COASTER-net.com > Ride Gallery > Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
Disney Imagineering has always come up with some of the best ride experiences in the industry. That is the reason why Disney prides itself on having some of the best themed rides in the industry. This all started with the Matterhorn Bobsleds at Disneyland in 1959 and has continued ever since. On July 22, 1994, Disney Imaginers opened their best creation yet. The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror opened at Walt Disney World/MGM Studios in Orlando, Florida. Between the ride experience and ornate theming Disney packed into the ride, it was a major hit. It left all other Disney Parks wanting one for their thrill ride collections. During the 2003 season, Disney’s California Adventure, which is home to California Screamin', decided they wanted a new attraction that would scare riders senseless. The management staff decided their own version of the Tower or Terror was just what they were looking for. Construction started on the ride very soon after the decision was made and the Disney Imagineers went back to the drawing boards to come up with a new ride video that would make this ride unique. They started with the ride video from the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror at Disney's Hollywood Studios and started cutting and adding to the film. Several new sequences were added including the five guests disappearing in the elevator. A new scene featuring an appearance by the Twilight Zone host Rod Sterling was even created for the ride. The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror stands at 130 feet, which is 69 feet shorter than the Disney World version, but this ride still packs a punch. Disney made sure to let everyone know this was a Disney ride with the detail on the construction. Period furniture fills the hotel and of course there are silhouettes of the famous mouse in the hotel. The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror started thrilling guests during the Spring of 2004 and will always be a popular attraction at Disney's California Adventure.
The experience really starts in the elaborately themed queue line, which traverses through the hotel. Cobwebs line the furniture, and velvet is the primary color as far as the eye can see. A demented bellhop then takes the guests to the library, where Rod Sterling himself explains the horrible accident that claimed the lives of five hotel guests on a stormy night in 1939 and left the hotel abandoned. Then guests make their way to the boiler room to take the service elevator to the upper floors. Riders enter the elevator car and secure the lapbar, when all of the sudden the elevator doors slam closed. The car is carried thirteen stories up by the cable lift, then stops. The doors open and riders see a hallway in front of them. Strange effects happen, which are made possible by the Pepper Ghost effect. The five people that died in the previous elevator accident fade in and out and beckon you towards the door to the Twilight Zone. The car travels upwards again. Riders sit there while the anticipation builds up, then the ride drops. The elevator sends riders screaming downward and then bounces back up at a certain floor. At one moment, the elevator travels up to the top floor, where the riders’ pictures are taken. The elevator is then dropped to the very bottom of the 130-foot tower. Once the elevator car comes to a complete stop, the lapbars are released and the riders are set free from their seats. Then a new group of hotel “guests” are led into the elevator for a white-knuckle experience into the Twilight Zone.