Tower of Terror Ceases Operations After 29 Years, Police Shut Down Ride

in Walt Disney World

A vivid image of the hollywood tower hotel, known as the "tower of terror," surrounded by lush green palm trees under a bright blue sky with fluffy clouds.

Credit: Becky Burkett, Inside the Magic

This week, hundreds of Walt Disney World Resort guests were disappointed when The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror unexpectedly ceased operations. Disney cast members rushed guests out of the ride while police officers ran into the building.

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Once Walt Disney Imagineers turned Disney California Adventure Park’s Tower of Terror into Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT!, the drop ride at Disney’s Hollywood Studios became the last of its kind in the United States. The only other surviving versions of the 29-year-old attraction live in Walt Disney Studios Park at Disneyland Paris Resort and Tokyo DisneySea at Tokyo Disney Resort.

Many Disney Parks fans feared that as Disney’s Hollywood Studios shifted focus to Disney-owned intellectual properties like Star Wars and Toy Story (1995), Imagineers would retheme the Tower of Terror. The Walt Disney Company doesn’t own The Twilight Zone, instead licensing it from CBS.

When the Mouse cut ties with Turner Classic Movies to retheme The Great Movie Ride into Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway, fans thought the Tower of Terror was next. While Walt Disney World Resort hasn’t indicated that it plans to retheme the Disney’s Hollywood Studios icon, a recent incident could threaten the attraction’s fate.

A bellhop on the Tower of Terror.
Credit: Disney

According to Redditor u/ravenclawchaser3, The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror shut down unexpectedly on Monday. At first, guests assumed the ride just broke down, but feared for the worst when they noticed security cast members and police officers approaching.

“Today around 5:30 p.m….they cleared the entire line, closed the store, and had about 15 employees blocking the entrance to the entire inlet that the ride is located in,” the guest recalled.

“We saw a cop come out about 15 minutes later and give thumbs up, then they let people back into the shop and about 15 minutes after that let people line up for the ride. They said ‘technical difficulties,’ but that was clearly not the case as you don’t need to clear the gift shop or have cops on [the] scene.”

A dramatic image of Disney's Tower of Terror under a dark, stormy sky, accentuating its foreboding architectural details reminiscent of an old haunted mansion.
Credit: Disney

Working Disney cast members didn’t explain the temporary closure, but some on Reddit offered theories. From u/I-_I-_:

“When things like this happen it’s because something tripped the fire alarm system. Typically it’s because some idiot vaped inside.”

The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror operated normally the following day. Neither Walt Disney World Resort nor the Orange County Sheriff’s Department commented publicly on the incident.

Has an attraction at Walt Disney World Resort or Disneyland Resort shut down while you were on board? In the comments, share your experience with Inside the Magic. 

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