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The Hollywood Tower Hotel is the titular setting of the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror attraction in Walt Disney World and Disneyland Paris along with having formerly appeared in Disney's California Adventure.

Description[]

A billboard from before the hotel's closure, advertising its services

The Hollywood Tower Hotel was a large tower located at the end of Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California. It was situated between the G-Force records studio and the Hollywood Hills Amphitheatre. The hotel was located on a piece of land known as Sunset Hills Estates, grounds which were established in 1928.

In addition to being haunted, the hotel is an apparent gateway between the normal world and the 5th dimension AKA, "The Twilight Zone". As a result many items from the 5th dimension are scattered about the hotel grounds and the building's 13th floor is a vast expanse defying the laws of physics.

Features[]

Features of the hotel listed in the lobby include:

Exterior[]

  • Bowling Green:
  • Grand Terrace Natatorium:[1]

The lobby of the Hollywood Tower Hotel, following the tower's haunting.

Lobby level[]

  • Billiards Room:
  • Boiler Room: The boiler room contained the hotel's boilers along with several maintenance elevators which as of the hotel's 1994 reopening would be used by bellhops for guest accessibility.
  • Lounge:
  • Library: The library was a relatively small room which stored several books, artwork, miscellaneous artifacts, and a small television. It also had a window looking outside of the hotel.
  • Room 22: This was a chamber located across from the lobby elevators of unknown functionality.
    • This room is an allusion to the episode, "Twenty Two" of the Twilight Zone where a woman has a repeating nightmare about a hospital room 22 which is in actuality the building's morgue. It is later revealed to be an omen of death as the airplane 22 which she avoided going on out of fear crashed on departure.

The boiler-room and a maintenance elevator of the Hollywood Tower Hotel

Lower level[]

  • Basement: The hotel basement was used to store a great number of curios and curiosities such as a ventriloquist's dummy, statues, a television a slot machine, and a jukebox.
  • Sunset Room: The Sunset Room was a dining area and gala venue on the lower levels of the Hollywood Tower Hotel.[2]
  • Beverly Room: The Beverley Room was one of the ballrooms of the hotel.
  • Fountain Room: The Fountain Room was a venue space which was decorated with ornate fountains though following 1939 they would not operate.[3]
  • Steam Baths:
  • Tower Hotel Gifts: This was the hotel's gift-shop which sold apparel themed to the hotel but after the 1939 incident also contained objects of paranormal nature.[4]

The crashed elevator which cost the lives of five people

Higher levels[]

  • Stardust Room: The Stardust Room was found on the mezzanine of the hotel.
  • High Society Suite: This suite was located in the hotel's penthouse.
  • Tip Top Club: The Top Top Club is a gentleman's club found on the 13th floor of the Hollywood Tower Hotel. It was considerably elite and hosted performances such as those of the Silver Lake Sisters and the orchestra of Anthony Freemont.

History[]

The Hollywood Tower Hotel before the accident of 1939

Disney Parks[]

The Hollywood Tower Hotel opened in 1917 and came to frequently house members of the Hollywood elite, leading to the hotel being considered a Hollywood star in its own right. On its 13th story it held the Tip Top Club which was the most famous of Los Angeles' gentleman's clubs at the time. In 1928, the land around the Hollywood Tower Hotel was turned into property known as, "Sunset Hills Estates". The hotel had frequent business connections to the next-door G-Force Records studio which incorporated the popular hotel into its dealings to hire talent for their label. The hotel would however prove itself host to paranormal incidents.

In the week of July 15th in 1931, a wealthy family known as the Hermans disappeared during an elevator malfunction at the hotel. In the rubble from the accident, only the teddy-bear of the Herman daughter would be recovered. This event was covered by the world's first internationally distributed newspaper First International News leading many to believe that this would mark the end of the Hollywood Tower Hotel's proud career. This however was not the case and the hotel managed to repair its elevators while keeping face.

In the October of 1939, the hotel through a Halloween party in the Tip Top Club of their 13th floor while also having their elevators inspected by a man named Cadwallader on the same day. This party's attendance made up of the Hollywood elite, including executives from G-Force Records. While five people (identified in non-cannon materials as "Sally Shine", Emeline Partridge, Carolyn Crosson, Gilbert London and bellhop Dewey Todd) on an elevator to the 13th floor at 8:05 PM, supernatural lightning would strike the elevators and open a portal between the hotel and the 5th dimension. The five people would be turned into ghosts trapped in the hotel and the grounds of the hotel would be abandoned and frozen in time.

Mysteriously in the July of 1994, the derelict hotel would be reopened, coinciding with the success of the next-door G-Force Records music-studio. At this time, the hotel would be staffed by a crew of disturbed bellhops. New guests would be brought into the hotel and many would make disappearances into the 5th dimension. The guests who entered the hotel would be met by the omniscient 5th dimension entity known as the Narrator who informed them of the hotel's dark past and who would serve as their guide when trapped within it.

Alternate versions[]

"Sally Shine", Emeline Partridge, Carolyn Crosson, Gilbert London and bellhop Dewey Todd, the five victims of the 1939 elevator incident.

There are certain elements of the Hollywood Tower Hotel's story which differ between incarnations. Due to Occam's razor, interconnected continuity and the DCA tower being defunct it is likely that much of their continuity is shared. However this section will divide the information of the hotel's history based off of which depiction of the tower is featured.

Disney's California Adventure[]

The Hollywood Tower Hotel was constructed in 1929 and came to frequently house members of the Hollywood elite, leading to the hotel being considered a Hollywood star in its own right.[5] On its 13th story it held the Tip Top Club which was the most famous of Los Angeles' gentleman's clubs at the time, at one point housing the popular vaudeville performers Dolly, Dottie and Ethel Bounds AKA the Silver Lake Sisters. The hotel was also used as a stop for the Pacific Electric Railway's Red Trolly transportation services.

In the October of 1939, the hotel through a Halloween party in the Tip Top Club of their 13th floor. This party's attendance made up of the Hollywood elite, including a performance from the Silver Lake Sisters who by this point had settled down on Buena Vista Street. While five people (identified in non-cannon materials as "Sally Shine", Emeline Partridge, Carolyn Crosson, Gilbert London and bellhop Dewey Todd) on an elevator to the 13th floor at 8:05 PM, supernatural lightning would strike the elevators and open a portal between the hotel and the 5th dimension. The five people would be turned into ghosts trapped in the hotel and the grounds of the hotel would be abandoned and frozen in time.

The hotel mysteriously reopened at some point between 1994 and 2004, staffed by a crew of disturbed bellhops. New guests would be brought into the hotel and many would make disappearances into the 5th dimension. The guests who entered the hotel would be met by the omniscient 5th dimension entity known as the Narrator who informed them of the hotel's dark past and who would serve as their guide when trapped within it. At some point in time, the Silver Lake Sisters would perform in the lobby of the hotel without having aged and seemingly unaware of the year or tragedy of the hotel.[6]

Tower of Terror (film)[]

In this film, the 1939 incident did not occur due to an inter-dimensional anomaly but rather due to Sally Shine's sister Abigail Gregory learning witchcraft and using black-magic to cause the incident out of jealousy for her sister's fame. Amongst those who died in the elevator was Dewey Todd, Jr., the son of the hotel's owner Dewey Todd, Sr. who had also constructed a sister-location for the Hollywood Tower Hotel known as the Manhattan Tower Hotel. In the 1990s, the curse of the hotel was lifted with the ghosts finding peace in the 13th floor of the Tip Top Club.

Appearances and allusions[]

Baseline TapHouse[]

The hotel makes an appearance on a faded brickwork advertisement for the Pacific Electric Railway's Red Car Trolley.[7]

Camp Discovery[]

The front page on a newspaper possessed by the League of Adventurers features an article on the Herman family disappearing from the hotel in an elevator malfunction. The same page of the newspaper also has a story of the League of Adventurers and Indiana Jones having discovered the Temple of the Crystal Skull in the Peruvian Lost River Delta.[8]

A poster advertising the Silver Lake Sisters' 1939 performance at the Hollywood Tower Hotel's Tip Top Club.

Fiddler, Fifer & Practical Café[]

Posters hung up in this café advertise the Silver Lake Sisters' performances in the Tip Top Club of the Hollywood Tower Hotel, dated to the Halloween of 1939.

Guardians of the Galaxy - Mission: BREAKOUT[]

The Hollywood Tower Hotel is referenced in the queue for Guardians of the Galaxy - Mission: BREAKOUT which replaced the attraction in California. Here, relics from the hotel including branded keys and bellhop hats can be seen in the ownership of the Collector.

Liberty Square Ticket Office[]

In this building is an illustration of the Dreamfinder and Figment riding the Dreammobile overhead the Tree of Life, Cinderella Castle, Spaceship Earth and the Hollywood Tower Hotel. The function of this poster is to advertise annual passes to Walt Disney World Resort.[9]

The ghosts of the Hollywood Tower Hotel.

Twilight Zone Tower of Terror[]

The Hollywood Tower Hotel is the setting for this attraction which guests enter following its 1994 reopening. Bellhops have guests board the hotel's maintenance-elevators to go up to their floor but while waiting, a television screen showing a, "Lost episode" of the Twilight Zone informs guests of the hotel's history and their impending fate. After boarding the elevators, guests encounter the hotel's spirits before entering the 5th dimension and then dropping down the hotel's shafts into its basement.

In other media[]

Film[]

Tower of Terror (film)[]

Printed materials[]

Disney Kingdoms[]

A photograph of the Hollywood Tower Hotel is hung up in the Ghostly Materials Gallery of the Haunted Mansion in this non-cannon, shared universe story. It is identified as one of many supernatural locations from across the world connected by the manor's endless staircase along with Ravenswood Manor, Rainbow Ridge and the Museum of the Weird.

Promotional materials[]

In a 2004 advertisement for Disneyland, the Hitchhiking Ghosts from the Haunted Mansion attended the Hollywood Tower Hotel and rode its elevators for fun, much to the dismay of a bellhop.

Connections[]

The Disney California Adventure Hollywood Tower Hotel which followed a much more Art Deco architectural scheme

Tower of Terror[]

The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror is the attraction which the Tower of Terror in Tokyo DisneySea is based on making the HTH a counterpart to Hotel Hightower. There are however no apparent connections between the hotels.

Rock 'n' Roller Coaster[]

G-Force Records is situated next-door to the Hollywood Tower Hotel at the edge of Sunset Boulevard. According to Disney historian Jim Korkis in his book More Secret Stories of Walt Disney World: More Things You Never Knew You Never Knew (Volume 2), G-Force records was developed to tie Rock 'n' Roller Coaster to its sister-attraction The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. In the original story it would have been said that G-Force Records was founded back in the golden age of Hollywood.

In this story, members of the record-label attended the Halloween reception of 1939 when lightning struck the hotel, killing five people and connecting the hotel to the 5th Dimension. While the officials of G-Force were able to mysteriously escape from the hotel's 13th floor Tip Top Club, the hotel's disaster and subsequent closure resulted in damage to G-Force's business as few were willing to be affiliated with their part of Hollywood. It is subsequently implied that the success of the company in the 1990s is connected to the 1994 reopening of the Hollywood Tower Hotel and its dark operations though the exact nature of this is unknown.[10]

Twilight Zone[]

The 5th Dimension as an entity is taken from the Twilight Zone though it acts more directly than it did in the TV show where it typically was used as rationalization for profound science-fiction, fantasy and/or horror scenarios. Several artifacts and allusions to the Twilight Zone exists throughout the Hollywood Tower Hotel. These include:[11]

Lobby[]

  • Anthony Fremont: A poster for the Tip Top Club advertised Anthony Fremont and his orchestra. Fremont comes from the episode It's a a Good Life in which he was a small boy with god-like powers who created a potentially apocalyptic dream-world for himself at the expense of others.
  • Room 22: In Disney's California Adventure, there was a, "Room 22" in the lobby of the hotel. This was taken from The Number 22 where a hospitalized woman had repeated nightmares about a room labelled 22 only to learn that it was the hospital morgue. After leaving the hospital, she refuses to board an airplane labelled Flight 22 which later crashes with no survivors.

Library[]

  • Broken Glasses: A pair of broken glasses from the library referenced Henry Bemis from the episode Time Enough at Last. In this episode, Henry was the sole survivor of an apocalyptic event when he hid in a vault to try and isolate himself to read his books in peace. However before he could blissfully read his texts, he broke his glasses which spoiled his intent.
  • Invader: On one of the library shelves is a miniature alien space-man taken from the episode The Invaders where several of them attacked the Earth.
  • Letters: Letters to Rod Serling and Victoria West which not only allude to Twilight Zone creator Rod Serling but the episode A World of His Own in which he was a character.
  • Mystic Seer: On one of the library shelves is a small fortune-telling machine with the head of a stereotypical devil. This machine was taken from the episode, "Nick of Time" where it gave correct but dark fortunes to patrons of a diner.
  • To Serve Man: One of the books in the library is a black book with strange glyphs on the cover and a piece of paper stuck to its face reading, "To Serve Man". In the Twilight Zone episode, "To Serve Man", this was a book written by an advanced telepathic alien species which came to Earth claiming to arrange for peace and to bring migrant humans to their planet. Human decoders later discovered that the book was a cookbook and that the aliens were in-fact bringing humans to abattoirs for consumption but only managed to discover this after it was too late.
  • Trumpet:
  • Twilight Zone Scripts: The hard-cover scripts of several episodes of the Twilight Zone can be observed on the shelves of the hotel's library.

Boiler Room[]

  • Cadwallader: The state's certificate to operate the service elevators are signed by one Cadwallader from the Halloween of 1939, whether this was signed before or following the elevator crash is unknown. In the episode The Escape Clause, Cadwallader was an alias assumed by the Devil to make faustian bargains with humans that come with dark unforeseen consequences.
  • Little Girl Lost: In Disney California Adventure's hotel there was a chalk symbol on the wall in an area where the disembodied voice of Sally Shine could be heard, asking where she was and pleading for help. This was taken from the episode Little Girl Lost where a young girl accidentally enters a portal to the 5th dimension and the chalk symbol is drawn to try and locate her.
  • Popular Mechanics Magazine: Magazines in the boiler room of DCA's hotel were taken from Twilight Zone episodes written by author Ray Bradbury.

Basement[]

  • Caesar the Dummy: One of the more unsettling artifacts in the basement is a wooden ventriloquist's dummy who in the episode Caesar and Me was named Caesar. In the show, Caesar was a sentient dummy who manipulated his ventriloquist into committing violent crimes leading to his arrest before moving onto a new host.
  • Slot Machine: In the Twilight Zone episode The Fever, the slot machine was a sentient machine which taunted humans into gambling with it until they had nothing. It can be seen in the storage room of the hotel.

Hotel Gifts[]

  • Broken Stopwatch:
  • Electric Razor:
  • Talky Tina: Talky Tina is a vintage doll on one of the shelves of the hotel gifts gift-shop.[12] In the Twilight Zone episode, "Living Doll", Talky Tina was a sentient doll who moved when no-one was looking and murdered the drunkard step-father of her owner.
    • In the lobby of Disney California Adventure's hotel there was a Shirley Temple doll left on the sofa. This doll was often mistaken for being Talky Tina by fans.
  • Gold Thimble:
  • Red Toy Telephone:
  • Typewriter:
  • Willoughby Travel:

Trivia[]

  • While following the same story, different parks had different exteriors for the hotel.
    • The Hollywood Tower Hotel of Disney's Hollywood Studios had a middle-eastern/Mediterranean influence. This is partly due to it being designed to blend into the landscape of the Morocco pavilion in Epcot's World Showcase from which it is visible.
    • Disney California Adventure and Walt Disney Studios Park in Paris' hotel followed an art-deco architectural scheme.
    • The pre-show video's hotel resembles neither of the park exteriors.
  • The Tower of Terror is alluded to in Tales from the Haunted Mansion: Midnight at Madame Leota's where the protagonist finds a large number of Hollywood ghosts in storage at a place called Unit 1939.
  • Luggage belonging to Gilbert London and Carolyn Crosson was placed under the Route 66 sign of Sunset Boulevard.[13]

References[]

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