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  1. #1

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    Original design for the TDS Tower of Terror

    Hi Everyone,

    I was flipping through my "Imagineering: A Behind The Dreams Look at Making the Magic Real", and I noticed that on a picture of a scale model of TDS, the Tower of Terror is represented closely to the original Disney Studios model (with 5th dimension scene) and not to the DCA/WDS version. Does anyone have more information or early concept art of it showing the original design?


  2. #2

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    Re: Original design for the TDS Tower of Terror

    Thanks for the interesting post. Maybe it had something to do with the licensing deal between the Disney Parks and the makers of the Twilight Zone?

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    Re: Original design for the TDS Tower of Terror

    I recal reading that the plan was to give this TOT an original storyline, as the japanese were not familiar with the twilight zone. My bet is that probably the DCA/WDS system is les problematic as the WDW one tends to breakdown often.

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    Re: Original design for the TDS Tower of Terror

    It does look like they were going with a more New York brownstone feel for the exterior - almost as if its trying to blend in with the NYC vibe of American Waterfront.

    I guess its just another step in the attractions evolution, that just happened to be the style they were working on when it was submitted for the park model. No doubt it went through no end of revisions before they arrived at the elaborate façade that we have today.


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    Re: Original design for the TDS Tower of Terror

    TDS and DCA opened the same year (2001).

    At the time when both parks were in concept phase, and most likely when the model was built, the newer DCA/WDS style ToT was not even built.

    My speculation is that since the DMS/DHS ToT was already a reality (1994), the initial concept of a ToT in TDS utilized the original style ToT with some theming modifications.

    The new style ToT opened first at DCA (2004) so when it came time to eventually bring the ToT to TDS (2006) it too followed the new style.

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    Re: Original design for the TDS Tower of Terror

    I actually spoke with the architect for Tower of Terror TDS while at D23 this year and I asked this exact question.

    Basically, a Tower of Terror similar to WDW was planned for park opening. However due to budget, they saved it for an expansion. During that time, DCA's Tower of Terror system came out which is obviously more efficient and favored by WDI since its been built 3 times, and OLC decided to go with that style of ride. The new ride has a much larger front and smaller back.

    The architect was re-assigned and the budget for the exterior was increased since the park did so well from opening. More details were added and what we have now is more intricate than what was originally planned. He mentioned that all of the stone work and bricks wouldn't have been possible with the original budget.

    So looks like it worked out.

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    Re: Original design for the TDS Tower of Terror

    Woah, sorry for the late reply! I was having problems with my log in.

    Rave, you are so lucky to have spoken with the architect of the TDS TOT! I wish they had released a bit more of concept art for the original version.

    I also had understood that the current DCA model was an original design planned for Paris, but with the underperformance of DCA it was quickly built there first.

    It is a pity that the WDW design is not the one used in all TOTs, as the Fifth Dimension scene with the elevator moving forward is fantastic, and I prefer it way more than the mirror effect the rest of them, including TDS, have.

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    Re: Original design for the TDS Tower of Terror

    Quote Originally Posted by Rave View Post
    During that time, DCA's Tower of Terror system came out which is obviously more efficient and favored by the bean counters since its been built 3 times, and OLC decided to go with that style of ride.
    Fixed that for ya...

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    Re: Original design for the TDS Tower of Terror

    Quote Originally Posted by rushtest4echo View Post
    Fixed that for ya...
    I personally don't agree with that. I think there are significant benefits in the design. And especially for TDS's design the forward moving section just doesn't make a whole lot of sense.

    I have heard a variety of reasons as to why WDW's design wasn't replicated however I personally prefer the design with the main tower further back because none of the other Towers are perched on a hill and the tower adds a lot of depth.

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    Re: Original design for the TDS Tower of Terror

    While the second generation tower design has its oddities, the design in Florida really is awkwardly bulky. The angle and hill help to hide this. In the other parks, where more of this bulk would be more visible, I think a lot would have been lost in the illusion.

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    Re: Original design for the TDS Tower of Terror

    I think the TDS version and building style of Tower fits the original storyline better than shoehorning the Twilight Zone theme into DCA or DHS version of the same building.

    From what I hear it wasn't a design choice, but a budget reason that DCA and DHS got a cheaper and less entertaining version of the Tower.

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    Re: Original design for the TDS Tower of Terror

    Quote Originally Posted by Brisal73 View Post
    I think the TDS version and building style of Tower fits the original storyline better than shoehorning the Twilight Zone theme into DCA or DHS version of the same building.

    From what I hear it wasn't a design choice, but a budget reason that DCA and DHS got a cheaper and less entertaining version of the Tower.
    If you look at them side-by-side you'll see that Tokyo DisneySEA does not have a completely unique tower.

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    Re: Original design for the TDS Tower of Terror

    Accountineering, Attractions and Entertainment at the Disneyland Resort

    You will find the Accountaneer's story about DCA ToT here. He answered more questions about ToT in the next entry.
    Jul 1992: Disneyland Paris
    Apr 2006: Hong Kong Disneyland
    Jul 2010: Disneyland and Disney's California Adventure
    Mar 2011: Hong Kong Disneyland
    Jul 2013: Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea
    Sep 2013: Hong Kong Disneyland
    Jul 2014: Disney California Adventure

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