The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror is one of the most iconic attractions in Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Its presence looms over Sunset Boulevard and you can hear the screams of its riders throughout the park.
The elevator-drop ride is based on the old television series The Twilight Zone, and the Imagineers hid tons of Easter eggs for fans of the series to find!
Here are 7 things die-hard Twilight Zone fans should look for next time they ride The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror — if they can distract themselves from the sense of impending doom of course.
1. Tonight Calls for a Different Kind of Introduction
In The Tower of Terror pre-show, you are greeted by Rod Serling, the original host of The Twilight Zone. His first lines, “Tonight’s story on the Twilight Zone is somewhat unique and calls for a different kind of introduction. This as you may recognize is a…” are spoken by Serling himself and taken from an episode titled “The Good Life.”
The rest of the introduction was voiced by an impersonator, Mark Silverman, who was hand-picked by Serling’s widow Carol for the job. After recording the rest of the introduction, the Imagineers carefully combined clips of Serling from various episodes of The Twilight Zone to match-up his mouth movements with the words spoken by Silverman. They also had to adjust the audio quality of the recording so it matched the 1960s (lesser) caliber of audio.
The pre-show film was directed by Joe Dante, who also directed a portion of Twilight Zone – The Movie (1983), as well as Gremlins.
2. Broken Glasses
If you look around the library where the pre-show takes place, you can spot this pair of broken glasses atop a stack of books. These are referencing the plot of an episode titled “Time Enough at Last,” which stars Burgess Meredith as Henry Bemis. Bemis loves to read but is surrounded by people keeping him from his books.
Eventually, Bemis becomes the sole survivor of a nuclear explosion, leaving him all the time in the world to read. Except for one thing — he breaks his only pair of glasses, rendering him essentially blind and leaving him surrounded by the books he can no longer read.
3. In the Nick of Time
While in the library, look up! You can spot this fortune-teller machine from 1960’s”Nick of Time.”
In the episode, a young couple comes across this mysterious machine, which torments the husband (William Shatner.)
4. A Musical Surprise
Also in the library (that place is chock full of good stuff) is this trumpet. The trumpet is a prop from an episode entitled “Passage for Trumpet” which stars Jack Klugman as Joey Crown.
Joey is a musician down on his luck who sells his trumpet and contemplates ending his life when he’s taken to the Twilight Zone and saved by a fellow trumpeter named Gabe.
Not only can you see the trumpet in the Library, but it’s sitting on a piece of sheet music for a song titled “What! No Mickey Mouse? What Kind Of Party Is This?” that was written in 1932.
5. Teeny Tiny Attackers
You’re not done looking around the Library yet! Also on the top shelf is this little guy — who looks like a tiny space man or robot. This prop is from the episode “The Invaders” which starred Agnes Moorhead.
In the episode, a farm woman (Moorhead) is attacked by these tiny creatures, eventually destroying them. However it turns out the creatures were actually humans with the U.S. Air Force, and they only appeared tiny because Moorhead is from a race of humanoid giants on another planet.
6. The Devil Himself
As you board the elevator, take a quick look on your right-hand side, and you’ll see the Permit to Operate. There are a few key things to notice on here, the first being the permit number 10259. This is a nod to the premiere date of the series, which was October 2, 1959.
Additionally, you’ll see the date of the inspection is October 31, 1939 (Halloween), which is the date the Hollywood Tower Hotel was struck by lightning in the story of the Tower of Terror.
Lastly, you’ll see the elevator was inspected by Cadwallader, who was a character in the episode “The Escape Clause.” And not just any character — the devil himself. Yikes!
7. One Last Fright
As if the ride wasn’t terrifying enough, there is one fun surprise waiting before you exit the elevator. In the basement there is a collection of dusty items, including a very creepy puppet.
In the episode “Caesar and Me,” a talking dummy named Caesar manipulates his owner Jonathan West, the ventriloquist. According to the Cast Members at The Tower of Terror, you must say hello and good night to Caesar every day or he will cause mischief around the attraction.
So there you have it — a very creepy scavenger hunt around the Tower of Terror! Have you noticed these things before? Let us know in the comments!
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4 Replies to “7 Things Die-Hard Twilight Zone Fans Should Look for in Disney World’s Tower Of Terror”
Natatorium = swimming pool. 🙂
I have seen Caesar the Dummy. Love that he’s there. So creepy. And Little Girl Lost in the queue. I’ll bring this list with me for my trip to HS next month. Thanks!
You were almost right about how we did the pre show.
Wow, Mark — thanks for reading! I would love to update with info straight from the source — have any insider stories for us!? Thanks! Molly