The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror™ : behind the scenes of the hotel

The Twilight Zone Tower of Horror :The Hollywood Tower Hotel

Now that you’re up to speed on the technical data and have been able to experience the journey into the fifth dimension, let’s turn our attention to The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror™ attraction itself. Between little secrets and events, this hotel still has many surprises in store for you!

The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror™: a gravitational experiment

Visible for up to seven miles, including from the A4 freeway, The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror™ attraction is the symbol of Walt Disney Studios Park.

The TWILIGHT ZONE TOWER OF TERROR™ panoramic view of

The attraction is based directly on the television series The Twilight Zone, created and animated by Rod Serling, which first aired between 1959 and 1964. The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror™ is also a registered trademark.

The Twilight Zone , logo de la série
television serie the twilight zone

There are other versions of this flagship attraction in other Disney parks around the world. However, the French version has some similarities with the old Californian version (now rehabilitated as Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: Breakout!) both on the technical and scenic level.

The immersion is total and the settings are really very successful. Disney shines as usual, by its sense of detail. The Imagineers have unearthed a lot of objects from flea markets and thrift stores in California and Europe for the needs of the attraction. There are more than 5,000 accessories in the set, many of which refer to the series The Twilight Zone.

Also, on the hotel register in the lobby, you will see names listed. These are the names of the Imagineers who worked on the Paris attraction.

The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror™, le comptoir à l'entrée de l'atraction
the register on the reception counter of the hollywood tower hotel

From the outside, it looks like there are only three working elevators. In reality, there are six. To save space and thanks to a unique mechanism, there are two elevators per shaft. These operate independently of each other. Thus, while one welcomes its next visitors, the other transports its occupants in a psychedelic journey.

Rest assured, the elevators are not actually dropped into the void. In fact, they work thanks to a system that recreates the same sensation but actually pulls them down. Three large motors drive them. They are three times bigger than for a normal elevator. This increases the speed and gives you the impression of taking off from your seat!

Three new plots to try out

As of September 2019, a new stage version is incorporated into the attraction. The library scene remains the same. However, Disney has made changes to the visual and sound sequences played in the elevators. Now, there is a different cinematic for each of the three elevator shafts and its own series of drops.

The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror™, l'affiche de l'atraction

These three new experiments are called:

  • The Infernal Machine: the ghost of the little girl (the one who disappeared in the elevator in 1939) may not be your worst nightmare… You have thrown yourself into the lion’s den of the Infernal Machine… hang on, it promises to be dizzying!
  • The Perfidious Creatures: Creatures are prowling around the elevator shaft to vampire souls in distress… A word of advice : try not to scream, you wouldn’t want to attract them?  
  • The Fifth Dimension: A threatening spirit is trying to lure you into the fifth dimension. Get ready for a trip between reality and unreality as you tumble down 13 floors!

During the work in 2019, visitors could still continue their space-time journey. In fact, The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror™ is the first Disneyland Paris attraction to remain open during such a major rehabilitation.

A backdrop for the sounds and lights

The attraction is often used as a projection canvas for many sound and light shows. In addition, the video mapping technique is regularly used. Especially for night shows such as Disney Illuminations for example. Since its inauguration on April 5, 2008, the Hollywood Tower Hotel has been one of the party settings for Mickey’s birthday, Season of the Force, Electroland and many others.

In addition, for the 2020 Halloween season, the hotel was brought to the forefront and also served as the setting for the video for the song “Are you brave enough?” It shows a woman who is surprised by the ghost of the missing girl. She tries to follow him, leaves her room and crosses the lobby. She then finds herself in the boiler room where she comes across a somewhat frightening bellboy, so she tries to escape by trying to enter an elevator, but she finds herself trapped in another space-time…

Clip of the song “Are you brave enough?”

Whether you’re a fan of The Twilight Zone or just a visitor, we hope that your stay at the Hollywood Tower Hotel has been a pleasant one. And above all: don’t hesitate to come back to see us!

After living this unique experience, I am sure you will remember your trip in the fifth dimension for a long time!

Disney and me, it's a long love story. I fell into it as a child and never got out. From movies to theme parks, through the history of the Walt Disney Company, to comic books, everything fascinates me.