In all of these reviews, I realized that I haven't gone over to Disney's Hollywood Studios yet! The Studios used to be my #3 park, but since Animal Kingdom has gotten way better, poor DHS has dropped down to #4. But, I still love it and there are still things to see and do there, none more so than The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror ride!
The first place we always head when arriving at DHS is up Sunset Blvd toward The Tower of Terror. It is very visible from the moment you step on Sunset:
and even on a bright sunny Florida day still manages to loom ominous in the distance!
You notice a change in atmosphere and music the closer you get, to a 1930's Hollywood gone by:
The really cool part is the walkway up to the ride...you definitely don't feel like you're in a ride queue but more like you're in the garden entrance to a luxury hotel long since abandoned (and I'll try to be careful because I literally have hundreds of these):
But it doesn't stop there, oh no because stepping inside is even more exciting!
From the lobby you are told that the elevators are out and we must use the maintenance service elevators. You are ushered into a library/den of sorts that is extremely dark with the doorway closing behind you. Then there is a flash of lightening and thunder and what little light there is goes out completely...only the TV somehow manages to turn itself on to Rod Sterling from The Twilight Zone, giving you his spiel for your "adventure". And, even though you are packed in like sardines, make sure to look up and down:
Believe it or not, you're still not even close to the ride because you have to go down into the basement boiler room to access the maintenance elevators:
but you do eventually arrive at your ride vehicle, aka the service elevator:
where the ghosts welcome you:
the next time the elevator car moves, it moves forward instead of up and all kinds of strange Twilight Zone things start occur:
then you come to an abrupt stop, the doors open again, but the view isn't what you are expecting, rather it's a view from the top floor of the hotel directly to the outside!
Once the doors close again, you go through a series of drops, never in the same order, some fast, some slow, some all the way down, some only part of the way down, but definitely enough to lift you completely out of your seat more than once!
As with most major rides, there is a gift shop at the end, but the hotel theme continues through and this is one of my favorites. Here is where you pick up your on-ride photos:
love this water fountain:
gift shop just ahead:
what makes that shop so cool is the large number of "hotel" themed merchandise from towels to bathrobes to toiletries, etc, all with the Hollywood Hotel logo.
Once you step outside, you can get a close up view of the architecture and I never get tired of looking for new things:
To be honest, even the late 80's movie (based on the ride) wasn't all that bad and I still enjoy watching it. No matter how many times I ride it though, I've never gotten sick of it because you never have the same experience twice and you will always find something new to see!