The Secrets to the Tower of Terror Revealed!

in Disneyland Paris, Tokyo Disneyland, Walt Disney World

Tower of Terror

Credit: Disney

“You unlock this door with the key of imagination. Beyond it is another dimension; a dimension of sound, a dimension of sight, a dimension of mind. You’re moving into a land of both shadow and substance, of things and ideas. You’ve just crossed over into…the Twilight Zone.”

Tower of Terror is a thrill ride located at various Disney Parks around the world. It takes Guests into the 5th dimension after hopping aboard a maintenance service elevator. If you have never ridden this popular Disney Parks ride, here is everything you need to know before stepping into the 5th dimension at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Related: Next Stop: 5th Dimension? Disney Should Build a Real-Life Tower of Terror

tower of terror getting struck by lightning
Credit: Disney

Tower of Terror is currently located in three Disney Parks around the world — Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Walt Disney World Resort, Tokyo DisneySea, and Walt Disney Studios Park in Disneyland Paris.

In case you aren’t familiar, the official description of Tower of Terror at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Walt Disney World 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 tokyo
Credit: Tokyo Disney

The official description of Tower of Terror at Tokyo DisneySea reads:

In New York, 1912, stands the hotel known as the “Tower of Terror,” so called after the mysterious disappearance of its owner in 1899. Now, the New York City Preservation Society has finished restoring the infamous hotel, and started giving tours to the public. But what happens when you take the elevator to the top floor…?

tower of terror fastpass kiosks
Credit: DLP Report

The official description of Tower of Terror at Disneyland Paris reads:

Are you brave enough to enter The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror and face its three hair-raising new horrors: The Malevolent Machine, The Shaft Creatures and The 5th Dimension? Prepare to scream your soul out as you plummet to darker depths than ever before. Mwah-ha-ha-ha-ha!

Disney Parks that feature the Tower of Terror

tower of terror lobby
Credit: Disney

Related: Disney May Be Gearing Up to Transform Tower of Terror

The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, also known as Tower of Terror, is a popular dark ride located at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Walt Disney World Resort, Tokyo DisneySea, Walt Disney Studios Park in Disneyland Paris, and formerly located at Disney California Adventure at Disneyland Resort.

At the 2016 San Diego Comic-Con, it was announced that Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! would replace The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror at Disney California Adventure. Tower of Terror closed in January 2017 and Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! debuted on May 27, 2017.

In which Disney Parks is Tower of Terror most popular?

This really depends on where you are located and what you consider your home Park to be. All versions of the Tower of Terror are considered popular Disney Parks attractions.

However, “supposedly”, the Disney’s Hollywood Studios version (at Walt Disney World) of Tower of Terror is considered to be “the best one” by many. This is simply due to the fact that this version allows the ride vehicle to roam the floors (i.e. it exits the elevator shaft), while the other versions do not actually allow for the ride vehicles to exit the elevator shaft.

Variations between the different Tower of Terror rides across Disney Parks

Tower of Terror
Credit: Disney

As mentioned above, one of the main differences between Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World’s version and the others located at Tokyo DisneySea and Walt Disney Studios Park in Disneyland Paris is that Disney World’s ride allows the ride vehicle to roam the floors — meaning it exits the elevator shaft.

The version at Disneyland Paris was built to be identical to the now-retired Disney California Adventure version. It is different from the Disney World version because it actually utilizes three elevator shafts and, as mentioned earlier, the vehicles do not leave the shaft.

Tokyo DisneySea’s version is not only a different ride story but also the tower itself has a majorly different look. This Tower of Terror takes Guests into the fictional Hotel Hightower.

Ride experience at the Tower of Terror

tower of terror service elevator hallway
Credit: Disney

The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, also known as Tower of Terror, is considered a dark, thrilling ride at the Disney Parks. Tower of Terror takes Guests into the 5th dimension after hopping aboard a maintenance service elevator — what many will consider rickety and spooky.

Once aboard the elevator-style lift, Guests will strap themselves in and “prepare to discover what lies beyond the darkest corner of your imagination”, per Disney.

The elevator shaft will then unexpectedly propel Guests up and down the abandoned shaft — dropping and rising — making for a thrilling experience.

What is the queue like for the Tower of Terror?

tower of terror lobby
Credit: Disney

As with most Disney rides, the experience really starts the second you walk into the queue. Tower of Terror‘s queue transports Guests into an abandoned hotel. Per Disney World, “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”.

What is the pre-ride show for the Tower of Terror like?

When speaking to the Disney’s Hollywood Studios version (at Walt Disney World), the pre-show really sets the tone of the rest of the ride experience at Tower of Terror. Disney describes the pre-show as:

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. 

Ride restrictions for the Tower of Terror

tower of terror
Credit: D23

What are the height requirements for the Tower of Terror?

At Disney’s Hollywood Studios (Walt Disney World) Guests must be at least 40 inches tall to experience The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. This attraction also offers Rider Switch.

If you aren’t familiar, Rider Switch allows one adult to wait with the non-rider (or riders) while the rest of the party enjoys the attraction. When the other adult returns, they can then swap supervision duties of the non-riding Guests, and the waiting adult can board the attraction without having to wait in the regular line again!

Who should avoid the Tower of Terror for health and safety reasons?

Guests should be in good health if they want to experience Tower of Terror. Disney highly recommends Guests should be free from high blood pressure, heart, back or neck problems, motion sickness, or other conditions that could be aggravated by this experience. Expectant mothers should not ride

We also want to note that Guests must transfer from their wheelchair or ECV to the ride vehicle to experience The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror at Disney World.

tower of terror
Credit: Disney

If you need help planning your next Disney Parks vacation to experience Tower of Terror, the Authorized Planners at Academy Travel have you covered! Academy Travel has earned the highest designation that Disney can bestow upon a travel agency, EarMarked Diamond.

As long as you book your trip with an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner you can rest assured that you will be working with an agency that Disney has vetted and is willing to associate their brand with that agency due to the knowledge and service level you will find at that particular agency.

Ready to find out what your dream vacation will cost? Click here to get a free no-obligation quote.

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