Tower of Terror Drop Profiles

tower of terror drop profiles vintage posterThe Tower of Terror is somewhat unique among thrill rides in that its drop sequence can be redesigned (more drops! longer holds! more rumbling!)  by the attraction’s managers.  The sequence of drops and rises is collectively referred to as a “drop profile”.

Introducing a new drop profile is a big deal, usually accompanied by new merchandise, updated on-ride photo frames, and marketing (and testing, of course, to make sure the new drop profile is actually an improved experience).

In its nearly 20 year history, the Tower of Terror has had five different drop profiles.

Hollywood Studios, Walt Disney World (Florida)

The original Tower of Terror has undergone the largest number of changes to its drop profile.



Drop Profile Description

Tower Tagline


July 22, 1994

The original ride profile featured just one big drop.

The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror™


May, 1996

The second ride profile featured two full drops.

“Twice the Fright”


March 1, 1999

This profile’s third drop added 30% more time in the elevator shaft, a rumbling shake, greater acceleration, and more weightless feeling than the previous profile.


“Fear Every Drop!”


January 1st, 2003

The fourth profile change is actually four new profiles.  Now, the Tower’s computer randomly selects a drop sequence from a set of four different presets.  All four sequences include at least one full drop from the top to the bottom of the elevator shaft. Depending on the elevator shaft or the drop profile you get, your elevator may stop at a scene along the way – lightning, a blue ghost, the original elevator guests

“Never the Same Fear Twice”


June 5, 2010 – August 14, 2010

Temporary drop profile change, drops were longer than the randomized version.  Tower4 was returned after August 2010.

“Summer Nighttastic!”

The current drop profile is often called “random”, but it’s important to understand that the computer is actually selecting randomly from a set of pre-defined (and tested and approved) drop profiles.  If you ride it a whole bunch of times in a row and pay close attention, you’ll realize that some of the drop sequences are the same.

In other words, the Tower isn’t deciding what to do with you as it goes. 🙂


Close-up of the Tower of Terror’s show control computer display from Disney-made inside look at the new Tower of Terror’s construction in Paris.

Disney California Adventure (California)

Construction on the DCA Tower of Terror completed about a year and a half after Tower4 drop profile was introduced at the Hollywood Studios Tower of Terror.  Tower4 and its “random drop profiles” experience was not imported to DCA (or Tokyo or Paris) (thanks for the tip, Renan!).  Instead, DCA has its own drop profile (that may or may not be shared with the Paris tower – can anyone out there confirm similarities?)


July 22, 2004

After the two scenery stops (ghosts in the hallway and the “wave goodbye” mirror), the elevator drops, then climbs the height of the elevator shaft all the way to the top set of doors which open to give riders a view of the park before dropping the length of the shaft, climbing up halfway, then dropping, then all the way back up to the top before dropping one last time.

Source video:

Some fans have expressed interest in bringing the random drop profile to DCA.  While some fans feel the random drop experience makes the Hollywood Studios Tower of Terror the best of the bunch, others think the one drop profile present in DCA, Tokyo, and Paris is more polished and offers more “airtime” than many of the Tower4 sequences offer.

Toyko and Paris Towers


July 22, 2004

After the two scenery stops (Hightower’s scene in the hallway and the “wave goodbye” mirror), the elevator drops, then climbs the height of the elevator shaft all the way to the top set of doors which open to give riders a view of the park before dropping to the lower set of doors, then all the way down to the bottom of the shaft.  The elevator climbs again, this time stopping at the bottom set of doors before dropping the length of the elevator shaft.

Source video:

This part of TowerSecrets is under construction! Do you know more about the Tokyo and Paris drop profiles? Let us know in the comments!


  1. DCA, Tokyo and Paris Towers uses the same drop profile, and it’s always the same, it’s not Tower4, it’s not random.

    • Thank you for the correction, Renan!

      Is it the same exact experience in all the drop shafts? I felt like there was variety in the drop profiles when I visited DCA this past September, but I could be imagining it.

  2. Great site! Are you sure on the dates of Tower 4? I was there as a CP cast member in 2001 when we tested drop profiles for Tower 4. I thought soft openings were earlier than 2003.

  3. Paris does NOT have the same drop profile. I’m just back and rode it three times today. The third was very different a few MUCH scarier.

  4. Daffytitanic says

    The Tokyo version has been updated to have a different drop profile. It reaches the doors only once and shows the idol cutting the cables after the mirror scene. The rest goes only the shaft and not reaching the doors.

  5. Elizabeth says

    I believe the Hollywood tower of Terror has 4 drops (2Big ones 2Small ones). But there was this one time when my mom said that there were 6 drops instead of 4 and all this time I thought it was the same number of drops EVERY single time,I guess I was wrong ☺️

  6. I don’t think you could even add random drop profiles to DCas tower because it’s actualay computer controlled and California’s uses a motor, so idk.