This ride can be found in Hollywood Land at Disney’s California Adventure Park. You will enter the queue outside of the Hollywood Tower Hotel which looks like a worn down abandoned hotel with dilapidated grounds. As you move through the line you will go through the lobby that has a dingy and suddenly abandoned type feeling- there are still drinks on the tables and luggage on the floor! The once beautiful chandeliers are covered in cobwebs and the flower arrangements are quite dead. (Look around and notice all of the small details. They are amazing, and this is what Disney does best!)
I have only once waited in line for this ride for more than 15 minutes and I have been on it 20+ times. The wait time out front almost always reads an unlucky 13 minute wait. So, if the wait time is low don’t use your FAST PASS here. Save it for something with a longer line.
Next, a ghoulish bell hop will usher you and the rest of the group into the hotel library where you all cram together on the rug in the center of the room. Then as the bell hop closes the door, lightning flashes and the lights go out.
Then the TV in the corner comes on with an introduction by Rod Sterling:
“You unlock this door with the key of imagination, beyond it is another dimension. A dimension of sound, a dimension of sight, a dimension of mind. You’re moving into a land of both shadow and substance, of things and ideas. You’ve just crossed over into… The Twilight Zone.”
“Hollywood, 1939. Amidst the glitz and the glitter of a bustling young movie talent at the height of its golden age, the Hollywood Tower Hotel was a star in its own right. A beacon for the show business elite. Now, something is about to happen that will change all that.”
At this point it shows in typical Twilight Zone fashion a reenactment of what happened on that dreadful night. Cue lightning flash and creepy music… then we are back.
“The time is now, on an evening very much like the one we have just witnessed. 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 maintenance service elevator, still in operation, waiting for you. We invite you, if you dare, to step aboard because in tonight’s episode you are the star. And this elevator travels directly to… The Twilight Zone.”
*This script is not my own and comes directly from Disney and this ride.
At this point your bell hop is back and beckoning you out into a boiler type room. The detail in this area is amazing and if you have time to look around check it out. Sometimes you can just cruise through the line. You are then separated onto 4 different elevators and your group will be moved to a specific row. After waiting in front of your elevator for a few minutes, the doors open and another ominous looking bell hop instructs you on where to sit and what to do to prepare for your ride. (The last time we went we got the elevator all to ourselves! That was AWESOME!)
At this point they will instruct you to remove any hats or sunglasses you have on your head. Because they can and will fly off. I usually have a small over the shoulder purse with me and if it is not strapped into the seat belt it does fly up! Also put any loose bags down by your feet because they can also fly up! I usually put them behind my legs. They also request that there is no flash photography during the ride.
Now for the exciting part the ride itself is about to begin. Yay!
You are now a part of the ride as the elevator starts to move you will start and stop a few times as they lay out the story line. Then the FUN begins! Lightning Strikes and you scream as the elevator plummets down the elevator shaft and then just as you suck in enough breath to scream again you are hurtling straight back up. Where you find yourself somewhat blinded as they flash a quick pic and quick as a wink you’re screaming again as you plunge back down! The ride drops you up and down over and over again until the ride wraps up! At which point your sullen bell hop directs you back through the boiler room and through the gift shop. (You’re now walking slowly out of the ride slightly hoarse with that fantastic tickle in your belly.)
Diva Tip: Try and get a funny picture when the time comes you can always check it out when you are heading out. Sometimes you can get a really great one! You can purchase your photo in the gift shop as you are walking out. By the way if you have a PHOTO PASS PLUS all ride pictures are included with this you just have to have the gift shop load it onto your card.
This ride is quite scary for some people (my daughter included) but she still goes on it with us (reluctantly) every time. We always have a good time. For me, as soon as the ride starts, I am like a giddy little girl screaming and laughing. Sometimes I even clap my hands! (TRUE STORY) This is my #1 favorite ride at Disney’s California Adventure Park.
This ride does have a FAST PASS and RIDE SWITCH options. It also includes BIG drops and will be dark, loud, scary and generally creepy. The height requirement is 40”+. There will be lots of screaming in fact my daughter almost always screams until her throat hurts. (She is 16) I’m giving this ride a scream factor of 8 out of 10.
The most important thing to remember when riding this ride though is to have a good time! Make the most of your experience because for some people visiting Disneyland is a once in a lifetime trip. Make it count and cherish the memories you make. Plus you will be able to tell the tale of the time you survived riding The Tower of Terror with all of the terrifying details! (Real or imagined.)