Hello, and welcome back to my thoughts and musings. Today, in the spirit of the season, we look at one of the most hair raising attraction at a Disney park to have a movie later made based on the attraction.
The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror first opened as a Disney park attraction on July 22, 1994 at the then Disney MGM Studios, now Disney’s Hollywood Studio in Orlando, Florida. Standing 199 feet tall (any higher would require a red beckon by the FAA) the attraction is a 13 story free fall, with each ride being unique based on a computer randomizing program. Guests do not know how many times they will fall or rise, or how far they will fall when the ride does drop.
Being named after The Twilight Zone, things are not as obvious as they seem on the attraction. In 1939 several guests of the Hollywood Tower Hotel entered a lobby elevator and began to ascend when the hotel was struck by lightning. The guests were never seen again, and the owners shut down the hotel, leaving it as it was on that night.
Park guests learn of this back story as they enter the hotel library and view a video of The Twilight zone host Rod Serling, explaining what has happened. He also explains only a service elevator is working, and of course, lightning strikes as is being used, creating the mayhem that ensues. As Rod Serling had passed away in 1975, Mark Silverman provided the voice in the video.
Fast forwarding to October 26, 1997 the made for TV movie Tower of Terror debuted as part of The Wonderful World of Disney. This 97 minute film starred Steve Guttenberg, Kirsten Dunst. Using footage of the interior and exterior of the Florida attraction, this film tells the story of newspaper reporter and his niece trying to figure out what happened to five guests who went missing from the Hollywood Tower Hotel 60 years previously. Basically, great concept for an attraction back story, not so great for an actual movie.
This movie is not locked away in the Disney Vault. it is actually readily available for purchase. Inside the Hollywood Tower Hotel Gift Shop that park guests enter as soon as they exit the ride.
The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror now stands in three other Disney parks, as it opened in Disney California Adventure in 2004, Walt Disney Studio Park at Disneyland Paris in 2007; and Tower of Terror has stood in Tokyo DisneySea, although without references to The Twilight Zone.
On a personal note, this entry has been one I have had planned for this week for a while now. Unbeknownst to me, Secrets of the Wooden Door 2 was released by Window to the Magic this week as well. I encourage everyone to listen to this episode, it is highly entertaining and related to this entry as well.
I thank you for taking the time to read this today. I ask you would please leave comments. You may contact me directly on Twitter @, and you may also subscribe to be alerted by email when new postings are published. Quest for Vault Disney is now on Facebook. Please visit https://www.facebook.com/groups/questforvaultdisney. Have a great rest of your day. See ya real soon…