When hinges creak in doorless chambers…
As humans, we enjoy a good fright every now and again, and the scare factor can be a defining element for movies, video games, and even the attractions of Walt Disney World.
Legendary Imagineer Tony Baxter even has a saying: “Fear – Death = Thrill”. For some guests, the “fear” part of the equation can be too much to get past.
Here are four Disney World attractions that even adults find too scary!
The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
A decrepit abandoned hotel at the end of Sunset Boulevard, The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror hits you with the one-two punch of scares. First, there’s the chilling backstory and theming that sets the bar for a lot of other attractions.
The story goes that the hotel was abandoned during the golden age of Hollywood after a lightning strike hit the tower and five guests disappeared into an elevator. As the voice of our host Rod Serling states during the ride, “That door is opening once again, and this time it’s opening for you.”
The actual ride system itself is designed to elicit as many screams as possible out of guests. The elevator that you travel in differs from many drop tower rides in that it actually has a floor, but you’re still being pulled faster than gravity down an elevator shaft, which plays on fears of closed spaces and plummeting elevators!
Hindsight, they say, is 20/20, so looking at the facade of the Dino Institute should have been an indication that we might be in for a tense experience on DINOSAUR.
It doesn’t help that the attraction formerly known as Countdown to Extinction got a name change to coincide with the release of the 2000 Disney animated film. While the movie is a darker look at dinosaurs as well, for some people “animated” and “cute” go hand-in-hand.
By the time we hop in our Time Rovers for our joyride through the age of the dinosaurs, it’s already too late to notice that there’s not anything cute in here. Next thing we know, we’re surrounded by towering animatronic dinos, the largest and most impressive (i.e. terrifying) being the Carnotaurus.
You become pretty well-acquainted with this lizard throughout your ride, at one point even being chased in the dark. Yeah, it’s terrifying.
Space Mountain is a Disney World classic (the ride debuted here before being built in other Disney Parks), but it can be intimidating for first-time riders. Before you even get to the ride, the tension starts to build as you make your way down what we can only describe as “the queue tube”.
After the long walk through the starport, you make it to your space shuttle and are ready to blast off. This is about the time you might start to discover if you have nyctophobia or not because the majority of the time you’re in utter darkness.
You can see little pockets of light every now and again, but you can’t really tell where you’re going. That loss to your sense of direction can be too much for some.
While it may seem obvious that an attraction named the Haunted Mansion would end up on this list, opinions vary about whether this attraction is truly “scary”. That’s because of the two different styles at play from two different Imagineers.
When the Haunted Mansion was initially being developed for Disneyland, Claude Coats and Marc Davis each had their own ideas for the tone of the attraction. Coats wanted the ride to be scarier, but Davis wanted to infuse the mansion with more gags and characters.
Both Imagineers eventually got their way, with Coats taking over the first half of the ride and Davis handling the second half. From the moment you step into the stretching portrait gallery and are introduced to the Ghost Host’s “way out” you’re witnessing Coats’ influence.
The atmosphere of wall-to-wall creeps and hot and cold running chills doesn’t let up until you get to the ballroom, and even then it can be quite frightening for children and even some adults.
Do you like the fright? Which attraction do YOU think is the scariest? Let us know in the comments below!