On January 2, Disneyland’s California Adventure will officially bid adieu to Rod Serling and the land of both shadow and substance as the park closes its doors on the Tower of Terror to make room for the ever expanding Marvel Universe and its new Guardians of the Galaxy ride.
There are plenty of mixed feelings on this decision. While many acknowledge that this is an end of an era, the ride itself wasn’t a classic. It didn’t invoke the type of pain and suffering a true Disneyphile might suffer when forced to deal with the removal of a true park classic, like Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride.
Furthermore, while the theme of the Twilight Zone itself is a classic unto itself, we live in an era without a Twilight Zone marathon. Many kids have no idea what the ride references unless their parents…or super cool aunties with Hulu who have been force their nieces and nephews to binge episodes before visits to the park.
However, from now until the “final check out” in January, guests of the Tower of Terror can experience “Late Check Out” and ride it in total darkness.
Also, for those unwilling to give up the ghost, it is good to know that the Orlando version of the ride will continue to remain open.
So, before Disneyland puts the Tower of Terror to rest, take a final look around. This is your last chance to get the Twilight Zone references the Imagineers had hidden with tender love and care. Here are just a few that stand out:
Episode: “Living Doll” (season 5, episode 6)
Location: On the couch of the lobby of the hotel, sitting quietly, waiting to strike.
If Twilight Zone taught us anything, it is always be kind to children and animals because karma is will teach us lessons in nightmarish ways that will haunt us for future generations.
Case in point…
A broken pocket watch
Episode: “A Kind of a Stopwatch” (season 5, episode 4)
Location: The waiting area in the holding bay of the before the library in a display case.
The boorish Patrick McNulty is given a stopwatch that can freeze time. But after several failed attempts at raising his own self importance with the item, McNulty accidentally breaks the item, trapping himself in a forever in limbo.
Gold thimble (for mother, which makes it slightly creepier)
Episode: “The After Hours” (season 1, episode 34)
Location: The creepy little episode is remembered in the waiting area before the doors of the library with a little display case marked with a little sign.
There is a sign on it that says “It’s the very thing in you need,” which even references ANOTHER episode. So meta.
Episode: “Twenty Two” (season 2, episode 17)
Location: Out-of-service elevators in the lobby are numbered 22
“There’s room for one more…”
Poor Liz Powell was almost driven mad when she kept having dreams of being taken to the morgue. Perhaps she was lucky enough to miss this ride too.
Anthony Fremont (and his Orchestra) poster
Episode: “It’s a Good Life” (season 3, episode 8)
Location: In the lobby while waiting in line for the library
I don’t know if he grew up to develop a taste in music, but the poster references the evil little boy who would wish grown-up to the corn fields.
Pair of glasses
Episode: “Time Enough at Last” (season 1, episode 8)
Location: Stack of books in the library while waiting for the video to begin.
From the episode featuring bookworm Henry Bemis (Burgess Meredith), a lover of the written word who is given the gift of “all the time in the world” but then finds out “be careful what you wish for.”
“To Serve Man” book
Episode: “To Serve Man” (season 3, episode 24)
Location: In the library, on the lower shelves. It’s a black book by a lamp with the title written in the original language. The translation is written on an index card on top on the book…
It’s a cookbook! IT’S A COOKBOOK!!!
Mystic Seer Machine
Episode: “Nick of Time” (season 2, episode 7)
Location: Top shelf of the library to the right of the television
The second most-famous William Shatner episode, in which Bill and his sweetheart are nearly trapped in a diner thanks to a fortune telling demon with a sinister set of cards.
Chalk “doorway” on the wall
Episode: “Little Girl Lost” (season 3, episode 26)
Location: While in the boiler room line on the top floor. You pass this by during one of the turns. Stop by the wall and take a listen and you will hear a little girl crying for help. That will be little Tina, crying out for her parents as she fell into her wall one night during sleep.
Mr. Cadwallader, an elevator inspector you can trust…
Episode: “Escape Clause” (season 1, episode 6)
Location: A certificate of safety near the elevator shafts
Walter Bedeker is a nasty piece of work who makes a deal with the devil…a man called Cadwallader.
Episode: “A Stop At Willoughby” (season 1, episode 20)
Location: Near the exit in a window
A nice place to look at, but you would never want to stop at, as Willoughby is nothing more but death itself.