Tag Archives: Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
Walt Disney World is so magical for little ones because they BELIEVE. Their joy is pure and simple; they have no doubt they are hugging Mickey or curtseying to a Disney princess. This very innocence that suspends reality and makes Winnie-the-Pooh real to children means that the proverbial monster-under-the bed is real also. In a place where Imagineers bring fantasy worlds to life, there are bound to be some attractions that spook small children.
There are some obvious attractions that should be avoided but there are also less obvious ones. Here’s my list of Walt Disney World attractions that upset some small children.
The Haunted Mansion. The Haunted Mansion’s 999 haunts may be happy but little kids may instead see ghosts, ghouls, skeletons, and special effects that cause a shiver to run up their spines on this dark ride.
Pirates of the Caribbean. Part of this boat ride takes place in the dark and there are some special effects that may unsettle sensitive children such as a wavy image of Davy Jones appearing on a waterfall and the cannon fire.
Snow White’s Scary Adventures. The name says it all. The Wicked Witch is a prevalent character throughout the ride. The Disney rumor mill is churning out the possibility that a new Snow White attraction will be built as part of the Fantasyland attraction. We’ll have to wait and see.
Stitch’s Great Escape! The shoulder harness that restricts movement and adds to a sense of foreboding is reason enough to skip this ride. The show takes place in the dark during Stitch’s Experiment 626 era; that is, before he is the cuddly alien you grow love at the end of Lilo & Stitch. There is a 40 inch height restriction so only older preschoolers would be able to experience the attraction.
Ellen’s Energy Adventure. This approximately 45 minute attraction is a great way to cool off but the darkened theater and realistic looking, sounding, and moving dinosaurs should have parents reconsidering taking small children on this attraction.
Maelstrom. Guests explore the traditions and lore of Norway past on this boat ride. The trolls, giant polar bear, and a close encounter with the precipice of a waterfall may be a bit too intense for small children.
Soarin’. This ride is amazing and the long waits are a testament to its popularity. With a height requirement of 40”, younger preschoolers will not be able to ride this attraction. There is nothing overtly scary about this attraction unless your child has a fear of heights. Soarin’ has a rise of 40 feet and a very realistic sensation of hang-gliding that may be disconcerting to children.
Studio Backlot Tour . This long attraction starts with loud special effects such as gunfire and concludes with a close encounter with an earthquake, explosions, and fire at Catastrophe Canyon that may be too much for young children.
The Great Movie Ride. This attraction takes guests down Hollywood’s memory lane with a look at how movie genres have evolved. A gangster scene with gunfire and a scene from the movie Alien may scare kids.
Sounds Dangerous–Starring Drew Carey. This attraction is open seasonally and may seem like a good place to cool off and rest your weary bones since the wait is typically short. However, most of the show takes place in complete darkness and features sounds that can be unnerving in the dark.
The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror™. This ride has the feeling of free-fall, eerie elements, darkness and the word terror in the attraction name. Let’s get down to it – I’m scared to go on this ride with a 40” height requirement so I have to caution against it for taller preschoolers.
DINOSAUR. I love this ride but my children aren’t ready for it yet. DINOSAUR is a very loud and intense experience. Not only is the ride itself very jerky but the fierce dinosaurs are very realistic.
It’s Tough to be a Bug! My son has a fear of insects so although my husband and I never missed this attraction pre-kids, we now avoid this entertaining show. Fake bees and spiders appear unexpectedly in this 3-D attraction and some little friends make a hasty exit at the conclusion of the show.
The thing with Walt Disney World is that it is a very personal experience. For every ride that is a fan favorite, you’ll find detractors. For every ride that kids love, you’ll find a few that shy away. As parents, we know our children best. If you think the ride may have elements that scare your kids, err on the side of caution and skip it. There’s always next trip.
- Beyond the Attractions: A Guide to Walt Disney World with Preschoolers (2012) for eReaders (chipandco.com)
- What Is ‘The Best Seat In The House’ At Walt Disney World? (chipandco.com)
Enter Disney’s Hollywood Studios and walk right into the Golden Age of Hollywood. The glamour of the silver screen shines brightly at Disney’s very own version of Tinseltown. In traditional Disney style, the experience is plussed—kicked up a notch—with behind the scenes peeks at not only movie making, but also television production, music/radio recording and live stage performances.
From Hollywood Boulevard, hang a right onto Sunset. Laugh and carry on with 1940s-era street performances that stir the crowd with silly shenanigans and kooky quirks. Grab a pastry at Starring Rolls and stroll on down the street. You’ll soon find it’s not merely the movies that lure people west.
At the end of Sunset Boulevard are two popular attractions and two spectacular shows. Since you’re on a sugar rush from that cupcake you snacked on, go ahead and pump up the adrenaline with a loop or two (or three or four) on the Rock-n-Roller Coaster. This high-speed thrill ride for big kids, teens and adults drives with the force of a supersonic F-14, accelerating from zero to 60 miles per hour in 2.8 seconds. You’ll careen through neon-lit Los Angeles freeways and into 3 inversions for an upside-down view of the City of Angels, all while Aerosmith blasts from the 125 speaker, 24 sub-woofer, 32,000 watt, onboard audio system built into each “car.”
Need a breather? No time! Dare the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror next. According to legend, the once glamorous Hollywood Hotel was struck by a violent storm on Halloween night, 1939, whisking away 5 unfortunate souls to “beyond the fifth dimension.” Meander through the cobwebbed lobby and into the eerie basement boiler room to board the “fright elevator,” which goes up, then down, then maybe up again…or down. Random drops depart the 13th floor and are determined by the Tower itself. Now if that doesn’t spook you, I don’t know what will!
Alright, you can relax now. Beauty and the Beast—Live on Stage performs several times a day. The Broadway caliber show, complete with lively song and dance numbers and dramatic special effects, debuted at then Disney-MGM Studios’ (now Disney’s Hollywood Studios) Theater of the Stars November 22, 1991, marking the first time a feature film and its stage version opened on the same day. While the music comes straight from the movie and its Academy Award-winning composers, the story line was tweaked to fit into 25 minutes. So take your seat, let your heart beat return to a nice, steady rhythm, and hum along with Belle as she discovers “more than this provincial life.”
Finally, if you’re making it a late night at the Studios, be sure to end the evening with Fanstasmic! This musical extravaganza combines pyrotechnic, laser light and dancing water effects with Disney songs and animation, utilizing over one million gallons of water and featuring 50 costumed performers. Mickey Mouse stars as the Sorcerer’s Apprentice in this nighttime extravaganza, who invokes the characters of such favorite Disney classics as Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid, Cinderella and others to battle the evil queen Maleficent and her fellow villains. Who will save the day? You’ll just have to watch and see! Fantasmic! is performed nightly from July 3-September 30 and on select nights the remainder of the year, so check the Times Guide for schedule and show times.
Chances are that if you are like myself and the other writers here at Chip and Co., you are a Extreme Disney Fan. We have yet to find a cure, but the symptoms of this condition are rather obvious. Most likely your own friends and family have pointed them out to you or questioned your sanitya time or two. Still not sure? Check out my Top 10 Ways to Know If You’re an Extreme Disney Fan.
2. You sing the theme to Wishes when watching your town’s 4th of July fireworks display. (I did this earlier this week from my car)
3. You ask your family members at least once a day, “where we be right now if we were at Disney?” (This usually happens to me when I’m hungry and my answer is usually Le Cellier).
4. You get excited when you drive past an airport. (This happens to me every time!)
5. You hum the Twilight Zone theme when you board an elevator. (Only when I’m alone. If not, I hum it in my mind or quote Rod Serling’s lines to myself)
6. You watch the free Disney planning DVD’s just for fun. (Done this several times; and if you’re reading this, I’m sure you have too!)
7. You find hidden Mickeys everywhere! (It’s true)
8. No one asks you anymore about where you’re going on vacation. (It’s no longer a question of where, it’s when. Otherwise, I just don’t bring it up to avoid their puzzled expressions and an awkward moment)
9. You quote lines from Disney films in everyday conversation. (Who doesn’t?)
10. You name your pets after Disney characters. (Don’t judge)
Have you shown any of these symptoms? If so, you are probably an extreme Disney fan so be sure to comment below and share with others who share your condition.
- Top 10 Attractions with the Shortest Lines (chipandco.com)
- Help us get 5000 Facebook fans and Win a $100 Disney Gift Card (chipandco.com)
Standing in line at Disney World can be a pain. It is hot, you see strange things in line, and if you have kids they can get quite antsy. While Disney do anything about long lines (especially in the summer) here are the top 5 Disney World Attractions With the Best Lines.
1. Haunted Mansion: This attraction’s line recently underwent renovation and now it is interactive! While waiting, you can be entertained with a spooky organ that you can play with, a mysterious book that writes by itself, and more! In this line, you are also entertained by hilarious epitaphs in the graveyard. This line will keep you and your kids entertained while you wait and sets the stage for the ride.
2. Twilight Zone Tower of Terror: For me, waiting in line for Tower of Terror is just as entertaining as the ride itself! You immediately feel as if you have walked into an episode of the Twilight Zone when you walk through the hotel’s empty, unkempt courtyard; but my favorite waiting area is the lobby which truly looks like an old hotel lobby, frozen in time. No matter how many times I’ve walked through here, I see something new every time. The careful attention to detail only continues when you enter the hotel library where Rod Serling, the host of the Twilight Zone television series, explains via video that you are now in an episode of the show and are about to enter the Twilight Zone. Even the windows in the library flash with lightning during the video! Your final waiting area is the boiler room, where the boilers are glowing and tools, coal, and belongings of the workers are scattered below the catwalk. Before you board the maintenance service elevator, take notice of the generators nearby which are flickering and make you wonder if this is such a good idea…
3. Expedition Everest: Like Tower of Terror, Expedition Everest has one of the best lines to wait in. The story of this attraction is that you are joining an expedition team in Asia who is researching the mythical Yeti in the Himalayas. The line weaves inside and out of a research base located in an Asian village. This line is packed full of details, like the research base’s equipment and supplies, as well as photos of the research team, a small Yeti museum, and a idol to the Yeti where villages have placed food sacrifices.
4. It’s Tough to Be a Bug: This 3-D show based off of Pixar’s “A Bug’s Life” is usually loved or hated by Disney guests, but the waiting area is always a hit. This attraction is located inside of the Tree of Life; and the line begins outside around the base of the tree, giving guests a close up look at Animal Kingdom’s breathtaking icon. This ride usually doesn’t have much of a wait; but if it does, you won’t be bored with this view! This is also a great time to snap some photos. The waiting area eventually leads inside the Tree of Life where you will experience what it’s like to be the size of a bug with the giant pebbles and tree roots around and overhead. Throughout the waiting area, be sure to pay attention to the posters advertising what characters and acts you will see in the show!
5. Rock n’ Rollercoaster: The waiting area for the attraction is made to resemble a working recording studio by the name of G-Force Records. The line is boring until you get inside. Be sure to notice the columns that resemble guitar necks and the details in the floor, ceiling, and doors. You will also see a display of recording and music equipment that has been used through the history of the music industry, as well as vintage Rock n’ Roll posters. Disney often shows videos that help to tell the story, and Rock n’ Roller Coaster’s is the best as you witness a projection of the members of Aerosmith in a recording session who invite you along to their concert. You are then ushered into a replica parking garage which is made to look as if it outdoors. This area is chock full of rock music references. Be sure to notice them before you board your limo!
- Disney World Quick Tips – Enjoy Some Of The ‘Lesser’ Attractions (chipandco.com)
- Disney World Planning 101: Know the Height Requirements for Rides (chipandco.com)