In just days, thousands of Halloween and horror fans will pour into the Long Beach Convention Center to experience Midsummer Scream 2017 on July 29 and 30. One of the most-anticipated presentations of the weekend will kick the event off at noon on Saturday – Beyond the 5th Dimension: Creating The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. This hour-long presentation will feature several individuals key to the design of the original attraction in Orlando, as well as the subsequent versions that were installed at Disneyland Resort, Disneyland Paris, and Tokyo DisneySea.
What will drive guests to this particular presentation? Their undying love of The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, and the fact that Midsummer Scream is going to give Southern California fans a truly fantastic way to come together as a community to listen to the attractions creators, and give it a proper farewell together as a group.
“Fan love and appreciation of Tower of Terror is incredibly strong,” says Rick West, Founder of Theme Park Adventure and Creative Director of Midsummer Scream. “Tower in general is one of the greatest attractions in the world, and it’s definitely one of the most iconic rides that Disney has ever produced. The following it has amassed is a testament to those who created it, and the fact that it is just really damn good.”
Tower of Terror has become a hot button topic in Southern California, due to Disney’s decision to remove all Twilight Zone theming at the attraction in its California Adventure park, replacing it with a Guardians of the Galaxy theme. The “new” attraction is Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: Breakout! Faithfull Tower of Terror fans remain bitter about this change, while others have embraced the Guardians theme.
As with any attraction, fans will continue to carry a torch for those that have gone away; Tower of Terror is no exception, and the debate over the DCA change will rage on for quite some time.
One of the ways that fans express their love for attractions is to create their own versions or spin-off ideas, whether it be a physical model, a 3-D video that they share online, or however else they choose to express themselves as fans and armchair ride designers.
Joseph Pojunis, an engineering student at Cal State Fullerton, is one such super fan who has taken his undying love of the attraction to the next level. Using the powerful NoLimits 2 coaster simulation software, Joseph created a stunning spin-off attraction called The Twilight Zone: Terror Tracks. Not only is the video fantastic, it’s legitimacy is raised well above the bar, due to the fact that he got Mark Silverman, the voice of Rod Serling in the Tower of Terror attraction, to do his own custom soundtrack narration.
Joseph’s project took only 6 months, and was the object of a successful Kickstarter campaign, which raised more than the $1,200.oo he was asking for, for which other fans received custom shirts, inclusion in the Terror Tracks video, and more. Terror Tracks is available for download in NoLimits 2, and is just as amazing to walk around in real-time in the simulator as it is to watch the coaster video. It’s not hard to see that The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror has had an impact on this fan’s life.
Other types of digital tributes can be found online as well, including many Minecraft simulations. Fans also have made their own shirts, fan fiction, and artwork featuring the beloved Hollywood Tower Hotel.
“We recognize this community of fans, and are proud to be part of it,” adds West. “Midsummer Scream understands the passion, and that is why we’ve chosen the Tower presentation to kick off this year’s show in Long Beach; it’s going to be fantastic.”
Beyond the 5th Dimension: Creating The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror begins at 12 noon in the Terrace Theater at Midsummer Scream on Saturday, July 29. Following the presentation, voice actor Mark Silverman will meet and greet with Tower fans in the lobby of the Terrace Theater.
Recently added to the Tower of Terror presentation is Eric Jacobson, who worked at Walt Disney Imagineering as one of its creative executives in Orlando overseeing new projects. The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror was a project that Eric guided from concept to opening. Eric will join Rick West, Mark Silverman, Cory Sewelson, and Michael Sprout on stage to share stories and tell tales of the Hollywood Tower Hotel in front of their adoring fans!
“I am really looking forward to meeting true Tower of Terror fans,” says Mark Silverman. “I am so glad Midsummer Scream has made this possible!”
Tickets are on sale for Midsummer Scream at MidsummerScream.org.