The Final Drop: Scream If You Dare


The smell of old clothes, dust beyond your wildest dreams and the sound of faint screams intertwined with 1930s hotel music, guide hotel guests to the opening and closing elevator doors at Disney California Adventure Park’s Hollywood Tower of Terror Hotel attraction in its final months.

Kevin Feige, president of Marvel Studios, announced the closing of the ride last July at the San Diego Comic-Con.

Feige announced that the ride would be replaced with Disney’s new addition, Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy” Mission Breakout. 

“We are eager to present the attraction to the millions who visit Disney California Adventure and place them in the center of the action as they join in a mission alongside our audacious Guardians of the Galaxy team,” Feige said in a statement.

The change has left a distaste for many die-hard Disney goers. Some have gone as far as creating a petition in hopes of keeping the attraction from its final drop.

Annual passholder Gabrielle Reynoso, 24, of Pomona, has certainly put up a fight.

“I am really upset at the whole thing,” Reynoso said. “I even signed the petition to save the ride a few months ago.”

During Halloween time, the ride took a dark detour and hosted a “Late Check-Out” to celebrate the attractions final months. Park officials invited all guests to ride the popular attraction in complete and utter darkness daily, after sundown. From start to finish, the ride would be in complete darkness. The original Halloween time frame has been stretched until its final drop on Jan. 2, 2017.

Normally, the ride entertains guests with the vision of a family that once stayed in that very hotel, diminishing into a field of electricity and rattling seats. The attraction now begins in complete darkness and ends in complete darkness, with the added element of no sound other than the cries for help guests have left in their place.

The attraction has made its mark on guests. First time Disneyland Resort attendee Annette Robledo, 29, of Buena Park, said she was excited to ride the attraction before it closes, but wishes she would have known that it was changing for the remainder of the year.

“I came hoping to see everything before it changes this coming year, but, I mean, I guess I’m a little late now,” Robledo said. “I wish I would have known sooner.”

The efforts put forth by Disney officials to celebrate the ride’s closing leaves room to believe it may just be an added perk on their behalf. The ride’s popular front facing signage has already been removed and replaced with a construction cloak.

To take the attention off construction starting earlier than had been announced, they have added a few limited-time features before the ride closes in January. The Silver Lake Sisters, a female singing group, add a 1930s flair as guests wait in line. Additionally, there’s a new photo opportunity area in front of the attraction that features a bellman luggage cart filled with various time-appropriate luggage pieces and allows guests to capture their final moments with the beloved ride. Other parts of the park offer specialty foods, like the “The Tower Drop Dog” and “The Drop” martini to honor the ride’s final days,  said Rachel Bshero, food and beverage marketing communications coordinator for Disneyland Resort.

The sudden decision to change the attraction has come as a complete surprise to many frequent Disney goers.

“I really wish they would have listed to us,” Reynoso said. “Why would they close the most popular ride here? I don’t get it.”

The attraction is scheduled for its final drop on Jan. 2, 2017. More information can be obtained at the Disney Parks Blog.