The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror - Cast Member Preview - April 18, 2004 - MINOR SPOILERS

We were able to go on Sunday with a cast member friend. I've only been on the WDW version of the ride once, almost five years ago, and I don't remember that much about the drops. I wasn't sure how I was going to deal with the drops now on our version of the ride. I loved it. It's at just the ride level for me - thrilling, exciting, kinda scary but just to the point I can take, and then it backs off, so I'm having fun the whole time.

Love the outside area. I was able to sit there for a while in the evening waiting while others took a ride after dinner (I decided not to do that but am excited to ride it at night on Friday), and it was great sitting in the relative quiet, chatting with a friend, as the themed 30s music played in the background. They chose songs that fit the theme of the time but also had some haunting melodies and vocals. Perfect.

Love all the incredible theming in the queue area. We spent a bit of time just standing there looking at stuff as we let others go ahead of us. We went to the left loading the first time and got the stairs, which I wasn't too thrilled about, but it worked out ok. The second time, we were going to ask for the right so I wouldn't have to navigate the stairs, but ended up being sent that way anyway, so it worked out fine.

I love the library and wish I could just hang out there for a while, looking at everything.

I do miss the horizontal motion of the ride that they have in Orlando though.

Love the view from the top, with the extra second you get to look before it drops. Can't wait to see it at night.

Couldn't remember where the Willoughby Travel window was so forgot to look for it. Will have to remember to look for it on Friday.

It was funny to stand outside the ride and watch the majority of the people basically loop from the exit right back to the entrance again. It was even weirder to see so many and varied costumed CMs going through the line. One of the pictures we bought has about 4 differently costumed CMs in it. That's not a picture that will be available otherwise.

And the merchandise was awesome. The best thing is the building replica, which costs $75, and it's an amazing piece. It has light up stuff in the front to simulate the ride, and there's a sound sensor as well so that if you clap your hands in front of the piece, it emits people's screams. Really awesome piece. I managed to walk out of the store without it after my first ride and first round of purchases, but the second time, I had to have it. It's going on the same shelf as our castle and hub pieces.


You can have your own Hollywood Tower Hotel.


I really loved the merchandise in the store, and yeah, there's a lot of it. My favorite ride logo is the falling one with the characters. I think I've managed to talk myself out of the t-shirt (I really don't need another t-shirt), but I'm still trying to talk myself out of the mug (I really don't need another mug). But my favorite merchandise, much like ToT in Orlando, is the Hollywood Tower Hotel stuff. When we were in Orlando almost 5 years ago, we came home with the "do not disturb" door hang and one hand towel. We bought a hand-towel this time as well just because (I do like the WDW version of the HTH logo better though, and I think their dark green color scheme is more elegant and foreboding), and I also picked up the logo magnet and two postcards, one from the prime days of the HTH, and one that's a lenticular with the falling characters. We also picked up a beanie of Goofy dressed as a doorman. He's just too cute. And we ended up buying both pictures from the ride. I don't think I've ever bought any of those kinds of pictures before, but the first one was too good, and the second one was just too funny. And given the discussion we had, we'll probably end up buying a third picture if we ever manage to get the picture we want.


The cover of the ride photo holder.


I can always tell how much I like something by how much of its merchandise I buy...


Additional notes from April 23, 2004

When we rode Tower of Terror tonight, my husband noticed something. When you're in the library with the video showing, the lightning that comes from the window in the library matches perfectly with the lightning that happens in the video. I thought that was really cool.

On our second ride, we purposely went to the side that loads on the upper section. That's not something I plan to do often, as the stairs up to the loading platform and the stairs down after the ride present a bit of a problem for me, but we wanted to check out one thing I'd heard about. After you go up the stairs and you turn left, at the place where you turn right to then be directed to a service elevator, there's a part of the wall that looks like it's been patched up. We'd noticed that on our previous ride during a cast preview day, and I had figured it was from the Twilight Zone episode where the little girl gets lost in another dimension with an entryway under her bed. Well, this time, we stood there for a while and tried to see if there was anything to push or some other way to trigger it. I don't know if we ended up doing anything or if it's just on some sort of cycle, but sure enough, after a while, you could hear some far off noises and then finally, you hear a little girl dimension saying, "What's happening?", sounding as if she's in the other dimension. It's not very loud, so I don't know how easily heard that will be with a crowd of people in the room, but we thought it was very cool.


To read about the preview event, click here.


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