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orangele

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The theming of my home theater was based on my decade-long dream to recreate the Disney Tower of Terror basement elevator ride entrance from a standard sliding glass door entrance to my home theater. I originally started with the goal of recreating the look of the elevator entrance, but has progressed beyond that to recreate the look, and also expand on the effects, and even define the story behind the Tower of Terror. My initial plans were stifled by getting an astronomical estimate to recreate the Tower of Terror elevator entrance set of 50-75 K. That estimate pretty much put my dream back to sleep until five yrs later I found a professional company in the city where I live who gave me a much more reasonable estimate. Once the initial work on the elevator set was completed, I was thrilled with the result, and over recent months I have continued to add special effect after special effect to the planned automated scene. The effects added thus far include simulated rain, lightning and thunder system synchronized with video, "bursting steam pipe," vintage TV which plays the Tower of Terror intro video as seen in the library of the ride, exploding fuse box with simulated smoke and fire, motorized lighted elevator dial, motorized and lighted steam pressure gauge, simulated elevator doors via vinyl wrap, video monitor playing Tower of Terror ride sequence seen through the elevator door wrap, motorized "elevator door," unique "flipping table prop." The entire sequence of special effects is triggered by the press of the elevator button on set. The project is ongoing with the creation of a Rod Serling deepfake video to be projected inside the theater. Check it out if you are a fan of Rod Serling, the Twilight Zone, or the Tower of Terror ride. Below are links to the Tower of Terror Theater Youtube channel, and some demos of some of the special effects created for the project.
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCcTO0no5eLSdGT8u6C-mcJg?view_as=subscriber

 
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orangele

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Here is the theater inside the elevator doors. As you can see I did limit the theming to OUTSIDE of the actual theater although in the corner you can see a Twilight Zone pinball machine which did serve as some inspiration for the project.

 
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John Dirk

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Here is the theater inside the elevator doors. As you can see I did limit the theming to OUTSIDE of the actual theater although in the corner you can see a Twilight Zone pinball machine which did serve as some inspiration for the project.


You are perhaps my new Hero. I tiled the kitchen back splash [in Oakland Raiders Silver & Black] some years ago while my wife was out of town. She had approved both colors separately but did not like them together once she returned. Since then, we've sold that house. :)

Beautiful theater, although I would suggest more comfortable seats. I got my current seats from Sams Club so what do I know???

https://4seating.com/heritage-expos...ncFC9rWDw2s-U5jKds9CG_UoZRX9_peRoCYZgQAvD_BwE
 

orangele

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Well I was once married, but now as a single person, I can do whatever I want, haha. NEVER getting married again.
 

John Dirk

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Well I was once married, but now as a single person, I can do whatever I want, haha. NEVER getting married again.
Kinda suspected that. I'm happily married but my wife and I agree, we would never do it again with different people.

Congrats on an amazing HT!
 
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orangele

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Kinda suspected that. I'm happily married but my wife wife and I agree, we would never do it again with different people.

Congrats on an amazing HT!
Seriously I am happy for you, and anyone that can find the right partner; I just have not been so fortunate in romance.
 

Tom McA

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NOYCE! I shared this thread with the Facebook Tower of Terror present/past (I was opening year crew...) Bellhops group. :)
 
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orangele

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Great, thanks! Love to share with others.
NOYCE! I shared this thread with the Facebook Tower of Terror present/past (I was opening year crew...) Bellhops group. :)
Tom McA; Since you were a bellhop, maybe you can answer this question for me. My Tech wizard friend is in the process of reproducing the control panel seen in the Tower of Terror. He tells me the buttons and switches on the panel are commercial expensive ones and suspects that they really are used to control aspects of the ride. Did the castmembers use this control panel to control the ride? Was the phone on the panel (missing on the photo I attached here) used to communicate with other Disney personnel.
 

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Tom McA

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Love this! Let's see if I recall my 25-year-old training...
The four top left buttons were call buttons to use with the missing phone -
Tower for the control tower where an operator monitored the whole ride,
Lobby to tell the lobby cast member to either speed up or slow down loading the libraries if guests were either running low or backing up in the boiler room,
Unload self explanatory, and rarely used except to give a heads up to the Unload operator on a hottie you just loaded,
and Lead Office to complain about when your break is coming.
I would also use the phone which was on a long bungee cord for comic relief when there was a ride backup, and I'd pantomime an angry convo on the phone while pacing back and forth in front of the elevator door. Always made the guests inside wonder. Especially after I'd finally dispatch the vehicle then give a goggle-eyed look of panic at the guests as the doors close.
Most of the buttons on the right side were superfluous, as much of the show triggers (Load Spiel for example) were automated.
The most important ones were Door Open, which was a lockout to prevent the vehicle from dispatching while you were inside checking seatbelts (lap bars in my day, in addition to a manual front gate you'd slam shut vs the current motorized one) and Advance, which would dispatch the vehicle after you loaded and did did your safety check.
The Advance light would be solid green when the ride was ready for the vehicle to go, and flashing green meant "DISPATCH NOW, DAMMIT" to avoid throwing off the cadence of vehicles interlocking on the ride path.
Advance OK just told the computer to dispatch whenevs, for when you were sending a dead vehicle around.
And yeah, those commercial Allen Bradley buttons that are rated for millions of cycles before failing are hella expensive. Check Ebay, tho. I saw buttons and button guards (for Advance & Advance OK) for sale there. Keep us posted on your progress!
 

ManW_TheUncool

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I'm apparently getting some kinda earlier-than-expected green light to investigate and start some reno work (and upgrades) for a "new", dedicated HT down in our ground floor space (that leads to our small backyard) due to some recent flashflooding and resultant backyard drain pipe work that required some digging, etc inside (where my main computer workspace had been).

Love the Tower of Terror and what you've done for your HT... and showed your videos to my wife and 13-yo... but yeah, I'm happily (enough :lol:) married, so nothing like this will be possible. Will just have to admire yours (and any others "out there")...

:cheers:

_Man_
 

orangele

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Thanks Tom McA for the info! There is progress on the reproduction of the Tower of Terror Control Panel. Photo attached below of the work in progress and a photo of the actual control panel from the Tower of Terror shown for comparison. Also a test engraving of the metal tags which are used to label the switches is shown below. I am fortunate to just to sit back and appreciate the progress done by my friend and partner in this project. He was able to find used duplicates of all the same high quality commercial switches as are on the authentic Disney panel on ebay. We are planning to have some of the buttons function on the set to control lights, fire bell test, and perhaps some other functions. We will be incorporating an MP3 player and plan to have the phone ring and play a recorded message, and also play recordings with a variety of increasingly irritated messages from the "hotel operator," if the handset is lifted off the hook.

We have also started to have fun videotaping the reactions of people who are experiencing the project and its effects for the first time.

 

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orangele

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I was thrilled to see my project shown on the Halloween edition of Good Morning America yesterday. Donald the tech wizard and creative partner in the project told me he knew someone from GMA, and that they may be interested in showing it. I thought OK, that would be nice, but was not sure if it would really happen. I never heard back from GMA, and then Lo and behold, get a text from Donald that it was on GMA on Halloween day. It is the last house shown in the segment.

 

John Dirk

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I was thrilled to see my project shown on the Halloween edition of Good Morning America yesterday. Donald the tech wizard and creative partner in the project told me he knew someone from GMA, and that they may be interested in showing it. I thought OK, that would be nice, but was not sure if it would really happen. I never heard back from GMA, and then Lo and behold, get a text from Donald that it was on GMA on Halloween day. It is the last house shown in the segment.


Wow! Congratulations but seems odd and sort of rude for them to proceed without keeping you in the loop.
 

orangele

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Wow! Congratulations but seems odd and sort of rude for them to proceed without keeping you in the loop.
Yes that is why I was kind of shocked when it appeared on GMA (including my name) without ever obtaining permission or consent directly from me. All from videos off the Youtube channel, with the exception of a photo of the room before I started work which Donald had asked for which obviously he forwarded to them. Anyway it is all good.

On Halloween yesterday, I spontaneously decided to invite Trick or Treaters to see the project. We have very few children in our neighborhood, but got two groups that came by and they both agreed to see the project. It was a blast! One group had a girl of about 9 who started out a little timid, and ended up with her head under her moms armpit obviously a bit frightened. The group however all were laughing profusely and enjoyed it. Since this was a spontaneous event, I had not set up my cameras in the room to capture everything, but will plan to make this a yearly event and will be ready next yr.
 
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