Disney World Is Just Inches Away From Breaking a Law

in Walt Disney World

tower of terror getting struck by lightning

Credit: Disney

Did you know that Walt Disney World is just inches away from breaking a law with its attractions? Here’s how.

Related: Expedition Everest Has a Secret Animatronic Only Some Guests Can See

expedition everest animal kingdom
Credit: Disney

While on a backstage tour years ago at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, I was informed by the Disney Cast Member that according to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), all structures exceeding 200 feet must be marked with tower lights for the safety of planes flying above.

Now, there are quite a few attractions that are extremely tall, but if Disney had to place a blinking red tower light on top of Tower of Terror or Expedition Everest, it is clear it would take away from the story, theming, and magic.

So, how does Disney get away with not having to install tower lights on attractions such as Expedition Everest or Tower of Terror?

Related: Guests Experience Expedition Everest Without Part of the Track!

Expedition Everest Night
Credit: Disney

Well, with some clever Imagineering, none of Disney’s buildings actually exceed 200 feet. Walt Disney World went ahead and built their attraction buildings to fall just under 200 feet tall. For example, Expedition Everest is 199.5 feet tall and Tower of Terror is 199 feet tall — meaning they do not have to install a tower light or paint on top of the attractions.

So even though Disney World is just inches away from breaking Florida law, they were very smart with how they went about building their rides in order to keep the theming and magic for Guests.

More on Expedition Everest at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

expedition everest yeti
Credit: Disney

The Walt Disney World website describes Expedition Everest as:

Wander into a Tibetan village at the base of Mount Everest and board a train to the “top of the world.” Beware: Some say a legendary snow monster lives deep in the mountain.

After a steep ascent, your train picks up speed and races into the darkness. Without warning, a broken and twisted track appears in front of you. Brace yourself as you plummet backward into total darkness. Inside the cavern, the mythical tale comes true as you see the shadow of a massive, growling beast!

Race to escape the cursed mountain—before the Yeti claims another expedition.

More on Tower of Terror at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

tower of terror getting struck by lightning
Credit: Disney

In case you aren’t familiar, the official description of Tower of Terror at Disney’s Hollywood Studios reads:

Step uneasily inside the infamous Hollywood Tower Hotel and find a dusty lobby frozen in time. Even the subdued hotel staff seems strangely out of another era. 

Suddenly a television set springs to life and Rod Serling welcomes you on a journey into the Twilight Zone. He reveals that on a gloomy Halloween night in 1939, some hotel patrons were riding the elevator when a violent storm struck the building… and they were never seen again. The hotel closed down and has stood empty ever since. 

Enter the rickety, elevator-style lift, strap yourself in and prepare to discover what lies beyond the darkest corner of your imagination. 

Shriek in terror as you’re suddenly propelled up and down the abandoned shaft—unexpectedly dropping and rising—as you hear the sound of cables snapping and metal clanging overhead. 

Will you make it back to the real world… or will you become a permanent resident of the Twilight Zone?

Tower of Terror
Credit: Disney

Did you know this fun fact about Walt Disney World attractions? Let us know in the comments below.

Are you planning a magical vacation to Disney World? Be sure to get in contact with our friends at Academy Travel who will be with you every step of the way. Get started today by clicking here!

in Walt Disney World

View Comments (29)