If you’ve been to Disney’s Hollywood Studios, chances are good that you’ve stared in fright at a looming tower.
The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror is an innovative drop ride based on the iconic television show, The Twilight Zone. It’s a thrilling ride with stunning theming and an amazing story — but you might be surprised by all the secrets that the ride holds!
Rod Serling in the Preshow
Did you know that that’s not actually Rod Serling talking in the preshow? Serling had passed away by the time the ride was in development. In place of a new performance, Imagineers pulled together footage from various episodes of The Twilight Zone to make it seem like Serling was saying the new lines.
For his voice, Serling’s widow helped to pick a voice actor that sounded just like him! The only line fully spoken by Serling is “Tonight’s story on the Twilight Zone is somewhat unique and calls for a different kind of introduction. This as you may recognize is a…”
Broken Glasses from “Time Enough at Last”
In the library, take a look around for a pair of broken glasses sitting on top of a stack of books. These glasses are a reference to The Twilight Zone episode, “Time Enough at Last.”
The twist ending sees the main character break his glasses in the wake of a nuclear explosion leaving him unable to read for pleasure as he’d like, even with all the time in the world.
Fortune Teller Machine from “In the Nick of Time”
And that is DEFINITELY not the only episode reference you’ll spot. Those who have seen the episode, “In the Nick of Time,” might spot recognize a certain mysterious fortune-teller machine that tormented William Shatner.
See that lil red devil looking box up on the shelf? That’s him! Find it at the top of the shelves in the library!
Trumpet from “Passage for Trumpet”
But don’t stop looking around the library just yet. If you spot a dusty trumpet, you’ve found another hidden gem! Jack Klugman played the trumpet as Joey Crown in the episode, “Passage for Trumpet.”
Even more interesting is the sheet music the trumpet rests on, but we’ll get to that in a sec. 😉
Invader from “The Invaders”
Like the fortune-teller machine, a little metal space invader sits on the same top shelf too. “The Invaders” episode showed a farm woman tormented by these creatures.
SPOILERS: in the end, the audience learns that the invaders were actually humans and the farm woman was an alien giant!
Permit to Operate
One of our favorite secrets is located in the elevator shaft when you board the ride vehicle. Look to your left towards the front of the compartment. You may spot the elevator’s Permit to Operate. Actually, this permit has a LOT of interesting details!
The State ID Number is 10259, referencing The Twilight Zone premier on October 2, 1959. The Date of Last Inspection is October 31, 1939, and that’s the Halloween night when the fateful lightning strike occurred! Plus, the permit is signed by Cadwaller — A.K.A. the DEVIL in “The Escape Clause” episode.
Caesar from “Caesar and Me”
After you endure your terrifying drop, you might think that the fright is over. But after you’re done plummeting but before you exit the ride, look around and you might see a pile of what appears to be junk. On top is a rather…creepy dummy. This is Caesar the manipulative ventriloquist dummy from the “Caesar and Me” episode.
A Cast Member tradition is to acknowledge Caesar every day so he doesn’t play tricks on the ride!
13-Diamond AAA Hotel Plaque
Let’s zip back out to the lobby of the hotel where you wait in the queue. Look on the wall near the concierge area to find a plaque giving the Hollywood Tower Hotel 13 diamonds from AAA.
Huh, that’s weird considering AAA awards a maximum of 5 diamonds in real life!
Abandoned Mahjong Set
Across the lobby, you’ll spot a mahjong set that is actually set up to look like the game was stopped right in the middle of play — almost like the players vanished completely.
Mickey Mouse Doll
When you’re watching the preshow (and not thinking about the magic used to create the Rod Serling illusion) focus on the little girl who falls victim to the elevator’s malfunction. She’s holding a vintage Mickey Mouse doll!
Perhaps this stuffed Mickey becomes a part of the haunt too!
“No Mickey Mouse? What kind of party is this?” Sheet Music
Speaking of Mickey Mouse, remember we said the trumpet was sitting on another easter egg? Look at the sheet music! You’ll notice it’s for a song called, “What! No Mickey Mouse? What Kind Of Party Is This?”
We doubt they play this ditty much in Magic Kingdom! 😉
Library Book from “To Serve Man”
Appropriately, the library also has a pretty interesting book you should be keeping an eye out to find. If you can spot a book called, “To Serve Man,” it may remind you of The Twilight Zone episode with the same name!
Slot Machine from “The Fever”
And we’ve got another episode reference! After you’re done looking for Caesar in the basement of the hotel, try to spot a slot machine amongst the clutter. That machine is a reference to “The Fever” episode!
The Sunset Room Menu
You know we’re all about the food here at DFB (honestly, SAME.), so one of our favorite details is the menu posted outside of the Sunset Room. As you exit, look for the Sunset Room on your right and notice the date left on the menu.
Spoiler alert! It’s the same as the one on the Permit to Operate!
Tip Top Club Poster from “It’s a Good Life”
You may have walked past The Tip Top Club poster in the lobby of the hotel dozens of times without realizing it was a reference. In fact, it’s a direct reference to the “It’s a Good Life” episode.
The Tip Top Club is supposedly (in the film adaptation, at least!) where the doomed guests were headed for a Halloween party before they were sucked into the oh-so creepy 5th Dimension.
Letters from “A World of His Own”
Finally, look to the cage behind the television in the lobby for an envelope that reads either “Rod Serling” or “Victoria West” (There’s a different one in each library room!).
Watch the episode “A World of His Own,” to see why these dictations are so relevant.
Wow! There is a LOT to see in The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror in Disney’s Hollywood Studios! We’ll definitely be keeping an eye out for these easter eggs and more on our next ride, will you?
Join the DFB Newsletter to get all the breaking news right in your inbox! Click here to Subscribe!
Did you know all these easter eggs? Tell us in the comments!