Have I ever had the opportunity to tell you how much I love Rod Serling’s The Twilight Zone… because I have this very odd feeling I might have written about it once or twice before. All of my attempts at silliness aside I consider myself one of the biggest fans of that classic TV series, which is why when I first started seeing the TV commercials for The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror ride back in 1994… there was a longing to visit Walt Disney World like I had never experienced before. It was my best friend Shea – who owns and operates the arcade that I work at – as well as another of our close group of compadres that was able to visit The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror first… and the stories they brought back with them and some nice swag for me, made me desperate to visit the dark thrill ride all the more. I thankfully did not have too long to wait as a road trip was planned the following year and I’ll tell you – it was totally worth the nearly 18 hour drive to get there. My own visit to The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror may not have been nearly as exciting as the 1997 movie based off the ride starring Steve Guttenberg and Kirsten Dunst – but it most certainly made a lasting memory to say the very least.
The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror – except in California where it has closed to become Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: Breakout! – allows park visitors to drop in on the defunct Hollywood Tower Hotel… but more importantly it gives you the opportunity to take part in a Twilight Zone episode of your very own. You see, back in 1939 the Hollywood Tower Hotel was the place to be – but a lightning strike that blasted part of the tower caused five passengers in an elevator as well as portion of the building to be whisked away to the Twilight Zone itself. It is the visitors task to follow – or ride – in the footsteps of these lost souls. In addition to finding themselves traveling through a dimension of sound, a dimension of sight, a dimension of mind…
It turns out that back in September Disneyland Paris apparently began running this epic The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror ad – heralding a big change to the iconic ride. Seriously, watch this commercial and tell me that this is not one of the most awesome things that a Disney Park has put out in terms of media.
First of all I need Disney to release a single of that tune – which I assume is entitled “Are You Brave Enough” right this very second. So it turns out that for Disneyland Paris The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror has been altered to include three different ride experiences now – the first being THE MALEVOLENT MACHINE, where visitors will follow the little girl that was featured in that ad – except the elevator itself is bent on making you scream as it flings you up the elevator shaft before yanking you back down and up again… over and over.
The second new experience has a delightfully wicked title, THE SHAFT CREATURES – these dark beasties have control of the elevator and feed off the screams of those on the ride. The Disneyland Paris site challenges visitors to remain silent as they fall 13 floors – I am sure that while you are plummeting below you will also see the creatures displayed on the walls as you drop.
Last but not least is THE 5TH DIMENSION and it appears if you get this new story line you will be at the mercy of specter – one with the power to rip open a portal to the Twilight Zone itself in attempt to claim your soul.
As far as I understand it, at this moment the new story lines for The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror are exclusive to Disneyland Paris – I bet though that if we give it enough time, the other parks will adopt them too. Since I won’t be able to visit Disneyland Paris myself for the foreseeable future… I’m just going to keep watching that epic The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror ad over and over and over again.