Editor’s Note: Please welcome Abbie to The Affordable Mouse team of writers. Abbie will be sharing her favorite “Terrific Tuesdays” for us several times each month and we are looking forward to her thoughts on the best rides and attractions at Walt Disney World!
Thank you for welcoming me to The Affordable Mouse, I’m so excited to be writing for Terrific Tuesday’s! I wasn’t sure what to do for my first entry but my son, Ethan, who is twelve, insisted on me writing about the Hollywood Tower of Terror. I remember going on this ride for the first time when I was at Disney’s MGM Studios (now Hollywood Studio’s) when I was 15 years old in 1995. It quickly passed up Space Mountain and became my favorite ride.
Over the years I have learned to take in more of the scenery while visiting each attraction. As you walk up the path towards the Tower of Terror it appears to be this gigantic, building. Which makes sense since it is the 2nd tallest building at the Walt Disney World Resort (only one foot shorter than the tallest attraction, Expedition Everest at Animal Kingdom). As you enter the Lobby of the Hollywood Hotel guests will notice the layers of dust all over everything making it look as if nothing has been touched in years. Guests are then ushered into the Library where you see books on the shelves and an old black and white TV in the corner. With a bolt of lightening the lights go out and the TV comes on.
The host fills in the missing pieces of the story regarding the closing of the Hollywood Hotel, basically background information for those guests who have never seen The Twilight Zone. He speaks about 1939 and the fateful Halloween night when the hotel lost guests to the fifth dimension. He mentions the only working elevator is the maintenance elevator in the basement boiler room. There is a brief moment of complete darkness after the TV goes off and the doors open where guests file into queue lines, similar to most other attractions, in what appears to be a basement, boiler room. After many rides and reading various books I now know that the “Library” is actually an elevator. I’m not sure exactly how far down you travel though.
You are offered two queue lines and we have found that the right side tends to move more quickly than the left, but I am not convinced it hasn’t always been coincidence. Guests will then enter the elevator and sit in seats with a lap belt. There is, as with any thrill ride, that moment of “panic” that sets in as the doors close and you realize that no matter how you felt about this attraction you are stuck going up…and then down. The ride is not very long, however provides a major adrenaline rush as you literally come up out of your seat. I still hold on to the bar provided, Ethan who is more daring puts his hands straight up.
I would consider this one of Disney’s “Thrill” rides; however I do not feel it is jerky in any way and fun for all ages! According to Ethan, who has a couple books and is highly interested in Imagineering, it is unlikely you will have the same ride twice on the Tower and about every thirtieth ride guests go all the way to the top and then straight to the bottom.
I, after many years, have found an attraction that has topped my love of Tower of Terror however it is #1 on both my husbands and son’s list. At this point they are trying very diligently to get my daughter, who is seven years old, to ride for the first time this September: we shall see!
Abbie shares with us: “I am a wife and mother of 3. My parents first introduced me to the Magic of Disney World when I was 5 years old. However it wasn’t until my second trip as a teenager that the magic actually infused into me. I started eating, sleeping, and thinking Disney all the time. I even made a small Mickey head as the dot on my “i” in my first name and it then became part of my signature. I now have 3 children of my own and had the pleasure of introducing them, along with my husband, to the magical world of Disney a few years ago and they have all fallen in love with the magic that is Walt Disney World as I did. We just were transferred to Tampa, Florida with my husband’s job and my dream of living near the Mouse has come true. We will be taking our first Florida resident vacation in September and are excited to say that we are upgrading our tickets to Passholder’s. We are excited to see what adventures and new things we can learn about the Wonderful World of Disney!”