2010 Best Theme Park Attraction nominee: Twilight Zone Tower of Terror at Disney's Hollywood Studios
Published: March 9, 2010 at 11:03 AM
Tower of Terror opened in 1994 and won the inaugural Best Ride in America Tournament in 2008. It continues Disney's tradition of reimagining traditional amusement park ride systems as the basis for an immersive storytelling experience. (Other versions, with a different ride system, stand at Disney's California Adventure, Walt Disney Studios Park in Paris and Tokyo DisneySea.
Only the California version includes the Twilight Zone theme, however.The Paris version has a different name and the Tokyo one a different theme, however.)
On Tower of Terror, a simple drop ride becomes the richly detailed Hollywood Tower Hotel, where on October 31, 1939, a bolt of lightning transported a wing of the hotel into The Twilight Zone.
(And by "Twilight Zone," we mean the classic 1960s television series, and not the realm of asexual teenage vampires.)
In a trick of creative video editing, Twilight Zone host Rod Serling sets up the story for us in the hotel's library, before we head into the hotel's boiler room, where we'll board the elevators that will take us to the site of the lightning strike... and perhaps, into The Twilight Zone itself.
The ride features multiple series of drops from the top, rewarding frequent riders with a fresh experience each time. With a variety of theatrical effects, copious visual references to various Twilight Zone episodes, and mix of light and dark drops, The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror elevates (sorry, terrible pun, but I just couldn't resist) the simple amusement park drop ride into a true narrative experience.
That's why Tower of Terror is widely considered one of the best theme park attractions in the country. But is it the best? Tell us your thoughts about Tower of Terror, in the comments.