It's actually not a real working elevator, and as best I can tell, Otis was only consulted on the project, while the rest was Disney Imagineering. The "car" moves all of the place in three dimensions until it's mounted (quite seamlessly, I might add) into the shaft mechanism. It really is a brilliant ride.
Otis Elevator (located here in Bloomington IN) did do quite a bit of work on the ride. I'm not sure exactly what all they did, but I know my uncle, who is no longer employed with Otis, was the cheif designer of the molds for the passenger vehicles.
I'd absolutely love if this thing were operating in some form by mid-December. If not, I could always live with just the one TOT in Florida. It was the same situation with JTA at the two SeaWorlds too... but I've been a bit let down by the March/May official opening of San Diego's. :)
From what Jeff has described, it sounds like the elevator systems that have been envisioned for very large buildings. The taller the building, the more elevator shafts you need to move people around; unless you devise a way to move multiple elevators through shafts.
------------------ "I go out at 3 o' clock for a quart of milk and come home to my son treating his body like an amusement park!" - Estelle Costanza
The ride vehicles are WDI grown. Imagineers spoke to a few major elevator manufactures before building the original ride, but decided that what the elevator folks had to offer didn't quite live up to what WDI wanted, so their built their own stuff.
------------------ - John Homepark: CP Home-away-from-homepark: PKI My Campusfish Blog
Not quite the same, but you'll be able to see DCA's ToT featured in this year's Rose Parade. At nearly 100 feet, the float will be the tallest in Rose Parade history and will feature a dropping elevator with people on it. Mickey will watch from below.
So, it sounds like Disney is going all out on promotion. I think I already know what my favorite float will be in this year's parade! :)
And what's your source? I'd like to know, since if it's even remotely like the Orlando version there are a whole lot of scenes to show, and I'd find it odd that they'd be all stacked. That's also a whole lot of building in the front to not be used.