Listen to the The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror area loop from 1995

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When the Tower of Terror opened in 1994, it was truly spectacular. While the Magic Kingdom was in the mode of shutting down classic attractions (all of Tomorrowland, The Main Street Electrical Parade, The Walt Disney Story) Disney-MGM Studios was in a era of rapid expansion. The attraction was hyped to be the park’s crown jewel and it more than lived up to the hype when it opened in July of 1994.

While the ride got high marks, even with a single drop (the multiple drops and random multiple-drops weren’t added until years later), people also went absolutely nuts about the beauty and detail of the queue, which meanders through the hotel grounds past empty fountains and vine-covered pergolas until reaching the superbly-detailed lobby. A lot of the credit to the queue’s success goes to the haunting music loop which perfectly sets the mood. Within a minute of listening to the songs, you get the feeling that the hotel is old and something spooky happened. It’s amazing what a little echo effect can do.

I’m certainly not the only person that recorded this loop live and by this point it’s been pretty widely distributed, but another copy can’t hurt. This was recorded on February 6, 1995, in the planter directly outside of the gift shop’s exit.

Sony MZ-1 MiniDisc recorder
Radio Shack 44-533 telephone pickup


Note: If you’re in need of a vector version of the Hollywood Tower Hotel’s logo, see this earlier post.

[phpbay]Disney Tower of Terror, 10[/phpbay]


  1. Alexis Shabadoo Jr.

    July 1, 2014 at 6:30 pm

    Thanks. I’m enjoying this over dinner in the backyard.

    1. How Bowers

      July 1, 2014 at 11:02 pm

      I’m pleased that you’re enjoying it — dinner with that music in the background sounds appealing.

  2. Stephen W. Phillips

    July 3, 2014 at 12:06 pm

    So incredible! Visited D/MGM a week before the Sunset Blvd opened to the public (ToT should be turning 20 this year, right?), and they had a promotion where you could buy a $80ish watch and get to tour the street and go into the Hollywood Tower Hotel. Well, my enterprising mother asked if we could forgo the watch and just do the tour. The CM said to just meet at the tip board and play along. We did and it went off perfect.

    There were maybe 6 of us being led down the deserted Sunset Blvld by a fairly high up CM host (not in a host uniform) but in a bellhop uniform. He gave us the history of each of the facades on Sunset – most of which did not have stores behind them at this point. If I recall, only the stores on the lefthand side (facing TOT) had stores. All the stores on the right (including Carthay), were empty facades at that point. I was shocked to to come back years later to see them open with actual merchandise in them.

    He pointed out the tracks in the street and the abandoned concept of the RedCar attraction that was planned but didn’t happen (there was no cart attached to the overhead lines at that point either). He gave us the history of the Farmer’s Market. We got to tour the Hollywood Bowl theatre backstage – and then on to the main attraction.

    We stopped at around where the fastpass machines are now, and he told us the story. Hollywood. 1939. Among the glitz…. Then he left. He let us wander our way alone through the queue until we made it to the door. When we got there, we were greeted by WDW security and the bellhop host. We had to put on surgical footies to walk in (I think now of all the people that have walked through that lobby).

    The security guy was named Orlando. He told us a little about his job. While working overnight i in the tower by himself, through a thunderstorm not long ago, lightning actually hit near the tower (not the tower itself), but it created a power surge that made the library video startup. The bellhop told us about the game of mahong, empty glasses, how imagineers scoured all over the country hunting for the right props to fill the lobby, library, and boiler rooms – then the coolest thing – we got to sign the guestbook. So, I was there in 1939 when it happened.

    Moral of the story – always ask!

    1. How Bowers

      July 3, 2014 at 1:49 pm

      Well, now I’m going to cry, because I’m pretty sure that I’m one of the suckers that bought the $80 watch and I certainly didn’t get a tour like that.

      And if anyone wants to buy an $80 commemorative watch — reply to this comment. 🙂

      1. Stephen W. Phillips

        July 3, 2014 at 7:03 pm

        Really!?!? I’ve never heard about anyone else who ever took that tour!

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