Tower of Terror –The Twilight Zone, hosted by Rod Serling, was a television staple between 1959 to 1964. For five years, fans of the odd and thought provoking would get their weekly dose on CBS' science-fiction/fantasy/psychological-supernatural horror anthology. Now, well over fifty years later, the show continues to have its influence. One perfect example of this is the ride Tower of Terror that Disney designed and placed in three of its international theme parks. First introduced in the Summer of 1994 in Disney's Studios (then known as Disney-MGM Studios) in Walt Disney World, Florida, it would open also in Tokyo, Paris, and California parks - although the one in California closed early in 2017.
The ride is all about an elevator ride taken in 1939 by five people. They never reached their destination and, it's said, haunt the Hollywood Tower Hotel. Visitors to the hotel are taken through a neglected lobby, through some rooms, and into an oversized elevator as Rod Serling's voice leads them on an experience from which they may never return. Okay, fine. It's Disney, so they will most certainly return, but if they have trouble with free fall rides, they may return without part of their lunch. Using a torque equal to that of 275 Corvette engines, the ride is able to achieve its top speed (right around forty miles per hour) in one-and-a-half seconds. Riders shoot to the top of the tower, then plunge down as far as 157 feet. May not sound like a lot, but it's not recommended for the weak of stomach. Bob Omrod created a miniature version of the ride out of cardboard and pencil crayons, a homemade piece of art dedicated to the first thrill ride ever to inspire its own television movie, starring Steve Guttenberg and Kirsten Dunst.