Mapping out The Twilight Zone

Wednesday, 25th October 2006 at 23:18

Building an attraction on the scale of The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror takes a lot of planning - from imagining and designing to building and opening. It's a precision-planned exercise to create a place of both shadow and substance, of things and ideas. And, although the Tower has already been constructed in California, there are still many mysteries lurking.,

Despite the size and importance of this project, Euro Disney SCA remains silent – no hype, no press releases. So whilst at the moment we can happily see the Tower progress day-by-day with more details, more concrete primer and more false windows, the resort is preferring to keep quiet, likely for fear that the attraction will steal the spotlight from the Toon Studio attractions and new parade premiering before it. The small billboard in front of the construction site doesn’t even mention the name of the attraction.

Recently, however, a special flyer was handed out backstage to Cast Members giving a preview of the new attraction, including a run-through of its legendary story and some precise details about the design. According to the flyer, the height of the tower from its base to the top of the highest dome will be 55.17 metres, or 181 feet. The maximum vertical speed of the elevator shaft cars is an astonishing 31.6 metres per second, with ride cycles lasting around 4 minutes. If this wasn’t enough of a preview, a never-before-seen (at least in this detail) concept plan of the entire building was featured, now uploaded by WDSFans.com to its growing Walt Disney Studios Concept Art database:

The biggest mystery of all about the project, and one that still hasn’t been solved, is the opening date of The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. Announced in January 2005 for an unspecific “2008” opening, rumours later spread that an earlier opening of October 2007 could be on the cards, pushed by Euro Disney SCA’s commenting that the attraction will open in “Financial Year” 2008 – ie. anytime from late October 2007 onwards.

This month rumours have changed again, this time pointing back towards 2008 and a more specific January opening, allowing the opening to be separated from the popular Christmas and Halloween seasons. Is there any proof of this? Well, it seems there could be – the 15th Anniversary preview trailer released a few days ago features an interesting disclaimer when Tower of Terror appears on-screen: “Ouverture début 2008” – Opening Early 2008. But now a new mystery – is that the year 2008, as in January, or the financial year 2008? Considering the video is destined for travel agents, cast member previews and other non-business or financial areas of the resort’s workings, it looks like this could be the first step to finally mapping out an official date for The Twilight Zone’s arrival.

You can see a large scan of the building plan at WDSFans.com »

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