This week's column should probably be titled, "Why It's There, then Why It's Not There and then Why It's There (Again)" (Sounds like a Douglas Adams book, right?). I'm refering to the eye we see in the Fifth Dimension of the Tower of Terror. Let's start at the beginning.
When the Tower of Terror first opened, as you entered the Fifth Dimension scene, a camera would take your photo and display it on the eyeball in the scene. This was an effect purely to make it seem like your entrance into the Fifth Dimension was unique to your car. After all, things are so odd in the Fifth Dimension, it's one of the last places you'd think to find a photo of you and everyone you're with.
The effect was discontinued at some point due to guests catching on to the photo and the resulting obscene gesture or inappropriate activity for the photo. Instead, Imagineers displayed the same stagnant photo for years of another group of guests riding, with the understanding it was meant to represent you.
It sounded like this was going to be one of those lost Tower of Terror effects until Disney announced Summer Nightastic for Disney's Hollywood Studios in 2010. The Tower of Terror was to receieve a number of temporary changes as part of the summer festival, including the re-activation of the eyeball effect. A photo was taken of you early in the ride and shown to you in the Fifth Dimension scene as it appeared you were going right to it.
When Summer Nightastic ended on August 14, 2010, Imagineers opted to keep the eyeball effect running, thus restoring an original effect from the ride's past. While most guests don't know about the history of it, the next time you see yourself in the eye, you'll know that is a vintage piece of Tower of Terror history.