood Tower guests escape and run out of the building leaving their belongings behind.
The Hollywood Tower Hotel stands empty and unchanged for over 50 years. But the hotel mysteriously reopens in 1994 to accept new guests – nothing has changed, or has it?
Enter The Hollywood Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
Spoiler Alert – Some Guests May Want to Experience This Without Knowing These Details!
The Hollywood Tower Hotel has been deserted and the signs of neglect are everywhere. The queue takes you through gardens of broken stoneware and decaying plants. In the background, you’re listening to haunting melodies from the past by Glenn Miller, Duke Ellington, and other notables from that era. (You also hear the screams of the elevator riders.)
Enter the line for the Hollywood Tower of Terror. This hotel has been deserted for so many years you will see neglect and decay everywhere. The line winds through the Tower gardens. Music from the 1930s is playing in the background. You will also hear quite a lot of screaming just to really get those levels of fear rising!
Then you enter the Tower of Terror Lobby. The classic scene of the lobby covered in years of dust and cobwebs. Look carefully. That furniture was very carefully chosen. Some are genuine antiques. The sofas were made by a company that was in business in the 1930s. A set of luggage is made of alligator skin.
Now the Tower of Terror ride begins. You will be guided by the Bellhops into the Library. You are surrounded by props and memorabilia from The Twilight Zone television series. Then the door closes and the lights dim. Let me say that you may be quite anxious at this point!
Suddenly the television switches on. You will see Rod Serling from the original Twilight Zone series. You will watch the introduction from the “It’s A Good Life” episode. You will see footage of the Hollywood Tower of Terror in it’s heyday. A little girl, her nanny, 2 bright young film stars and a bellhop enter the elevator. Suddenly a flash of lightning hits the Tower and the occupants of the elevator vanish.
The lights turn back on in the room and you are invited to enter The Twilight Zone. If this part has already got you scared out of your wits this is the point to ask the Cast Member where the exit is! You will then enter the elevator. Sit down and fasten you seat belts. This is where the ride begins!
“One stormy night long ago, five people stepped through the door of an elevator and into a nightmare. That door is opening once again, and this time, it’s opening for you.”
You will enter The Fifth Dimension – traveling in your elevator vehicle along winding spooky hotel corridors and encountering the ghostly figures of the 5 guests who entered that elevator in 1939.
“You are about to discover what lies beyond the fifth dimension, beyond the deepest, darkest corner of the imagination, in the Tower of Terror.”
Now the real fun begins! Your elevator vehicle enters the elevator shaft and the random drop sequence begins. You will even be treated to an amazing view of the landscape into the distance when your elevator doors open out to the outside world before closing and plunging seemingly to the ground.
Tower of Terror – Never The Same Fear Twice
The Tower of Terror is, of course, computer-controlled – but this one has a twist. The computer selects random ride sequences so that you can never be prepared for what comes next. The drops will be different for each ride. Just when you think that the ride may be over it may start all over again.
The elevators are pulled down faster than gravity. So that certainly gives you that sinking feeling! How can this happen? Well, of course, the elevator isn’t really in a free fall but needs to be pushed and pulled up and down – so everything is within the control of the ride mechanism.
If you want to get the most intense experience the general opinion is asking for a seat on the front row.
The build-up to the Tower of Terror Ride is pretty intense – there is an exit for those guests who change their minds at the very last minute. Don’t worry you won’t be alone!
Disney World Tower of Terror Secrets
Even if you do not want to ride the Tower of Terror I do suggest that you at least walk through the line – you can always exit at the end before you get to the ride! The Disney Imagineers have created one of the most amazingly themed and complex attractions in the whole of Disney World so it really is worth seeing.
Want to know some things to look out for?
On the directory in Tower of Terror Hotel lobby, some of the letters that have fallen off spell “evil Tower U R doomed”.
Look at the concierge desk in the hotel lobby. There is a 13-diamond AAA award.
Tower of Terror at Disney World cost $140 million to build. There are also Tower of Terror rides at Disney’s California Adventure, Disneyland Paris and Tokyo Disney.