July is the birthday month of three things I love very dearly: my mom (holla!), Disney’s animated version of Alice in Wonderland, and the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror! To commemorate the latter, here are ten facts about my most favorite ride in the world. =)
- For this attraction, Disney Imagineers created an awesome story, which is one of my favorite things about this ride. The story begins on the hotel’s opening night – October 31, 1939. A thunderstorm rolled in that evening, shaping the hotel and its guests forever. I won’t reveal the ride’s entire story, so if you want to know the rest, you’ll just have to go to WDW and see for yourself! =P
- The Tower of Terror (or TOT) is the second tallest ride at WDW. It reaches a height of 199 feet, measuring just below the maximum height in a Florida law requiring buildings that are 200 feet or more to include a red light on top.
- This ride is made out of about 1,500 tons of steel and 145,800 cubic feet of concrete!
- Because a computer chooses the drop sequences, each ride on the TOT is completely random. However, each trip must include a complete fall and a fake fall. Since riders never know what to expect, the slogan for the TOT at Hollywood Studios is “Never the Same Fear Twice!”
- Last summer, Disney added new additions to the TOT. These updates included new light and music effects, an additional drop pattern, and a prelude image of the audience right before the drop sequences begin. Though they were only supposed to last during the summer, I recall several of these changes during my last Disney trip in May.
- The TOT ride is not only seen at WDW (opened in 1994), but also at three other Disney theme parks: Disney California Adventure Park (opened in 2004), Tokyo DisneySea (opened in 2006), and Walt Disney Studios Park in Paris (opened in 2008). Tokyo’s version is the only one that doesn’t follow the same story.
- The TOT does not only bear The Twilight Zone’s name, but is actually inspired by it! There are tons of references to this famous television show throughout the queue line and ride. Rumor has it that Disney Imagineers watched every episode of The Twilight Zone at least twice when creating this attraction.
- Not only are there several references to The Twilight Zone, there are also quite a few Hidden Mickeys scattered throughout the attraction. My favorite one can be seen during the ride when you reach the scene with all the glittering stars. Look carefully at how the stars spin together, right before the doors open.
- Disney created a movie about the TOT in 1997. Some notable actors include Kristen Dunst and Steven Guttenberg. This helped paved the way for other films centering around famous Disney attractions.
- During construction, the TOWT was struck by lightning. Creepy!
Written by: Brittany Madden