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Service elevators and “something”

Friday, 9th March 2007 at 19:39

At Walt Disney Studios Park, they're simply dying for guests to drop in come January 2008, to experience The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. So desperate for guests to check-in, infact, that some brand new construction wall decorations are now helping to build suspense around the "something" that awaits through those rusted elevator doors...,

It was over one year ago now that the first preview of the upcoming attraction was added to the construction site – a giant billboard on top of La Terrasse. Reading “Préparez-vous pour le grand saut! … Get ready for the BIG DROP!” and showing a darkened illustration of the finished Hollywood Tower Hotel, the board mentioned neither an opening date or the attraction’s actual name.

Now, a second phase of preview decorations have been added to the expanded construction walls mentioned yesterday, with a strictly more extravagant Hollywood style. Although, having said that, the new decorative boards which stand out the most are the grimy, rusty Service Elevator doors modelled on those in the attraction itself.

Credit to burne on Disney Magic Interactive Forum for capturing these latest photos from the park.

Taking up two wall sections each, the false doors feature a large number “13” as a foreboding warning, and are joined by large reproductions of the recognisable “HTH” (Hollywood Tower Hotel) symbol on either side.

Several of these “Service Elevators” are featured along the length of the fences bordering Disney Bros Plaza and Place des Stars, whilst between them, separated by three fence sections, are smaller placards displaying a visual of the final attraction and some brief preview text.

In a modern early-20th Century typeface and enclosed within a fitting Art Deco border, the text takes its inspiration from the infamous speech of Rod Serling (or at least the actor portraying him) heard during the attraction’s pre-show video and on board the elevators themselves. Whilst it certainly doesn’t tell us anything new about the attraction, by removing all details of what exactly happened “on that fateful night”, suspense is taken to new heights…

Hollywood, 1939.
Amid the glitz and the glitter of
Hollywood at the height of its golden age, The
Hollywood Tower Hotel
was a star in its own right.
But something happened.

Something dark.
Something unexplainable.
Something terrifying.

And it’s happening once again.

But this time…
It’s happening to you.

Twilight Zone
Tower of Terror

These signs are the very first mention of the attraction’s name within the park – no longer will passing guests point towards “The Big Drop”. And perhaps more importantly, The Twilight Zone itself is very prominently mentioned, finally putting to rest the discussion of its inclusion in the Paris version that has been simmering ever since the new attraction was first announced in January 2005.

The full French name as rumoured many months ago is also confirmed. Taking the style of “Les Tapis Volants – Flying Carpets Over Agrabah“, the official in-park name will therefore be “The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror – Un Plongeon dans la Quatrième Dimension” (A drop into The Twilight Zone). Try saying that after you’ve just fallen from the 13th floor!

However, in a similar style to “Buzz Lightyear Bataille Laser“, the attraction will be advertised in France with the much more marketable “La Tour de la Terreur”, ensuring the audience understands the concept whilst keeping a quick and punchy title.

For guests wondering what on earth the enormous 183-foot construction is, these fantastically well themed fences (at least considering DLRP’s history in this department) should now provide a vital preview over the next nine months.

Conveniently, they’ve also been added just in time to catch the extra Anniversary guests of April, before then lying in wait for the stampede of newcomers to Toon Studio in June – hopefully giving them all a reason to return when those Service Elevator doors open. Through quite a powerful editing of the text to describe simply “something”, the suspense and tension of The Hollywood Tower Hotel should now be capturing guests long before the January 2008 opening.

Of course, we know exactly what this “something” is, right? We know of the lightning strike, the disappeared guests and the plunging elevator. We all know exactly what happened on that terrifying October 31st in 1939…

Or do we?!

See – the mystery is working already!

Photo 1 by Photos Magiques. All other photos by burne, Disney Magic Interactive Forum.

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