Random drops equal unexpected thrills, chills
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Five simple words — one chilling thought: the tower is in control.
From its original format, The Twilight Zone™ Tower of Terror at Disney’s Hollywood Studios multiplies the thrills inside the 13-story haunted hotel with technology that actually places the attraction in control of each ride experience.
Random ride and drop sequences made the attraction faster and added more drops. In addition, visual, audio and olfactory special effects made Tower of Terror one of the most advanced multi-sensory attractions anywhere in the world. Ghostly apparitions, rocketing ascents, more “air time” and cannon blasts of chilling air are just a few of the surprises in store for brave Walt Disney World guests.
All of the ride sequences are unique and random, so not even the droll hotel “bellhops” (costumed Disney’s Hollywood Studios cast members who operate the attraction) know which specific sequence guests are queued to ride. It’s the first Disney attraction in the world to offer random experiences and the first where the attraction actually determines the ride sequence.
“Tower of Terror affects every one of the senses, leaving you feeling as if you have really been in your own episode of The Twilight Zone,” says Theron Skees, show producer for Walt Disney Imagineering. “A team of Walt Disney Imagineers worked very hard to break the barrier and truly immerse guests in the experience. Adding sound technology, scent, and visual effects is only part of the way we achieved this. We wanted the guest to feel completely out of control — not knowing what to expect next, and giving the die-hard fans a lot more to talk about.”
Tower of Terror has thrilled Disney’s Hollywood Studios guests since it opened in 1994. Changing the ride experience has always been part of the plan to put “terror” into the Tower. Thanks to the storyline, technology and ride engineering designed by Walt Disney Imagineering, Tower of Terror can transform into a number of completely new ride experiences.
“Tower of Terror affords us the technological opportunity to be extremely flexible by way of its design,” Skees says. “We can add effects, change timing sequences and completely alter the way it moves. This ability, combined with a unique storyline that is equally flexible, enables us to reinvent the ride experience as often as we want. No other theme park attraction that I know of allows us to continually morph and improve the guest experience in the same way.”
The ride’s fright-filled ascent begins when visitors board a decrepit hotel freight elevator that passes through mysterious hotel passageways where ghostly images of lost guests seem to appear and disappear at will. As the journey progresses, the elevator-cage hurtles through the “fifth dimension” in a pitch-black shaft, as guests embark on a not-to-be-forgotten journey.
The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror features Disney’s FASTPASS — offered at no charge to park guests — designed to reduce waiting times at popular attractions in all four Walt Disney World theme parks.
Disney’s Hollywood Studios immerses guests in the glamour of show business 365 days a year with thrilling attractions, incredible Broadway-style shows, world-class atmosphere entertainment and interactive film, television and radio production facilities. The theme park is part of the 25,000-acre Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando, Fla.
For more information, visit www.disneyworld.com.