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  • [Question] Why is DCA's TOT backwards?

    Has anyone else ever noticed that DHS' Tower of Terror has the taller "hotel rooms" part of the building facing the guests whereas the large "box" part of the building is located behind, out of the main view.

    At DCA, the "box" part is in front of the hotel with "hotel rooms" way behind it.

    Is it because DCA does not have such a dramatic grand lead up so it makes it look like it is further away? Just wondering.

    Take a look at Bing Maps at both of them.

  • #2
    Re: Why is DCA's TOT backwards?

    DHS' Tower has two elevator shafts, one for the show sequences, and one for the actual drops (the one in front). However, in newer versions, they reduced it to just the one shaft which could be used for both the show and drop sequences.

    Here's a more detailed explanation for this change from Wikipedia:

    In order to conserve space and money, Imagineers redesigned the entire ride system for the attraction at Disney's California Adventure and made some general changes to the show scenes. The attraction features three elevator shafts. Each shaft, in theory, is its own separate ride with its own separate operating system. This makes it easier to repair individual areas of the attraction without causing the entire attraction to go down. Each shaft has two vehicles and two load levels. It is designed so that the lower vehicle can be in its ride profile while the upper vehicle is loading, giving the attraction the ability to move its line much faster. Since each vehicle loads and unloads from the same point, it ended up saving space. Due to the smaller budget and fewer breakdowns, Disney decided to use this ride system again for Walt Disney Studios Park's version of the ride and for Tokyo DisneySea's Hotel Hightower (Tokyo's version of the Tower of Terror).
    -Chris

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    • #3
      Re: Why is DCA's TOT backwards?

      DCA's ToT was built with a limited budget and they had to scale down from the original WDW attraction and they came up with a different way to lead up to start the drop sequence (which is why we the have the mirror scene rather than the Twilight zone scene).
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      • #4
        Re: Why is DCA's TOT backwards?

        ^I don't think the OP was referring to the ride itself but the exterior of the attraction.

        WDW1971, I don't get what you're referring to when you say the "box" and "hotel rooms". Can you point them out?


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        • #5
          Re: Why is DCA's TOT backwards?

          Believe the OP is referring to the "chair" shape of each Tower, and why DCA is a chair facing us while DHS' is a chair facing the opposite direction. Cosmo pretty much covered it. In DHS, the ascension shaft for the show scenes is located in the very back of the building. Then, the AGV dislodges itself from the elevator and moves across the fifth dimension scene, over the bulk of the building, and into one of the two drop shafts in the very front. At DCA, there is no separate shaft for the show scenes, so the bulk of the building is in front of the drop shafts.

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          • #6
            Re: Why is DCA's TOT backwards?

            Originally posted by WDITrent View Post
            Believe the OP is referring to the "chair" shape of each Tower, and why DCA is a chair facing us while DHS' is a chair facing the opposite direction.
            YES! This is what I meant.

            ---------- Post added 07-16-2012 at 01:16 PM ----------

            Originally posted by strikeuptheband View Post
            ^I don't think the OP was referring to the ride itself but the exterior of the attraction.

            WDW1971, I don't get what you're referring to when you say the "box" and "hotel rooms". Can you point them out?


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            You're right. The tower is the part where the ride actually goes up and down whereas the box is what I refer to as the area you see in front of the DCA version which is about half the size of the tower. I like the chair analogy whereas the backside of the chair faces us at DHS and the front of the chair faces us at DCA. If driving on Harbor Blvd you would notice the backside of the chair.

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            • #7
              Re: Why is DCA's TOT backwards?

              IMO none of the TOT's anywhere resemble actual hotels so does any of this really matter?

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              • #8
                Re: Why is DCA's TOT backwards?

                Actually, Florida's TOT is backwards. The DCA version just corrected the mistake.





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                • #9
                  Re: Why is DCA's TOT backwards?

                  Kind of OT, but I like how they've got different looks.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Why is DCA's TOT backwards?

                    Originally posted by Right Ear View Post
                    DCA's ToT was built with a limited budget and they had to scale down from the original WDW attraction and they came up with a different way to lead up to start the drop sequence (which is why we the have the mirror scene rather than the Twilight zone scene).
                    This budget thing always comes up when DCA's tower is brought up but it is not completely accurate.

                    The design for DCA's TOT came from one that was already done and was to have been built for Paris. WDI had never really cared for the way the DHS tower ended up because the forward movement did not work like it was suppose to. Original idea had the elevator moving forward in a much more believable manner. the room had hundreds of mirrors that would have made the room look like it never ended. The problem was that the mirrors caused issues and they had to be removed destroying an effect that would have made the experience better. When they were designing the new towers for Paris their main goal was to find a replacement for the fifth dimension room and also increase capacity as well as fit the tower within a specific piece of property.

                    They decided to remove the forward movement and add the new effect scenes using a single shaft as well as dual loading for each tower. This not only increase capacity but also eliminated an effect that took to move valuable property and never worked as they intended.

                    When they realized that the pre-planned addition of TOT for DCA had to be moved up a couple years in order to save time they decided to use the concept that was original planned for Paris instead of starting from scratch and the theme fit the location perfectly anyways.

                    Obviously they did save some money because they already had the plans for the tower since it was a direct copy of what would be built in Paris but the elimination of the forward movement was not a DCA cost cutting budget thing. If that was the case then the question to ask would be

                    Why did OLC, the company that supposedly does not blink twice when they spend money, not decide to add the DHS ride system of tower in TDS?

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                    • #11
                      Re: Why is DCA's TOT backwards?

                      Originally posted by brenden View Post
                      Kind of OT, but I like how they've got different looks.
                      I think has something to do with TOT being visible from/through Morraco in Epcot in WDW so it has to have a slight style change like that to appear as off in the distance. DCA's has no such issue, so can be a different style.

                      Originally posted by Baloo View Post
                      Why did OLC, the company that supposedly does not blink twice when they spend money, not decide to add the DHS ride system of tower in TDS?
                      Wasn't your whole post about how that didnt work as intended...? Yes, OLC spends money hand over fist. But I'd hope they wouldn't be stupid (or that loose) with their money to throw it at something that didn't quite work right in the first place. Go for the proven technology and just make it nicer, which is what they did.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Why is DCA's TOT backwards?

                        Originally posted by DisneyIPresume View Post
                        IMO none of the TOT's anywhere resemble actual hotels so does any of this really matter?
                        Actually, I always understood it to be somewhat modeled after the Hollywood Tower apartment building in Los Angeles.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Why is DCA's TOT backwards?

                          Originally posted by DisneyIPresume View Post
                          IMO none of the TOT's anywhere resemble actual hotels so does any of this really matter?
                          That's in your opinion as you stated.

                          To the OP, it seems to matter.


                          Originally posted by brenden View Post
                          Kind of OT, but I like how they've got different looks.
                          I agree. I like how three of the four versions of the towers have a different look and stories.

                          & Baloo thanks. Something new I learned

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                          • #14
                            Re: Why is DCA's TOT backwards?

                            Originally posted by Baloo View Post
                            Why did OLC, the company that supposedly does not blink twice when they spend money, not decide to add the DHS ride system of tower in TDS?
                            The TDS version is still eons superior to the DCA version in terms of theming, atmosphere, storytelling, and immersion. The ride system may be the same, but TDS took the ride experience to the next level, as they always do. I don't think the fact that TDS built "our version" of the ride is proof that DCA got things "right," because I really don't think we did, regardless of capacity/tech improvements over the original tower at DHS.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Why is DCA's TOT backwards?

                              Part of the reasoning, I think, is to show off something mentioned in the story but not really readily seen in the DHS version... the fact that an entire wing of the hotel disappeared along with the guest that were in the elevator at the time. When you look at the DHS version it looks like part of the exterior wall was blasted away, while on the DCA version you can see parts of windows, pipes, and walls of the old lost wing that would have gone forward from the elevator, in fact on the photo op and the mural in the gift shop you can see how the hotel would have looked with it's missing wing in located where it had been before that fateful October night.
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                              • #16
                                Re: Why is DCA's TOT backwards?

                                this is very confusing. how many elevators (vehicles) fit at DHS Tower?

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                                • #17
                                  Re: Why is DCA's TOT backwards?

                                  Originally posted by DannyLand View Post
                                  this is very confusing. how many elevators (vehicles) fit at DHS Tower?
                                  There are I think two ride shafts and four show/story shafts.

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                                  • #18
                                    Re: Why is DCA's TOT backwards?

                                    Originally posted by DannyLand View Post
                                    this is very confusing. how many elevators (vehicles) fit at DHS Tower?
                                    Check out this diagram (and site!) for a very informative view

                                    http://www.towerofterror.org/media/ToT_WDW_Diagram.jpg
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                                    • #19
                                      Re: Why is DCA's TOT backwards?

                                      I would also like to know someday just how many of WDW's ToT breakdowns are caused by interference in the AGV system. I'd wager it's much more a problem of cascades, seeing as the WDW circuit leaves nearly no room for backups.

                                      Disney always insisted that the change from the Autonomous Guided Vehicle was a matter of efficiency and to save money, but while both the Great Movie Ride and Universe of Energy rarely have issues, I'm prone to think it was much more a matter of money. That, and few feet of horizontal movement from load area to drop shaft at DCA is just as easily accomplished with the sliding boom it uses today.

                                      Another question: The DCA Tower seems to accelerate and decelerate much more rapidly than the WDW version, making for more intense rides. I understand that it's probably just how they programmed it (I've noticed slight, slight variations even between the three DCA shafts), but could it also be that DCA handles its elevators with more ease, possibly because they're much lighter without all the AGV's onboard computer equipment? Then again, the all VVCs at DCA have lights in them, whereas at WDW, the ascension VVCs are lit, but the drop VVCs are not. Hmm.

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                                      Last edited by WDITrent; 07-16-2012, 10:27 PM.

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                                      • #20
                                        Re: Why is DCA's TOT backwards?

                                        im a fan of tower too reading this stuff is so interesting

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