The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror™ is one of the most popular rides at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida. This amazing attraction is located in the Sunset Boulevard section of the park, the building literally towers over Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
Inspired by the stories of the television service The Twilight Zone, guests are taken back in time within the now abandoned 1930’s-era Hollywood Tower Hotel which has fallen into a state of disrepair. Through the queue, they will tour the hotel’s spooky grounds and common area before boarding a service elevator for a death defying experience.
We consider this attraction an upgraded “thrill ride” to compliment the Haunted Mansion at the Magic Kingdom park. While it’s open to all guests forty-inches in height or taller, it features large drops so those that are not found of these type of attractions may want to watch from below.
About the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror™
Twilight Zone Tower of Terror™ attraction is located within the 13-story, 199 foot tall Hollywood Tower Hotel which is situated at the end of Sunset Boulevard. With the closing and removal of the famous “Earffel” water tower (2016) and Mickey Mouse’s sorcerer hat (2015), the tower has become the iconic symbol of Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
Originally opened in July 1994, this “thrill ride” is inspired by the 1950’s / 1960’s television service The Twilight Zone which was created by Rod Serling. This science-fiction show showcased highly unusual and horrific events based on ghostly and other paranormal experiences.
After a very well theme queue and pre-show, the ride experience itself is a dark drop tower enclosed by the Hollywood Tower hotel building. Riders drop and rise while seeing the grounds of Disney’s Hollywood Studios from staggering heights.
The attraction is limited to guests at least 40 inches in height or taller. Wait times can get lengthy for the standby line and easily exceed 60 minutes on a busy summer day. However, a Lightning Lane is available but there a Single Rider Line is not offered.
The attraction’s queue is comprised of the hotel grounds and common areas. The grounds feature the hotel gardens which include overgrown and ill-maintained statutes & fountains.
Disney added a really nice feature which is misters. They help keep riders cool during the summer Florida heat.
The interior queue features the hotel lobby, pre-show library and the boiler room which is the last room before boarding the ride vehicle. The lobby includes some displays and theming so be on the lookout for the details.
The Preshow and Ride Experience
Within a dimly lit library, riders get a bit of an experience of the television services The Twilight Zone. A short video on a very old television set about the background and history of the Hollywood Tower Hotel is shown that lets the guests know that they are the “stars” of the show as well as a little of what they will experience on the ride.
It’s a great “hat tip” to The Twilight Zone show and a fun way to begin the ride experience.
Guests board a dark and dreary “Service Elevator” where they are taken to a dimly lit corridor of the hotel. While traversing through the corridors there are a number of ghosts & apparitions along with spooky narration.
The ride experience begins with a drop at speeds of up to 39 miles an hour before again rising to various heights. Several times during the ride the elevator doors open allowing riders to see actually how high above the ground they are located.
It has been reported that there are four differing drop & rise ride experiences which keeps the attractions fresh.
Tower of Terror Gift Shop
As with most Disney attractions, guests finish their experience in a gift shop before the exit and the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror is no exception.
Merchandise includes a number of souvenirs, apparel and stuffed animals along with a unique Light Up Haunted Mansion Chess Set for $49.99.
Best hotels to stay when visiting Disney’s Hollywood Studios
If you are planning on visiting Disney’s Hollywood Studios, we would highly recommend you stay a hotel within walking distance or with a transportation service like those in the Epcot Resorts Area. Following are a few of our favorites.
The Walt Disney World Boardwalk Resort Hotels
The Walt Disney World Boardwalk Resorts comprise the following resort hotels and vacation club properties:
- Disney’s BoardWalk Inn
- Disney’s BoardWalk Villas (vacation club)
- Disney’s Yacht Club Resort
- Disney’s Beach Club Resort
- Disney’s Beach Club Villas (vacation club)
All three are within walking distance to Disney’s Hollywood Studios and there is also a water taxi service that runs all day long. These resort hotel are very popular and rates are typically not cheap. Prices range from less than $500 per night to more than $1,000 per night depending on the room type and the date of the stay.
The Walt Disney World Dolphin & Swan Hotels
The Walt Disney World Dolphin, Swan and Swan Reserve hotels are among our favorite resorts in Orlando. Specifically, the Dolphin is our “go to” when we are planning on visiting Disney’s Hollywood Studios or Epcot. The Dolphin is immediately adjacent to the Walt Disney World Boardwalk and within easy walking distance of both theme parks. Water taxi transportation is also available.
The Dolphin, Swan and Swan Reserve are part of the Marriott Bonvoy program so guests can earn or use points for their stay at one of the 1,514 rooms or suites. There are extensive amenities and dining options at this massive resort.
Hotel rates range around $250.00 per night to more than $500.00 per night depending on the time a year and room type.
If any of these hotel recommendations don’t work for you, CLICK HERE to see a list of other on site hotels as well as local area hotels near the Walt Disney World Resort.