Florida Guide > Disney Parks
The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
This is one of my favourite rides, and even after having ridden it literally dozens of times, it never fails to thrill me.
At 199 feet it is just 6 inches shorter than Everest (Animal Kingdom) and 19 feet taller than the original Spaceship Earth (Epcot) before the addition of the decorative wand boosted its overall height by 41 feet. Its height means that it can be seen dominating the skyline from several areas of Walt Disney World.
The ride is situated at the end of Sunset Boulevard in Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and the façade is that of a 1930’s Hollywood Hotel, its front blackened by a fictional lightening strike on Halloween in 1939.
As you approach the ride the screams of “terrified” tourists (loving it all) can clearly be heard as they are plunged several storeys in an out of control elevator.
At the gate of the hotel you will be greeted by a cast member decked out in the full costume of a 1930’s bellhop, the wool coat and hat must be stifling in summer! ! Rumour (from the Backstage Magic Tour) has it that these are the most expensive of all cast members costumes and cost in the region of $1000 each!
The bellhop will direct you left to the regular line, or right to the fast pass lane (this is a very popular ride and I would strongly recommend the use of a fast pass at busy times). Also at this point, small children may have their height checked as the minimum requirement for this ride is 40 inches.
The line winds through the gardens of the hotel with 1930’s music playing hauntingly in the background. On hot days misting sprays will give welcome relief from the heat and humidity and most of the line is in good shade.
On entering the “hotel” you will pass into the reception area which is heavily themed in the manner which Disney does so well. You feel you could almost write your name in the dust and you just pray that the cobwebs don’t find their way into your hair! !
As with many Disney attractions there is a pre show which takes place in the library of the hotel. At this point it is amusing to watch “first timers” gravitate to the edges of the room in search of something to hang on to, just in case the drop is about to take place!
The room dims and an old fashioned black and white television in the corner springs to life. Rod Sterling, the creator of the original
Twilight Zone TV series tells the story of 5 people entering the hotel elevator in the 1930’sand being struck by lightening. He then invites guests to ride a service elevator directly to The Twilight Zone.
On leaving the library you will make your way through the hotel’s boiler room in order to board the service elevator. At this point the line splits, choose either, you will take the same amount of time which ever line you select.
You will be directed by a cast member where to stand and you will board the elevator in rows as directed, once seated you will secure yourself with a lap strap.
To go into further details about this ride would spoil it for those who have never ridden it, but suffice to say it is amazing and to steal Disney’s tagline there is “Never the Same Fear Twice”
Try and keep your eyes open to take in the view over the park as the doors open at the top (unless you have a fear of heights) and remember to smile for the camera.
I would also recommend riding it in the hours of darkness for a whole different experience.
One final word of warning, I wouldn’t recommend this ride for anyone who has a fear of the dark as there are very short periods ( no more than a few seconds) of total darkness, also not too good for those of you who are claustrophobic.
Other than that………Enjoy! ! ! !
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