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“Twilight Terror” (The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, Disney’s Hollywood Studios) Nikon D300, 28mm, F/22, 1/320s, ISO 640, Nik Silver Efex Pro ‘Solarized Border’ Filter

Some very wet weather outside has me digging through the photo archives today. There are still so many photos I haven’t posted from our last trip to Walt Disney World!To match the doom and gloom raging outside my window, it seems appropriate to take a tour of ‘The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror’, an attraction at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Although I’ve ridden the “ride”, turns out I’m not a fan of being dropped down an elevator shaft. 😉

So while guests rushed passed me to access the queue line, I strode leisurely along, soaking in all the extraordinary details of the run-down exterior, lobby and, yes, even the basement.

Our tour begins outside. This is one of the few images shot in color, where the sky was a brilliant blue and the gorgeous Florida sun shone beautifully, lighting up all the architectural details. Hmmm, doesn’t exactly conjure up a feeling of terror, now does it? No worries. A quick pass through Nik’s Silver Efex Pro was all I needed to pull forth the uh, ‘terrifying’ mood.

“Concierge of Terror” (Concierge Desk, Lobby, The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, Disney’s Hollywood Studios) Nikon D300, 56mm, F/5.6, 1/10s, ISO 640, Nik Silver Efex Pro ‘Solarized Border’ Filter

Walking into the hotel lobby, we are first greeted by the concierge desk. I’m sure someone will be along shortly… 😉

“Cuppa Terror” (Tea Cart, Lobby, The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Nikon D300, 28mm, F/4.5, 1/10s, ISO 640, Nik Silver Efex Pro ‘Solarized Border’ Filter

While we wait, lets take a look around. To our left, a spot of tea can be enjoyed while taking part in a game of Mahjong. Although I’m quite impressed with the lush furnishings and elegant finishes, it appears housekeeping is not a high priority here. I must speak to the hotel manager about this.

“Check-in to Terror” (Front Desk, Lobby, The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, 45mm, F/4.5, 1/10s, ISO 640, Nik Silver Efex Pro ‘Solarized Border’ Filter


Weary from my trip and tired of waiting for the concierge to return, I move towards the front desk.
Once again, the place seems deserted.
Perhaps the desk clerk is helping the gentleman who left his topcoat, hat and folded newspaper behind?

“Interrupted Terror” (Front Desk, Lobby, The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, Disney’s Hollywood Studios) Nikon D300, 28mm, F/4.5, 1/5s, ISO 640, Nik Silver Efex Pro ‘Solarized Border’ Filter

“Super-intended Terror” (Basement Office, The Twilight Zone Tower of Tower, Disney’s Hollywoood Studios) Nikon D300, 35mm, F/2.8, 1/30s, -0.3EV, ISO 640, Nik Silver Efex Pro ‘Solarized Border’ Filter


After waiting impatiently for service, I begin searching the hotel for any signs of staff, eventually making my way into the basement level of the hotel.

Here, the Superintendent’s office and maintenance areas yield more of the same: neat, orderly, yet completely covered in dust and cobwebs, as if quickly abandoned and frozen in time.

“Hidden Terror” (Maintenance Shop, Basement, The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Nikon D300, 28mm, F/2.8, -1.0EV, ISO 640, Nik Silver Efex Pro ‘Solarized Border’ Filter


The hidden Mickey is a nice touch and instantly reminds me that indeed, I was never in any danger what-so-ever.

“We hope your stay at The Hollywood Tower Hotel has been a pleasant one. And please… do come back and see us again.”

Happily, I step back out into the bright sunshine, thankful I didn’t become a permanent resident of “The Twilight Zone’. 🙂


  1. A great tour of the hotel! The processing is perfect and each image so rich in details.

  2. Gorgeous photos!!! I’ve got a few from inside the TOT myself, but none quite so spooky. I’ll have to check into this Nik Silver Efex Pro stuff. Thanks for sharing!

    • Thank you, Crimsonlocks! It was a challenge with the restrictions in the lobby and I wish I had taken more. Gives me something to look forward to on our next trip this October. Thanks for taking the tour and for commenting! 🙂

  3. Nice story, and nice effects on the images as well!!!

  4. A suitably spooky tour – remarkable what a little processing can do!

  5. We rode the Tower last time we visited Disney, and we had no idea at all what the ride was about, and was admiring the view from the top when…. well… You know… lol… I’m a bit odd though, and loved it… Just wish I was in to photography back then too, as your shots make me realise what I completely missed… Good to see it now though, and from the comfort of my living room too… 🙂

    • I am not surprised you loved it. You probably like those rides that spin you all sorts of ways and even go backwards…my stomcah can only take so much! 🙂

      When I rode it (THE one and ONLY time) I didn’t know that much about it either. It was fairly new and I was sitting between two rather large gentlemen so the ‘restraining’ bar didn’t even touch my legs! So, there we are, stopped at the top, the doors open, DEAD silence in the car until my husband says, ‘Aw, Fu@k..”, which results in an explosion of laughter from the riders and then, well, you know. lol.

      I was pretty much airborne the entire time so when the car rose again for the second drop (there were many, many drops back then), and the doors open, amidst the DEAD silence I let out a very soft sort of nervous laugh/breath, once again, causing the car to erupt in laughter. At the end of the ride, I could barely stand as my legs were beyond shaky! So, I guess for me, the Tower of Terror lived up to its name! 🙂

  6. I’m with you about ‘rides’, M.P… I much prefer good old terra firma (when I’m not on a boat, that is). 😉
    Anyway, while I’ve never been to either Disney, I almost feel as I have… you’ve done an amazing job of capturing some very, very impressive details! I love it! Awesome processing, too! *dun dun dun*

    • Thank you, SIG! You are very kind! 🙂

      ‘Terra firma’…great words. Must make note to use more in every day language. 😉

  7. Wonderfully clever and creative post, photos, and commentary. I enjoyed my visit and am also thankful that I won’t be staying in the Twilight Zone (although there are days….).

    • Aw, so very sweet of you to say that! Thank you! (If you only knew how long it took me to compose that post!)

      And, yes, there are days… 😉

  8. This is my favorite attraction at WDW. The theming, storyline and attention to detail from the stroll down Sunset Blvd. to the Picture if you will… ride photo area is, IMO, the best Disney has ever done. The Silver Efex really sets the mood of the place and time.

    Can not wait to check in this fall! (get it? fall. 🙂 )

    • I can agree with you on the theming , storyline and attention to detail but not with the ride itself! I wish the lobby wasn’t so roped off…very difficult to get the shots I wanted.

      Ha! Yes, nice pun there, Scott. You are one funny dude. 😉

      • Some of my friends have gotten inside the roped off area. Usually it is very late and just before they close it down that a cast member has allowed it.

      • Ooooooooh, good to know. I’ll have to try that some time..maybe during hte holdiay season when all the crowds are at the second showing of ‘Fantasmic’.

  9. Your pping of these makes them so intriguing! I particularly love the last shot with the mickey clock(?) is so cool!

    • Thank you, Amy! Yeah, the (not so) ‘Hidden Mickey’s’ are something to look for at Disney. I love the way the Imgineers weave them into unexpected places…I guess even here, product placement is key lest we forget we are at Disney! 🙂

  10. Wonderful treatment, makes them look like fabulous, old, spooky, found photos.

  11. Very nice tour thank you! I too would choose photos over a drop down an elevator shaft!!!

  12. Great and really spooky series – it works fine with the b&w!

  13. Black and white works perfectly for the twilight zone!

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