I had a unique experience on this last trip to Walt Disney World. I got to ride something for the last time. That in itself is not that unique. What made it special is that I actually knew that I was going to be riding it for the last time and did so quite intentionally. I am referring, of course to The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror.
Some of this is speculation on my part. I do not know for a fact that this ride is going away. What I do know is this. Disney does not own The Twilight Zone. They pay a licensing fee to use the name, clips, and images in the ride. When the licensing agreement expired for the Disneyland ride, they did not renew it but changed the overlay of the ride to a Disney owned property for Guardians of the Galaxy Mission: Breakout! There have been no plans announced to do the same at Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World, but it would seem strange to me that Disney will not make a similar change when that licensing agreement runs out. Therefore, when we rode the Tower this year it was with the expectation that it was our last time to experience the ride in its current configuration.
It is a little bit sad to be losing this ride. We have stories involving the queue and The Princess when she was just big enough to ride it. I personally find it the scariest ride in the resort. It freaks me out every time I ride it. It is the only ride that does so. Haunted Mansion is fun. Snow White’s Scary Adventure is cheesy. Both Dinosaur and Indiana Jones lose their scare factor after the first time through. But every time I get to the top of the elevator in Tower of Terror I am completely freaked out. I will miss that.
Sadly, though, things that are borrowed have to be given back. It makes little sense for Disney to pay to license a property when they have so many of their own to choose from. Slowly but surely, I think that Disney will be letting go of all those extraneous add-ons and will replace them with their own. I understand it, but I will miss some of them. At least we had a chance to say goodbye to this one.