Friday, January 29, 2016

The Horrific End of Harrison Hightower

At Tokyo Disney Sea, the Tower of Terror is not themed after the Twilight Zone.  No, Japanese audiences aren't as familiar with that series, so their Tower features an original story featuring one Harrison Hightower, member of the Society of Explorers & Adventurers (S.E.A.), a group that comprises a hidden storyline that runs throughout the park and has even spread to Hong Kong Disneyland (but more on that another time).

Harrison Hightower III was a greedy and ruthless "collector" of priceless artifacts from around the world.  And by "collector," he pretty much exploited and stole his way to these treasures.  Scoffing of local traditions and cultures, he used his wealth and power to take whatever he wanted, which ultimately led to his doom when he plundered the cursed idol Shiriki Utundu.  This story is relayed in the Tower of Terror pre-show at Tokyo Disney Sea...

Guests entering Harrison Hightower's study will encounter a stained glass window featuring the late Hightower's portrait, various articles and furnishings, and the statue of Shiriki Utundu himself.

After guests file in, the lights dim, and the window comes to life--with Hightower relaying his tale. (There are two pre-show rooms, which are mirrored, which is why some of these photos will feature Shiriki on opposite sides.)

Returning to New York after securing his latest prize, Hightower threw a grand party to show off Shiriki Utundu.

However, things took a sinister turn when he retired early for the evening, taking an elevator in his hotel up to his personal penthouse at the stroke of midnight.

Suddenly, the cursed idol awoke, and Shiriki used his eyes to shoot a green bolt of energy to blast Hightower into oblivion!

The powerful supernatural force shook the entire Hightower Hotel.

The elevator that Hightower had taken plummeted to the ground, shattering at the lobby with a frightful crash.

Hightower was never seen again, and as the story concludes Shiriki himself comes to life and stares at the guests, laughing menacingly with devilish intent.

Suddenly, the lights go out, and a sparkle appears in front of Shiriki--seen only via those mystical green eyes and devious grin.

A split second later, the lights return, and like a ghostly creature, Shiriki has disappeared!  The effect is amazing and unnerving, occurring too quickly to seem real.  And yet, Shiriki has definitely disappeared!  Magic!

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