In honor of Halloween, I’ve decided to do an extensive look at the Tower of Terror. This post is dedicated to the Hollywood Tower Hotel and the great mystery that occurred on October 31, 1939. All we really know is that it was a stormy night and five people stepped through the door of an elevator and into a nightmare.  The lobby reflects what remains from that fateful day. Whatever happened was so bad that people just got up and left. I personally find the doll sitting on the couch to be very spooky. Rumors have it that doll is a tribute to the Twilight Zone episode, “Living Doll”. This lobby taught me that the next time I check into a deserted hotel on the dark side of Hollywood, I know what kind of vacancy I’m filling.

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The library scene is one of those hidden gems inside the Tower of Terror. If you look closely there are many articles that give credit to Twilight Zone episodes. I won’t spoil all the treats in there, but I encourage you all to look next time you are inside.

“That door is opening once again and this time, it’s opening for you.”

I don’t know about you, but those words send chills down my spine. Mostly because I know I am about to take a long deep plunge into what seems like the abyss. This is the last lit scene you see of the hotel before everything goes black. I always wish I got more time to look at this, because I find it so beautiful. Aside from the architecture, I love the little details. If you notice outside the door is a pair of shoes, perhaps waiting to be shined for the next Hollywood party… or notice the empty champagne bottle and left over room service. I find myself curious about the stories behind these little details and often times I make up my own. It is the little details like the shoes that make this attraction truly unique. So right before you drop into the darkness, make sure you notice these show details.

“It’s easy enough to be pleasant, when life hums along like a song. But the man worth while is the man who can smile when everything goes dead wrong.”

This quote is a perfect hint of things yet to come as you board the elevator at the Tower of Terror. This plaque hangs on the fence in front of this small work space. It offers some wise advice to anyone trying to get through the “ups and downs” of life. (see what I did there?)  The Hollywood Tower and the tragic event that happen on October 31, 1939, is the basis for this story. However, ten years earlier the real fate of Hollywood and the rest of the country came on October 29, 1929. This day became known as “Black Tuesday”, when the stock market collapsed. Money was lost, banks went under and this was the start to the Great Depression. By 1933, nearly nearly half of America was facing unemployment.

Within the Disney Company, Roy Disney spoke of that time and his own fears saying, “When the banks were closed in 1933, of course I was frantic–what are we gonna do for money? So I was stewing and worrying and Walt was impatient with me. He said, ‘Quit worrying about it. People aren’t going to stop living just because the banks are closed. What the hell, we’ll make potatoes the medium of exchange. We’ll pay everybody in potatoes.’”

I find so interesting that when you leave from the Tower of Terror, you face in the direction of the Carthay Circle theater and Buena Vista Street. Both of these things hold such promise to the Disney company and are important. In fact, it reminds me of a “man who can smile when everything goes dead wrong”. In 1937, Snow White & the Seven Dwarfs premiered at the Carthay Circle and became a sign of hope to many. This can be certain when things do go “dead wrong”, one must be relentless in pursuing the future and even in the face of adversity, continue to make your dreams come true.

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There is something about this room that is so creepy and wonderful. I love how the lights flicker and all of the hidden tribute to Twilight Zone episodes. If you listen to the walls on this floor (2nd) you can hear the faint sound of a little girl, which is a tribute to the “Little Girl Lost” episode. In that episode a young girl accidentally passed through an opening into another dimension, and her parents’ and their friend’s attempt to locate and retrieve her. It is spooky hidden gems like this that make this ride a classic.

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A friendly word of warning, something you won’t find in any guidebook: the next time you check into a deserted hotel on the dark side of Hollywood, make sure you know just what kind of vacancy you’re filling, or you may find yourself a permanent resident . . . of The Twilight Zone.
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