People may or may not have noticed but Disney changed the restraint system on the Tower of Terror since it was first opened. Back in the day all you had was a bar that you pulled towards you. The only seat with a belt was the seat in the middle. If you ride the Tower of Terror now you’ll notice that everyone has a seat belt.
I miss the bar. You could get a great ride with the bar. Most of the time it barely held you in place and you had to hold onto it to keep from hitting the ceiling of the cart.
Why did Disney have to take the bar away!?!
The following is a true story. It is not embellished. I’m the first one to admit when I’m joking around.
In 1995 my father, brother in-law, sister, and friend rode the Tower of Terror together. A solo rider was against the wall, then my friend, sister, brother in law in the middle, and my dad was the first person on the other side of the cart. Next to my dad were two Asian men.
Years ago my dad earned the nickname “Big Guy.” He’s a “large” fellow.
Imagine two thin Asian men pulling the bar towards them. Now imagine their faces as the bar hits a large stomach and will come no closer. Imagine the panic as the doors to the elevator start to close and there is a good foot gap between the safety bar their laps. Urgently they talk to each other in a non-English dialect and point at the gap and then to my father. In desperation they try pulling on the bar again to no avail!
Those two guys got the ride of their lives.
I bet you’ve never seen whiter knuckles in your life.
I wish my dad had bought the picture. I’d also pay good money to see the security camera footage of that entire ride.
Here is my speculation (aka totally fictions story) on the aftermath.
Two Asian men pay a visit to guest relations at Disney Hollywood Studios. The cast member working there does there best to keep them calm as they wait for a translator. The translator relays that a monster has been spotted in the park and was just on the Tower of Terror. In fact, that monster nearly killed them!
Of course, since this makes no sense, the translator asks some questions. Come to find out a monster isn’t really in the park it’s just someone who they deem as being larger than a monster is in the park.
The story is successfully relayed and the cast member working in guest relations starts laughing uncontrollably and has to be terminated for offending the two Asian men.
The story spreads from cast member to cast member until it reaches the cast member running security at the Tower of Terror. That cast member quickly pulls the security footage of the event. When he stops laughing he shows his supervisor. When the supervisor regains consciousness (he passed out from laughing too hard) he determines that the tape needs to be destroyed because of possible liability.
The terminated employee from guest relations and the translator are captured and put to work in the secret limestone mine hidden under the Magic Kingdom. They are never heard from again.
The supervisor from the Tower of Terror slips a lethal does or painkillers into his subordinates Yoohoo, after that employee destroys the footage. The supervisor then recommends to the legal department that the bars be replaced with seat belts. The legal department thinks it’s a great idea and recommends the supervisor for a promotion for thinking outside of the box and trying to reduce Disney’s potential liability.
The two Asian men return home and seek legal counsel. When no evidence is found they are branded as liars and live out their lives in shame.
Now you know why the bars on the Tower of Terror were replaced with seat belts.