Opened in 2004, the Hollywood Tower Hotel, Tower of Terror is a guest favorite and a winning attraction at Disney’s California Adventure. After a terrible accident in the 1930s, the Hollywood Tower Hotel has been haunted ever since. But brave guest get to expierence what happened that frightful night in what has come to be known as the Tower of Terror. Beware as this is not your ordinary elevator, it is far more than what you could imagine.
It is hard to miss the huge Hotel as it tops out at just under 200 feet. Because of its huge size and incredible detail, it serves as a great icon for the entire resort as it is one of the first things you see when you are in the Disneyland Resort area. Made up of domes, arches, and 1930’s golden brown architecture, the building is beautifully thrashed and creates a great atmosphere as you approach it.
Once in the queue, first guest walk through the garden area before heading into the lobby. Here in the lobby, you can find statues, furniture and gorgeous 1930s decor but this lobby is cluttered with cobwebs and one mysterious, creepy doll. Also noted in the lobby is the broken elevator doors. From here guest are split up into two libraries which serve as the preshow rooms. Each room features a television that tells the story of the Hollywood Tower Hotel before they head into the basement. Unfortunately their rooms are not ready yet, is informed by the Bellhop and are sent to wait in the basement. Finally guest board maintence service elevators and buckle in for their adventure.
The doors close, the room goes black and your elevator mysteriously is lead backwards before heading upward. The lights turn on but are very dimm and a pair of doors open revealing a huge wall mirror. A voice says “Wave good bye to the real world.” Right after the images in the mirror turn green and disapear. From here, the elevators head to the next room, a hall where those who were there on that faithful night are beckoning you to come join them. However the hall slowly goes black and you are now in the twilight zone. Elevator doors at the end of the hall open revealing the group again before…
“Ahhh!” You drop a few feet. Then again! Now you can here the elevator machinery pulling you up to the top where three pairs of doors open showing the outside world that you are over a hundred feet above before you drop two stories down, and then drop all the way to the bottom. Once again you rise up to the top but this time the doors don’t open and the elevator free falls from going up to going down creating a huge sense of weightlessness. Finally the elevator rises up to the top shaft before shaking and falling to the bottom.
Once riders exit they can view their on ride photo and purchase something at the hotel gift shop. Theming continues through both with frames being around the screens so it appears that the screen is a picture frame and the gift shop being elaborately detailed.
Tower of Terror is clearly one of those landmark ride systems that Disney has designed that are a hit with guest. It competes with the EMV’s (Indiana Jones Adventure/Dinosaur cars), Test Track system, Soarin’ system, and the newest Midway Mania system. All of which are incredibly designed and are a hit with guest.
I love this ride and ride it every time I go to the Disneyland Resort. Better then Screamin’ for me and is my favorite ride in Disney’s California Adventure with close runner ups California Screamin’ and Toy Story Midway Mania. I have never expierenced so much consistant air time, every time I ride, in my life time. Such a great expierence. You are really missing out if you don’t ride this is California. As for Florida, well that is another day…
Image 1 copyright Disney. All other images from me.