The Tower of Terror attraction at Walt Disney World has been a Guest favorite and a Disney Parks staple since the experience first opened on July 22, 1994, at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
The story behind the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror attraction is chock full of meticulous details, as Disney Imagineers chose to give Guests a visual picture to back up the vivid storyline of the experience. The lobby of the Hollywood Tower Hotel serves as part of the queue for the attraction, and as Guests’ eyes scour the lobby, they’re filled with a creepy uncertainty: is the story of the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror attraction one that serves as another shining example of Walt Disney Imagineers’ prowess in storytelling, or is the story actually true?
Two pieces of luggage sit untouched near a grand sitting chair. Dead plants abound. The Guest Registrar is still open to the page signed by the last Guest to enter the hotel, and dominoes in play sit atop a dusty old table surrounded by four chairs. It’s all part of Walt Disney Imagineering’s attempt to make the imagined seem real. Or perhaps it is real. The attention to detail will have you wondering.
As with all fan-favorite attractions at Disney Parks, adjustments, modifications, repairs, and sometimes complete overhauls must be carried out to keep the attractions in prime working order and to keep the Guest experience what it should be. And while we know this, there’s nothing worse than planning a trip to Disney World and then reading that your favorite experience is scheduled for refurbishment during the time you’ll be in the parks.
Such is the case with the Tower of Terror attraction at Hollywood Studios, as a permit filed by Disney Parks shows that work is set to begin on the attraction soon. The permit names MaddoxElectric Co, Inc. as the contractor to perform the electrical work on the ride, but it does not clarify whether the work to be completed will be for the features of the attraction or if electrical updates are being made. Either way, a closure of the attraction will most likely be warranted.
Credit: Becky Burkett/Disney DiningThough we haven’t been given an exact date for the closure, the permit shows an expiration date of January 18, 2023, which probably means that the work will be completed this year. Recently, Guests have made mention of experiences they’ve had in which some of the usual functions of the experience haven’t performed as usual, and it’s possible that the work for which the permit was filed will address those issues.
The story of the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror is a spooky one. During the Golden Age of Hollywood, the Hollywood Tower Hotel was the place where Hollywood’s elite stayed. But on Halloween night in 1939, five guests of the hotel, including a little girl, entered an elevator and disappeared behind the sliding door of the elevator shaft as a freak storm roared outside. After a magnificent flash of lightning, the elevator door reopened on another floor, but those guests were not onboard, and they have never been seen since.
So you tell us: an Imagineer’s story or an actual account of that evening’s events?