Twilight Zone Tower of Terror Ride
at the Hollywood Tower Hotel
The Hollywood Tower hotel is home to the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror ride. Any ride with terror in the name makes Dad a little leary, but this is one of the best rides at Walt Disney World.
This may be the most creative ride at Disney World. Step into one the Twilight Zone and take an elevator ride through an enchanted hotel that has been dormant since it was hit by lightning in the 1930's. (That's the story.)
"You are passengers on a most uncommon elevator" - the journey begins
The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
Photo by WDW Shutterbug
Disney has great preshows and the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror might just have the most elaborate. Before you get to the enchanted elevators, you wind through the hotel. The hotel has been "abandoned" since 1939 and spider webs and dust are everywhere. As you wind through the queue you see old fashioned telephones, guest books and works of art from the early 1900's.
Finally you come in to a room with a TV monitor where "Rod Sterling" (host of the Twilight Zone) tells you about what you are about to experience. The video is done in black and white just like the old TV show. Even the TV looks like an old time TV.
After the video you go down into the "boiler room" where you are escorted into one of the service elevators.
Once you are seated and belted in, "Rod Sterling" says "Wave goodbye to the real world" and the fun begins.
Your ride vehicle (one of the most technologically sophisticated ride vehicles ever created) starts through the dark halls of the Hollywood Tower Hotel. You see special effects that includes dancing lights, doors that explode, clocks and even ghosts all accompanied by eerie "Rod Stewart" voice from the Twilight Zone. Finally the last door opens and you enter the elevator shaft for your ride up to the thirteenth floor.
You will go up and down. The door will open to the outside and you'll get a good look at Disney Hollywood Studios. Look quick because you're about to take another fall. There is no set pattern to the number of ups and downs. They are set randomly by the computer that controls the ride. (In fact, I've seen the door open where you get off and close again and up we went.)
Photo by Express Monorail
When you come out of the ride the first thing you see after riding the Tower of Terror is your screaming face plastered on a monitor for the whole world to see. It's Disney's way to sell you a picture. It's pretty effective. Then, of course, you exit through the gift shop full of Twilight Zone and Tower of Terror ride items.
Memory Maker Video
This is so cool. If you have purchased the Memory Maker package and have it added to your Magic Band, you will now get a souvenir video experience from the Tower of Terror. You must be wearing your Magic Band for this to work.
The video captures the last few seconds of your experience. Here is a sample of the video you'll see.
Dealing with Crowds
The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror ride is one of the three headliner attractions in Disney Hollywood Studios. (The other 2 are Toy Story Mania and Rock-n-Roller Coaster.) Of the three, this usually comes in 3rd in length of line, but, it still has very long lines when crowds are heavy.
The best time to ride is first thing after the park opens or using a FASTPASS. With a FASTPASS you get to skip the line, but you also don't get a chance to really look at the inside of the hotel. Even during the busiest times the wait time can reach up to 3 hours, with a FASTPASS you get to waltz right to the front of the line.
Here's Disney's trailer for the Disneyland Paris opening of the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. Surprisingly enough it's in English.
Here are some interesting tidbits -
- The tower is 199 feet tall. It's the second tallest thing at Walt Disney World (Expedition Everest is 199 ft. 6 in. tall. The FAA requires red lights on the top of any structure over 200 feet tall.)
- The uniforms cast member wear are the most expensive in all of the theme parks.
This attraction first opened in July of 1994. It was updated several times through the years to add more drops. This year (2010) new lighting effects will be added as part of the Summer Nightastic program.
New lighting at the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
Photo by - Express Monorail
Dad's Ride Information Table
Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
|Description: Out of control elevator that goes up and down|
|Height Requirement - 40 inches||FASTPASS: yes||Length of Ride: 3+ minutes|
|Type of ride: Drop Tower Thrill Ride|
Are You Tall Enough?
Who wants to ride Tower of Terror? Are they tall enough? You must be 40 inches tall to enjoy the thrills.
Dad also has a cool little tool to measure the kids as they grow and keep track of when they are tall enough to ride the rides.. I call it Dad's Are You Tall Enough To Ride?...
Every ride at WDW is on this chart. Mount it on the wall and keep track of the kids while they grow.
The Fine Print
Here's some small print information
- Service animals are not permitted (nobody can ask them if falls make them sick)
- Video Captioning is available with this attraction ask Guest Relations for an activator
- Guest may rent translation devices at Guest Relations
- Guest must transfer from a wheelchair, motorized scooter or ECV to enjoy this attraction.
Danger Will Robinson
Disney's warning about this ride: For your safety, you should be in good health free from high blood pressure, heart, back or neck problems, motion sickness or other conditions that could be aggravated by this adventure. (Like a fear of falling.)
Expectant mothers should not ride.
Dad's Bottom Line
This is a not to be missed, best anywhere type attraction. Even if you have problems with things that fall, you should try it at one time. (Dad's full family Tower of Terror experience.)