Hollywood Tower of Terror
Written by Seth Phillips (April, 2008)

We slowly walked up to the entrance. My heart was thumping, fighting to leap out of my chest. As I looked up at it, a chill filled my body as it had every time before.

In November of 2007, Teresa, Jim, Dustin (who attends Kansas University), Sam Grorud, my parents, and I  rode on The Twilight Zone Hollywood Tower of Terror, a thrill ride in MGM Studios Park in DisneyWorld, Orlando.

It was late afternoon, around 4 or 5 o’clock, when we decided to go for a ride. We walked up to the entrance to the ride and were immediately inside, for the line was very short and was moving fairly quickly. Once inside we had about a five-minute wait and we talked about various things, one of which was the Kansas Jayhawks football team and their hopes for a bid to a bowl game.

The wait was soon over, so we continued down the corridor and into a small room. Once inside the room I noticed the antique furniture and light fixtures. The room had a feeling of suspense in the air. After about a minute or so, the lights dimmed to a dull flicker, and a small television, about the size of a computer screen and possibly from the 50’s era, turned to a static buzz. It then promptly turned into a video clip from the Twilight Zone TV series, showing a group of celebrities filing into an elevator, a flash of lightning outside the tower, as they did in the TV series, and then falling, falling down. The clip ended as abruptly as it had started, and we were off again, heading up a slightly sloped walkway into what appeared to be some sort of boiler room. There, we waited in line for about another two or three minutes until the next ride came to us. Standing on our assigned seat numbers (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7), we waited impatiently. The worker that was running our ride at the time was having some fun spooking a girl, about 15 or 16 years of age, stepping up behind her when she turned around. When the girl spun back around, she shrieked with surprise while everyone else laughed at the sight. That was one of the only laughable scenes that I had experienced since we entered into the building.

We then filed into the elevator ride and took our seats. I was sitting in the third seat from the outside and on the right side of the elevator. The worker ran off some safety precautions so quickly we could barely understand the words. Once again he spooked the same girl when he was checking the seatbelts. About halfway through, he turned to us and said, “Everyone check your seatbelt to make sure they work, especially that seat,” pointing directly at the girl’s seat. She again became frightened. With a comment of “Any second guesses?”, followed by a short pause, then a quick “Too late” from the worker at the door, he slammed the door, with which a musty odor filled the elevator, and we were off to the Twilight Zone. We glided through the fist part, where strange things, equations (such as the theory of speed), floating in midair, clocks running backwards and such were surrounding us. From there it was all

down,                          up,

                                                          down,          up,      down,

                                                                    down,                     down,