Explaining Disney’s Tower Of Terror
Theme and context begin the world-building inside the iconic tower
TLDR. Too. Long. Didn’t. Read. It took me a long time to figure out the acronym and, as a writer by trade, it’s not my favorite.
However, one of my missions in life is to forge a course through the internet and find things for YOU to read. Yes, my dear reader, part of my deal is to find great stuff for my regulars to read; knowing full well that most people don’t have time to trudge through the bytes to find the best of them.
Well, here’s another gem. Ryan Benno wrote a thumb-killer that he should turn in to a book about Disney’s Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. But it’s AWESOME!
A tour of the perfect world-building behind Disney’s Tower of Terror
Want to understand environmental storytelling? Start at Disney World
“I want to take you through one ride at Disney World to explain how Disney’s designers are able to tell you stories so well,” explained Benno. “But before we dive in, it’s important to also take a very quick, and hopefully helpful, crash course in the important elements of environmental design.”
The long and the short of it goes like this:
- There are two pillars to effective environmental storytelling: context and emotional intent.
- Emotional intent, usually presented in the form of a theme, is the core of everything we do.
- Context helps us frame the intended emotion in a way that is relatable to the audience.
And then Ryan takes you through the walk-up, walk-in, walk-through, and ride, itself.
BTW, he included this video, which helps a ton if, like me, you are afraid of heights, and drops, and — well — throwing up.
Long Loading Screen
And here’s where the genius of the article pops up. Benno continuously puts the ride into the context of a video game:
This has always been one of the genius ideas of Disney parks: the decision to make the lines for the attractions almost as fun as the attractions themselves. Disney packs a lot of game into the loading screen, if we want to use familiar terms.
Love. Love, love this. What a great way to explore theming, story, and context.
And, in any case, I am not going to steal any more of Ryan’s thunder, go and check out the full story… if you dare.