EDITORIAL: Why Tower of Terror Closing at California Adventure Really Doesn’t Matter

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When we first heard about a Guardians of the Galaxy overlay for the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, most thought the idea to be contrived. How does that even make sense? Honestly, I was in that group, but then the announcement came out and Disney did a pretty good job creating a concept that might actually make more sense than the Tower of Terror at California Adventure ever did. Now, before you starting throwing rotten fruit at your computer screen, let me explain…

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When California Adventure opened to the public in 2001, it was a complete failure. Attendance projections were missed by 5 digit numbers, restaurants were closed, attractions made “seasonally operational” and the Electrical Parade rushed back to try to save the first summer of the park’s existence. Leading up to the massive 50th anniversary celebration of the Disneyland Resort, Disney made a budget-conscious decision to save the park with just one attraction – The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. It saved the Disney-MGM Studios, right? Wrong.

Disney-MGM Studios was developed as a half-day experience consisting primarily of a tour and a handful of shows and other attractions, but it burst through the gates in May 1989 and broke all expected attendance projections at the time. More attractions were developed to meet the demand being placed on the park, and Tower of Terror was the culmination of a 5-year expansion plan. In a very short amount of time after opening in 1994, the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror became one-of, if not THE headlining attraction in Orlando. With this reputation, it seemed like a clone could easily save California Adventure. It didn’t.

While attendance did rise when the Tower of Terror opened in California, it again was not near any projections made internally by the Walt Disney Company. It didn’t do the trick, and so Bob Iger approved a massive overhaul of the park in the years that followed, which finally did fix the park. Historically, it would be hard to attribute the park’s later success to the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. While it certainly wasn’t a bad idea, the execution was not near the level of the original and the level of care from most guests showed it. No self-respecting Disney fan clamored for Tower of Terror at DCA, but it did well enough in Southern California with a steady diet of thrill-seeking everyday guests.

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Disney claimed they didn’t have the space to build the Florida version of the ride in California (meanwhile, the land around the Tower will now become a MARVEL themed area in the years to come). The architectural design in California is less menacing and the queue was significantly shorter outside, leaving none of the build-up to the interior queue that guests enjoy at Hollywood Studios. Inside, a boiler room multiple stories tall somehow made for a new load area, even though it made little sense that a boiler room would be so tall and clearly go so high up into the main hotel building. Besides that, when the elevator does arrive, the doors don’t even open to the elevator, they open to a strange in-between hallway that surely does not exist for any real elevator. Only once passing through elevator doors into this hallway can guests then board the actual elevator, which begins the ride by going backwards, not up and down like the real thing. Rather than an ominous build-up to the elevator lunging forward through the 5th dimension, this version of the ride simply tried to take guests into the main portion of the ride as cheaply as possible, cutting away the 5th dimension scene and a separate unload area for elevators. While the California attraction did have a unique mirror effect to showcase, it otherwise lacked randomized drop sequences and most of the elements which made the attraction in Florida an instant classic. It also features an exit hallway which is pretty much the least-themed portion of any Disney theme park attraction ever conceived. In my opinion, it was a disgrace to the original that lacked any of the effort and ingenuity employed in 1994 to make something the likes of which the theme park world has never experienced before. It was a cheap knock-off intended to be a temporary band-aid.

Clearly, there is no way to add the missing elements from Walt Disney World after the fact, so why not keep what works and reinvent the rest? Why not put a powerhouse franchise in to anchor all of the MARVEL additions on the way?

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Joe Rohde is the Imagineer in charge of all of the MARVEL projects for the Disney Parks and he is man with a resume few can ever aspire to assemble. With Joe at the helm, I have great faith that Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: Breakout will be a huge success (despite its rather lackluster name). The elevators that begin their journey by going backwards are far better suited for a life as a containment unit for the valuable assets of The Collector, and the concept art showcased thus far appears to be as enthralling as the Twilight Zone material ever was.

Guardians of the Galaxy do not belong in Epcot and they sure as hell should never replace the original Tower of Terror, but this Disneyland Resort overlay is likely the right move to fix the inferior Tower and to begin the MARVEL themed land at California Adventure. Hollywood Land is a disaster of an area, doing little to further the grandeur and ingenious design of the nearby Buena Vista Street, but this new direction could finally be the answer to the problematic former Hollywood Pictures Backlot area which has struggled to keep up withe the rest of the park in its expansion era. Those who claim that the Guardians attraction will ruin the area should probably evaluate what it looks like today. Most of the facades are hollow, the animation building does little to evoke 1930’s Hollywood, and underneath a nighttime party setup lies a cobbled together collection of items that still just don’t work together in harmony. It’s the one section of the park that is a unmitigated disaster.

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Let the hate mail flow, but I refuse to live in a world where the California Adventure of Tower of Terror is spoken of in the same breath as the Hollywood Studios original, or even Ellen’s Energy Adventure for that matter. It isn’t good, it never was good, but it can be good. If you want to see the Tower of Terror, just come to Orlando. We here in central Florida have to travel cross-country for the Indiana Jones Adventure and Cars Land, you can certainly hop on a plane to visit the Twilight Zone in our neck of the woods if you wish. Please, drop in anytime.

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About the author

Tom Corless

Tom has been regularly visiting the Walt Disney World® Resort from the time he was 4 months old. While he has made countless visits in the last 28 years, he did not become a truly active member in the Disney fan community until the summer of 2007, when he decided to launch the WDW News Today website and podcast. Tom has since become an Orlando-local and is a published author on Walt Disney World.
Contact Tom at [email protected]

85 Comments

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  • The theme parks should never be copies of each other. What Disney needs to do, is use the technology/theming to create unique experiences at different parks to force people to want to visit more than 1 location. For example, big fan that Dinosaur/Indiana Jones use the same technology, but the rides are very different. Hoping they do more of that going forward.

  • Universe of energy at epcot will replace by the guardian of the galaxy ride? I know it is going to be a different attractions at DCA and at epcot.

  • A well written article. You covered all the points I considered. I expect the Hollywood section to go away eventually. It will be interesting to see how every scene is redone to fit the new storyline of the ride.

  • For the marvel land at DCA, I would like to have iron man experience that was coming to Hong Kong disneyland.

  • So if Guardians of the Galaxy doesn’t belong in Epcot I can only assume that it’s because it doesn’t fit the theme of that park. If that’s the case then in what reality does the property fit the theme of a park that’s supposed to be about the state of California?

  • Nope. This is seriously disrespectful to every DCA fan. I have never been to WDW and therefore have no opinion on the original TOT, but you saying that ours isn’t worth saving is just rude. This doesn’t make you cool, this makes you a snob

    • Well it isn’t rude but I see what your are saying. This by it’s title an editorial piece meaning it is an opinion article. The DCA ToT was done on the cheap. It is not to say that it is not allowed to be your favorite ride or a cherished memory. I’m a WDW local and I saw my two favorite rides disappear many years ago in 20,000 leagues and Mr. Toads Wild ride but I can still find them on my trips to Disneyland. If you like the ride it still is going to be there with an enhanced drop system like here at DHS. That’s great news for this ride. The theming here is loose and that’s ok, until 2012 DCA was hangin bu a thread and now it’s a great park. This is just the next phase of this park growing and as a DCA fan it should excite you because the park is growing.

    • Yes because nobody from CA EVER says that their Space Mountain is superior to the Florida one etc etc and so on.

      It’s not like you’re actually losing the ride – you’re losing the mediocre theming that was done in CA. I’ve ridden both and I can assure you, the CA TOT is absolutely lacking all of the things that make the Florida one as fantastic as it is. Instead of an immersive experience, you basically wait on line for a standard drop ride…with twilight zone added as an afterthought. While that in itself isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it’s not the Tower of Terror.

      Let them get the theme job right with GotG and you won’t have to worry about anyone saying the CA version is bad by comparison…because there will be nothing to compare it to. I just got back from Disneyland CA, where I’d not been in 30 years (as compared to WDW where I go about once a year since it’s much closer to us up here in NJ) and certain rides, there’s just no comparing. CA has it for Space Mountain and Big Thunder is MUCH smoother than the WDW equivalent. Matterhorn is, obviously, unique to CA. Space Ranger Spin beats the buzz lightyear ride in CA, I prefer Indiana Jones Adventure over Dinosaur. Radiator Spring Racers or whatever it’s called? Buries Test Track, which has always been one of my absolute favorite rides!

      Remember, it’s really not a competition. Re-doing the CA ToT will reinforce that.

    • I agree with you 100 percent. I should start writing articles about WDW which I have been to twice and didn’t like the feel of and act like I know what the locals like. I can’t believe they are going to change this ride having seen the ride as they built from the monorail until now. I did read below where some one said it was ToT was a cheap addition and rushed and nothing like the Orlando one so this will fix it and make it better. Really? A 5 month face lift is going to fix the fact it was cheap and rushed ride by replacing it with a cheaper even more rushed Marvel ride that has nothing to do with the park. I love that ride and it is a favorite of all the annual pass holders I know. The number one complaint of DCA when it first opened was ithe theming wasn’t Disney enough and just really didn’t all pull together. Expecting one ride to turn around a disaster of theming was just not smart thinking but it did increase visitors. So a 500 million overhaul was done to make it into 1920-30′ Hollywood when Walt first arrived with a dream which is the overall theme today for most of the park. Cars land has a 50s look and most of the ride is indoors so you may see the cars but everything else fits a classic look. So you are going to walk around a park where 80 percent is 1920s to 30s Hollywood except for this giant massive hideous futuristic building seen from all over the park that will stick out like a sore thumb. The themeinf makes absolutely no sense and now there won’t be a single ride in the Hollywood back lot zone. It seems like they just did a 500 million update to bring the park theming together and make it fun just to throw up a cheap 5 month overhaul to screw it all up? I am for a new marvel park, it has zero place in DCA.

    • OKAY!!!! WE GET IT DCA IS BETTER THAN WDW! I personally like WDW Way better than DCA! But im from East Coast. We all have different preferences.

  • I have never been to Disneyland, so I will take this change at face value and say “Great, go for it!” But to any and all Disney execs that may be reading this article, Please, in the name of all that is sacred, DO NOT mess with the TOT at WDW!

    • TOT in Florida will eventually be changed. Disney doesn’t want to pay CBS to use the IP anymore, so they might just remove all aspects of TZ and make up an original story line. Although, there’s almost no chance Disney will make an original story line because that’s not the Eisner Way™. The Eisner Way™ is just slapping a popular movie IP on a classic ride, even if it has absolutely nothing to do with the land/park it is in (case in point Tower of Terror in DCA being replaced by GOTG.)

      • The one in Japan doesn’t have a twilight zone theme and it is still awesome. They could just use that instead.

      • I have read the Tower of Terror in Disney World is getting a new movie, right now it is going through screen writing and should be out in a few years. we think this one will be a theatre movie and not a tv movie like the 1997 one. they could rebrand the Tower of Terror to its new movie when it comes out.

  • I hope Marvel Land doesn’t happen! That would mean no more Monsters Inc and no more Animation Academy. Two exclusive rides in DCA

      • Yet. Not affected – yet. There are indications that the GotG re-theme of ToT is just the first step in a plan to re-theme that end of DCA as a Marvel area. It is likely that everything in that end of DCA will end up affected.

        • You’re incorrect. Marvel land will only be built on what’s left of the former Timon parking lot.

          • The area of what is left of the Timon parking lot is only enough to fit one ride and a few shops, and it would still be very crowded. Disney wants to slap as many popular IPs in as possible so they’re going to take over all of Hollywood Land and Bugs Land. Hell, they might even replace Grizzly Peak with a popular IP.

          • No disrespect to “Anonymous” but you are also incorrect. Once the Eastern Gateway project and elevated pedestrian bridge is completed, the current transportation area will be obsolete. There are plans to spend tens of millions of dollars just to re-route monorail alone, and it’s not just because of the pedestrian bridge, there’s a lot more to that project. Whatever expansion is planned will certainly involve both north, and south GotG.

  • GOTG sucks. I love Tower of Terror. It’s a fantastic ride and my favorite at DCA. Disney needs to remove it’s head from its rear end. I’m sick of all of this buying up existing crap. Twilight Zone was a classic and very different from what Disney has done with Marvel. I’m old enough to remember when Disney created things. I guess those days are over.

    • Disney didn’t create Twilight Zone, it was an existing property which Disney paid for. Your “logic” is flawed.

  • Disney didn’t create the Twilight Zone IP though. …….they made the ride system, which is staying. However, they did buy Marvel and though they did not originally create the GOTG they did create this version of these characters. Not sure what you mean by buying up this crap if you mean Marvel in 2009 than ok. Last I checked Marvel has brought them nearly $10 billion in revenue since then so they probably want to get those characters in the parks. As for creating things, WDI designed Mystic Manor and that is a phenomenal ride so they still are creating things. Sorry you are losing your favorite ride, at least the ride system is still there and you can always visit Florida to ride the original.

    • The ride system isn’t what made The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror a great attraction. It was a great attraction IN SPITE of the ride system. And no, “you can always visit Florida” is not really an option. My favourite Disney attractions are 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and Journey to the Center of the Earth in Tokyo Disneysea. I can’t “always visit Japan.” It sucks.

  • This may be my favorite editorial written on this site. I’m hoping you guys discuss in depth on the podcast too. I have no love for the California Tower!!! I feel like ours in Florida should not be touched. I just think it’s fine for each coast to have different attractions.

    • their was talk that a bar was being built across from where you can buy on ride photo for tot in dhs, so im hoping they are going make this tot even more themed and make it more unique where it would totally embarass the dca verision which is why they had to re theme it completley, coupled with the licensing fees for twilight zone or the fact they have to pay double making it more enticing to make this the lead in what will become Marvel Studios land.

    • Florida’s TOT may not be going this year, but it eventually will. They don’t want to pay CBS to use the Twilight Zone IP anymore. Also, your whole DHS park has nothing to do with Florida and a state on the other side of the nation.

      • If you’re talking about the actual ride that’s not true at all…Disney pays for IPs for almost every ride and has a stupid amount of money. It has nothing with them wanting to not pay rights for for the attraction. The obvious reason they’re changing the one in Cali is because the tower is located in an area where they can make a Marvel universe and they just can’t pick up the massive structure and move it somewhere else….next best thing is to convert it. The one in Florida is way better and they MAY update the ride to a new IP (keeping the same theme and look) way down the line but it has nothing to do with them trying to be cheap. The one in Florida will stay the way it is as it’s become a household name @Disney and one of the most popular rides in the entire resort.

  • I don’t disagree with this article, my only concern is sight lines and the interface with Buena Vista Street.

    Seeing the tower from Cars Land at least made a modicum of sense, as did having the Red Car Trolley roll by.

    How space warehouse tower will work with that will certainly be a challenge.

  • This apologia seems oddly embittered for someone asserting the superiority of “their version” of the Tower of Terror… For the decade between my first visit to Disneyland (2005) and my first visit to WDW (2014), the DCA version of Twilight Zone Tower of Terror was the only one I knew. Without the WDW version to compare it to or feel like I have to defend the honour of, I can say that no Disney attraction has won me over in quite the way that DCA’s Tower of Terror did.

    I probably don’t have to expound on the virtues its shares with the version in Orlando: how well it captures both the mystique and the loss of Hollywood’s Golden Age, how incredibly well-themed it is, how it draws the guest in as the “star of tonight’s episode” rather than a passive spectator, and so forth. It’s easy to pick on all the things DCA did wrong, but Tower of Terror was one of the things it did right, even in comparison with the WDW version. It only became increasingly right as the mass remodeling of DCA took hold. Due to my healthy respect for gravity, I abhor drop rides (which is why the argument “it’s still the same ride system” is futile… the ride system wasn’t what made it good). But DCA’s Tower of Terror not only got me on a drop ride… It got me LOVING a drop ride. It got me loving it so well that it compelled me to seek out the original Twilight Zone TV show, which I now consider my favourite of all time. We even have a Hollywood Tower Hotel themed bathroom in our home. And when we finally got on the WDW version… To be honest, I was kind of indifferent to its differences from the DCA version. The fifth dimension part was okay, or maybe it wasn’t working properly or something, I don’t know. It didn’t supplant my affection for the DCA version.

    For me, the Tower of Terror was really the only reason to go into DCA at all. Sure, the other attractions are fine once you’re in there already, but if I have to stare across the Esplanade at some big ugly pile of something that doesn’t look like anything to consistently remind me of a thing I used to love that was stripped for a flavour-of-the-month franchise that I don’t even like, which also represents the decay of the entire concept of coherent themed design in favour of the Universal Studios model of just putting rides wherever, why bother going? I suppose I could “just go to Florida” except that it costs about twice to three times as much for us to visit WDW. Nothing about this desecration is a good idea, except that I guess it might briefly goose DCA’s attendance among Marvel fans, the sort of people who think adding Jack Sparrow was a good idea because they liked the movies, and ride fans who only care about ride systems.

    • I’m glad you have such an attachment to that theme that is awesome and Disney did their job to pull you in. This version of Tower was light on theming so I’m glad you still got that great sense of depth from story.

      Sorry it cost a lot to cross the country, I know that so I save and I plan so I can visit DLR once a year. I love the DLR parks and attractions so I make sure I see them.

      The sight line issue only applies to people who love Tower. I say that because the sight line is an issue now. I love Tower but it clearly sticks out from every corner of the park and the esplanade. Because we love the ride we ignore it.

      • I didn’t notice that it was light on theming. It had a slightly different setting (Spanish Revival-style hotel vs. a Moorish Revival-style) but it didn’t seem lighter to me. As for sight lines, Tower of Terror still worked from any viewpoint because it was still a distinctively Californian style of architecture. It’s presence communicated the theme of California and its romance. Henceforth, the Collector’s space station thing will communicate the same thing as seeing Hogwarts through the gate of Jurassic Park: a mish-mash of random IP’s all squeezed in together to make a buck.

  • I fully agree. I visit WDW several times a year and Disneyland maybe once a year. The ToT at DCA was always a cheaper version of the one in DHS. I’d rather see unique rides at the parks and not have the same ride cloned (sometimes poorly) to multiple parks (though I understand the economic reasons they do it). It is no surprise that Disney is going to look to cash in on Marvel in the parks. The MCU is a juggernaut and the missing link is a park tie in. That end of DCA is pretty sparse and it is away from everything else (as away as you can get in the footprint of DCA), so it makes sense to use that for a Marvel area. I don’t think it makes sense to build a ‘third gate’ just for Marvel, and with Star Wars going into Disneyland it balances things to have the other major movie IP in DCA.

    • Westside! If Disney is removing TOT from CA, seems only fair to remove Pirates, Haunted mansion, Small World, Space Mountain and every other duplicated ride from Florida. Let FL have their tacky Marvel in all it’s faddish glory. “Yes waiter, i’ll take some Marvel along with some Gloria Estefan, and a side of Orlando magic.”

      • If they had viable replacements that would generate interest and profit, they would certainly consider it. Then again, you’re mentioning beloved multi-decade attractions. These are the kind of attractions that are demanded at every park, as Pirates was when it didn’t open with WDW. Tower doesn’t necessarily fall in that bucket anywhere but WDW.

        Might want to brush up on what Disneyland was the first to, though… Space definitely opened at WDW two years before DL.

        • Tower of Terror in Disneyland has been around for over a decade, and there is a duplicate in Paris. There is also a non-Twilight Zone Tower of Terror in Tokyo. You also have fans of the Disneyland version telling you all over this comment section how much they love and demand it.

  • I’ve said it a few times and I will, say it her Marvel does not belong in the Disney parkas and I don’t care if they own it or not. It belong in six flags just like all the other cheesy comic book rides. If Disney really wants to shove marvel into the parks then they should sell them to Six flags first.

    • It is a profitable branch of the company, want them to dump Pixar too as that wasn’t theirs either? Sure lets take Toy Story Midway Mania out as it’s a cheesy midway game. Sounds silly when you try to compare it. Six Flags builds off the shelf coasters and adds a comic character’s name to the ride. This is going to be standard Disney Imagineering with the theming we know and love from WDI, ok we don’t love all of it. Marvel does have a place in the parks as the Disney company always tries to immerse you into the worlds of their movies and shows. Saying Marvel doesn’t belong is like saying Fantasyland doesn’t belong because it is all just characters to cash in on and promote their properties.

      • I’m not a big fan of Pixar in the parks either, and Toy Story is just a video game that you can, literally, buy for the Wii. Some of us go to Disney because we want a Disney experience.

        • I was going to make a semi-snarky comment about using Disney created IP and ask you if they should have rethemed Tower to Wreck-It-Ralph. Then I realized how amazing that would actually be.

          • Which would actually be fair, and which is why I haven’t used the “Disney only!” argument against changing TOT. I think what made TOT work was the same thing that made Mysterious Island work in Tokyo Disneysea. Namely, both franchises – Twilight Zone (non-Disney) and 20,000 Leagues (Disney) – were already long past their shelf-life when the attractions were built. Imagineers specifically chose them because they recognized that they could make really good attractions with them. That is different from having to force something in because the parent company bought a new IP and needs to cross-market it (or parent company got needlessly freaked out about Harry Potter and jumped at the lowest-flying albatross). There is also the consideration of thematic relevance… For the most part, Pixar doesn’t fit in “the world of yesterday, tomorrow, and fantasy”. Neither does Marvel fit in a romantic vision of California’s past. Their lack of thematic coherence doubles-down on the feeling of having something alien shoved down your throat.

          • That’s a very fair thought, but I think this is one of those situations where we should reserve judgment and trust the long term vision. It does seem a bit odd to put a space themed tower in the middle of DCA, but in the context of an overall Marvel land, it may/should feel a bit more logical. The best part is they aren’t tearing it down to put in something brand new. The ride system is still there, the construction will be swift, and we get a new idea on that type of attraction. Look at Dinosaur and Indy… I’d venture to say that 99% of guests would never guess the rides are exactly the same thing. A change in theme, lighting and decoration can make for a brand new experience.

            The reality is that anytime Disney announces something, there will be cheers and boos. Frozen Ever After was extremely polarizing when announced, but the results seems to have silenced most if not all critics. If this GotG attraction turns out to be a true eyesore and a disaster of a remodel, then by all means let Disney have it. For now, let’s sit back and wait to see how it fits in to the broader DCA plan.

            And like many have already said, obvious cost factors aside, there will always be an opportunity to experience the Twilight Zone themed version in Florida. I feel very confident that after 22 years, it has cemented its legacy as a permanent fixture of DHS.

          • The ride system isn’t what made Tower of Terror a great attraction. In fact, I HATE drop rides and would ordinarily never go near one. Tower of Terror got me loving a drop ride because it was so perfectly themed to the romance, mystique, and passage of Hollywood’s Golden Age. It has an engaging story of its own that draws the guest in as the centre of the action and is perfectly suited to its setting in the Hollywood section of a park attempting to recreate the romantic past of California.

            We can say “give it a chance” but the fact is that everything about this change is a bad idea. We already know from the concept art that it will irrevocably blight the entire park’s theme, and we know from the synopsis and subject matter that it will reduce guests to the role of passive spectator of a superhero’s adventure. I wish they would just tear it down, because that would give the option of mitigating at least one of these problems. And I wish I could trust Imagineering and the “long term vision” to chase the skirt of whatever Marvel movie ends up being a hit, but Imagineering’s output in the last decade or two has been SO hit-or-miss that unreserved trust isn’t really warranted. All we can say it “Well, you can’t do anything about it, so why bother complaining?”

  • On one hand, I don’t care about the change because I don’t often go to DIsneyland. But on the other hand (and using the logic in the editorial) I think about how I would feel if WDW replaced Pirates of the Caribbean. It’s one of my favorite rides but it’s greatly inferior to the DLR version.

    • If one followed through with the logic “it’s okay to replace something because it’s the inferior version”, then WDW would stand to lose Pirates of the Caribbean, Peter Pan’s Flight, It’s a Small World, Enchanted Tiki Room, Space Mountain, and Winnie the Pooh from just the Magic Kingdom.

      • WDW had Space Mountain first, not DL. And while you list rides that offer slight differences, I would argue they’re all equal in quality to DL’s with the exception of possibly PPF

        • One could certainly go through debating which WDW rides are better, which are worse, and which are merely different. But most of those I mentioned were unequivocally worse, from being physically painful (Space Mountain) to missing whole parts of the show (Enchanted Tiki Room) and so on.

        • And Pirates. Disneyland’s Pirates is vastly superior. I say get rid of WDW’s Pirates and put in an Inside Out overlay on the attraction. If people still want to ride Pirates, they can go to Disneyland’s.

  • I think the new ride will be very nice. But nobody remembers what was the original theme of the California Adventure Park: the CALIFORNIA! The lands must represent different places of the State, like Hollywood, and even Cars Land, despite its ispiration from Pixar, fits with the Park. The Guardians of the Galaxy… no. The Marvel Superheroes…no. I know you have the worst version of ToT, but I think it fits better at DCA rather than at Hollywood Studios. And it’s not even convincing the outward appearance. If you go to a Disney park themed on California, do you prefer to see in the distance a 1930s beige Hollywood hotel or a futuristic grey building with pipes that seems like a prison?
    Anyway, I shouldn’t be worry like that because I live nearer to DLP and I can still try the compact version of ToT ;-)

  • The Tower at DCA was the first one I experienced and I LOVED it. Then I went to WDW and went on the Orlando version. Loved it even more. I love the themes of both rides and I adore the queues at both places. the queue at DCA is a little lacking, but it still pulled me in with the Set Dec and little touches. I loved walking through the Boiler Room on the way to the elevators. I am very upset that they will be taking one of the two rides that I go to DCA for (the other of course being California Screamin’). Especially since I am going to DCA in November as a Memorial to my ex-wife that passed away last month. This was also her favorite ride and I was wanting to take her ashes on the ride with me so she could ‘experience’ it one last time. But, alas, that is not going to happen now. I realize that DCA has never been a park that many people go to, but for those of us with very fond memories of the rides there, it is a little disheartening. I do agree that if DCA was supposed to be a park that celebrates California, then a Marvel Land just does not fit into that idea. If they want to make a Marvel Theme park, then they should revamp the entire park and make it into Disney’s Marvel Adventure park. That way they can include all of the things Marvel and it would fit in with the surrounding themes. I have no problem with Disney using their deals with Marvel and Star Wars to make attractions and ‘lands’ and things, but don’t try to shoehorn them into a park that is supposed to celebrate the state of California (I know Star Wars land is over in Disneyland, I am only using it as an example).

    • The ride will still be there in November so you’ll get that chance to experience it one last time.

  • tower of terror is a loved attraction from all people including adults, teens, and of coarse, children. if they replace the ride it will not get as much attention. not everyone like guardians of the galaxy(I’m one of those people) and not many adults will enjoy it as much as the tower of terror. yes, it will be very popular when it opens but when everyone has seen it they won’t be back, unlike the tower of terror

  • If u r reading this now please start on social media the hashtag #savetowerofterror2016 if u r one the the fans of this ride. tower f terror is my favorite attraction and I love seeing it when I’m driving to Disneyland. but a part of me feels I won’t have the same ecotment has I usually will have since I’m not a fan of guardians of the galaxy. Disney imagineers know what they r doing and that’s why I want to be one one I grow up. but right now I’m pretty disappiontted so please help and I’ll do the same. so don’t forget #savetowerofterror2016

  • It is Walt’s way or NO way at all. GOTG is the worst superhero movie ever made and Batman & Robin is infinitely better. All Marvel movies are bad and the fact that they make so much shows the ignorance of kids and the American public. If I were CEO of Disney, I’d purposely cause Marvel movies to lose lots of money and then sell it off along with Star Wars, removing almost every single trace of them from the parks. I’d be more than happy to keep the parks in the 1960s. It’s called CALIFORNIA Adventure and has to be about the Golden State and nothing else. If people don’t like it, then it’s not Disney’s fault, it’s theirs. If you’re not gonna keep the park about California, then you might as well tear it down and turn it back into a parking lot. Disney will cancel this after fans rise up and revolt against this management, forcing them to flee Burbank, change their names, and spend the rest of their lives in hiding. WOLVERINES!!!!

  • I understand the Marvel theme is going to take over the studio section of Hollywoodland. Not the Blvd where the red car runs through. This is in addition to the GOTG overlay. Because of the new parking structure across from Harbor Boulevard they will not need the bus drop-off section north of the studios Backlot section, which will be expanded to incorporate more Marvel attractions including the Marvel themed roller coaster. I also read that due to the existing contract with Universal Studios Disney cannot use the name Marvel in any of its theme parks east or west of the Mississippi.

  • This article is written by someone in Florida, Therefore making it invalid by anyone living in Southern California, Its like if I said, “Sure, re theme Florida’s Space Mountain to the bloddy New Ghostbusters film, I don’t live there, so what! California’s is far better and the original… If you want to ride Space Mountain it so bad, book a vacation and ride it California , where it belongs!”
    We happen to like Our Tower of Terror, flaws and all, And we sure as hell can be upset about it if we choose…. Good article, but from a So Cal local, you can shove it in your 5th demention … lol

  • I couldn’t disagree more. Sure, the WDW Tower has a better look and queue, but the DCA on-ride experience far surpassed the original Tower. The pull back at the start of the attraction sets the tone perfectly, it immediately pulls you into the story and the world. The WDW, it goes up…no wow factor there to start the attraction. The placement of the voice over works much better in the DCA Tower, creating a driving pace which is too slow and lazy in the original, Then there’s the 5th Dimension Room. This ruined the original Tower when I first rode it. It was laughably cheap and bad. The mirror effect isn’t incredibly elaborate, but it works much better than a brief bumpy journey through a big empty warehouse and some bad props and lights. It was hometown Haunted House bad. I also love the push in to end the attraction at DCA, it perfectly frames the experience. I would much rather lose the WDW Tower than the DCA Tower, as they clearly improved upon some factors.

  • Maybe the writer should consider a few more things before they wrote this. Don’t be smug. You may compare rides all you would like however; I love the internal queue area for ToT DCA. Two words: AIR CONDITIONING. I cannot stand outside for long periods of time. Also, the Bellhops come out of nowhere a freak you out while waiting in the DCA queue. That has never happened to me once in the 6 times I visited WDW since ToT was put in.

    I don’t like the Florida version because of the of the 5th dimension room. They ruined it because you know when the drop is coming and once your eyes adjust to the dark too much is visible. The DCA Version to can be just as un-predictable. I agree that the post ride queue has absolutely no theme what so ever (i.e. a time card shelf, Laundry area, Lockers, Bellhop uniforms hanging something…!) However, that is the only point we agree on.

    As for calling it a “Cheaper version” maybe you should ride Pirates at WDW sometime, or Soarin`. If those are not cheap knock offs, than I don’t know what is. As soon as you get on Pirates at WDW you are getting off. Soarin (at epcot) has no theme in it’s pre-queue or post queue. 75 minute waits for pirates at WDW in October (on a weekday) when kids are back in school. No self-respecting Floridian waits 75 minute for Pirates.

    Also, as someone who had the Privilege of seeing Disney World in its original era (72 74 76 79 81 83) I can tell you that myself and my siblings are infuriated by how dirty and unkept WDW is. The ride consoles at space ranger spin are gummed up and have dirt on them. When my wife and I went on it the internal scoring LEDs would not even lite up and my laser cannon kept turning on and off. On Small world the boats had dirty water in them? Disneyland is kept immaculate in comparison.

    The whole point of re-theming the front of DCA was to give it the golden era feel of 1930s Burbank something they succeeded at masterfully. This has only enhanced how well the ToT ties into the front of the park.

    All Guardians of the Galaxy is going to do is speed it to a wrecking ball after it fails miserably.

  • I agree. We should replace Pirates in the MK as well with a Captain America ride because it sucks compared to the original and was only put in to boost attendance.

  • This was a terribly written article that mostly just bashed DCA’s ToT. You complained about how the exit hall was poorly themed, but what does Guardians of the Galaxy have ANYTHING to do with the California theme of the park? If the Tiki Room at Walt Disney World was replaced by a Frozen sing-along, I’m sure the same author would be furious, and we could just say “The Disneyland Tiki Room has much more history and is more of a classic.”

    • You do know a popular ride in EPCOT’s Wold Showcase (theme of World Showcase bringing the worlds cultures to you) was replaced by a Frozen Ride right?

      As for it having nothing to do with California, well I could do some logic gymnastics to make it fit on the Back Lot of a Hollywood Studio, but IMO moving away from the “California” theme is a very good thing. It was a Terrible and Stupid Idea to theme the Second Gate around California in the first place and if you really look at the Original Themeing it was done largely so they could do the park on the Cheap…because Eisner was cheap…a good trait to have in a CEO when your company is staring down a possible Chapter 7 bankruptcy, but not a good trait once you have saved the day and are in expansion mode. Just look at where nearly all the Rides where…The Santa Monica Pier rip-off where they didn’t need to bother with Themeing. Then there is Grizzly River Run a paint by numbers river raft ride again with next to no need for themeing and Soarin’ just some hanger sheds and we are good.

      The reason they built DCA was to turn DLP into a Multi-day resort hence the DLR name. It didn’t do that because why would someone visting CA for multiple days visit a Cheap Knockoff of Santa Monica Pier/Santa Cruz Boardwalk when they could visit the real things instead AND swim in the water and enjoy the beach, and visit the real Hollywood or the World Class Monterrey Bay Aquarium.and historic Cannery Row in the same day(depending on which one you go to). Why ride a fake river rafting trip when you can do the real thing in a much more appealing environment and for much less.

      DCA need things that make it Unique that people will want to visit from outside SoCal this change acting as the jumping off point for a phased roll out of a Marvel Land will do that.

  • Also, you say that DCA’s ToT is “inferior”, but at least ours actually makes sense based on the location. It doesn’t make sense to have a whole park themed about Hollywood, California all the way across the nation in Florida.

  • This article was very poorly written and the author should have reconsidered how offensive this is to Disneyland/DCA fans. The new GOTG ride will just have an over excessive amount of special effects and have a very dry, boring story line. People who come from out of state or out of country will leave scratching their head wondering “What did that ride have to do with California?”

  • I don’t agree with the change for the tower of terror at all. If it’s a twilight zone IP issues drop the IP then and give it a new one (i really don’t think as many people would care)….but COME ON man this is the signature attraction that is being removed for a movie that hasn’t come close to proving itself. The ride is spooky, well themed, immersive and a near perfect representation about what Disney is about. THATS the aspect I think most people are upset about losing. The ride would be just fine sans the Twilight Zone.

    I understand why this is happening so please spare me on that – $$, Space, doing away with “California”, and the inclusion of a Marvel land. I get it…but I really don’t think that Disney fully understands the magnitude of this loss…especially for this park.

  • I am VERY sad that HTH is leaving, as it was my favorite ride in California Adventure. But just look at the photos of what it will be. Sure, it might be sad to see it go, but the photos of what the GOTG ride will look like actually look really cool. I would rather have HTH stay, but we need to have open minds. The more we look forward to the new attraction, the more fun it will be to experience it. I do not agree with HTH going away, but look at the photos of what the GOTG ride might look like! I’m not a big fan go GOTG, but I must say they look pretty cool. Let’s keep our heads up, and look at this change in a positive way, instead of complaining about one ride that will be going away. I’m not saying it wasn’t an AMAZING ride, because it is, I’m just saying that I think we should be a little happier because Disney probably is having a hard time seeing this ride go as well.

  • It is really stupid for people in Arizona because the tower of terror in Disneyland is closer and in my opinion this tower of terror looks cooler save the tower

  • Is there anyone over 20 who isn’t bored senseless by the constant stream of Marvel films these days?

    Do we really have to have Marvel rides at Disney?

    • Yeah.. I feel you sort of.. Disneys gotta buy everything right.. Star wars. Marvel. Just like telltale has to make a game about every literal trending thing. Walt disney would not appreciate this. Leave the marvel rides to the professionals please am i right?

  • This is wrong… Tower of Terror took ayay my fear of rolloer coasters and height. It was my most favorite ride! They could just add another area instead of taking away our beloved rides!! They even made a movie about this ride. I love guardians of the galaxy since i am a major marvel fan since 2006 but God… Disney I have lost a lot of respect towards you

  • In still so sad. I grew up in southern California and lived 1, maby 2 hours away, but I never got the guts to go on it before my family moved. Here’s to missed opportunities????

  • At least us DCA fans would have been able to sing “Welcome to the Hotel California” while waiting in line for the Tower of Terror because ours was actually IN California, unlike your oh-so “superior” version!!!

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