Thursday, March 24, 2005

More insider junk

Here's the top-secret entry on Tower of Terror. Enjoy.

Twilight Zone Tower of Terror™
Date: 02/16/2005

Location: Sunset Blvd.
Phone: 8-264-3701 or 8-264-4348

Opening Date: July 22, 1994

The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror™ second show enhancement (double drop) debuts in May, 1996.
The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror™: Fear Every Drop! (third show enhancement) debuts on March 1, 1999.
The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror officially debuts a new drop sequence on December 31, 2002 (fourth show enhancement since the attraction opened on July 22, 1994). This entirely new drop sequence places the computers in control of the ride experience for the first time, making each ride sequence unique and random.
Description: Guests embark upon an eerie journey through a deserted Hollywood Hotel where they visit the lobby, the library (to view Rod Serling on television), and the boiler room. The adventure culminates with a 13-story drop in a runaway 1917 caged service elevator in which guests take a death-defying, high-speed plunge.

Restriction: Must be at least 40" tall; cannot suffer from any neck, back, or heart problems; cannot suffer from motion sickness or claustrophobia; wheelchair guests must be able to walk in unassisted and possess full upper-body control; pregnant women may not ride.

Ride System: Elevator car


Building materials:

1,500 tons of steel

145,800 cubic feet of concrete

27,000 roof tiles
Height: At 199 feet tall, The Twilight Zone Tower of TerrorTM is the tallest theme park attraction at the WALT DISNEY WORLD Resort.

Show Time: 5 minutes

Speed: The Twilight Zone Tower of TerrorTM is one of the most unique thrill attractions at any of the Disney theme parks. This is because the rate at which your speed increases is literally faster than the acceleration due to gravity.


Fifth Dimension Scene: The "fifth dimension" scene of the attraction was inspired in part by the "Little Girl Lost" episode of The Twilight Zone®. In the episode, a little girl rolls under her bed and disappears into another dimension.

Hidden Mickeys: Images of MICKEY MOUSE have been hidden throughout the attraction by mischievous Imagineers. During the entire show, for example, the little girl is holding a MICKEY MOUSE doll. Also, look for the famous silhouette of three circles along the balcony railing just before you enter the building and as a water stain on the wall in the boiler room. Although probably not intentional, the bell for the elevator above Rod Serling's head in the Library film also bears a resemblance to those famous mouse ears. A reference to MICKEY can also be seen in sheet music in the Library which is a copy of actual music written in the 1930s.

Hotel Props and Antiques: The rooms and corridors of The Hollywood Tower Hotel are full of items from Hollywood auction houses. Some items are particularly valuable: One set of leather chairs is an authentic Renaissance antique. (Similar sets of these 17th century Portuguese renaissance chairs are in New York's Metropolitan Museum and London's Victoria and Albert Museum.) Other chairs were from the exclusive Jonathan Club, a well-known Los Angeles landmark built in the 1920s. Numerous French bronzes are found throughout the hotel, some by the famous 19th century artist Moreau, whose work graced many of the best hotels of the period. Even some recreations of a famous American's own work can be found in the lobby. "Four Pages of Hilarious Star Caricatures by Walt Disney" is featured in the Photoplay Magazine on the concierge desk.

Library Film: Rod Serling's introduction to the attraction, as viewed on film in the Library, was taken in part from an episode of the series titled, "It's a Good Life." This episode told the story of a little boy who could use his mind to change things. Serling began the episode with the words, "Tonight's story on The Twilight Zone® is somewhat unique and calls for a different kind of introduction. This, as you may recognize, is a . . ." Imagineers completed that introduction with new dialogue customized for the attraction. For continuity, Serling's own voice was overdubbed by a sound-alike actor (Mark Silverman) to blend with the newly-added narration.

Selected List of Credits for Library Film in Lobby Show:

Rod Serling: himself
Rod Serling sound-alike: Mark Silverman.
Hundreds of folks auditioned for the part but Mark was chosen for the role by Rod Serling's widow who made the final selection after listening to him on audio tape.
Bellhop: Parviz Perry Vessali
Child Star: Lindsay Ridgeway
Nanny: Charlotte Helms
Music: The music is a compilation of music from episodes of The Twilight Zone® television series with arrangement by Richard Bellis. Unfortunately, the music is not commercially available.
Television Series: Walt Disney Imagineers screened each of the 156 episodes of The Twilight Zone® at least twice to capture the mood of the television series. Many episodes were screened three or four times and studied in regard to props, guest stars, settings, and music for inspiration, as well as to find the most representative quotes and characteristic phrases used by Serling in his role as host of the show.


Architecture: The architecture of the Hollywood Tower Hotel was inspired by the revival styles that swept California in the early 20th century. The hotel is modeled after the style of such landmarks as the Mission Inn (Riverside, CA), the Château Marmont (Hollywood, CA), and the Biltmore Hotel (Downtown Los Angeles, CA).

Background Story: It was Halloween night, October 31, 1939, when a freakish thunder and lightning storm descended on the Hollywood hills while the elite of the film community found sanctuary in the Hollywood Tower Hotel's elegant lobby. Among those checking in that night were a handsome young couple accompanied by an older, over-worked bellman; and a child actress in blond curls and frilly dress with her stern governess. They were all last seen heading for the elevator. They stepped in, the doors closed, and seconds later the elevator, its passengers, and several sections of the upper stories of the hotel vanished.

Landscaping: The landscaping is meant to remind people of the chaparral-covered hills of Griffith and Elysian Parks located in Los Angeles, California.


At 12:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I forwarded this to the Disney leagl department so they could verify it's accuracy. You should be hearing from them soon.
Send more if it's not too much trouble.


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