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Sunday, 4th November 2007

La Quatrième Dimension, c’est en Français

04-quatriemedimen-00.jpgThe Twilight Zone Tower of Terror is ready and waiting for its victims; For the past two weeks, testing endlessly throughout the day and allowing the resort’s Cast Members to be the very first to ride. Though photos and videos are strictly banned, words can still tell us enough… but which language?

Beginning 22nd October, the Tower opened its doors to the very first Hollywood Tower Hotel “guests” in Paris — the cast members of Disneyland Resort Paris. This marks the start of Disney’s regular 60-day attraction testing period, leading right up to the 22nd December public opening, and the start of what will no doubt be an influx of comments, reviews and descriptions of the ride experience in Paris.

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Photos or videos are strictly forbidden, but two insightful reviews have already been posted on our partner website magicforum. The biggest news so far is that of the attraction’s languages, finally putting an end to years of discussion and speculation about how the Imagineers — and the resort — might choose to present the hotel’s engrossing story to an international audience.

No separate queues, no one-language-per-library — Tower of Terror’s two library pre-show rooms feature videos dubbed into French with old-fashioned English subtitles. On the ride itself, Rod Serling’s famous lines are spoken entirely in French. Oui, cette tour est vraiment français! However, the option for an English narration will, apparently, be included for bellhops operating the elevators, allowing them the choice of which version to play for each elevator departing for The Twilight Zone.

The Imagineers have therefore found a suitable “voice double” for the original French dubbing of Rod Serling when The Twilight Zone series was broadcast in France. It took years for Mark Silverman to be named as the English voice of Rod Serling (you can read more about all this on the DLRP Magic! Guidebook), so there’s no telling how long until the French artist is unmasked!

First review, by Poppy the Monkey

I did Tower of Terror 7 times yesterday during the cast member previews. It is the best ride I’ve ever been on at DLRP, not done the american versions, but the theming, drop, and ride in general is incredible.

The library is in French with English subtitles, and the elevator itself is also all in French.

Great too that there was no queue all day, it was amazing.

All the ride itself is finished, just the shop and gardens and outside queue needs to be completed.

I’m still on a high!!

Second review, by experiment627

Now, about two weeks ago, I had the wonderful chance to test ride “The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror” at the Walt Disney Studios - and I wanted to share a few thoughts that I have about this attraction… (Don’t worry, I’ll try to keep it spoiler-free.)

The work inside was about 99,5% done, while they still added the finishing touches to the entrance area of the “Hollywood Tower Hotel”.
The attention to detail of the whole experience is amazing: the hotel lobby looks beautifully (but then again, they still hadn’t added the dust to the props), the artifacts inside of the two libraries are amazing pieces and there’s enough eye-candy in these rooms alone. Same goes for the boiler-room, which has kind of a hellish-quality to it due to being two stories high. (Also, the detail in here is amazing…) The effects inside of the elevator shafts were all running and pretty impressive. And then: the view! Just breathtaking… One can see pretty much all of the Studios as well as everything at Disneyland from Big Thunder Mountain to Space Mountain.

I’d call the drop-program “Disney-thrilling”, as in: true thrill-seekers might be a bit disappointed, but just as thrilling as, lets say, “Rock’n'Rollercoaster”. But then again, it’s not about the thrill but about the whole experience…

And in this case… well, let’s put it this way: the “Tower of Terror” managed to transport me into another world. To a Hollywood that never was. To a place, that just existed in my imagination… It’s the very first attraction at the Walt Disney Studios to do so. And in my book, it reminds me of the very best Disney-storytelling (and story-setting) like DLP’s “Pirates of the Caribbean” or “Phantom Manor”.

All in all - even if one should prefer the versions of the ride in California, Florida or Japan -, I view “The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror” as the best, most “Disney”-ride ever since the opening of Disneyland Parks 15 years ago…

I hope I wet your appetite.

Also revealed — or so we believed — during the Cast Member previews were the costumes for our Parisian Tower of Terror bellhops, identical to those of the cinema ushers at CinéMagique.

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Luckily, several sources have since confirmed that the famous deep-red bellhop costumes with ‘HTH’ embroidery are in production for the attraction but simply not ready to be worn at this time.

Now, back to learning French for our journey into la Quatrième Dimension…

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