Tuesday, February 20, 2018

The Tower of Terror could be the next big ride to get updated at Disney's Hollywood Studios

Posted By on Tue, Feb 20, 2018 at 3:54 PM

click to enlarge PHOTO VIA WIKIPEDIA
  • Photo via Wikipedia
Following last year’s successful re-imagining of Disney California Adventure’s Tower of Terror to Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: Breakout! many expected the Paris version of the ride to undergo a similar reskinning. But Disney has now confirmed this is not the case. The Paris version of the drop-tower ride will go down for nearly year starting this May, but as of now we still have no word on what this 10-month refurb will entail.

One possible option involves Disney shifting the theme away from the Twilight Zone, and instead using Disney’s original concept of the Hightower Hotel and its owner Harrison Hightower III (who has a striking resemblance to Disney Imagineer Joe Rhode). The ride in Tokyo is located in a New York-themed area instead of a Hollywood-themed one but otherwise, the storyline isn’t much different, but here the focus is on the curse from an angry idol.

The ride system in Paris is the same as Tokyo’s and California’s. This would mean it would be easier for the ride to be redone to the Tokyo version even though the outside looks dramatically different. Removing the Twilight Zone theme from the ride is something that might not only happen in Paris but also here in Orlando.

CBS has confirmed that it is reviving the science fiction morality focused series, placing Get Out’s Jordan Peele at the helm. This updating of the series may mean that CBS is less interested in having a ride which they receive little proceeds from and that celebrates the original version of the series. With the original Tower of Terror here in Orlando marking its 25th Anniversary next year the contract for the name is likely coming to an end sooner than later. Disney has gone out of its way to remove other third-party intellectual properties from its parks in recent years including closing The Great Movie Ride and the Universe of Energy; which the most recent version of the ride, Ellen’s Energy Adventure, featured a large Jeopardy presence.



The Orlando version would see the largest change if the Twilight Zone theme was removed, but the pre-show is the same as Paris’s so once that one is updated it should be easy to change out the pre-show video here as well. The Hightower Hotel update would not be nearly as dramatic as the Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: Breakout! update that California saw. It could also keep the façade identical to how it currently looks, an important note here in Orlando since the ride building is designed to blend in with Epcot’s Morocco pavilion. The Tower of Terror name could even stay the same if Disney so wished, with simply removing the Twilight Zone part of it. The majority of the merchandise already doesn’t feature the Twilight Zone branding and Disney’s awful 1997 made for TV film themed to the ride had no reference to the IP.

The Guardians of the Galaxy theme from California won’t be making its way to Orlando thanks to a Guardians themed custom-made roller coaster that is replacing the Universe of Energy at Epcot.

In Paris, the Tower of Terror is closing in May for an update that will last until March. We should know more by then about what the update will entail and what that might mean for Orlando’s. If the one in Orlando does get an update, it likely won’t close until 2020 at the earliest. This would allow for the Star Wars expansion and the new Mickey Mouse E-ticket to both open for a few months while giving enough time for the ride to reopen before WDW’s 50th Anniversary in the summer of 2021.

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