How Disney’s Tower of Terror Works: From Before The 5th Dimension To The Fall

The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror opened at Walt Disney World’s Disney-MGM Studios (now Disney’s Hollywood Studios) in 1994. The attraction was inspired by the old The Twilight Zone TV series and takes place in the fictional Hollywood Tower Hotel in Hollywood, California.

The attraction uses a variety of special effects, as well as a thrill/fall aspect that makes the ride fun, exciting, and, even 25 years after it opened, popular. In fact, the attraction proved to be so well-liked that similar versions were built at Disneyland’s Disney California Adventure (2004), Tokyo Disneyland’s Tokyo DisneySea (2006) and Disneyland Paris’ Walt Disney Studios park (2007).

^^^ L to R: Walt Disney World, Disneyland (before it was reimagined as the Guardians of The Galaxy attraction), Tokyo Disneyland, Disneyland Paris)

When the TZTOT originally opened at WDW, it used what was then state-of-the-art technology. Although technology has improved a bajillionfold in the past 25 years, learning how the ride works – loading, the ghosts, the breaking window, the star field, the fifth dimension, and the elevator ride itself, is still pretty interesting, and a fun look at how a Disney attraction operates.

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Disney’s Country Bear Jamboree: The Seasonal Versions Not Seen Anymore. History, GREAT Videos, & MORE!

If you’re a Disney fan, there’s potentially a big problem when you read the various Disney blogs out there that claim to deliver “news” – they don’t always do that. Some blogs repeat stuff that a Disney bus driver’s second cousin’s best friend mentioned. Others allude that things are happening but never outright say they are. And yet others just make crap up.

The Walt Disney Company has usually been very closed-lipped about what’s said on those so-called “viral” Disney sites but in a change of the status quo in recent weeks, they squelched two rumors that had been spread by what they described as an “unscrupulous source.” The first rumor was about The Enchanted Tiki Room closing (spoiler: it’s not closing) and the other one was about the Country Bear Jamboree

That post got me thinking about this iconic attraction and its rich history in Disney parks. And boy, does it have history! Take a look…

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Google Has Pinpointed The Perfect Spot For Selfies At Top U.K. Tourist Attractions

If you go to Great Britain in the future and want to take the perfect selfie, Google has got you covered.

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“Disney Snubs History & Art”: When They Altered An Historic Magic Kingdom Icon

Seth Kubersky, Arts Journalist of the Orlando Weekly, posted a link to an article regarding Disney’s “snub to history and art” by altering an attraction that, not only has been a staple at Walt Disney World since its opening day in 1971, but is over 100 years old and has an historic past in its own right, including being the only WDW attraction Walt Disney saw before his death in 1966. Written by the person who worked on refurbishing the attraction in the mid-1990s to early 2000s, you can read the article if you click on
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Experiencing “Dark” Disney & Universal Attractions With The Lights On

Some attractions at Disneyland (DL), Walt Disney World (WDW) and the Universal parks are nearly 100% outdoors – DL’s Grizzly Peak, WDW’s Slinky Dog Dash Roller Coaster and UO’s One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish all come to mind. Other attractions (DL’s Radiator Springs Racers, WDW’s Seven Dwarfs Mine Train Roller Coasters and Uni’s Jurassic Park, for examples) are partially outdoors and partially indoors, which gives the parks the opportunity to control more aspects of the ride experience. Still other attractions are nearly 100% indoors – i.e. The Haunted Mansion and Soarin’ at the Disney parks, or Harry Potter & The Forbidden Journey or Despicable Me at Uni – besides even more control over the experience, it also protects guests from the weather (which is more of an issue at the Florida-based parks that have to deal with more rain, thunder, lightning and extreme heat and humidity than their California-based counterparts).

Many of the partially and completely indoor rides are considered to be “dark” rides, which means the rooms you go through are dark, either to make it seem scarier (i.e. Space Mountain, Haunted Mansion, E.T. Adventure) or to get the riders to focus on whatever the “lit up” scene they’re up to (i.e. DL’s Monsters, Inc., WDW’s Journey Into Imagination, Universal’s Revenge of The Mummy).

There are occasional opportunities to see “dark rides” with the lights on – Disney Cast Members are sometimes allowed to experience the attractions that way, and there are occasional behind-the-scenes tours at the various theme parks for guests to have the experience. When something goes wrong on a dark ride, the emergency lights sometimes go on, which is also a way to see these usually “dark” rides in a whole new way. Several videos of these “special” experiences have been captured on video, and we gathered a bunch of them. Enjoy!

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