Summer Nightastic — Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Last night (June 8, 2010), I checked out the Summer Nightastic events going on at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The first happening was the Rock N’ Glow Dance Party being presented on a large stage erected in front of the Sorcerer Hat. On Tuesdays, and Thursdays through Sundays, a DJ takes center stage and livens things up with a wide variety of prerecorded rock and roll. While he’s at it, he also teaches the crowd a few dance steps and gets the entire audience movin’ together. Disney characters also get into the act and dance with all willing participants.

Rock N' Glow Dance Party

DJ Teaching People the Steps

Dancing with the Characters

Live music is also on hand for portions of the evening with Mulch, Sweat, and Shears performing.

Mulch, Sweat, and Shears

The Dance Party begins each evening three hours before park closing. Since I visited on a day when the park closed at 7pm, the event kicked off at 4pm. There are a number of lighting effects positioned around the dance/courtyard, but since I was there while the sun was still shining brightly, none of these were in use. I suspect this area will be far more festive when the park is open late and the dance party takes place at night.

For all of you who have experienced the dance parties that now take place in Tomorrowland at the Magic Kingdom, this is a very similar experience except that you also have a live band to add to the excitement.


The Tower of Terror (TOT) was also given some new effects for Summer Nightastic and I rode it twice last night so I could check everything out.

Tower of Terror

First, here’s what hasn’t changed: The outside and lobby queue, the preshow in the Library, and the boiler room queue.

The first noticeable difference happens while ascending in the elevator when you stop to view the hallway sequence and the hotels’ guests disappear before your eyes. Here, your picture is taken – to be used later in a special effect.

When you exit into the 5th dimension room, you’ll notice that the glass walls have all been covered with black scrim and have been studded with hundreds of fiber optic lights, creating a star field. As you move forward, you’ll see the picture that was taken earlier of your elevator and its inhabitants projected on the wall/doors before you. As you continue to move forward, the inhabitants of the elevator car slowly disappear right before your eyes. Then, as usual, the elevator doors open and you proceed into the drop shaft and experience an all-new drop sequence.

For those of you who have ridden the Tower of Terror at California, Tokyo, and/or Paris, you will recognize this “disappearing guests” effect. However, since this effect was designed into these other TOTs, it is far more effective at these other locales. In fact, the first time I rode TOT last night, I wasn’t completely sure what I was seeing. It took a second go-round to be sure.

I was also less than impressed with the black scrim that lines the walls of the 5th dimension room. This effect looks more like a construction wall than a star field and I felt it was distracting. Something as makeshift as this doesn’t belong in a ride as fantastic as TOT.

But on the up side, I will give the new drop sequence extremely high marks. I’ve ridden TOT more times than I can count and can be somewhat blasé when I experience this attraction. But last night my stomach and I parted ways several times as we were dropped, and redropped, and redropped.

Bottom line”¦ If you’re a TOT fan, then by all means experience this summer enhancement. But if you don’t ride it for some reason, don’t worry that you missed something great. You haven’t.

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13 Replies to “Summer Nightastic — Disney’s Hollywood Studios”

  1. Jack, do you have any status on if they are extending these special effects? I notice Disney made an announcement on the Electrical Parade extension… but nothing regarding the other changes.

    We will be there in a month, and was hoping we’d get a chance to see the changes…


    Jack’s Answer:

    The only other “special effect” I know about for the summer was the special fireworks show. Disney has made no mention whether the current show will be extended, but rest assured, some pyrotechnic display will be presented. If nothing else, Disney will bring back the ever popular Wishes.

  2. How long will the wait be, about, for the end of July?

    Jack’s Answer:

    You’re question is a little ambiguous, but I’m guessing you’re asking how long the line for Tower of Terror will be. July is one of the busiest months of the year. Expect a 45-60 minute line most all day long.

  3. I thought the drops were more mild than usual. Also, the elevator backed away from the drop when done, back thru the black scrim. In the past, you didn’t know the ride was done untill the elevator doors opened and you were greeted by a castmember.

    Jack’s Commnent:

    The elevator has ALWAYS “backed” and “turned” after the drop sequence. There is no way this could be altered for the summer.

  4. CAN’T WAIT!! Big TOT fan! We will be there July 29th-Aug 6th!! I am excited for the new drop sequences. Love that stomach dropping and weightless feeling! I tried not to read the spoiler but I HAD to! Thanks Jack!

  5. Excited about riding it!!! Anything new is exciting….Say Hi if your there July 25-30th ..I’ll be with birthday girl Lilly!!!

  6. When I rode Tower of Terror in March, my daughter and I both saw a filmy, holographic-like “ghost” of a woman during the drop sequence. I thought, “Wow…they’ve started the new effects early!”

    When we rode it in mid-June, neither of us saw the “ghost woman.”

    Do you know if anyone else has seen this effect? Or, did we see a real ghost? LOL!

    Jack’s Answer:

    The ghost you saw is part of the “regular” TOT routine (not summer). However, since there are four drop sequences during the regular season, you only see this ghost occasionally. It depends on which drop sequence you get.

  7. Hey Jack,

    Thanks for the Summer Nightastic update over at Hollywood Studios! I don’t get all these dance parties that have been popping up, but it may be fun once.

    I will definitely be checking out ToT, however. The new drop sequence has me excited. If it had you fooled, it must be great!

    Do they take your picture again, later in the ride, like normal? Or is the picture taken in the hallway the one available for purchase?


    Jack’s Answer:

    I believe your picture is still taken at the top — just like normal.

  8. hey jack
    nice update on the TOT. I love this ride but unfourtunetly I will be ariving in disney after the 14th so i will miss out on the special effects. hopefully they will decide to keep it if everyone enjoys it. can’t wait for your next blog and as always, keep up the great work.

  9. Jack – do you think this new sequence will stick around?? I am heading down in October, and I would love to try it out!!!

    Jack’s Answer:

    The special effects in the 5th Dimension room are definitely only temporary. But who knows about the drop sequence. Maybe it will be added to the others — but I have NO inside information regarding this.