Tower of Terror: The Mystery is a short film made to promote Tower of Terror at Tokyo DisneySea. It was available to watch on the Tower of Terror website, and was animated in CGI with two live actors.
Manfred Strang is a reporter for the New York-Globe News in 1912, investigating the disappearance of explorer and antiquities collector Harrison Hightower III. He tells the story from his point of view, having seen everything from the press conference to Hightower’s last moments in this realm.
The film cuts to the press conference. Harrison Hightower III had just gotten back from his expedition along the Congo River and his showing off his latest possession - Shiriki Utundu. He exaggerated the story, saying that he risked his life to get it and that the tribe was not happy to part with it. Strang stood up and asked if it was true that the idol was cursed. Hightower laughed, thinking that was ridiculous. He continued to ask questions about Shiriki Utundu, until he was kicked out of the press conference.
That night, Hightower threw a party at the Hotel Hightower to celebrate his return. Strang snuck into the party, disguised as a waiter, to spy on him. He stood nearby, as Hightower prepared to take Shiriki Utundu up to his penthouse. He asked his manservant, Smelding, to watch the party, while he was gone. Though he warned him to be careful with the idol and treat it with respect, Hightower refused and put out his cigar on its head, as the elevator doors closed. Manfred speculates that this was the moment that sealed his fate.
Fifteen minutes passed, and Shiriki Utundu came alive, opening its eyes. It possessed the elevator and crashed it to the bottom level. Smelding and Strang examined the wreckage, but Hightower was nowhere to be seen. Only Shiriki Utundu remained.
Strang has been examining this case for thirteen years, but has not found anything. All that he knows is Harrison Hightower disappeared and the Hotel Hightower has been cursed. Seeing no other option, he writes his next newspaper article: “Hotel Hightower Must Be Destroyed”.
That morning, Beatrice Rose Endicott reads the article and is disgusted by the sentiment. It is a historical landmark, and she vows that she won’t let them destroy it. So, along with the New York Preservation Society, she launches a campaign to save the Hotel Hightower. They are granted a charter to open the hotel, once again, for tours. Strang is furious that they would allow this. He warns the audience to stay away from the Hotel Hightower and Shiriki Utundu until he solves the mystery.
- The actors that portray Strang and Beatrice can also be seen in an advertisement for the attraction, portraying the same characters.
- The scene where the elevator crashes is shown differently in this film than it is in the attraction. In the ride, Hightower is thrown into the elevator when it crashes. Here, he is already in the elevator, when it crashes.