Guest Doesn’t Wear Seatbelt on Tower of Terror, Faces Life-Threatening Injury

in Walt Disney World

An image of the Tower of Terror, a gloomy, haunted-looking building, illuminated by a neon sign under a stormy sky with a lightning bolt striking.

Credit: Disney

A Walt Disney World Resort guest faced critical injury after flying out of his seat on The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. According to a Disney cast member on the scene, the man purposely didn’t wear a seatbelt on the drop ride to “get more air time.”

The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror is the park icon of Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Located on Sunset Blvd., the ride takes guests back to a gritty part of Los Angeles in 1939. When the regular elevator breaks down, Disney Park guests must use a maintenance service elevator to check into their Hollywood Tower Hotel rooms–little do they know, they’ll be staying forever.

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

Related: Disneyland Paris Encourages Guests Not To Visit Park as Shutdowns and Delays Overwhelm

Guests must wear seatbelts during the up-to-130-foot drop cycle. Disney cast members check each guest’s restraint by making them pull on a yellow tab before putting their hands in the air. Once all guests are buckled in, the Disney cast member hits a button to lock all the seatbelts, making them impossible to unclip before the end of the attraction.

Unfortunately, some guests try to get around the safety restraints for an extra thrill. Former Disney cast member Vanessa Marie (@xvanessaxmariex on TikTok) recently recounted a story that a colleague posted on Reddit. A guest nearly died after slamming into the ceiling and almost falling into the elevator shaft on The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror:

@xvanessaxmariex

Listen dont get me wrong I looove ToT! But in what world do with think this is a good idea? 😂😭 #wdw #waltdisneyworld #disneyworld #disney #fyp #foryou #foryoupage #foryoufeed #dcp #disneycollegeprogram #character #characterattendant #tips #tricks #hacks #disneytips #disneytipsandtricks #disneyhacks #meetandgreet #entertainment #story #storytime #storytimes #skit #karen #castmember #excastmember #disneycastmember #reddit #redditstories #greenscreen

♬ original sound – ✨ Vanessa Marie ✨

“Dispatched as normal, but when I noticed the alert letting me know that the elevator [that] was coming back hadn’t come on in a while, I went to see what was going on,” the Disney cast member explained. “Opened my panel to see the emergency stop was pressed. It’s pretty rare to hit it, so I went to see what was going on.”

The Disney cast member called coworkers in the “tower” position, which monitors the attraction’s security cameras.

“They had to press it because a person hit the top of the cage and nearly fell into the shaft,” the employee continued. “I immediately started panicking, thinking I might’ve missed checking a belt and that I nearly killed a person.”

An illuminated sign for "Disney's Tower of Terror" attraction at night, framed by dark plants and flowers, with a decorative, rocky foreground.
Credit: Disney

Later, the guest admitted to purposely misusing the safety restraints. Because it was the guest’s fault, the incident wasn’t written into the employee’s permanent safety record.

“Luckily, the person admitted that they slacked the belt and sat on the slack to appear it was on correctly,” the Disney cast member recalled. “After a very long report I had to write, I was free to work again.”

Vanessa explained that it’s a trend to “slack the seatbelt” on The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror to “get more airtime.” Once Disney cast members ask guests to put their hands up and lock the seatbelts shut, the guests can remove them.

Black and white image of an elevator door slightly ajar with a bright light shining through, set in a dimly lit, industrial-style hallway with visible grime and textured walls.
Credit: Disney

“My question is, why do you want more airtime?” Vanessa asked. “Not only that but if you do end up dying [or getting injured], that then falls on the cast member. So not only are you dead, but then you got somebody else fired for you being stupid and dying…That is the most horrifying thing I’ve ever heard.”

Never manipulate safety restraints on a theme park attraction. Flag down a Disney cast member if you’re concerned that a seatbelt or other safety mechanism isn’t working correctly.

Have you seen another guest act up on a Walt Disney World Resort attraction? Share your story with Inside the Magic in the comments. 

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