Here’s How Disney Plans to Say Farewell to the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror

More information on the closing of California Adventure’s Twilight Zone Tower of Terror , this time, from Theme Park Tourist…

Disney fans from all over are still reeling from the announcement that the Twilight Zone Tower of Tower at Disney California Adventure is being re-themed into a Guardians of the Galaxy attraction in 2017, and even though we’ve only had a few weeks to let this development sink in, Disney has gone ahead and announced that they have planned a farewell celebration that will take place over the next few months. While this may be cold comfort to those still mourning the upcoming loss of this attraction, Disney is actually doing some really interesting things in the coming weeks to celebrate the legacy of this fan-favorite attraction.

If you are heading out to Disney California Adventure in the coming weeks to get one last “drop” in at the park’s Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, here’s everything you need to know about all the changes coming to this attraction before it goes away forever early next year.

The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror is set to go dark, after dark, early this fall

Starting September 7, guests who want to check in to the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror after dark will be treated to an all-new experience at this attraction dubbed “Late Check Out”. Though the ride experience will be the same as you remember, there will be an extra creep factor added in as the ride will be run in complete darkness for the first time in its history. That means no projected video, no ghosts, nothing….just you and the tower….oh and gravity too.

This new after-dark experience is being billed as both a unique way for fans to say goodbye to this attraction, as well as part of the resort’s larger Halloween Time celebration, which kicks off next week and lasts until October 31. While we’re not sure if the Late Check Out experience will last longer than Halloween Time, we’d imagine if it proves popular it’ll stick around after October 31, but if not, Disney might just bring back the regular version of the attraction for the remainder of its operating days. Though Late Check Out certainly sounds like a thrilling new way to experience this classic ride, this limited-time experience isn’t the only way Disneyland is giving fans of this attraction a way to say goodbye.

Limited time treats, souvenirs and a photo-op will be available very soon

In addition to the limited-time Late Check Out evening experience above, guests who are looking to celebrate the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror’s final days with their wallets will have quite a few options this fall as well. From commemorative merchandise celebrating the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror’s storied history to special food and beverage items, there will be plenty of items on sale both at the Tower Hotel Gifts shop at the bottom of the attraction as well as throughout Disney California Adventure. These new offerings should be available soon, however, we have not seen any designs for special merchandise or gotten any details about what kinds of celebratory treats will be offered.

Disney has also confirmed that this fall will also bring a special photo op location in front of the Hollywood Tower Hotel marquee, complete with vintage luggage and other nods to the current attraction’s story that guests can pose with. This new photo location is expected to be installed in the next few days, and will be available for guests to take pictures at until the attraction closes, which will be shortly after the holiday season ends…

The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror will drop its last guest this January

Image: Disney

Though we knew that the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror would be closing soon, Disney has now confirmed that January 2, 2017 will be the final day for this attraction, after which it will close permanently to make way for Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission BREAKOUT, which is slated to be up and running by summer 2017. While that seems like a quick turnaround time, the film that will play as part of the attraction has already been shot, and Cast Members have reported taking part in after-hours tests of this “new” attraction that are pretty far along.

Though we know that some exterior work will be taking place in the early months of 2017 to transform the old Hollywood look of the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror into the sci-fi inspired Collector’s Mansion (and the queue is of course getting its own overhaul) it looks like the core ride component of this attraction is about ready to go, which means limited downtime.

Image: Disney

However, before we get too far talking about Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission BREAKOUT, let’s get back to the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. Though guests will have plenty of opportunities to get a final drop in at this attraction, Disney has confirmed that they will be doing something extra special to commemorate the final day of this attraction’s operation, but have not been able to provide details yet.

However, if you’re a frequent Disneyland visitor, you may not be able to participate in the festivities, as this date is currently blocked out for every level of annual pass except for the most expensive Signature Plus option. Now while Disney could lift the blockout restriction for Disney California Adventure (this has happened before, so there’s some precedent) considering how popular this attraction is, and how loud the fan outcry was after this closing was confirmed, Disney is likely expecting big crowds to show up for the final day of the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror at Disney California Adventure, which would make a reprieve for blocked out guests unfortunately unlikely.

Image: Disney

Though the decision to close this version of the Tower of Terror attraction and replace it with a Guardians of the Galaxy overlay has been controversial to say the least, it looks like Disney is at least giving fans a chance to say goodbye to this classic attraction, which has stood for over a dozen years. Are you going to miss the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror? Or are you excited to experience the “new” Guardians of the Galaxy attraction coming next summer? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

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Don Korta
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