The Hollywood Tower Hotel

Attraction of the Week

Twilight Zone Tower of Terror

or, Iago & Zazu Learn the Ups & Downs of the Hotel Business

Music for Checking Out:

31 October 1999


Iago: Hey Zazu, I know it's Halloween night, and this is SPUR OF THE MOMENT, but --

Zazu: Oh no! I had completely forgotten about the holiday. And here I thought I would have TIME ENOUGH AT LAST to settle in with a good book and drift off to sleep, PERCHANCE TO DREAM.

Iago: Perchance to dream? Where do you get these phrases?

Zazu: I'm quoting THE BARD of Avon.

Iago: Oh, you order from her, too? I love that Skin-So-Soft lotion. Really keeps the mosquitoes from biting and makes my feathers silky smooth at the same time.

Zazu: I'm referring to William Shakespeare, not that RING-A-DING GIRL who sells cosmetics door to door! But I expect that hordes of Trick-or-Treaters will be ringing the Tiki Room doorbell all night long, if not the Avon Lady. Yes indeed, THE MONSTERS ARE DUE ON MAPLE STREET in Anytown, U.S.A. tonight, complete with the necessary trappings: THE MASKS, the costumes, the cartons of rotten eggs, the cans of shaving cream....

Iago: Well, you won't have to worry about that. You won't be home tonight.

Zazu: And why not?

Iago: Because we've been ordered to cross-u for TWO Cast Members named Delman and Moe, who just had an unfortunate accident involving a large body of water, a couple of metal folding chairs, and an electrical storm.

Zazu: Oh my! Well, I do possess A QUALITY OF MERCY, and I'm always prepared to serve where ever I may be needed. So tell me, WHAT'S IN THE BOX?

Iago: Our costumes. I don't even know where we have to work.

Zazu: Well, let's open the box and see.

Iago: I don't recognize these costumes. Oh, wait! There's a monogram on the front ... it says "HTH."

Zazu: Oh no. You know what that means.

Iago: Yup. We're gonna be disinfecting the Disney pools. I bet that's how Delman and Moe got zapped. There they were, sitting around a resort pool on metal patio furniture, preparing the algaecide, when all of a sudden -- bam! They were performing "I SING THE BODY ELECTRIC."

Zazu: No, that's not what "HTH" means! Have you been diving headfirst into the shallow end of the gene pool again? Those initials stand for "Hollywood Tower Hotel." These are bellhops' uniforms!

Iago: You mean we have to carry luggage?

Zazu: Iago, I hardly think anyone bothers to take luggage to the Hollywood Tower Hotel. No guest has ever actually made it to a room. We'll either be greeting guests or directing them onto the elevators.

Iago: Well, you're always acting noble and saying you'd like TO SERVE MAN.

Zazu: Not while wearing a little pillbox hat! I suppose there's no ESCAPE CLAUSE in our contracts, though. So, off we go. But I am not getting into the elevator, no matter what happens. I refuse to be locked into a STEEL cage to experience a NIGHTMARE AT 20,000 FEET.

Iago: That's funny. I used to say the same thing about that cheesy submarine ride in the Magic Kingdom.

Zazu: That was 20,000 leagues! In any case, look at THE LATENESS OF THE HOUR. Let's just put on these ridiculous outfits and get over to the hotel. I'm sure we're already late.

Iago: Speaking of being late, I'm kinda creeped out about wearing a DEAD MAN'S SHOES. Look at the size of these oxfords they sent me. That Moe had big feet. But the rest of the outfit fits pretty good.

Zazu: Yes, apparently Moe also had a big butt and a big head.



Zazu: Well Iago, here we are. The scene is set, right down to the thunderstorm. Sunset Boulevard. Halloween night. The Hollywood Tower Hotel. Where the elite meet. It really is a striking sight. All 199 feet of it.

Iago: I thought you said it was 20,000 feet.

Zazu: Er, close enough. If they had made the building just one foot higher, it would have required aircraft warning beacons. The Hollywood Tower was previously the tallest structure in Walt Disney World, but it's been temporarily bumped from that spot by the giant Mickey arm over Spaceship Earth. Of course, if the Tower had been constructed in the location originally planned, it might have ended up looking much less impressive. You see, when they were clearing the land to build the hotel, a giant sinkhole opened up, right underneath the location for the elevator bank. Disney quietly filled the hole, then moved the whole building over a bit so the sinkhole is now under the garden area.

Iago: Gives a whole new meaning to the expression, "Going down?"

Zazu: Indeed. As for the price of construction, that's something that never seems to go down. The attraction cost an estimated $95 million, and the architecture of the hotel is based on a number of old L.A. hotels, including the 1928 Château Marmont, the 1923 Biltmore, and to my eagle eye, more than a little of the old Huntington Hartford in Pasadena.

Iago: I don't know about the Biltmore. Looks more like the "Hot L Baltimore" to me. Check out that burned-out sign. It says "The Hollywo D Tow R Hot L." Sheesh, what's going on with Disney maintenance these days? Somebody needs to change the light bulbs.

Zazu: It's supposed to look dilapidated. After all, it's been 60 years now since ... the incident.

Iago: What incident?

Zazu: Do you mean to say you've never heard the story of the five unfortunate souls who were in the hotel elevator at precisely 8:05 PM on 31 October 1939, when lightning struck the elevator shaft and sent them hurtling into THE PARALLEL universe better known as The Twilight Zone?


Iago: You're making that up!

Zazu: No, it's true. Let's see ... there was the famous child star, who is now a LITTLE GIRL LOST in another dimension ... and her nanny ... and a handsome young couple ... oh, and the....

Iago: The what?? The what??

Zazu: The bellhop. <gulp> Legend has it that they haunt the hotel to this day. FIVE CHARACTERS IN SEARCH OF AN EXIT.

Iago: Oh, brother! What a lame story.

Zazu: I swear, it's THE WHOLE TRUTH, and nothing but the truth.

Iago: Yeah, well I think the whole story is full of holes. Anyway, we're two characters in search of an entrance. Where's the front door? I can't see past these gates. It's dark BACK THERE.

Zazu: I believe it's right up this path. I'm afraid I find this place rather creepy at night. I realize it's only a case of THE MIND AND THE MATTER, but this eerie SHADOW PLAY along THE LONELY walkway is unnerving. Perhaps I should pray. Yea, though I walk through the VALLEY OF THE SHADOW of death--

Iago: Ya know, Zazu, spending Halloween with you is more like "NIGHT OF THE MEEK" than "Night of the Living Dead." You're no fun at all. For Pete's sake, this is no worse than living in THE JUNGLE. Just a lot of mist and overgrown plants. There's NOTHING IN THE DARK that's gonna hurt you.

Zazu: As I recall, you were THE HOWLING MAN last Halloween when we visited the Haunted Mansion.

Iago: Now that place is scary! THE GRAVEs, THE MIRRORed hallway, THE HITCH-HIKER ghosts. I thought I'd go NINETY YEARS WITHOUT SLUMBERING after that experience. But this is just a rundown hotel. Hey look, a fountain. I'm thirsty. I ate all the chocolate I was gonna give to the kids. Think I'll take a drink. <slurp, slurp>

Zazu: Iago, no! That fountain hasn't worked for decades! It's just filled with dirty standing water!

Iago: Bleeech! Now this water could use some HTH shock treatment!

Zazu: I think it's your digestive system that will be getting the shock treatment. Come along, it's raining harder. Let's get to THE SHELTER of the lobby.


Zazu: Just look at this incredibly detailed lobby, Iago. It truly reflects the elegant style of 1917, when the Hollywood Tower first opened its doors to guests.

Iago: Yeah, there's NO TIME LIKE THE PAST.

Zazu: Well, the reopening date, of course, was 22 July 1994. This room is filled with estate furniture from Hollywood auction houses. I understand there is even a set of Renaissance leather chairs. One furniture grouping was found in an old catalog. On a whim, Imagineers contacted the company, still in business, and they happily agreed to produce another set from the original patterns. And that Mah Jongg game on our left is genuine as well. Disney actually had four expert Mah Jongg players begin a game, and then abandon it, to support the idea that things have been left exactly as they were at the moment of that infamous accident.

Iago: It sure looks abandoned to me. WHERE IS EVERYBODY, anyway?

Zazu: Hmmm. It does seem rather odd that there are no guests on Halloween night, doesn't it?

Voice from the shadows: And this is such A NICE PLACE TO VISIT, too. Muwahahahaha!


Zazu: Aaaaaagh!

Iago: Who's there?

Voice: <ominously> I AM THE NIGHT - COLOR ME BLACK.

Iago: Yeah, well, I am the parrot. Color me red. And he is the hornbill. Color him blue.

Voice: How very amusing. <stepping into the lobby> Good evening, gentlemen. I'm Mr. Cadwallader, the night manager. And I suppose you two are--

Iago: THE CHANGING OF THE GUARD. We're here to replace Delman and Moe.

Cadwallader: Ah, yes. THE TRADE-INS. <muttering> Fresh meat.

Zazu: <whispering> Iago, I think he just called us fresh meat. Does he know your Aunt Polly?

Iago: <whispering> I'm not sure, but he looks a lot like the guy who installed my illegal electrical hook-up at the Treehouse.

Cadwallader: What are you whispering about!?

Iago: Uh, nothing, Mr. Cadaver.

Cadwallader: That's Cadwallader!

Iago: Oh, right. So, where are all the guests?

Cadwallader: We've closed the attraction for a few minutes while I train you. Now, let's go over some facts about the hotel, in case anyone asks you. I'm sure you're already aware of our AAA 13 Diamond rating. For the enjoyment of our guests, there is A PIANO IN THE HOUSE in the Tip Top Club. That's THE AFTER HOURS establishment on the top floor. As it happens, there is a private party up there tonight. We also have an excellent billiards room, for our guests who enjoy playing A GAME OF POOL on a pristine green felt surface.

Zazu: Judging from the DUST in the lobby, I seriously doubt it's pristine.

Iago: Yeah, and speaking of dusty pools with green surfaces, I just took A SHORT DRINK FROM A CERTAIN FOUNTAIN outside, and now I don't feel too good. <Burp!>

Cadwallader: You drank from THE BEWITCHIN' POOL?! But that's being refurbished for your future enjoyment. I certainly hope you don't suffer any ill effects from your drink. Muwahahahaha!


Iago: Uh, thanks, Mr. Cad Walloper

Cadwallader: That's Cadwallader! But you two can call me "Boss." That's what Delman and Moe always called me. I am THE PRIME MOVER and shaker around here, and you bellhops are merely THE LITTLE PEOPLE.

Iago: Hey, just because THE BIG TALL WISH that I make every night hasn't come true, is no reason to --

Cadwallader: Silence! Now then, Delman and Moe juggled a variety of assignments for me, and I'll expect you to do the same. It's 8 o'clock now. Your shift ends at FOUR O'CLOCK. Until then, I am your lord and master.

Zazu: <whispering> Our shift ends at 4 a.m.? Iago, there's something fishy about this manager.

Iago: <whispering> What do you expect from someone named Cod Swallower?

Cadwallader: Stop that whispering and COME WANDER WITH ME, into the library.

Zazu: Why certainly! Perhaps I'll get to read a book this evening after all.

Cadwallader: There will be no reading in this library! It's much too dark. You'll be watching TV instead.

Iago: Great! Unless we have to watch "Jeopardy" again. Zazu took me to Epcot to see THE JEOPARDY ROOM last week.

Cadwallader: How interesting. Here at the Hollywood Tower Hotel, we call the boiler room "the Jeopardy Room." Muwahahahaha!


Zazu: <nervously> The boiler room? Er, that wouldn't be the birdie boiler room, would it?

Iago: Yeah, my pal here has A THING ABOUT MACHINES that could turn him into hornbill soup.

Cadwallader: You'll find out soon enough what the boiler room is, my fine feathered little friends. Muwahahahaha! <slams the door>



Zazu: What a pity! All these books, and it's too dark to read them.

<Thunder, lightning flash> <The TV in the corner comes on.>

Iago: Oh, good. Maybe that THIRD (Rock) FROM THE SUN show is on. I like that. Nah, it's just some old black & white rerun. And it's not even I DREAM OF GENIE.

Zazu: Shhhh! It's Rod Serling, introducing us to the story of those five ghosts I told you about.

Rod Serling: You unlock this door with the key of imagination. Beyond it is another dimension. A dimension of sound. A dimension of sight. A dimension of mind. You're moving into a land of both shadow and substance, of things and ideas. You've just crossed over into ... "The Twilight Zone." Hollywood, 1939....

Iago: Wow, check out that doll.

Zazu: Why, I'm surprised you noticed, Iago. Yes, the little girl getting on the elevator is holding an original 1935 Mickey Mouse doll.

Iago: Who's talking about Mickey Mouse? I'm talking about that gorgeous babe on the elevator. She's A LIVING DOLL!

Zazu: She's a dead doll , you twit.

Rod Serling: Now, something is about to happen that will change all that....

<Lightning flash, Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzap!>

Iago: Holy smokes, Zazu! That looks like the same kind of thing that happened to you from that faulty wiring in my apartment.

Zazu: Yes, and it's the same thing that happened to Delman and Moe. Something tells me that Cadwallader is involved in this. I know I've heard that name somewhere before....

Rod Serling: Tonight's story on "The Twilight Zone" is somewhat unique and calls for a different kind of introduction. This, as you may recognize, is a maintenance service elevator, still in operation, waiting for you. We invite you, if you dare, to step aboard because in tonight's episode, you are the star. And this elevator travels directly to ... "The Twilight Zone."


Zazu: Iago, I remember reading that this library was filled with reproductions of props from actual "Twilight Zone" episodes, including broken glasses, miniature robots, and the famous cookbook, To Serve Man. Alas, glue failures and thieves have removed a great number of these objects over the years. But the fact remains that the Imagineers watched all 156 original "Twilight Zone" episodes twice - 174 hours' worth - so as to put them in the mood for the design work of the attraction. And I seem to recall that Cadwallader was--

Cadwallader: Right here, gentlemen. I've been watching every move you make, and listening to both THE SOUNDS AND SILENCE. Now step into the boiler room.


Zazu: Nooooo, not the boiler room! Anything but that!

Cadwallader: Ha! Tears will be THE CHASER for your whine, you snivelling little coward. Now move it! It's JUDGEMENT NIGHT.

Zazu: Iago, we're being sent to our EXECUTION!

Iago: You mean he's gonna throw us in the birdie boiler?

Cadwallader: No, you idiot, I'm gonna make you get in that elevator over there and send you hurtling to your death.

Iago: Whew! You had me worried there for a-- hey, wait a minute!

Cadwallader: Oh, look at the time. Almost 8:05 PM. You birds gotta fly. And let me assure you, this will be the last time you do.

Zazu: Uh ... surely you don't want to send an elevator up with only two passengers, Mr. Cadwallader. Why, these vehicles hold TWENTY-TWO. Why don't you go get some guests and --

Cadwallader: Why don't you make like a banana beak and split?

Iago: But where are you sending us? Maybe it's within WALKING DISTANCE. I think I'll take the stairs.

Cadwallader: I'm afraid hell is not within walking distance. Good-bye, gentlemen. And remember this ... what goes up, must come down. Muwahahahaha!

<Thunder> <elevator door closes>

Rod Serling: You are the passengers on a most uncommon elevator, about to ascend into your very own episode of "The Twilight Zone."

Zazu: Well, Iago, IT'S A GOOD LIFE, and it's about to come to an end.

Iago: But Disney must inspect these elevators all the time. How could they malfunction?

Zazu: I'm afraid it's already happened at least once. In September of 1998, there was an accident in the lift shaft that sent a number of people to the hospital. Luckily, the emergency braking system worked properly, or it might have been much worse.

Iago: Look! There's an elevator inspection certificate. What's the date on that?

Zazu: 31 October 1939. Oh, that's reassuring. I also note that the certificate number is 10259, which I believe stands for 2 October 1959, the date that "The Twilight Zone" premiered on CBS. And look who signed the certficate. Mr. Cadwallader himself.

Iago: Gee, for a bad guy, he sure is multi-talented. Electrician, hotel manager, elevator inspector....

Zazu: Iago, don't you realize who he is yet? Lucifer! Beelzebub! Satan! Mephistopheles! Cadwallader!

Iago: Wow, he must have a devil of a time filling out job applications with a name like that.

<The elevator rises several floors, and the doors open.>

Iago: Hey, there's the ghosts again! I think they're calling to us.

Zazu: That's quite a LONG DISTANCE CALL.

Iago: Maybe we should sing to keep our spirits up.

Zazu: Please don't use the expression "our spirits" at a time like this.

Iago: <singing> It's a small world after all--

<Sound of glass shattering>

Zazu: Aha! I knew that one day I'd prove your voice could shatter glass. Too bad I won't live long enough to tell anyone.

<The elevator doors close and the elevator rises once more and then stops.>

Iago: Hey Zazu, cheer up! We're moving forward, not down!

Zazu: Yes, there are wheels on the bottom of the elevator car, and a pair of battery-powered motors. Antennas on the elevator and receivers in the floor guide the car horizontally from the lift shaft into the drop shaft. Once there, it will lock into the Vertical Vehicle Conveyance, or VVC, which is basically just a bigger box. So the elevator actually is a box within a box.

Iago: I see. So we're still going down then. A PENNY FOR YOUR THOUGHTS, Zazu.

Zazu: Oh, lovely. For the first time in your life, you're actually offering to give me money, and I won't live long enough to spend it. I tell you what. Take that penny and place it on your wing. As we fall to our deaths, you'll actually see the penny float in mid-air. That's because this will be more than just a freefall. The elevator motors actually pull the car down faster than the force of gravity. The motors are three times as powerful as those used in the World Trade Center.

Rod Serling: You are about to discover what lies beyond the fifth dimension, beyond the deepest, darkest corner of the imagination ... in the Tower of Terror.

Zazu: Good-bye, Iago.

Iago: Zazu, we're going up!

Zazu: The higher we go, the farther we fall. This will be ONE FOR THE ANGELS to decide.

<AND WHEN THE SKY WAS OPENED, the Birds began to scream>

<Lightning Flash>


Iago: No! Help! Help!

Zazu: Iago, wake up. Wake up. You're going to be all right. You're in the hospital.

Iago: Wha -- what happened?

Zazu: You passed out instantly from drinking that bad water outside the Tower of Terror. You've been hallucinating from the bacterial infection. But the doctor says you're going to be fine. We got you here in the NICK OF TIME. WHAT YOU NEED is to have your stomach pumped. Oh, here's the doctor now. He's filling in for Dr. Ima Sticker.

>Doctor: Ah,HE'S ALIVE. How encouraging. Good evening, Iago. My name is Doctor Cadwallader, and this long tube is your friend. Remember: what goes down, must come up. Muwahahahaha! Now open wide....


Iago: Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaagh!!!

The music chosen to accompany this page is "Hotel California" by Don Felder, Glenn Frey, and Donald Henley.

This page last updated 8 November 2000.
Copyright © 1999-2000 by Bruce A Metcalf and Ronnie O'Rourke (JIROMI). The characters and attractions mentioned here are the property of the Walt Disney Company, but if Rod Serling comes back from the dead and wants them, we aren't going to stick around to argue.