Disney Twilight Zone Tower of Terror is one of the most popular rides in the whole of Walt Disney World. If your idea of fun is dropping 13 stories in an elevator then you have found the perfect Disney World ride.
Disney World Tower of Terror
Disney is known for it’s brilliantly themed attractions and the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror is certainly one of the very best. Located in Disney’s Hollywood Studios it is an imposing and spectacular building that can be seen for miles around.
The theming starts with the Tower of Terror Line. Even if you don’t dare to experience the attraction it is worth walking through the line to see the amazing attention to detail.
The suspense and, let’s not gloss over this, fear, are built up slowly. By the time you get to the elevator, most guests are pretty scared!
The Bell Hop Cast Members do a brilliant job of remaining in character and setting the scary mood of anticipation.
So what exactly is the Tower of Terror experience like? You board the elevator and sit down with your fellow guests. There is a lap bar so you begin to think maybe this is not so bad if you only need a minimal restraint!
The first part of the Tower of Terror experience in Disney World is an amazingly original effect that allows the ride vehicle to glide past ghostly images through scary hotel passageways.
Just as you are feeling freaked out enough you are plunged into darkness and the really scary part begins! Prepare to be dropped 13 floors to the ground!
The Tower of Terror 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?
To make it even scarier the doors open and you have an amazing, if very brief, view over Disney’s Hollywood Studios and into the distance beyond – before plunging down the elevator shaft!
Disney World Tower of Terror Back Story
Every great Disney ride has a themed back story and the Tower of Terror is of course no exception. Ever wondered how the Tower of Terror came to be?
The Hollywood Tower Hotel opened in 1919 and quickly became one of the favorite ‘haunts’ of the movie star elite of the age. But then tragedy strikes on October 31st, 1939.
Five guests enter the elevator of the hotel just as lightning strikes the building. The child star, her nanny, two young starlets, and the bellhop vaporize – never to be seen again (well not until much later as you will find out on the ride).
All the other hotel guests run from the building leaving their belongings behind.
The Disney Twilight Tower of Terror mysteriously reopens in 1994 at Disney Hollywood Studios. Will the guests dare to enter the building and find out what lies behind the imposing building?
Based on the television series The Twilight Zone The Tower of Terror is as you would expect 13 stories high. Walt Disney Imagineers watched all 156 episodes of The Twilight Zone many times over so that they could recreate the mood and feeling of the series.
The star of The Twilight Zone Rod Serling appears throughout the ride on audio and video screens. Original clips were taken from the series and additional voiceovers were provided by an actor especially for the Tower of Terror ride.
The attention to detail is amazing – right from the moment that you step into the line. The hotel looks as though it has remained untouched for over 50 years – cobwebs and dust cover authentic and reproduction furniture and belongings. You really do feel as though you are stepping into a time warp.
Enter the ride vehicle and travel along the ghostly passageways and you may just see some of those unfortunate elevator occupants from 1939.
Then comes the moment everyone has been waiting for – you enter the elevator.
Yep, it’s scary. Yep, you feel as though you are going to rise up out of your seat with your stomach following you just a little while later. And there is a lot of screaming.
There really is no experience quite like the Disney Twilight Zone Tower of Terror.
Dare you ride The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror? Well, you need to be over 40″ to enjoy the attraction. Don’t underestimate how scary it can be for the kids (and adults too)!
It is all in good Disney fun but you be the judge of whether your child is going to see the funny side or not!
There is a Child Swap option where all your party has to stand in line only one time – each of you can look after the child while the other experiences the ride. Ask a Cast Member for more details.
The lines for Disney Tower of Terror can be very long. It is one of the most popular attractions at Walt Disney World.
So how to avoid those lines? Use a Fast Pass. As soon as you get to the park head to the Tower of Terror. If the line is already past 20 minutes ( and it could be up to 120) then get a Fast Pass. This will give you a set time window to come back to the ride and get into the Fast Pass Line.
Because of the location of the Tower of Terror, it is usually sensible to choose a Fast Pass for either this attraction or Rock N Roller Coaster. Ride one whilst you wait for the Fast Pass time slot to start for the other attraction.
Dare you ride the Disney World Twilight Zone of Terror.
Photos by expressmonorail
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Alison Meacham is the founder of EverythingMouse Disney Blog. For over 15 years she has shared her love of Disney Parks, Disney Cruises and Universal Orlando. In over 30 years of Disney Travel she has spent countless months in Disney Parks and has sailed on over 45 cruises. A British native and now a United States resident she splits her time between California, Florida and the UK. And spends a serious amount of time sailing the seven seas. She helps over 200,000 people per month follow their Disney travel dreams.