I’d like to think I’m not this big chicken when it comes to rides. I don’t mind if they’re breakneck fast, dark, altitudinous or loud. I don’t even mind hanging upside down. Why then, do I shy away from the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror? Every chance I get I’m sending my husband on in claiming I’d better stay behind with the baby.
Therein lies the problem: we’ve been bringing very young children to the Disney parks for more than eight years. There has been exactly one instance where someone else was available to watch the kids while Dad and I hopped a ride together. And this is why I’m reluctant to use the parent switch-off option for Tower of Terror: because I don’t want to fall screaming down that elevator shaft alone! Thus far, I haven’t been able to convince my older kids to ride with me.
Actually, the fall’s not even the worst part. It’s all the dread and suspense leading up to the fall that gets me. Disney does such a fabulous, convincing job with the Tower’s spooky sets and haunting backstory.
This past autumn we convinced our oldest two join us on the Tower of Terror! Yes, that meant that after a 10-year hiatus, I was finally going to give that old service elevator a try. Our 6-year-old daughter came out spooked (and would not discuss the ride further), but our 8-year-old son, Andy, came out a little man obsessed! (“Outstanding!” he rates it.) He and his dad wound up riding the elevator three times back-to-back that afternoon while I took his sisters to the Beauty and the Beast stage show. I was a bit jealous of the boys’ Tower binge — it was a rush returning to the Twilight Zone!
2015 update: I was thrilled to be able to ride the Tower this past fall at Disney California Adventure with my three oldest — Olivia’s (6) first ride!
Location: Find the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Walt Disney World Resort. A very similar, but not identical version of the attraction can be found at Disney California Adventure Park, Disneyland Resort.