If you are walking through Hollywood Studios, you’ll frequently hear screams coming from the direction of the Tower of Terror. Why are they screaming? Because this attraction takes guests to a height of around 170 feet and drops them at a speed just a bit faster than free-fall.

Before we help you learn how to ride the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror without waiting in long lines, lets give you a little more information about this hair-raising attraction.

Tower of Terror – History

The idea for a ride that incorporated a “free-fall” began in the 1980’s, but the final plans didn’t come to fruition until the early 90’s. It was decided that the free-fall was going to be the final sequence of the ride, and that the theme was going to be The Twilight Zone. In 1992, construction began, and the ride was completed in 1994.

The Tower of Terror was to be 199 feet tall. The high size makes the building visible from Morocco, in the Epcot Pavilion. Because of this, the Epcot-facing side of this ride was given an architectural theme that would blend in with the buildings in Morocco, so that the theme wouldn’t be lost. (Disney, you’re amazing)

Tower of Terror – The Ride

The Tower of Terror is a perfect example of how Disney World is different than other theme parks. There are many drop towers in theme parks across the US and the world. But the difference in Disney’s Tower of Terror and these other drop towers is the theming.

From the moment you enter the lobby, you are transported into an old hotel, and Disney hasn’t left a detail out. The theming in the lobby is excellent, complete with cobwebs, vintage furniture, and a creep factor of 10. After the creepy hotel lobby, you enter a small, cramped area where you watch a Twilight Zone video sequence that is guaranteed to scare one or two small kids in the room.

Next, you’ll enter a bigger room, where you get in line and wait to enter your elevator. Once you get in the elevator, you’ll begin the ride and be taken on a journey into the Twilight Zone. There are some very entertaining elements to this show, but we all know that the drop at the end is why people come to this ride.

Each time you ride the Tower of Terror, you'll get a unique ride sequence of drops and rises that is controlled by a computer. This means that no two rides are exactly the same! But rest assured, you will always get at least one full drop from the top to the bottom!

Tower of Terror – Touring Tips

Tower of Terror is a Tier 2 Fastpass. But it can be a very frustrating fastpass. I can't tell you how many times I've waited 30 minutes in line despite having a fastpass. This line just doesn't always move quickly.

Should you use your fastpass? Certainly. Tower of Terror and Aerosmith are absolute no-brainers as Tier 2 fastpasses, regardless of whether the fastpass lines move slow or not.

Should you rush to Tower of Terror? I wouldn't. Head straight to Toy Story Land when the park opens. If you're at the front of the line, you should be able to get all 3 Toy Story rides done, then you can head over to Tower of Terror. At this point you'll have a wait, but it probably won't be too long.

For more detail on how to best plan your day in Hollywood Studios, see our free Hollywood Studios touring plan.


Ride Information

Park - Hollywood Studios
Height Requirement - 40 inches
Ride Type - Drop Tower Dark Ride
FP+ - Tier 2

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