Twilight Zone arrives at Walt Disney Studios
After a soft opening at the tail end of 2007, Disneyland Resort Pairs officially launched its Twilight Zone Tower of Terror in April. The attraction, the fourth ride of its kind at a Disney park worldwide, is the latest addition to the Walt Disney Studios Park in Paris.
The highlight of the park’s new Hollywood Boulevard district, the attraction plunges guests faster than the speed of gravity in a 13-storey drop based on a “lost episode” of The Twilight Zone, the cult American television series from the late ‘50s/early ‘60s..
“Tower of Terror affects every one of the senses,” says Theron Skees, show producer for Walt Disney Imagineering. “We wanted the guest to feel completely out of control – not knowing what to expect next.”
Visitors enter The Hollywood Tower Hotel through a once-grand lobby and and are ushered into a musty library by one of the hotel’s stone-faced bellboys. In the library guests are invited to board one of the hotel’s service elevators, where they find themselves on a terrifying journey to The Twilight Zone.
The elevator eventually leaves the lift shaft and passes through mysterious hotel passageways where ghostly images of lost guests seem to appear and disappear at will. The elevator-cage is then positioned inside a second, pitch-black lift shaft and proceeds to hurtle faster than the speed of gravity through the “fifth dimension.”
The familiar storyline is based on that used in sister Tower of Terror attractions at Disney parks in Florida, California and Tokyo, but there are elements that are distinctly European in the newest experience at Disneyland Resort Paris.
“The over-arching theme is the paranormal and mystical legends that have been part of European culture since the Dark Ages,” adds Skees, whose team searched France, Holland, the United Kingdom and most other European countries for thousands of authentic props.
Also debuting at Disneyland Resort Paris this season are a number of new entertainment offerings, including Stitch Live and a High Street Musical 2 interactive show.