So an update for you...
The pre-show remains as is, no changes.
The original story is gone.
I had 2 of the 3 storylines, both were well done and used the two current show scenes in new and unique ways. The drop sequence went on a lot longer off-set by shorter show scenes. The little girl speaks in English and French, she is much more sinister/scary than the old show which I would describe as spooky.
Overall the reaction from guests seemed to be positive, I think many were caught off guard because there isn't really any indication that the ride has changed unless you know about it.
It’s permanent.I concur. Just got back from a trip last week. The new storyline is different from the original, but very effective and Universal Studios-HHN level of spooky (without the gore obviously). Tower is my favourite Disney ride, but I wouldn't be mad at all if this were a permanent change. We rode this one multiple times and got a kick out of the different profiles and the fresh storyline.
The Hollywood Tower Hotel is not haunted. It contains rifts in time and space that open and close under the right conditions. You could have this story without slapping the Twilight Zone branding on it. It wouldn't be just a generic "haunted hotel" with the dimensional element in addition to the "forgotten relic of the golden age of Hollywood" angle. The loss of some elements like the Rod Serling Narration would be unfortunate, though.
Also, another update: DHS Tower still has wonky and busted effects, overly quiet and missing audio, broken doors to the outside, nearly silent drop sequences. Still a mess.
How many other rides have detailed backstories printed for staff? That's awesome.
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