Those who know me, know I absolutely love Disney. Specifically, Disneyland.
That place has been a really great bubble during some tough times for me.
That’s why when I heard their Tower of Terror would be getting torn down (don’t worry, the original in Disney World still exists!) I was so sad. I thought we would send it out in style 🙂
Here are some fun facts about the beloved ride:
- Our Walt Disney Imagineers viewed 156 episodes of “The Twilight Zone” for inspiration when creating The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror.
- The ride vehicle is an elevator car.
- The storyline of the attraction sets the date as Halloween night – October 31, 1939.
- The architecture of the tower was inspired by multiple Southern California landmarks, such as the Biltmore Hotel and the Mission Inn.
- The building features 27,000 roof tiles
- The outdoor queue area features the songs “Inside” by Fats Waller and “Mood Indigo” by Duke Ellington.
- The grounds of the Hollywood Tower Hotel were inspired by the look of California’s Griffith Park and Elysian Park.
- The lobby of the Hollywood Tower Hotel was outfitted with antiques and furniture purchased at Los Angeles-area auction houses.
- Some of the sculptures featured in the lobby are the work of 19th century sculptor Auguste Moreau.
- A copy of “Four Pages of Hilarious Star Caricatures by Walt Disney” is featured in Photoplay Magazine on the lobby’s concierge desk.
- The Library room features a hidden nod to Mickey Mouse in the sheet music, which is for the song “What! No Mickey Mouse?”
- The clip of film in which Rod Serling introduces the attraction was taken from a “Twilight Zone” episode called “It’s a Good Life.”
- While actor Rod Serling appears in the film in the Library room, the voice you hear is actually voice actor Mark Silverman.
- The scenes of the family going in the elevator are from a Disney Channel Movie about the Hollywood Hotel. You will recognize some well known actors- Kirsten Dunst and Steve Guttenberg
- The young girl who disappears in the elevator in the scene, was also in a well known tv show- Boy Meets World
- The attraction’s “Fifth Dimension” scene was inspired in part by the “Little Girl Lost” episode of “The Twilight Zone.”
- The attraction offers a 13-story drop.
- The drop sequence for each elevator car is selected at random by the attraction’s computer system.The question isn’t, “Will my elevator drop?” but “How many times?” as the sophisticated and complex computer system running this attraction chooses for you. Yes, that creepy old Hollywood Tower Hotel is in control of your drop destiny. This is a far cry from the original attraction that debuted in 1994 with only one big fall! Because the computer system randomly generates the number of drops, the only true guarantee is that you will plummet more than once!
- There will now be only 3 Tower of Terror attractions at Disney Parks: Disney’s Hollywood Studios (Walt Disney World Resort), Walt Disney Studios Park (Paris), and Tokyo DisneySea (Tokyo – pictured above) each have their own version.
- You are not actually free falling. As you plummet downwards, you get the sensation that you are freefalling. You are, in fact, falling at a rate FASTER than the speed of gravity as your AGV (Autonomous Guided Vehicle) is being controlled by motors and pulled up and down by cables.
- Can You Find Mickey? Look closely. Navigating the Hollywood Tower Hotel with a keen eye will reward you with several Hidden Mickeys. Study the antique lamp resting on the concierge desk in the lobby. Let your eyes wander the walls in the boiler room where you’ll find a familiarly shaped water stain. The little girl in the footage is holding a Mickey Mouse doll and you might even notice the Fifth Dimension scene with swirling stars forming a Hidden Mickey just before they disappear. These are just some of the many Hidden Mickeys to discover!
- The Cast Members working this attraction wear costumes made to resemble a 1930s bellhop. Masterfully designed with incredible attention to detail, the cost of a single bellhop costume runs over a thousand US dollars, making it one of the most expensive Cast Member costumes on property.
- The corridor scene which reveals the slowly motioning apparitions of the five individuals trapped in the Fifth Dimension is created using the same technique found during the ballroom scene of dancing ghosts in The Haunted Mansion attraction. Coined Pepper’s Ghost, this trick employs simple mirroring techniques which help create the illusion of three-dimensional, translucent “ghosts.”
- Ever noticed that the plaque next to the lobby’s concierge desk reveals that the Hollywood Tower Hotel was awarded 13 diamonds from AAA, when in fact the highest AAA rating a hotel can receive is 5 diamonds? Perhaps you noticed the sheet music resting beneath an old trumpet in the Library room which reads the music for the song listed at the top, “What! No Mickey Mouse?” You’ll find a copy of “Four Pages of Hilarious Star Caricatures by Walt Disney” featured in Photoplay Magazine on the lobby’s concierge desk. The lobby is outfitted with many genuine antiques and furniture, won in auction houses for use in this attraction. There is a Mahjong game on a table in the lobby, set in an accurate manner to give the impression that it had been abandoned mid-game. These intricate details prove that there are many fascinating things to uncover while standing and waiting in the queue.
How many of those fun facts did you already know? Do you have some fun facts I didn’t mention? Leave a comment below to compare!
For now we say so-long to the Tower of Terror in California. I guess it’s time to make a trip out to Disney World!
P.S Did you know that in Facebook chat you can type “ToT” and a crying emoji will show? Awww, Mark Zuckerburg, you do care!
Have a great rest of your Tuesday,