• Tower of Terror

Tower of Terror

Luiz Alberto H.

Created: Apr 19, 2024

Last Updated: Apr 25, 2024

Tower of Terror
Rating
10
Masterful
  • Year: 1994
  • Type: Drop Tower
  • Single rider line: No
  • Minimum Height: 40″
  • Ride Duration: 4min
  • Very immersive
  • Multiple drops

Welcome to a dimension not only of sight and sound, but also of a great ride

I looove Tower of Terror. Might I be biased since I am a big fan of the original Twilight Zone TV show? Maybe. That show was a masterpiece for its time, and manages to influence big names up to this day, like the hit anthology series Black Mirror. Wait, this isn’t a review of the TV series from the 60s? Oh, that’s fine. I am happy to say that the Disney World ride is just as good.

Hollywood Studios Tower of Terror queue.webp

This is an absolute classic, and joins popular rides like Epcot’s Spaceship Earth and Magic Kingdom’s Space Mountain as a must see attraction. Tower of Terror is much more than just a drop tower dark ride with horror elements. It’s a symbol of Hollywood Studios, an amazing spot to take pictures and proof that old rides sometimes just need a few updates to keep relevant and attract a new audience. You don't believe me? This mysterious hotel opened way back in 1994 and still manages to have queue times that can reach the 70 min mark. It’s well worth it, though.

I first went to Tower of Terror on launch week, twenty nine years ago, when I was just nine years old. Yeah, I was very, very scared, but part of me was thrilled to experience something new and unexpected. At that time, the ride only featured a single drop, but updates throughout the years made it so the elevator drops multiple times. Sometimes you even go up before the initial drop in fact happens, so it’s pretty cool that there is a random element involved to take you by surprise. 

Disney Hollywood Studios Tower Terror queue.webp

Tower of Terror isn’t only about being dropped from a service elevator, oh no! This attraction has so much style, from the way the haunted hotel is set up, to the pre-show revealing a bit of backstory to Mark Silverman voicing Rod Serling in one of his classic Twilight Zone monologues. The visual effects are also gorgeous, especially during the first minute of the ride. 

I also really love the buildup until you finally drop. It begins with the pre-show, weaving the tale of a family struck by lightning while on the very elevator you're about to step onto. So, why are you boarding this same elevator during a storm? Who knows! And who cares. Still, the pre-show is really effective, as it brings all your favorite elements from The Twilight Zone: the classic Rod Serling monologue, the tension, the theme song, and much more. Love it.

Hollywood Studios Tower of Terror vehicle.webp

The set pieces are also incredibly enjoyable, functioning more like a traditional dark ride as your elevator ascends and stops at various floors. You can see the ghosts of the family struck by lightning beckoning you, along with several projections of eerie imagery straight out of The Twilight Zone, like giant eyeballs and floating clocks in space. This ride dates back to 1994 but the visual effects are still top notch and don’t look dated at all. Is it creepy? Yes. Is it awesome? YES.

So, if you have any interest in drop towers, thrill rides or just want to have a good time, come here, and get ready to welcome the fifth dimension.

Hollywood Studios Tower of Terror show.webp

Will Kids enjoy it?

It really, really depends. There is a height requirement of 40 inches here, meaning that typically children who are five years and older may meet the requirement to ride.The main problem is that young kids get easily scared here, which is understandable. Even the queue can be scary, since it's set up in the backyard of a haunted mansion, with several spider webs and distant, eerie music playing. The inside of the mansion is also really well done, with old chairs and paintings that give you an idea that something is not right in this mysterious hotel.

Oh, the pre-show is also scary. You get to watch Rod Serling being voiced by a talented voice actor, and also a mini-movie where an entire family meets a… shocking… end as they get hit by a lightning bolt. This might be too much even for young teenagers, so talk to them before coming here.

The ride itself can be quite scary for our little ones. There are a few setpieces to note. The first one occurs right after you board the elevator and ascend a bit. When the doors open, you're greeted by the ghostly figures of the deceased family, which look quite realistic. The second set piece isn't as frightening as the first: as your elevator continues its ascent, you enter an area filled with eerie eyes and Lovecraftian objects floating before you. It looks super cool and it’s in tone with The Twilight Zone. The main drops occur shortly after, plunging you into complete darkness.

So, as you can see, it can get pretty scary. Young children usually do not like this ride, but teenagers have a blast.

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