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5 Amazing Things About The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror

The thing that separates Walt Disney World from lesser amusement parks that rely on the tallest, fastest coasters, is innovation and storytelling in their rides. There is perhaps no better example of this that The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. Taking the elevator trip to an entirely new level, Disney created an entirely new and unique ride mechanism. There isn’t another ride like it in the world. Layer in a great story and special effects and you have the complete package that Disney is known for worldwide. Here are five amazing things about one of the best rides Disney has ever created.


5 – Cool Architecture & Grounds

When you first arrive at the Hollywood Tower hotel, you will be struck by the beautiful grounds and architecture. The architecture of the tower was inspired by multiple Southern California landmarks, such as the Biltmore Hotel and the Mission Inn. The building itself features 27,000 roof tiles. The grounds of the Hollywood Tower Hotel were inspired by the look of California’s Griffith Park and Elysian Park. To help create the mood of a 30’s hotel, the outdoor queue area features the songs “Inside” by Fats Waller and “Mood Indigo” by Duke Ellington. After winding through the grounds, you’ll arrive at the lobby of the hotel.

4 – Unbelievable Attention to Detail

Underneath a layer of spider webs and dust, the lobby of the Hollywood Tower Hotel stands ready to welcome you and create the right mood for the attraction. The lobby was outfitted with antiques and furniture purchased at Los Angeles-area auction houses. Look around, and you’ll find that some of the sculptures are the work of 19th-century sculptor Auguste Moreau. Take some time to look around to take in the plethora of details waiting to be discovered.

3 – Inspiration from “The Twilight Zone”

After briefly checking in, the bellhop will lead you to the library while you await your room to be ready. Take time to look around for hidden treasures. The library room includes a hidden nod to Mickey Mouse in the sheet music, which is the song “What! No Mickey Mouse?” Walt Disney Imagineers viewed 156 episodes of the Twilight Zone show for inspiration for this attraction, and that influence is on display in this room.

Suddenly the room darkens, and the TV flips on. The clip of film in which Rod Serling introduces the attraction was taken from a “Twilight Zone” episode called “It’s a Good Life.” While actor Rod Serling appears in the film in the Library Room, the voice you hear is actually voice actor Mark Silverman. Here is the story below 

“Hollywood, 1939. Amidst the glitz and the glitter of a bustling young movie talent at the height of its golden age, the Hollywood Tower Hotel was a star in its own right. A beacon for the show business elite. Now, something is about to happen that will change all that.”

(Ominous sounding music is played. You see a shot of the exterior of the hotel and then an interior shop of the elevator. Lightning hits the elevator shaft and the Twilight Zone music starts playing. The elevator crashes to the ground and the monologue resumes…)

“The time is now, on an evening very much like the one we have just witnessed. Tonight’s story on The Twilight Zone is somewhat unique and calls for a different kind of introduction. This, as you may recognize, is a maintenance service elevator, still in operation, waiting for you. We invite you, if you dare, to step aboard because in tonight’s episode you are the star. And this elevator travels directly to . . . The Twilight Zone.”


2 – Amazing Story

The story referenced in the library video takes place on October 31, 1939. Did you notice that the young girl who disappears in the elevator is carrying a Mickey Mouse doll? The attraction’s “Fifth Dimension” scene in which ride vehicles move through before the drop sequence was inspired in part by the episode “Little Girl Lost.”

“One stormy night long ago, five people stepped in the door of an elevator and into a nightmare. That door is opening once again and this time, it’s opening for you.”

“You are about to discover what lies beyond the fifth dimension, beyond the deepest, darkest corner of the imagination . . . in the Tower of Terror.”

“A warm welcome back to those of you who made it, and a friendly word of warning, something you won’t find in any guidebook: 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.”   

1 – Fantastic Thrill Ride

The attraction features a 13-story drop. Will you go up or will you go down? Who knows? The drop sequence for each elevator car is randomly selected by the attraction’s computer system. The element of randomness makes this a ride you can do over and over without getting old. The elevator doors to the Tower’s missing hallways are exposed to the park, opening and closing with the arrival of screaming passengers. Tower of Terror is one of the tallest attractions at Disney World, measuring 199 feet tall. All in, this is one of the best experiences of any Disney park and is a must ride.

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Cindy E. Nykamp

After friends and family made them their go-to people for Walt Disney World advice, Cindy and Chad launched DisneyLists.com in August 2015 to share their knowledge and love of Disney. Cindy wears many hats for DisneyLists.com. As a content creator, she has written over six hundred articles providing news, tips, planning, and more, for trips to Walt Disney World, Disneyland, and Disney Cruise Line to our followers. She directs a team of authors to bring our fans up-to-date information so that they can have the best Disney vacation experience. Cindy manages DisneyLists.com's Instagram account, sharing photos and videos to bring some Disney magic into our followers' feeds. She is also our chief photographer and has her photos featured on the official Walt Disney World Instagram account. Finally, Cindy regularly represents DisneyLists.com at Disney media events. While attending these events, she gets an insider's view of all the new things that have come to Disney Parks and Disney Cruise Line and passes this information and tips to our followers.
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