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January 21, 2002

Disney Confirms Tower Of Terror Coming to California

Article written by:
Eric Gieszl, Editor

Anaheim, CA -- Disney executives Michael Eisner and Cynthia Harris have confirmed that the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror attraction is coming to Disney's California Adventure theme park in Anaheim.

Harris was recently quoted in Amusement Business saying the Tower Of Terror is coming to the California Adventure theme park. Eisner also confirmed the addition of the popular attraction, along with a statement about the new children's section that will be opening at the park this fall.

The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror is the most popular attraction at the Disney-MGM Studios theme park and consistently ranks as one of the top attractions at the Walt Disney World Resort.

Disney hopes that the addition of this popular attraction at the California Adventure will renew interest in the park and sell tickets.

The Tower of Terror will be located adjacent to the Hyperion Theatre in an newly expanded area of the Hollywood Pictures Backlot. Site preparation work has already begun, and the attraction is expected to open in 2004. Construction on the new children's section is already underway and completion is expected this fall.

Disney's California Adventure opened nearly a year ago to lack-luster reviews and complaints about the lack of "Disney Quality" attractions. In the first year of operation park attendance fell far short of company projections.

According to Amusement Business, an amusement industry trade journal, Disney's California Adventure had 5 million guests pass through the gates in 2001. Based on their survey the park ranked the 9th busiest in the US.

Disney had projected the new theme park would attract 7.5 million guests and neighboring Disneyland would see attendance rise as well. Disneyland Park attendance instead dropped 12% this past year.

Since the opening of California Adventure park officials has scrambled to add new attractions to generate interest in the struggling park.

In July, the park revived the venerable Main Street Electrical Parade. In September, Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, an interactive show based on the hit ABC television series opened.

Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, which opened earlier in the year at the Disney-MGM Studios, was a last minute project for California Adventure. After the successful introduction of the show in Orlando, park officials rushed to bring the attraction to California to capitalize on the success of the television show.

In November, The Power of Blast!, a high-energy, musical stage production based on the hit broadway production Blast! opened in the Hyperion Theatre. The Power of Blast! replaced Disney's own Steps In Time production, which failed to interest park guests. The Power of Blast! has received rave reviews and has become a big draw for the park thanks to positive word of mouth.

Also in November the park unveiled Luminaria, an evening light and pyrotechnics show for the Holidays, presented over Paradise Bay. Luminaria was fired off nightly through January 6, but received only mixed reviews.