Hotel Hightower is the name of the building that serves as the location of Tower of Terror attraction at Tokyo DisneySea. It is a fictional hotel located in New York City, NY, just toward the beginning of Park Avenue.
The hotel's design is based on a mishmash of Gothic Revival and Moorish Revival architecture (or Neo-Moorish), popular with American and European architects during the 19th and early 20th centuries when the increasing exploitation of European colonies in the Middle East and Africa brought back a thirst for all things "oriental." It is now a style found more commonly in synagogues, due to the association with the Golden Age of Jewry in Moorish Spain.
A hotel directory lists the following amenities:
- Lobby Level
- Hotel Shops
- The Rajah's Pool
- Olympic Restaurant
- China Doll - Salon de Beaute
- Azteca Gaming Room
- Alexandria Library
- First Floor - Lady's Retiring Room
- Second Floor - Gentleman's Smoking Room
- Fourth Floor - Atlantis Ballroom
- Fifth Floor - Explorers Club Meeting Hall
- Sixth and Seventh Floors - Hightower Museum
- Thirteenth Floor - Penthouse
Additionally, a large basement level serves as a storage area for much of Hightower's collection.
The Hotel was built by Harrison Hightower III as a place to help store his collection or artifacts, which he collects from around the world. The architect is said to be Oscar Klinovski, but Hightower took most of the initiative on the Design himself. The Hotel is known to be fourteen stories tall and is shown to have a spa and pool, a parlor room, a ballroom and a garden. Hidden behind a secret compartment is a passage to a vault, where Harrison Hightower placed his collection of artifacts from around the globe.
He held a press conference on the afternoon of New Years Eve of 1899, talking about his recent expedition to Africa, where he has obtained the idol Shiriki Utundu. Manfred Strang, a reporter for the New York Globe-Telegraph, questioned about rumors that the idol was cursed, but Hightower dismissed the claim. Strang continued to question him, which upset Hightower and caused him to kick the reporter out. Later that night, Strang returned (disguised as a waiter) and witnessed Hightower returning to his penthouse apartment at the top of the hotel, and telling his valet Smelding to make sure the New Year's party ran smoothly. Smelding cautioned Hightower about the Idol and begged him to treat it with care, but Hightower discounted it and extinguished his cigar on the idol's head.
At the stroke of midnight, he arrived at his apartment and before the elevator doors opened, the lights in the entire hotel went out. So the green flashing light came from the tower and Hightower's screams were heard in the elevator. When Smelding and Strang searched the elevator, Hightower was missing and only his fez and the idol were inside.
The hotel was then abandoned and fell into disrepair, being given the name "The Tower Of Terror". During construction of the SS Columbia, at the suggestion of his daughter, Cornelius Endicott II, Harrison Hightower's life long rival, began to purchase up the deeds to the disputed land on which the hotel stood, until he officially became the owner of the hotel. However, instead of restoring and reopening the hotel, Endicott planned to tear it down and build a new hotel in its place.
In 1912, Strang published an article about the events of Hightower's disappearance, saying that the hotel must be destroyed. This news came to the attention of Beatrice Rose Endicott, head of the New York Preservation Society and Cornelius Endicott's daughter, who felt that Hotel Hightower was a landmark that needed to be preserved. She was able to save the hotel from demolition, but Strang showed more concern, begging her not to go into the hotel.
Upon her invitation, Strang meets with Beatrice, and the two looked about the hotel. During their exploration, Strang and Beatrice debated one another, before finding the Shiriki Utundu idol, with Beatrice teasing Strang about his superstition. It was at that moment that the telephone rang and Strang answered. On the other end of the phone was a voice, warning them to get out while they still could. Strang realized that the voice belonged to Harrison Hightower himself, before noticing Shiriki Utundu slowly beginning to open its eyes. At this, Strang fled the hotel with Beatrice. Strang once again asked Beatrice to reconsider her plans for the hotel, and she claimed she'd consider it.
The hotel was then open for tours by the New York Preservation Society, leading into the Tower of Terror attraction...