I just rode the Summer Nightastic overlay for WDW's Tower. I will say now, I'm going to go blow by blow for the whole experience (for a reason I'll get to) so if you want to be surprised, gloss over or plug your ears and eyes and go "LALALALALA" for a while.
The beginning walk up is about the same. The music is much clearer and the lobby looks great. Not much different here. In the Library, the lightning and lighting effects were far more drastic, complete with the window in great sync. Then the fun really began. They totally reworked the sound and lighting design in load, making the load station even darker than it was and that boiler room really creepy. Like "Freddy's going to leap out and kill me" creepy. The sounds of a disembodied child laughing and the faint sounds of a really massive storm outside didn't help. Then it happened. What's "it"? Well, at what seemed to be pretty random intervals, all the generators for the service elevators stopped and then a loud "bzzap" signaled all of the lights (except for the ones directly over the load for what I can only think safety reasons) went dead for about 3-4 seconds. I'll admit, that did startle me for a moment, a definite noticeable change if you are in that "I know what's going on" mode.
We piled into the service elevator and things began. The shaft is significantly darker with some different audio playing on the way up (you'll see that's a theme). Then the doors open to the hallway, as normal. The lightning struck outside the window and a blinding flash happens in the room. Ooooook. Thematic, or so I thought. Everything works as before, looks the same, the star-field looks great, doors close. Now here comes the big one.
The doors open up again to...a star-field. Yep. No 4th dimension room. The elevator lurches forward, as usual, down the star-field hallway. The windows and walls on both sides have been covered up by a very obvious black curtain with stars and the hallway is eerily silent, from what I remember. And that's the best way to describe it. It's a hallway and feels like nothing more than that. Then, as the elevator centers itself, the end of the hallway changes to show...a mirror. Everyone who knows their Tower of Terrors knows where this is going. Yes, it is the exact same effect from the California/Tokyo/Paris versions of Tower, just this one is with a still image taken of the elevator car (note the flash from before). As the elevator continues through the door to the drop shaft, there is a very cool effect of the sound of broken glass (or mirror) and then 1930s era music playing over the Rod Serling narration. Playing over it enough that you can barely hear it anymore, to make it you plowed through the mirror and back into the night that the original 5 got zapped into the Twilight Zone. The drop sequence was air-time filled, but there wasn't anything that was overwhelmingly different to my memory. By that time, I had already face-palmed due to the loss of the 4th dimension room.
For some reason, this really irked me. I know the current plan is to homogenize the experience with the Disney Parks with the "One Disney" plan, ensuring that a guest will experience the same experience no matter what Disney Park they go to, but that is achieved by sacrificing the identities of the individual parks themselves. I know the first draw of "it's Disney" doesn't matter what park you go to, but there has to be something else to draw guests to a certain property. If you make it all the same, then why would a guest from CA want to come to WDW? It's segmenting your audience by providing identical experiences to each coast, a process which may hurt in the long run. It's also with every change, WDW feels more and more like the red headed stepchild. I'm very proud of WDW, for obvious reasons, and it really hurts me to see it's identity slowly being pushed aside and the things that make it unique being turned into everything else. If I was in California, I'd feel the same way about DL, I'm sure. I walked out of the Tower, these thoughts running through my head and feeling generally disappointed and let down. Luckily, it's only temporary.
I apologize if this turned a little ranty. I'm a nerd (obviously, I'm here) and I think about this stuff.