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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