Walt Disney Studios Park saw a double-feature of major news yesterday, as the installation of the Stitch Live! signage was beaten to the front page by the removal of the first section of construction walls around The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror! 10 Years of neglect, and some expanded gardens, revealed...,
Time is ticking away quickly now to the opening of The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror… in fact, judging by what lies beyond those immortal yellow fences, time has been ticking away for this abandoned Hollywood hotel for quite some time. Yesterday, 29th November 2007, the first section of construction walls were finally removed after almost three years of service!
Scrooge, moderator of Disney Magic Interactive forum, has shared the first photos, with the Tower shrouded in a spectacular covering Winter mist 183 feet up…
Guests inside Walt Disney Studios Park now have a direct view across the hotel’s East gardens to the building itself, with no obstructions. The gardens are large and lushious, far larger and arguably giving much more impact than those around the Tower’s Californian cousin.
Prior to construction of the Tower, fans might remember most of this area as a small grass lawn — the entirety now turned to brown dirt/bark and filled completely with coniferous trees, small bushes and thorny, spiny evergreens.
Very noticeable absentees here are palm trees — in California, the Tower is flanked by a row of giant, towering palms which spread an air of exoticism across its square frontage. Not so in Paris, at least not yet — the climate is hardly suited to such large palms in Summer, let alone the middle of Winter. So far, the option of fake trees like those spectacularly realistic-looking ones lining Hollywood Boulevard has also not been taken.
However, this side of the hotel is not entirely devoid of palm trees — as DynastyGo on Disney Central Plaza forum picked up on camera, some far smaller varieties can be found hidden within the area, forming a circle around some forgotten stone garden furniture…
Running from right to left within the gardens here is a path toward the Tower Hotel Gifts boutique and the Toilets of Terror, currently closed by barriers and walls at either end. The queue line is then even further within, having its very own overgrown gardens, surrounded by a beautiful metal fence taken over with shrubs and odd trees with split branches, as if hit by lightning…!
One surprise here is a small circular patio hidden in the middle of the gardens next to the path, a new place to relax on a bench amongst lush green surroundings, whilst those braver enjoy a highly themed E-ticket… yes, this is still Walt Disney Studios, honestly! The gardens around the patio are filled with old ornaments, statues and stone fountains, which have all seen better days. Identical curios can be seen scattered in slightly different positions through the much smaller gardens in California.
Notice also the blue awnings on the windows of Tower Hotel Gifts, and the newly-aged Toilets of Terror, now with additional turquoise details and rusty dirt to match the Tower.
No confirmed date is known for the removal of the remaining fences, either around only the Tower or even the whole Hollywood area. Most, if not all, will obviously be down by the 22nd, and it could be wise to assume they could be gone as early as the first Annual Passport previews in just over a week…