Next came Disneyland's California Adventure, not a favorite of many Disney fans despite the fact it features a few exceptional rides even though the park itself is not as sucessful as people thought. When people really began ranting and hating DCA imagineers began brainstorming and trying to find a way to help the park get back on its feet. The answer? Another ground-breaking pulse thrill ride. Tower of Terror was to experience a rebirthing as it would now make its way to a park that desperately needed something new and good.
But imagineers like always never create the exact same ride twice (i.e. Haunted Mansion, Splash Mountain, Indiana Jones) and Tower of Terror was to become no exception. With the location being California in a park about California Imagineers knew that they needed to make a building that would defenately be well...California.
Pueblo Deco decor was used to create the Hotel. This also gave imagineers the oppurtunity to do what they accomplished with MGM's Tower: Try something new. Now that imagineers had better experience with the tecnologythey could now create a new riding experience unique to the rest of the world. But to avoid the possible downtime headache that CAN occur in the MGM version, Imagineers removed the 5th Dimension scene. Imagineers were never happy with the execution of that scene, from day one. But as imagineers always do, they find a grand way to make up for it. So it was eliminated and replaced, with a much more simple, yet still amazing effect. Instead of slowly progressing to the fifth Dimension guests enter it right after boarding the elevator. The entire journey itself is within the fifth demension so that produced the same quality of MGM just in a different manner. And imagineers also added the new camera-involved trick with the mirror that seemed to "ooh and ahh" guests more than journey to the fifth dimension sequence. Laslty the drop was added and once again the accomplishment of something great finally made its way to California.
Because Tower of Terror in Disneyland helped sagging attendendance levels, Disney wanted to bring Tower of Terror to Disneyland Paris, which was suffering with low attendance and financial trouble of it's own. With the Tower of Terror opening soon in Disneyland Paris, attendance in that park is expected to jump much like it did at Disney's California Adventyure.
The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror at Walt Disney Studios Park is identical in every way to the version at Disney's California Adventure. The ride is currently under construction in the central area of the park, behind the "La Terrasse" seating area. The Paris version is being constructed using concrete rather than steel, but it will be identical to the Californian version upon completion.
But Disney knew that foreign parks would soon show interest. Tokyo DisneySea is one of the greatest Disney themeparks ever built and as if it couldn't get any better Disney decided to give it its own Tower of Terror. "The Twilight Zone" is well known in Japan. Tokyo Disney Sea is not directly owned by Disney. It is owned by the Oriental Land Company, which controls both Tokyo Disney Sea and Tokyo Disneyland. In order to license their tower as "The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror," Oriental Land Company would have to pay license fees to BOTH Disney and CBS per the CBS/Disney agreements, and then a second time to CBS per a CBS/Oriental Land Company agreement.
Business negotiations broke down, and the Oriental Land Company decided not to go with the Twilight Zone theme, thereby saving tens of millions of dollars in license fees over the next ten years. Some would argue that Japan has already dumped near 100 million dollars into constructing their Tower, so why not just pay the fees? Because the fees could wind up costing OLC half a billion dollars over the next decade, and with Tokyo Disney Sea's attendance records not as high as execs at OLC and Disney had hoped, they need to save money where they can get it.
However Japan has different beliefs and customs related to ghosts and supernatural than America associate so a new storyline and meaning had to be produced in order to suit the needs of the Asian market. And since there was no Hollywood section in Tokyo Disneysea, the entire story changed and it was placed in the next best thing instead of Hollywood; New York! but not just any New York. The old elegant early 1900's new york. With a new storyline Disney Imagineering could even feel safe using the cheaper DCA system now that they more and better experience with the technolgy. The rest will soon be revealed to us on opening day of Tokyo's Tower.
On September 4, 2006 the Tower of Terror in Tokyo opened. The ride portion consisted of the elevator darkening and moving backwards. A pair of green eyes in front appears above the vehicle. The elevator rises slowly and stops. The disappearance scene is next with Hightower standing next to the idol. The idol's eyes flash and zaps away Hightower, and he disappears. The elevator goes up further and guests see their reflections on a large mirror. Then the "morphing" effect takes place. Idol appears again and flashes its eyes towards the guests. The elevator races up, until it is at the top and the doors open. The view is high above the Park and guests can even see Tokyo on a clear day. The photo is then taken.
The first drop is a short quick drop down one floor and guest then see the outside again. Then the second drop, all the way to the bottom. The car goes up to the lower opened doors. Final drop, all the way down. Idol's green eyes appear once more. The ride ends and elevator doors open.
|Opening the Tower of Terror|