Disney’s Hollywood Studios has a variety of attractions, but your kids may not be ready for all of them. Is The Twilight Zone: Tower of Terror kid-friendly and ok for your children? This parents ride guide will help you decide if the Tower of Terror is too scary for kids in your household.
This Parents Ride Guide is part of a series focusing on the elements of Disney World and Disneyland attractions that might be unexpectedly scary for your kids. This post will mention details that could be considered spoilers, so please read with caution.
About The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
From the Walt Disney World Website:
Step uneasily inside the infamous Hollywood Tower Hotel and find a dusty lobby frozen in time. Even the subdued hotel staff seems strangely out of another era.
Suddenly a television set springs to life and Rod Serling welcomes you on a journey into the Twilight Zone. He reveals that on a gloomy Halloween night in 1939, some hotel patrons were riding the elevator when a violent storm struck the building… and they were never seen again. The hotel closed down and has stood empty ever since.
This attraction includes sudden, fast drops in a dark, enclosed space which may be frightening to some Guests.
Is Tower of Terror Too Scary For Kids? Parents Guide To Rides At Disney
As always, you know your child best.
Disney doesn’t try to make rides that are too scary for kids, but some children may have unexpected reactions to certain experiences at Disney World or Disneyland.
This parent ride guide to The Tower of Terror will let you know about elements that kids may find concerning or scary before you get in line.
In this series, we’ll run down the ride basics to include if there are flashing lights, loud noises, spins, drops, jump scare elements, dark moments, scary themes, and overall general speed or intensity.
What Does The Ride Vehicle Look Like For Tower of Terror?
The ride vehicle resembles an old elevator that you board from the hotel “boiler room.”
There are a total of 20 seats in each elevator.
Once the door closes, you are in an enclosed ride capsule, just like in an elevator.
Enclosed Space On Tower of Terror
If you or your child are claustrophobic at all, you may have some concerns inside the elevator ride vehicle.
While there is plenty of space above you, it does feel very much like being inside an elevator with most of the lights out.
Does Tower of Terror Go Upside Down?
The Tower of Terror does not go upside down.
It does, however, make sudden, steep drops and quick rises throughout the course of the ride, sometimes in darkness.
Darkness May Make Tower of Terror Too Scary For Some Kids
The ride is a dark ride and your visit to the hotel takes place inside a darkened elevator.
There are changing rooms in front of you and lights flash within the cabin, so it is not total darkness.
But it is still considered a dark ride.
The whole construct is based on the TV show, The Twilight Zone.
The show covers a variety of circumstances and situations that range from science fiction to fantasy, suspense, and horror.
The story is one of the mysterious disappearances of five hotel guests who checked in but never checked out.
The ride-theming is one of the spookiest and scariest in all of Walt Disney World.
Is It Too Scary For Kids?
From the back story, to theming, to ride movements, Twilight Zone Tower of Terror is one of the scariest attractions at Walt Disney World.
If your child is sensitive to scary movies or themes, they may be too frightened to even get into the elevator.
But that’s not really the only scary element of this attraction.
Once the ride starts running, the elevator drops and rises in a random fashion while in the dark, with pipe rattling noises happing around you.
While the intention is to feel like you are falling, we describe it more like a really big bouncing movement. Really big.
It is a bouncing that does bring you out of your seat as you drop (lap belts should be tightened to help minimize this movement).
Tower of Terror is absolutely a scary ride and just may be too scary for some kids.
Age Rating: What Ages of Kids Can Ride Tower Of Terror?
As always, you know your kids best.
But this is one of those instances where being tall enough (40 inches) isn’t always the same as being ready for an attraction.
A tall 3-year-old should also be a fairly mature and brave 3-year-old to enjoy this ride.
We suggest you ride one time for yourself if you have any concerns about the suitability of this attraction for your family.
As far as an age rating, we also suggest most kids be at least 6 years old before riding this attraction. If you have total daredevils and adrenaline junkies, determine if they can handle the spooky scary thematic elements.
Watch The Full Ride Through
Sometimes it helps to watch the full ride-through experience to decide if a theme park ride is kid-friendly for your family.
Here is a ride-through of the Tower of Terror to help you know if it’s too scary!
Parents Ride Guide Tip Sheet: Tower Of Terror
Hurtle up and down aboard a haunted elevator-style lift. You’re about to enter… The Twilight Zone!
- Dark Ride
- Adventurous and scary theme
- Loud noises and bright, flashing lights
- The elevator drops and rises quickly and without warning
- 40-Inch height requirement
- Seats 20 people in one elevator
- Repeated big, sudden drops, but does not go upside down
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