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John Dirk

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We have very few children in our neighborhood, but got two groups that came by and they both agreed to see the project.


"Agreed to see the project." You are very generous to phrase it that way. In truth they were privileged to see it and will likely never forget the experience.
 

orangele

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Timothy
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.

Here is an update on the Tower of Terror Control panel reproduction in my project. The top photo shows a control panel from the actual Tower of Terror, and the bottom two photos shows our reproduction. Have gotten it mounted in set. Still have to add a switch or two, place the tags identifying switches. I have learned that in the real TOT, the switches/phone are indeed functional for triggering actions for the ride. In our reproduction, some of the buttons will be lighted and functional to control/test the fire alarms on set. There will be a motion activated sequence so that the phone will ring, and once the handset is lifted off the hook it will play an audio clip from a 1990's commercial featuring a bellhop as well as a couple other custom audio files telling visitors to proceed to the elevator and press the elevator button to start the automated show.
dios-tower of terror-elevator controls-000-2015.jpg
IMG_1374.JPG
IMG_1373.JPG
 
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orangele

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Timothy
A bit more functionality and refinement continually added to the reproduction of the Elevator control panel, including button tags and illumination, ringing telephone, and adding operator messages when the handset is lifted off the hook. The type of switch, arrangement, colors and tags have been copied as closely as possible from the panel at Disney. The telephone is used by Disney castmates to communicate with each other, so we have taken creative license to use the telephone in our recreation to communicate and direct guests in the set to do things to facilitate the programmed sequence of special effects. Donald (the tech wizard and creative partner) and I have some really cool new effects in the testing/planning stages including very realistic-appearing lightning effects in the room and also cold spark "explosions" in the room hopefully coming to reality in coming updates.
 
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orangele

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Timothy
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!
Well Tom McA here are images of our reproduction, and a video showing the progress on making it functional in my project controlling things on set like the fire alarms, calling guests and giving instructions on what to do to interact with the progression of special effects. I have had input from people that are REALLY into the details of the Tower of Terror (who are not even former bellhops like yourself), who have pointed out that the real panel had some type of piezo buzzer as a ringer for the phone. Well since this is our recreation, I think the ringing bell for the phone seems fines to me LOL. Sorry for the duplicate video post!

 
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orangele

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Timothy
Here is the newest updated video of my project with multiple new effects including the reproduction of the Tower of Terror Elevator control panel with phone and calls from hotel operator, lightning bolt simulation on elevator doors, and smoke/debris effect coordinated with video of elevator crashing at basement level.
 

orangele

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Aug 21, 2013
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Timothy
Here is a 360 video to allow you to scan and look around the room (unfortunately at reduced resolution compared to the 4K vids) but you can see the effects that are occurring throughout the room and skip to those effects via the timestamps. To get to the timestamps, you have to click on the title of the video and then scroll down to the descriptions. Also a video of the project taken 4th of July in Vegas with timestamps as well.

I was planning to have a grand opening Halloween party for the project with all the people contributing to it, as well as all local Trick or Treaters invited. As Halloween approached, I felt the project was still in full-on continuing development with multiple new things in the works, so I decided to delay for at least a year (Maybe I will never finish). I was contacted by the set designer who did the Faux concrete walls, the coal bins, the flipping table and other aspects of the project and he said he had shown a local casino my Youtube channel videos, and they expressed interest in using the Rod Serling deepfake as well as other props from my project for their Twilight Zone themed Halloween party. So that was fun as I was comped into the club, and finally got some small return on investment.

360 video with Special effect timestamps:


4th of July Project video:
 
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