“Hotel Hightower” Dan Goozee, 2003
Cloning has always been a much-debated concept within the world of theme parks. Purists argue it dilutes a brand, while supporters believe guests like familiarity, (and that bean-counters love lower R&D costs.) Tokyo DisneySea’s “clone” of the classic Tower of Terror attraction is one that satisfies both sides of this debate. Instead of theming it to The Twilight Zone TV series, which would have been expensive and unlikely to be embraced by the Japanese public, an original storyline was dreamt up involving a greedy millionaire, a cursed artifact, and a turn-of-the-century Moorish Revival New York masterpiece. Guests are welcomed to the abandoned Hotel Hightower, which has recently reopened for tours following the mysterious disappearance of its owner, Harrison Hightower III. Along the tour through the lobby, offices, libraries and artifact storerooms, they learn that Hightower’s final acquisition, of an African idol named Shiriki Utundu, may not have been acquired under moral circumstances, and that the cursed idol may have his own nefarious revenge plot in store for them all.
Art ©️ Disney