While it offers a ride experience that is similar to the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror attractions at Disney's Hollywood Studios, Disney California Adventure and Disneyland Paris, Tokyo DisneySea's version dispenses with the Twilight Zone tie-in.
The elaborate backstory revolves around Harrison Hightower, a famous adventurer who has collected a variety of artefacts inside a New York hotel. After bring back a cursed idol from Africa, he boards an elevator with it - which promptly crashes to ground below. When the doors are opened, Hightower is nowhere to be seen.
Guests are taken on a tour of the hotel, with a guide and an effects-laden pre-show filling them in on the background. They then emerge into a storage area, where they are divided into groups and board one of the hotel's elevators. Seated and strapped in, they rise to take in two mid-level effects scenes. The elevator then races to the top of the hotel, offering a quick peek out over the park before plummeting towards the ground below at speeds that are faster than freefall. The elevator then rises and drops again several times, before guests emerge into the post-ride shop.
The Tokyo DisneySea version of the Tower of Terror is a clone of the version at Disney California Adventure (apart from the storyline). The original ride, which opened at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Florida in 1994, features an additional section in which the elevators leave the shaft and enter one of the hotel’s floors, but this was removed to increase the reliability and capacity of subsequent versions.