Attraction Spotlight – Tower of Terror

Originally opening at Disney MGM Studios (now Hollywood Studios) on July 22, 1994. Disney has since added the attraction to Disney's California Adventure (May 2, 2004), Tokyo Disneysea (September 22, 2006), and Walt Disney Studios Park (December 22, 2007). The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror is among Disney's most thrilling attractions, leaving most guests loving it or vowing never to ride it again.

Let's set the scene up shall we. As you move thru the line approaching the “hotel” you see what lloks like a run down hotel thats scene better days. You hear screams coming from above the whole way thru the line. Entering the hotel lobby you see dust and cobwebs scattered everywhere looking as though it had been left untouched since the 1930s. Looking towards the main elevators you see a sign reading “out of order,” with one of the elevator doors slightly out of the groove. You proceed and are told your room is not yet ready and are directed into a room. Lightning flashes, the room goes dark, and the T.V. comes on of its own accord showing Rod Sterling introducing yo to what transpired many years ago with Twilight Zone iintroduction. You then are directed to head to a service elevator to go to your room. Once you board the service elevator, you are on your way to the Twilight Zone. The elevator goes up and opens to see the people you saw vanish on the T.V. materialize out of thin air. The elevator goes up again and then moves out into the Twilight Zone towards the drop zone. By this point if you for whatever reason have not secured loose items, you better do so quickly because things will float, in fact you will float off the seat…several times.

This attaction is not for the faint of heart, but is a fun thrill ride and I do consider it a must do. Oh and be sure to check out your photo as you exit towards the gift shop. The photo is taken at the very top of the drop shaft while the doors are open letting you see out into the park. This is also the point letting everyone below hear the screams as you drop back down. While cast members are amazing all over the resort, the ones at the Tower of Terror are often some of the best in my experience.


  • Hieght Requirement: 40 in or taller
  • Max Speed: 30.7 mph (Hollywood Studios version)
  • The Hollywood Studios version has two 12 ft tall, 35 ft long engines powering the drop. They weigh in at 132,00 pounds and reach top speed in 1.5 seconds.

Fun Facts:

  • You are not falling, you're actually being pushed down faster than terminal velocity.
  • Each ride is different, the computer randomly determines how many times you go up and down, and randomly determines what floors those trips go to. You are gaurunteed at least one trip all the way to the top, where your photo is taken.
  • The Hollywood Studios loop system is different than the others. The other ride systems are designed so each drop shaft is on an independent system so if it goes down, the entire attraction is not brought down.
  • You actually change tracks when entering the drop shaft.
  • In Walt Disney World, you can see the Hollywood Studios version from Epcot, in fact it was designed specifically so the back would blend in with the Morroco Pavillian.
  • The Tower of Terrors are among the tallest if not the tallest structures in their Disney resorts. At walt Disney World, it is the second tallest attraction at 199 ft, passed only by Expedition Everest which comes in at 199.5 ft. The Disneyland Resort version comes in at 183 ft and is the tallest structure in the resort.
  • The Tokyo version, while being the same ride, does not use the Twilight Zone story like the other locations. Instead you are at the fictional Hightower Hotel, where years previously, some guests disappeared from the elevator shaft under supernatural influence.
  • The 1997 made-for-television movie, Tower of Terror, has several scenes shot at the attraction.




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