Walt Disney World Resort in Florida is known for its fantasy, its magic, and its incredible Imagineering.
From spooky animantronics to The Twilight Zone itself, Walt Disney World has many creepy experiences for Guests to brave if they dare on their Disney vacation. The Haunted Mansion’s 999 happy haunts take Guests on a whimsical tour of the afterlife, while The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror sends Guests into a thrilling ride to another dimension.
But there’s one thing we can’t even look at when we’re at Walt Disney World, and we’re sure many Disney Guests would agree.
Walt Disney World is beloved for taking Guests into a “world of fantasy”, to a place where the old feel young, and our favorite Disney characters roam among amazing attractions.
Though not as famed for its scares as Universal Studios Orlando Resort is, Disney World does have its moments. Walt Disney World in Florida has its After Hours Boo Bash, an incredible haunting Halloween parade, and some pretty scary attractions across its Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme parks.
The Haunted Mansion, DINOSAUR, and even – some Guests say – “it’s a small world” provide abundant scares for Disney Guests, but it’s The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror that truly holds the creepiest sight to behold in a Disney Park.
The attraction first opened back in 1994 at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, then named Disney-MGM Studios, and has brought thousands of screams to the Walt Disney World Park ever since.
The 130 feet, 13-story drop is obviously a terrifying aspect of the ride, and really raises the hairs on your neck as you suddenly drop into the elevator shaft in darkness!
But the one thing at Walt Disney World that we cannot bear to look at is actually in the basement of the Hollywood Tower Hotel.
When the crazy drops are over and the attraction is almost complete, the elevator moves into the basement room of the hotel. The lights of the room turn on, everyone breathes a sigh of relief, and a whole array of items and luggage can be seen through the metal mesh of the elevator vehicle.
And that’s when you see him. Or in our case, that’s when you close your eyes because you know he’s there, staring into your soul.
The dummy’s name is Caesar, and he has become particularly infamous amongst Tower of Terror fans due to his providing an additional scare for Guests when the lights suddenly turn.
Dressed in a suit with his eyes wide open, the dummy actually comes from a famous Twilight Zone episode. At some point in time, Little Caesar came into the possession of the Hollywood Tower Hotel in Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and was kept in storage within the basement of the hotel where he remained even following the hotel’s 1994 reopening.
He comes from the episode entitled “Caesar and Me”, episode 148 of the television anthology series The Twilight Zone starring Jackie Cooper as a ventriloquist. Caesar the dummy was a malevolent ventriloquist’s dummy seemingly given life by the fifth dimension. He belonged to Irish ventriloquist Jonathan West whom he frequently spoke to and manipulated into committing crimes. After West was arrested, Caesar jumped host to a young girl named Susan who West was previously cruel to. The episode ends with the haunting narration:
A little girl and a wooden doll. A lethal dummy in the shape of a man. But everybody knows dummies can’t talk – unless, of course, they learn their vocabulary in the Twilight Zone.
The dummy used in the episode to portray Caesar was originally created in the 1940s by puppet maker Revello Petee. The same dummy was used one year earlier in the 1962 Twilight Zone episode, “The Dummy”.
As with many Twilight Zone elements in the Tower of Terror, it is unclear if the events of “Caesar and Me” occurred in the ride’s continuity and following this the hotel obtained him or if he was one of the elements brought the the hotel via the fifth dimension.
The dummy, to us, is more haunting than the 13 story elevator drops and scarier than the library preshow, and is the one thing at Walt Disney World we won’t even look at.
Guests at Tokyo DisneySea and Walt Disney Studios Park in Disneyland Paris enjoy different versions of the scary attraction, while in Disney’s California Adventure, the attraction saw a recent refurbishment into Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: Breakout! with stars like Chris Pratt and Bradley Cooper reprising their famous MCU roles. So, no creepy dummy in the Disneyland Resort!