You can call it fan service or staying faithful to various well-known pieces of the subject matter, but Flanagan takes the audience on a nostalgic ride in the movie's third act. It's here where much of the movie's tie-ins take place, from the camera zoom over the island in lake from The Shining's opening credits sequence to "REDRUM" to the familiar song cue of Al Bowlly's "Midnight and the Stars and You" to the Grady girls and even to the casting of Alex Essoe (Starry Eyes) and Roger Dale Floyd as young Wendy and Danny who appear in flashbacks throughout the film.
We'd be remiss if we didn't mention an earlier scene which depicts Dan interviewing for the hospice job and how, aesthetically, it's framed and set-designed to mimic Jack Torrance's own job interview scene in The Shining.
From the beginning of Doctor Sleep, we see Danny being haunted by the ghosts of The Overlook. Mrs. Massey, the bloated naked woman in Room 237's bathtub (it's Room 217 in King's books), torments the boy. In both the book and the movie, these events take place. And while Dick Hallorann does appear to Danny and teach him the psychic ability to create lockboxes in his mind, and then trapping these shine-hungry monsters in them, the big difference between the literary and cinematic renderings of the story is simple: Dick dies in Kubrick's movie, but he survives in King's book.
Since Dick died in The Shining, the movie, his spirit is what visits Dan in Flanagan's movie. That doesn't change too much as the film progresses, except it does set the stage for Dan's death and return to Abra as a ghost himself.
The biggest moment that stands out in the Doctor Sleep film is the representation of Jack Torrance and Dan's confrontation with him in the Overlook's Gold Room. It's here, in Kubrick's movie, where Jack first meets Lloyd the bartender and falls off the wagon completely. And much like Jack's exchange with the hotel's murderous caretaker Delbert Grady, where Grady insists that Jack was the actual caretaker, his spirit is now the bartender. It's fitting, really, given his own nagging thirst for whiskey and Dan's struggles with alcoholism, as well.
Jack and Dan, facing off in the exact same room where Jack and Lloyd met is a chilling scene, to be sure. But it should be of no surprise to you that this never happened in King's book. As we mentioned above, the hotel was burnt to the ground in King's 1977 novel and in his 2013 sequel, it's still gone. In fact, the only real appearance of Jack Torrance in the book came as a ghost memory to Dan as he and Abra prepared to take on Rose and her gang. Call it fan service, or something else entirely, but the confrontation between father and son helped to bring closure to the Torrance son's troubled life.