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Disney World Just Made Another Change That Has Triggered Nostalgia In Some Fans, Anger In Others

Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
(Image credit: Walt Disney World)

Disney Parks are designed to evoke nostalgia. Walt Disney saw himself as a purveyor of that comfortable nostalgia that we all like to get lost in from time to time. However, Disney Parks are also places that are always changing, updating, adding new things, and frequently removing old things to make room for them. This has led to a regular clash among fans as people get emotionally attached to all aspects of the resorts, including, in the most recent case, a sign advertising a ride.

When the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror was first built at Disney’s Hollywood Studios a large sign was placed on one of the roads leading into the resort to advertise that fact. It was a bit more than your normal billboard, as it had moving parts, showing one of the ride vehicles rising and falling. The sign had been there for decades, and as such people came to expect it and find comfort in seeing it, but Disney World tore the sign out of the ground yesterday, and so people on Twitter are lamenting its loss.  

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On the one hand, it could be seen as silly that people are caring about a sign. At the same time, it’s been there for a very long time and for many seeing it is as iconic a “you’ve arrived at Disney World” moment as passing under the Walt Disney World sign itself. The fact that the sign had been broken for years, and thus the moving parts no longer moved, doesn’t matter.

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It’s being reported that the sign will be replaced by simple landscaping, so it almost seems not worth taking the time to remove the sign. If it was being replaced by a different sign advertising some other element of the resort, that would be one thing, but that’s not the case. With Toy Story Land and Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge both being added to Hollywood Studios is recent years, it’s hard to argue the Tower of Terror is the thing drawing most people to that park. Even if the Tower of Terror is on the agenda for a film adaptation

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Fans who love the sign didn’t even have much time to prepare for its inevitable death. It was just announced on Wednesday that the sign would come out, and overnight it was removed so by yesterday morning guests coming to Walt Disney World only saw the hole where it once stood. 

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While most of the people are dealing with their nostalgia, there are some that seem to be legitimately angry that the Tower of Terror sign is now gone. Disney has been a target for a lot of frustration from fans under Bob Chapek, who has been a target from all sides in recent months following political battles between Disney and the state of Florida, and the CEO of Disney is now getting flack for the removal of a sign as well. 

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All things at Walt Disney World change eventually, even the signs. While this isn’t on par with the loss of Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, or even the end of The Great Movie Ride, but it does go to show how even simple things can end up meaning a lot to people. 

Dirk Libbey
Dirk Libbey

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian. Armchair Imagineer. Epcot Stan. Future Club 33 Member.