They were first seen in 1994, in the legendary pre-show video for Walt Disney World’s Tower of Terror. Now, the five souls lost to the fifth dimension have made the same mistake in Paris. All hope is not lost, however, as the final sections of the attraction’s official website have opened to reveal a unique challenge to pluck them from The Twilight Zone. The prize: entry to a prize draw for park hopper tickets.
As revealed in our tour of the new website last week, several new rooms make use of some clever web-Imagineering to bring to life the rest of The Hollywood Tower Hotel. The parts of the hotel you’ve imagined or seen mentioned on the guides next to the elevators, but never seen for real. The five new areas are all found in the upper “floors” of the website, beginning with the Presidential Suite…
Beginning your adventure, a newspaper appears with the rules of the game and your objective. First: find the lost actress. The photos of the five missing souls can be seen in the top-left of the screen. They’re all played by new actors, not those in the attraction’s pre-show video or ghostly corridor scene, but great care has been taken to ensure they match those seen wandering the Walt Disney Studios Park hotel itself.
The bellhop makes an appearance in each new location. In the Presidential Suite, dressed in luxurious fabrics with a large bed and atmospheric lighting, he appears just briefly before lightning shoots through the windows and the room is thrown into darkness…
You’re left alone with the bellhop and a candle, which you then have to wave around the darkened room to find the translucent missing Actress.
Find her, and another newspaper pops up as her photograph comes to life in colour, the actress smiling at having been pulled from the fifth dimension. Click “next” on the newspaper and you’re taken straight to the next new location…
The “Makeover Room”, where the bellhop appears to spend much of his spare time. Well, how would he get those muscles pushing elevator buttons? You’re looking for the dashing Actor amongst the antique beauty equipment and exercise bikes here.
The next location is perhaps the most surprising. Who knew an underground railway ran right under The Hollywood Tower Hotel, with its own service elevator access? The ‘Basement‘, strangely located on the 8th floor, is where you’ll find the Housekeeper.
Look out for the passing trains, their designs in-keeping with the period, and the advertisements for the hotel along the platform. It’s worth noting that you get only 30 seconds — and one appearance — to click on each ghost and retrieve them from The Twilight Zone. Miss your chance, and the bellhop suffers. At the underground station, he’s taken up into a bright white light.
The most familiar view is the Central Corridor, which the camera quickly moves along, passing several bellhops and luggage trolleys along the way, as you search for the Little Girl.
Finally, the Games Room is similar to the hotel’s lobby, with ghosts appearing and reappearing at their tables to check their bingo numbers against those called by the bellhop. You can spot the five missing souls here…
…and even see the Housekeeper win a game!
Miss your chance to click on the final missing soul, the Former Bellboy, though, and the entire room — the entire website — collapses on one side, lights leaning to the left and furniture sliding to the side of the room! You’re then taken back to the Lobby, where you can revisit the room for another chance to complete the game.
Once you’re done, submit your details for a chance to win some free park tickets.
Taking visitors deeper into the environment than any Disney website beforehand, the completed site for Paris’ Twilight Zone Tower of Terror not only effectively advertises the thrills, atmosphere and themeing of the new attraction, but builds upon its world. Whilst there’s an obvious limit to how much can — and needs to — be constructed within the ride itself, taking the fictional hotel online has allowed Disneyland Resort Paris to take the concept further than ever before. Now, when guests step inside the real hotel at Walt Disney Studios, they’ll be remembering all of these locations — hidden away, high up in the Tower.
This is Imagineering for the 21st Century.