The Tokyo version, which features an original story line not related to The Twilight Zone, takes place in the fictional Hotel Hightower. A decade later, Disney began plans to add similar versions of the attraction to their newest parks at the Disneyland Resort in California, Tokyo Disney Resort in Japan, and Disneyland Resort Paris. In California and Paris, Disney sought to use the attraction to boost attendance at the respective resorts struggling new theme parks. The California and Tokyo versions of Tower of Terror opened in 2004 and 2006, respectively, the California version closed in January 2017. The Tower of Terror buildings are among the tallest structures found at their respective Disney resorts, at 199 feet, the Florida version is the second tallest attraction at the Walt Disney World Resort, with only Expedition Everest 199.5 feet being taller. At the Disneyland Resort, the 183-foot structure is the tallest building at the resort, at Disneyland Paris, it is the second tallest attraction. In the American and European versions of the attraction, guests make their way to the Hollywood Tower Hotel through the front gate, guests then walk along a cracked, curved pathway that leads to the hotel. The pathway goes past overgrown gardens, signs pointing to the stables, a green, tennis courts, swimming pools. In most parks, 1930s jazz music plays in the queue area, entering through the hotels front doors, guests encounter an interior designed to give the impression that the Hollywood Tower Hotel has been left untouched since the night of its closure. The lobby is covered in dust and draped with cobwebs, past the front desk, the main elevators are in a dilapidated state, and a sign reads Out of Order. Through the library window, guests can observe a severe thunderstorm raging outside, the television then turns off and the guests are directed through to the boiler room, where they await the maintenance service elevators arrival. In the late 1980s, a phase of development was being designed for Disneyland Paris. Included was a free-fall type ride in Frontierland that was to be named Geyser Mountain and it would have been part roller coaster, part free-fall ride that shot guests up a vertical shaft. The plan was scrapped, but was picked up by Disneys Hollywood Studios as part of an expansion to their U. S. park. Several attractions had already been proposed, including Dick Tracys Crimestoppers, still needing a major E-ticket attraction, the idea of a drop-shaft ride came up and was chosen. Walt Disney Imagineering eventually took inspiration from Rod Serlings anthology stories featured in The Twilight Zone, Imagineers mused that the attraction would be able to take guests into the Fifth Dimension that Serling always described as unlocking in every episode of the series. With the project in development, Disney licensed the rights to use The Twilight Zone intellectual property from CBS Inc. Otis Elevator Company created the vertical ride system, and Eaton-Kenway a ride vehicle that could drive itself horizontally, site-clearing and prep began early 1992
Image: Tower Of Terror MGM
The original Tower of Terror, at Disney's Hollywood Studios
The lobby of The Hollywood Tower Hotel at Disney's Hollywood Studios, May 2010
Tower of Terror at Disney California Adventure in 2006.