One of the most thrilling rides at Disney World is The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. It’s also one of the most popular rides. Guests love the feeling of being weightless and dropping and rising unexpectedly. Now, Disney is making the ride even more of a thrill with the announcement they are removing the seat belts on the Tower of Terror.
Typically theme park rides have seat belts and restraints for a few reasons. The main reason is for internal safety. These are tools used to keep guests in the car, whether they are going around a loop or dropping in an elevator. However, not all rides have restraints. Rides like it’s a small world (prior to becoming a walk-through attraction, which we reported on here), don’t have restraints. This is because the risk of injury is so low.
The other reason for safety restraints on rides is legal regulations. All theme parks are regulated for safety and have to follow certain safety checks. It’s usually good practice to make rides safe, however, there is a legal governing body as well to keep guests safe. It appears Disney has found a way to remove the seat belts on the Tower of Terror and still pass all safety regulations. If they let Disney add bungee jumping to the Tower of Terror, anything can happen.
Can Disney Legally Remove The Seat Belts on The Tower of Terror?
The answer to this is apparently yes. According to an internal source, Disney has been testing safety changes to their seatbelts. The tests spanned from looser seat belts to no seat belts at all. Apparently, all of these tests passed the internal Disney safety checks. Now they will attempt to pass the legally required safety checks in order to remove seat belts from the ride completely.
While there is no guarantee the ride will pass without seat belts, our source felt rather confident that the ride will meet all requirements. They mentioned that the requirement to add seat belts is a loose regulation and there are ways around it. In the Tower of Terror’s case, there are handles on the sides of each person. These handles give guests something to grab on and are enough to allow Disney to remove the seat belts completely.
They’re also exploring a seat belt optional route if they do not pass the legal safety check. This is apparently a backup, however, Disney feels very confident they will pass with no seat belts. Our source mentioned that Disney’s internal safety checks are stricter than the legal checks, so if they pass internally, they should pass externally as well.
Why is Disney Removing The Seat Belts on the Ride?
The decision to remove the seat belts is to make the ride “more authentic and thrilling”. In the Tower of Terror pre-show, the guests do not wear seatbelts, thus making it more authentic. In terms of thrill, when people aren’t locked in so tightly to the seat, they can get more air during the free fall. This adds to the thrill of the ride and increases its allure.
Disney was inspired by the TikTok trend of people loosening their seat belts on Guardians of The Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! Initially, Disney put up signs telling guests not to do this and even warned guests that they can be kicked out for doing this. However, they were inspired by this. They did safety testing and realized they could make the ride seat belt free, yet still safe. However, Disney will be using the Tower of Terror as the test subject since Florida is easier to make changes than California.
We do not endorse loosening your seat belt or not wearing it at all on Tower of Terror as it will get you kicked out of Disney. However, this is currently being explored by Disney and may change soon.
What do you think of Disney removing the seat belts on the Tower of Terror? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
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