On this last episode before Halloween, we are talking all things Tower of Terror on the Obscure Disney Podcast.
The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, also known as Tower of Terror, is an accelerated drop tower dark ride located at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Tokyo DisneySea, Walt Disney Studios Park, and formerly located at Disney California Adventure Park. Except for the Tokyo DisneySea version, the attractions are inspired by Rod Serling‘s anthology television series, The Twilight Zone, and take place in the fictional Hollywood Tower Hotel in Hollywood, California. The Tokyo version, which features an original storyline not related to The Twilight Zone, takes place in the fictional Hotel Hightower. All three versions place riders in a seemingly ordinary hotel elevator and present the riders with a fictional backstory in which people have mysteriously disappeared from the elevator under the influence of some supernatural element many years previously.
The original version of the attraction opened at Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World in July 1994 and was the basis of the 1997 television film of the same name, several scenes of which were shot at the attraction. A decade later, Disney began plans to add similar versions of the attraction to their newest parks at the Disneyland Resort in California, Tokyo Disney Resort in Japan, and Disneyland Paris. In California and Paris, Disney sought to use the popular attraction to boost attendance at the respective resorts’ struggling new theme parks. The California and Tokyo versions of Tower of Terror opened in 2004 and 2006, respectively, while financial problems delayed the opening of the Paris version until 2007. The California version closed in January 2017.
The Tower of Terror buildings are among the tallest structures found at their respective Disney resorts. At 199 feet (60.7 m), the Florida version is the second tallest attraction at the Walt Disney World Resort, with only Expedition Everest 199.5 feet (60.8 m) being taller. At the Disneyland Resort, the 199-foot (60.7 m) structure (which now houses Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: Breakout!) is the tallest building at the resort, as well as one of the tallest buildings in Anaheim. At Disneyland Paris, it is the second tallest attraction.