Please refer to the Tower of Terror diagrams for a better understanding of the following descriptions.
For a graphical representation of how the AGV progresses through Tower, please refer to this illustration or view an animation of the AGV as it goes from floor to floor. Both are provided by Martin Smith, Manchester UK.
After the elevator is loaded. It rises up to the corridor scene, you are just riding on a standard elevator called the VVC (Vertical Vehicle Conveyance) but when it leaves the elevator shaft in the 5th dimension, it isn't running on tracks, the elevators AGV (Autonormous Guided Vehicle) System kicks in. It is a battery powerd system that uses wires under the floor to guide it's self through the fifth dimension. This is why a park map on the floor can stop the elevator and put it in to down time. So the elevator drives it's self right up to the drop shaft. Its batterys are charged during unloading. A typical scenario of each elevator at a time is two elevators at load or in the VVC. One in either in the 5th dimension or in the drop shaft. One in unload or on it's way to load. This may seem that the elevators are a little close together but you have to remember there are 2 VVC'S and 5th dimension that merige into one drop shaft on each side. For example an elevator would be at Echo unload, one at 5th dimension or Echo drop shaft, one at Alpha load and the last at Bravo Corridor Scene. A maximum number of elevators is eight with four on each side. View an animation of the AGV.
The Corridor Scene:
The corridor scene itself is a forced perspective. It is about 4 feet high in back and about 8-10 feet high in front. There is a diagonal glass wall in the middle of the hall. To the left of it is a projector room with a scene. That projector projects the ghostly figures on the screen and is then picked up by the glass, so you can see it. When they disappear the hall goes dark and the back wall, which is a screen with a projector behind it, projects the window coming towards you and crashing while that's happening the screen on the side of the hall slides away (not the glass). Then after the window crashes fiber optic lights turn on, on the sides and in the projector room. You can see the refection of them off the glass. Then that's it. Not only do the fiberoptics reflect in the glass, but also, all of the walls are scrim, and when lit from the front, appear to be solid, but are actually thin fabric stretched tightly, and when light from behind the scrim practically dissapears and reveals the stars.
The 5th Dimension:
This is my favorite part of the ride and is quite simple to explain. The floors to the side where the elevator goes through (remember there is no rails. Got to love the AGV System) is mirrors to make it feel like there isn't anything below. The figures you see on the side are clear plastic cutouts with very little light behind it. They also move to create a warped look. And if working there is an eye with a image of you taken during the Corridor Scene. The clock is just projected on glass. And my favorite part, the star field doors. They are just fiber optics weaved in the door and the doors open with hydraulics. They are told to open with the PLC's.
The Drop Shaft:
The last and purpose of the ride: the drop. First of all it is not a drop. It forces you down. So once you leave the 5th dimension the elevator pulls on to a platform and locks into place. The platform is hanging by cables in a pully system, which is attach to the motors that is above the drop shaft. The motors are supported by a column of beams that is seperated from the actual building, do to the weight. The motor then pulls the cables to force you up and down. At the bottom of the drop shaft is the buffer zone. It is a pit that out of control elevators land and slow down with springs and buffers. Above the buffer zone is a projector and screen that projects a broken window and then the wormhole. The elevator backs out of the shaft and into unload.