This week we invite you to discover The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. This Sci-fi themed indoor thrill ride is to date Disney’s Hollywood Studios most famous attraction. Straight from The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World, we invite you to enter the Twilight Zone!
The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror is a different species of Disney thrill ride, though it borrows elements of The Haunted Mansion at the Magic Kingdom. The story is that you’re touring a once-famous Hollywood hotel gone to ruin. As at Star Tours, the queuing area immerses guests in the adventure as they pass through the hotel’s once-opulent public rooms. From the lobby, guests are escorted into the hotel’s library, where Rod Serling, speaking from an old black-and-white television, greets the guests and introduces the plot.
The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror is a whopper, at 13-plus stories tall. Breaking tradition in terms of visually isolating themed areas, it lets you see the entire Studios from atop the tower . . . but you have to look quick. The ride vehicle, one of the hotel’s service elevators, takes guests to see the haunted hostelry. The tour begins innocuously, but at about the fifth floor things get pretty weird. Guests are subjected to a full range of eerie effects as they cross into the Twilight Zone. The climax occurs when the elevator reaches the top floor—the 13th, of course—and the cable snaps.
The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror is an experience to savor. Though the final plunges— yep, plural—are calculated to thrill, the meat of the attraction is its extraordinary visual and audio effects. There’s richness and subtlety here, enough to keep the ride fresh and stimulating after many repetitions. Disney has also programmed random lift-and-drop sequences into the mix, making the attraction faster and keeping you guessing about when, how far, and how many times the elevator will fall.
Great Potential for Terrifying Young Children
The Tower has great potential for terrifying young children and rattling more-mature visitors. If you have teenagers in your party, use them as experimental probes. If they report back that they really, really liked the Tower of Terror, run like hell in the opposite direction. If you have young children (or anyone) who are apprehensive about this attraction, ask the attendant about switching off; yes, prior to boarding the ride, there is a chicken exit.