Can you believe it, over two months have passed since we last took a look at the construction of Tower of Terror! Visible progress is still fairly minimal on the Tower, though, with most of this saved for the Hollywood Studio placemaking project, but there are still new details to be seen... Including the recently uncovered gift shop annex and an Art Deco touch you won't have seen in California.,
Almost the entire painted and primed section of the Tower’s behind has now received a dirty smothering of the Imagineers’ ageing and weathering effects, whilst very pale yellow paint now covers the front of the building down to the level of the first elevator opening. Scaffolding has been removed from the highest dome, but scaffolding has instead grown to completely surround the front body of the building. Covered by Disney’s trademark construction tarp, painting and ageing are now being added to the lightning-struck building underneath.
Another piece of painted Tower was uncovered this weekend – Tower Hotel Gifts – the gift shop of the hotel. The side wall of the annex building has been primed with texture and painted pale yellow, with some Art/Pueblo Deco details already visible but more still to come. The small tower that forms the entrance and exit (similar to Studio Photo in Front Lot) has yet to be touched.
It has also been confirmed today that testing of the elevator systems has begun. Recent visitors to the Studios have reported hearing muffled “whoosh” sounds from inside the Tower – without doubt the “faster-than-gravity” vertical drop of the elevators – though currently none of the six doors at the front of the attraction are functional, therefore hiding the tests from view. With such a prominent place right at the heart of the park, these sounds and screams from the 13th floor will be a constant source of activity and kinetics within the Studios.
Finally, forums were buzzing over the weekend with the sight of a small themeing touch under one of the “balcony rooms”. The dark brown Art Deco quarter-circle might not look like much, but it’s an exciting detail simply for the fact that it is totally absent on the 2004-inaugurated California version of the attraction.
Although, it should be admitted that it can be seen in California. The detail was present on much of the original Paris concept art for the attraction, as well as on a computer-drawn preview visual and even on the wall painting seen in the gift shop of the attraction. Obviously somewhere on the way up to the 13th floor, The Twilight Zone got them…
The sudden appearance of this lost detail in Paris blows open the possibility for more changes, tweaks or enhancements to the quickly-constructed California version. Could there be more changes to the design of the Tower, perhaps even the colour? What of the strange back-story involving a disastrous fire told by Roland Kleve back in January? And of course, without doubt, the Hollywood Studio placemaking will give the Parisian hotel a unique and more immersive environment to the tagged-on California version.
We thought we knew it all, but it seems The Hollywood Tower Hotel still has many more secrets yet…
Photo 4: Paris photo by Disneytheque.com, Others © Disney.