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Missing out

 On the latest WDW Today live show, I had a caller call into the show asking about how to convince her to ride Tower of Terror and Rock ‘n Roller Coaster because she was afraid of riding it.  This call got me thinking that there might be others who are afraid to ride Tower or Coaster out of fear for the ride mechanism of either.  So if you will, for those who are too afraid to ride, I shall try my best to explain to you that you must ride these attractions because they are Disney attractions at their best.

First and foremost, I understand many people have fears of roller coasters and/or free falling attractions.  In fact, it’s quite normal to be apprehensive about these sort of attractions because many people’s first reactions to seeing or hearing how these rides operate is to be afraid.  Without even thinking about it, the first thing you’ll encounter is hearing guests screaming as they drop from the Tower of Terror or screaming as they launch on Rock ‘n Roller Coaster.  While these fears may be too much for some people, I do believe many have a more “casual fear” and limit themselves from riding when it may be possible to overcome these fears.

The number one reason you should conquer your fears and ride, at least once, is the level of theme involved in these attractions.  These are not the simple thrill rides you find at a Six Flags or other local amusement park that is simply about scaring the daylights out of you; Rather, these attractions are Disney attractions and that means there’s a bonified story to it as well as a great amount of detail as well.  I’ll go on the record and say that Tower of Terror is the best all around attraction at Disney World.  That’s right, better than Pirates of the Caribbean or Haunted Mansion or any other attraction at Walt Disney World because Tower of Terror has it all: story, theme, ride and fun.  The amount of detail in Tower of Terror is absolutely stunning and a real testament to the Disney Imagineers who developed it.  To put things in the right frame of mind, Tower of Terror has the kind of level of theme that Pirates of the Caribbean or Haunted Mansion has, the storyline that Splash Mountain sort of has (Splash’s storyline is a little underused, but that’s another story) and the ride system that’s as much fun (or more so) than Big Thunder Mountain or Expedition Everest.  The bottom line is if you don’t ride Tower of Terror, you’re not getting the full value out of your theme park admission for that day.

Not to be left out, Rock ‘n Roller Coaster is also a marvel of Disney Imagineering.  It takes the roller coaster and actually makes an attraction that is more than just “let’s see how fast I can go”.  The storyline is nicely integrated along with a great deal of detail.  I dare you not to go into the building for this attraction and not feel like you are in a recording studio.   In terms of the roller coaster itself, it’s fairly tame compared to many other steel coasters out there and it’s also quite smooth.  You don’t get that “oh my god I’m going to fall out of my seat!” feeling.  All of the first timers I’ve been on with have all loved the ride and if anything, thought it was too short.  Like Tower of Terror, Rock ‘n Roller Coaster is one of the most popular attractions at Walt Disney World for a good reason and that’s because guests from all over have learned to love every aspect of it.  Thrill rides at Walt Disney World are not for the insane and young.  Disney attractions are meant to be enjoyed by many different ages and type of people because after all, that’s what Walt wanted when he first had the vision for Disneyland and any other Disney park.

If you can’t tell from everything I’ve written thus far, I’m a big fan of these attractions and not because they are a lot of fun to ride (they are) but because of the wonderful story and level of detail that they have.  By skipping these attractions, you are depriving yourself of an opportunity to experience an attraction at Walt Disney World that has literally put Disney parks on the map for being the quintessential leader in theme park rides.  Tower of Terror and Rock ‘n Roller Coaster are more than just white-knuckle thrill rides; they are a means of telling a story and involving you as part of it.  So the next time you are at the Studios, grab a friend or loved one and squeeze their hand the entire time if you have to, but ride Tower of Terror and/or Rock ‘n Roller Coaster at least once so that you can get a sense of the wonderful attractions that are waiting for you.

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A regular look into Disney's Hollywood Studios, both past and present, with commentary and analysis from Matt Hochberg.


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Posted: Wednesday, January 28, 2009 by