Disney Screamin' on the Tower of Terror!


Welcome to those of you joining me from I Am A Disney Nerd and those of you just hopping aboard. I am the 2nd stop on our Magical Blogorail.

I am a Disney thrill-seeker, no doubt about it. I love all the greats at Walt Disney World including Rock N Rollercoaster, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Expedition Everest and Space Mountain. So when I found out that this month’s Magical Blogorail topic was “The Disney Ride that Makes You Scream the Loudest”, it was a no-brainer for me. The ride that gives me the biggest thrill, and certainly makes me scream the loudest, is my hands-down favorite: the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror.

Screaming TOT

The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror opened at Disney-MGM Studios (now Disney’s Hollywood Studios) on July 22, 1994 which just happened to be my eldest son’s 9th birthday. The Tower of Terror building is 199 ft tall which makes it the second tallest attraction building at Walt Disney World, just one-half foot shorter than the Animal Kingdom’s Expedition Everest ride. What it stands in stature is right up there with where it stands in my itinerary when planning my day at Hollywood Studios.

The first thing I do upon entering Disney’s Hollywood Studios is walk straight ahead to Sunset Boulevard and make a sharp right turn heading toward the 13-story structure affectionately known as the Tower of Terror. Once there, I check the wait clock to see whether I am going to get a fast pass or just wait in line.

The line twists through an ungroomed, eerie courtyard. As I draw closer and closer to going inside the “hotel,” I get more and more excited. After queuing through the dusty lobby of the old Hollywood Tower Hotel, I am directed into the library for the pre-show, which is a short film hosted by Rod Serling, creator of the old Twilight Zone television series. In the momentary darkness, I start to feel the adrenalin pumping while I am then guided into the Hotel’s boiler room.

Once the doors open to the boiler room, the butterflies start flying. I have been on this ride probably 50 times or more, but every time I ride it the butterflies show up. I think that is part of the fun! The cast member, dressed in a vintage bellhop costume, taunts everyone by thanking us for “dropping in.” I am then directed to my appropriate row and seat number which is painted on the floor in front of the place where the elevator will pick me up. Finally, our “freight elevator” arrives and I find my appropriate spot just as it was on the floor diagram and get into my seat and put on my seatbelt. I am ALL smiles at this point; high-fiving my kids and getting ready to go. This is when the real fun starts!

We take off and as the elevator rises up, I am ready for the visual. The doors open again as the “freight elevator” glides through mysterious hotel passageways showing us ghostly images of former guests. Then, the elevator enters the shaft. It is pitch black and chilly. Then I feel it…our elevator is locked into place. Here we go!

There is a 130-foot free-fall drop and then it shoots quickly up, then down, then up; plummeting again and again in random drop sequences. As it drops, I scream – to me this adds to the excitement. You might say I have a little bit of a sinister spirit; I scream mostly to freak out the other parkgoers.When the doors open, I look out over the park and join in with my fellow riders screaming our lungs out but thoroughly enjoying the experience. Once we are back on the ground and the ride is over, I rush to the photo wall to see our silly faces and to purchase the great souvenir photo that is taken right before the drop when the doors to the park are open. 

NOTE: I find that riding this one with my hands in the air takes away from the intense rising and dropping sensation in my gut, so I ride this one with my hands down. Have you found the same to be true for you?

Thank you for joining me today. Your next stop on the Magical Blogorail Loop is Magik Mouse.

Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail should you happen to have to make a stop along the way and want to reboard:

1st Stop ~ I Am a Disney Nerd

2nd Stop ~ Ideally Disney

3rd Stop ~ Magik Mouse

Final Stop ~ Disney Babies Blog

blue loop

Thank you for visiting my site, Ideally Disney, which is the perfect world as I see it.  I have been a huge Disney fan since I was a teenager and it is my wish that everyone take at least one Disney trip to share in its magic with their families. I love sharing information about Disney, which is one of the reasons I became anAuthorized Disney Travel Specialist with Pixie Vacations. Feel free to email me at Brenda@PixieVacations.com or send me a message on www.facebook.com/ideallydisneyblog.

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Larry G DrumTeriJackieJo S.Dawn Hopkins Panagos Recent comment authors
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Heidi Strawser

Oh my word – I totally could have written this post! I agree with every single word of it. It’s my absolute favorite!!!

Disney Babies Jenn

So well written! I am with you – this is the only ride that makes me scream. I’ve only been on it once and I screamed like a baby! Loved the details in this post!

Dawn Cullo

I have never been on Tower of Terror (crazy, I know) but I love your post because it really took me through the ride. I am sure that when I finally do ride it, I will scream really loudly.


The Tower of Terror is one of my favorite rides! I rode it for the first time when I was just 8 years old! 🙂


It’s one of my favorites too!


Not to crazy about The Tower of Terror, but I still make sure to go on it every visit….

Dawn Hopkins Panagos

This is definitely one of my favorites!! Has to be ridden multiple times each visit for us! Sometimes multiple times in a row!

Jo S.
Jo S.

Love this ride!! I scream, then laugh. Scream, then laugh. Scream, then laugh 🙂


About your hands….let everything go! It will give you a weightless feeling and you’ll “float” on every drop! Great for the rides with lots of drops…I giggle every time!


I love the Queue of TOT, but not the ride. I love thrill rides that go fast, but the dropping and my booty not attached to the seat just don’t thrill me. Now my 8 year old, this is her favorite ride!!!

Larry G Drum

Love TOT! Every time my Wife and I ride, we are the only ones in the elevator with out hands up in the ride photos!


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