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  1. #1

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    Tower of Terror Question

    OK, maybe I'm not as smart as I think I am.... I read in one of the Unauthorized Guides that in the Tower of Terror in Orlando, your elevator car does not actually move across the floor to the drop shaft. There is an optical illusion involved that only makes you think you are moving. True? If it is, I've been fooled for years.....

    Thanks for any enlightenment!

  2. #2

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    Re: Tower of Terror Question

    Incorrect. The car drives forward from the first shaft to the drop shaft. What book is that?

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    Re: Tower of Terror Question

    It's the Unofficial Guide to Disneyland 2006. In it there is a discussion comparing the Tower of Terror in WDW, and the one in Disneyland, where the author gives the impression that the WDW Tower has the illusion of movement on the floor before the drop sequence. I could have been reading it wrong, however.

    In any case, thanks for clearing that up. I knew there were tracks on the floor leading to the drop sequence.

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    Re: Tower of Terror Question

    Watch the Travel Channel special, "The Imagineers." You'll clearly see the elevator car moving freely across the floor and into the final drop elevator.

    However, while the Disneyland version is actually an elevator, it's only the shaft that moves up and down in WDW.
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    Re: Tower of Terror Question

    Quote Originally Posted by FrumiousBoojum
    However, while the Disneyland version is actually an elevator, it's only the shaft that moves up and down in WDW.
    Ha ha ha ha ha. Good one.

    Also, did you know there is no track? The tower uses a guide wire.

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    Re: Tower of Terror Question

    DCA's ToT uses horizontal movement too...just not in shows scenes. WDW's is a wire guided system, much like GMR and EEA.

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    Re: Tower of Terror Question

    Really? Wow, I never knew that either!!

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    Re: Tower of Terror Question

    Yeah, I think you are misreading it, I can't find the reference in the book right here. Optical illusions are on the ride, that's for sure, but there's not one related to where you are moving.

    Besides, the ride is probably Disney's best at either park...worth admission. Merely ride it and enjoy.

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  9. #9

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    Re: Tower of Terror Question

    Quote Originally Posted by tloolgb
    DCA's ToT uses horizontal movement too...just not in shows scenes. WDW's is a wire guided system, much like GMR and EEA.
    GMR...EEA???

    Now you got me interested, what's a guide wire system (it can't be as easy as I think it is). And what are GRM and EEA?

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    Re: Tower of Terror Question

    Yeah whatever u read is lyin' to u. I went on it in WDW on an actual stormy night a couple of years ago and it broke down right next to the eye ball that has the people in the elevator flash across it. They turned on the lights (which was VERY cool cuz we say how they made everything look that great in the dark) and took us to an actual elevator about 70 feet away to take us down. But yeah, we deffinately had to walk across the ground, it's not an illusion.
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  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by FrumiousBoojum
    Watch the Travel Channel special, "The Imagineers." You'll clearly see the elevator car moving freely across the floor and into the final drop elevator.

    However, while the Disneyland version is actually an elevator, it's only the shaft that moves up and down in WDW.
    That's what I was going to say. I saw that too. Plus I know there are four loading elevators and two drop shafts.. so you do the math! Especially since you load on one side and drop on the other. It's sad that the book was wrong. I guess that's why it's the "unofficial" guide. But how embarrassing!

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    Re: Tower of Terror Question

    Plus if you sit in the very first row of the elevator, if your tall like i am peek your head over just a little bit over the ledge and you will see the car moving right over the drop zone. Scared the willies out of me first time i saw it, but you have to have a keen eye sight to know where and when the drop is, especially in the dark.

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    Re: Tower of Terror Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Lacrossedragon
    GMR...EEA???
    Great Movie Ride and Ellen's Energy Adventure. Don't you hate those Disney acronyms?

    Now you got me interested, what's a guide wire system (it can't be as easy as I think it is). And what are GRM and EEA?
    It's a very cool way to control a vehicle. Your car has no driver - it follows along the signal of a tiny wire embedded in the center of the track. There are actually 2 ways (that I know of) to accomplish this. One is for this wire to have an electrical signal pulsing through it, and sensors on the car focus in on this signal and use the information to steer the car. The other way is for the wire to actually be sending control data to the car, just like a signal that's transmitted to your wireless pc. This data would be telling the car to start, stop, turn left, etc. I don't know which of these systems Disney uses, but it's sure a cooler way to drive the car than a big ol' metal rail in the center!

    I just love it when the guide books breathlessly say that the huge multi-ton vehicles are controlled by a wire ONLY 1/8 INCH THICK, as if maybe a 1/2 inch wire would be better? 1/8 inch wire is more than enough to carry the control signal, so I've always thought the emphasis on that fact was kinda funny.

  14. #14

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    Re: Tower of Terror Question

    Don't quote me on this, but just off the top of my head I think GMR and EEA/UOE use the "homing signal" method, where sensors on the vehicle focus in on the wire.

    I believe TOT uses a hybrid system. It does focus on the wire and uses relative distances to keep track of its position, but the wire also sends control data (e.g. when to rotate at the end to unload).

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    Re: Tower of Terror Question

    My uncle, who has designed electronic equipment that rides on the space shuttle (among other cool things!), has a hands free lawn mower that follows a track that he planted underneath the sod. It's electric and quiet, and comes out of its doghouse in the middle of the night, every night, to cut the grass. When it's done it reparks itself, releases its bag of grass clippings, and plugs itself in to recharge. He empties the pit once a year. And he has the nicest danged lawn I've ever seen!!!

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