Enter The Twilight Zone with 17 Tower of Terror Facts

The Hollywood Towel Hotel. Tower of Terror at Disney's Hollywood Studios. 17 chilling fun facts that will leave you feeling eerie.
  • Save
The Hollywood Towel Hotel. Tower of Terror at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. 17 chilling fun facts that will leave you feeling eerie.

Hollywood, 1939—There’s a maintenance service elevator, still in operation, waiting for you.

Since its opening over 25 years ago, The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror still stands as a favorite Hollywood Studios attraction. After the bellhops lure Guests through the Hollywood Tower Hotel lobby, the haunted elevator sends thrill-seekers down a 13-story drop!

Crafting the story behind this gloomy hotel wasn’t an easy task; this attraction required a terrifying amount of thought from Disney Imagineers.

Side view of the Hollywood Hotel. Disney's Hollywood Studios presents Tower of Terror. 17 Chilling fun facts.
  • Save
Side view of the Hollywood Hotel. Disney’s Hollywood Studios presents Tower of Terror. 17 Chilling fun facts.

Here Are 17 Chilling Fun Facts About Tower of Terror!

  1. Basic Facts – Tower of Terror is located in Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The Tower of Terror opened on July 22nd 1994. It is pretty well known that the ride is based in 1939, but did you know it takes place on October 31st? That makes it a great ride for Halloween night! California’s Griffith Park inspired the Hollywood Tower Hotel.
  2. How Tall is Tower of Terror? – Tower of Terror is 199 feet high. Walt Disney Imagineers wanted to make the building 200 feet tall. Buildings that are 200 feet tall require the red light at the top of the building. The red light would have been too noticeable from EPCOT so they built it at 199 feet without the red light. Tower of Terror is the second tallest attraction, Expedition Everest being the tallest attraction at Walt Disney World.
  3. Tower of Terror Is the Backdrop of Morocco – The faded, beige color of the hotel serves a purpose. This 199-foot attraction in Hollywood Studios can be seen from multiple points throughout Walt Disney World, specifically from Epcot’s Morocco Pavilion. Keeping in mind the element of show, Imagineers painted the Tower of Terror so it would blend in with the Morocco skyline! This Tower of Terror fact leaves Guests wondering how they missed it!
  4. That’s Not Rod Serling’s Voice! – As you wait in the pre-show library for your hotel rooms to be prepared, you are welcomed by Rod Serling from The Twilight Zone who warns that you will be taken to the Fifth Dimension. This haunted elevator isn’t the only weird feature of this hotel; the voice you hear in the clip is not Rod Serling! Sterling passed away before the creation of this attraction; therefore, Imagineers pieced together Serling’s introduction with clips from an episode called “It’s a Good Life” and replaced the late actor’s speech with voice actor Mark Silverman. Don’t worry; Serling’s widow, Carol, officially approved of the Imagineers’ choice before hiring him!
  5. Misplaced Props – The Hollywood Tower Hotel lobby is filled with antique furniture, stunning sculptures, and odd knickknacks. Imagineers even strategically placed some trinkets from The Twilight Zone, such as broken reading glasses, the Mystic Seer fortune-telling machine, and a dusty trumpet, to honor the show. What many Guests don’t know is that some props were placed by mistake! Right before the exit of the attraction, underneath the PhotoPass screens, an old, moldy jar rests in the back left corner. That’s because an Imagineer ate some pickled sausages on a lunch break, and the jar accidentally got glued down when the Imagineers returned to work! Now, this prop will reside there for eternity!
  6. Hands Up! – As Guests buckle themselves in on the haunted elevator, they are instructed to raise their hands in the air. While the bellhop may claim this act is “practice for later,” no other attraction at Walt Disney World requires Guests to do this. Why? It turns out that the bellhop asks this so they can confirm that no body parts are compromising the tightening mechanism of the seatbelt restraints because, as you might already know, you’re only minutes away from plummeting towards the ground at frightening speeds.
  7. Hidden Mickeys – A Walt Disney World attraction wouldn’t be complete without some Hidden Mickeys! In the hotel lobby, a lamp sitting on the concierge desk shows off the famous three-circle design. In addition, the little girl from the pre-show clip is actually holding a Mickey Mouse doll!
Tower of Terror Secret Message
  1. The Tower of Terror was almost a real hotel – The Tower of Terror was also supposed to be a resort in the original plans. Disney decided it was too expensive to build a hotel with this theming and too complicated for guests to actually stay inside the park. Just as well, I don’t think I would be brave enough to stay there!
  2. There Is No ‘Free Fall’ or ‘Drop’ – It feels like the ride vehicle is free falling towards the ground, but you are actually being pulled down and pulled up the elevator shaft instead. The drops are actually randomized so you may not experience the same ride each time. The number of drops as well as how far you go will be different for every ride.
  3. 13 Minute Wait – If there isn’t a wait for the Tower of Terror it will show up as 13 minutes. Spooky, but head over there now for no lines! This is also true for the spooky Haunted Mansion in Magic Kingdom too.
  4. Tower of Terror Used to Operate Without Seatbelts – When the ride opened in 1994 there weren’t any seatbelts, only a lap bar that went over the whole row. So glad they changed it for the safety of guests!
  5. ​Dust and Cobwebs – ​Many people think the dust and cobwebs mean it has not been cleaned properly, but it’s actually part of the decor! One of the members of our Walt Disney World Secrets and Tips group posted a picture of the ‘dusty fan’ in the group. The disgusted comments from people who didn’t realize it was Tower of Terror and part of the experience was shocking!
  6. Four Different Versions – There are four versions of the Tower of Terror attraction in the Disney Parks. These include Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Disney California Adventure at Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney Studios Park at Disneyland Paris, and Tokyo DisneySea. The Tower of Terror attraction in Disneyland California is not Twilight Zone themed and is a Guardians of the Galaxy ride instead.
  7. ​Disney Imagineer Research – The imagineers binge watched 156 twilight zone episodes for research when designing this ride. The Twilight Zone episode “Little Girl Lost” inspired the Fifth Dimension scene for the ride. The clip where Rod Sterling introduces the attraction is from the “It’s a Good Life” Twilight Zone episode.
  8. It’s All In The Details – Featured in Photoplay Magazine on the lobby’s concierge desk is a copy of “Four Pages of Hilarious Star Caricatures by Walt Disney”. The lobby of the Hollywood Tower Hotel contains furniture and antiques from the Los Angeles-area auction houses. The Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles is eerily similar to the Hollywood Tower Hotel.
  9. Lightning Strikes – This one is a very eerie fun fact. The back story includes a lightning strike causing the elevator to free fall. The Tower of Terror building has actually been hit with lightning when still under construction. No one died during that lightning strike though!
  10. The Screams Aren’t Real – We have all heard the screams walking down Sunset Boulevard. Don’t let it scare you next time you hear the screams, they aren’t actually real. The screams are pre-recorded playing on speakers. Disney is so sneaky! Listen for the screaming loop to confirm these screams are pre-recorded.
17 Interesting Fun Facts about Tower of Terror. Did you know number 9?
  • Save

What’s your favorite memory from Tower of Terror? Did you know about the drop before going on? We also left out some Mickey-related tributes from the article! We invite you—if you dare—to write in the comments what you think they are!

  • Save
Subscribe to Magical Guides!
Get updates on the latest posts and more from Magical Guides straight to your inbox.
Share via
Copy link