Stitch's Great Escape
Pre-opening Reader Reviews
Tomorrowland
Magic Kingdom



Attraction Description | First-Hand Reports HERE! | Photos HERE!

 

Have you experienced Stitch's Great Escape? If so, let us know what you think!

CAUTION - Reviews have descriptions of the attraction (spoilers).
If you don't want to know the details, don't read this page.

 

Bridget Cyre - January 2005

After reading the poor reviews and being a family that really enjoys this attraction I have to comment. My daughter would have been petrified of Alien Encounter but she loves this ride because she loves Stitch. The darkness & noise are scary elements but those exist in several other Disney attractions. The major element in the old ride was a vicious alien vs. the lovable & pesky Stitch that most kids know & love. Stitch is behaving as you would expect him to before he learns some manners from Lilo. He steals a chili dog, burps, taunts "Meega Na La Kweesta" to Gantu, and fiddles with your hair. It is awesome to see Stitch come to life with superb animatronics. On the way out we only hear people praising the ride. We think it is a great ride and in fact ride it multiple times on our trips and will continue to!

*****

Brenda - January 2005

According to my 7 year old, it was the best ride ever. He loved the burp, but the spitting was another story. He could not handle the Alien Encounter so Stitch was just right for him.

*****

Joshua Harding - January 2005

This ride is awesome. I love how Stitch is so lifelike. Here's a tip: Go in the morning. I would definitely recommend this attraction. Ride it!

*****

Kim McCann- January 2005

We are annual passholders and lifelong Disney fans! I have never been disappointed in a Disney attraction until now. Stitch is a waste of time at the Magic Kingdom! There are so many magical things to enjoy...Stitch isn't one of them. My 7 year old who wears a Stitch t-shirt and carries Stitch around every time we go even hated it! Too bad for Disney..they usually have higher standards. This won't be around for long, hopefully!

*****

Ruth Berman - January 2005

I had read the reviews and was going to skip the ride but there was NO line so we went on. It was really not bad at all! I did find the seats uncomfortable but the technology was great. It was definitely dark and loud so small kids may be afraid. It is very cute how they have Stitch all over the theme park peeking out of bus windows and on billboards because he "escaped".

*****

Steven Featherston - January 2005

Stitch is the greatest ride I have ever been on.

*****

Ward - January 2005

We just got back from WDW, it was our first trip for myself and my two daughters 12 and 9 (my wife went about 18 years ago). We had a great time, but the Stitch ride was a big disappointment. We called it the 'Stitch Sit' since you didn't ride anything. I'll have a hard time enjoying another chili dog after the 'belch' and the seat and shoulder torture device were very unpleasant. I'm glad we only waited 15 minutes for this ride. Next time we won't even waste that here. Everything else was very enjoyable.

*****

Sherry - December 2004

Stitch's Great Escape is such a tremendous disappointment. My family visited Disney in early December. We all love Stitch and were so looking forward to the new "ride". It was horrible.

The bulk of the show is in the dark with a spot light that shines to the place where Stitch is supposed to be hiding. The only time you actually see Stitch is at the beginning of the show. After that I guess you are supposed to use your imagination.

Yes, there is a very bad smell and lots of water. The worst part of it all is the seat harness. I do have problems with my back so I blocked the harness from lowering all the way to my shoulders when it first dropped. That did not work. No matter what I did or how I positioned myself, the danged thing still pressed down on me....HARD! There are a few times the harness slams down quite forcefully when the imaginary Stitch is supposedly jumping around the theater. Ouch! We kept waiting for something to actually happen.........the only thing that did happen is that we were crushed, annoyed and damp.

My children are 16, 13 and 9 and they each hated it equally, as did my husband and myself. When the lights came up, we all looked at each other with disbelief and asked "was that it?". My husband and older son found the harness to be terribly uncomfortable. My daughter and younger son had sore shoulders for an hour or so. My 9 year old was actually afraid of being crushed! Me, my back was trashed for the rest of the day and my shoulders felt bruised. I would bly advise anyone with any type of physical problems to avoid Stitch's (not so) Great Escape.

Disney must be aware of how bad this attraction is. There were two cast members seated in the back corner during the presentation and another one was outside randomly selecting guests for a review. Hopefully they will make some positive changes SOON!

*****

Roger Johnson - December 2004

After reading the various reviews of the Stitch ride, I didn't expect much. We loved it. Never saw Alien Encounter.

*****

Allison DiBiase - December 2004

We came back a couple of weeks ago from our semi-annual trip to the Kingdom. I had the pleasure of going on Stitch's Great Escape and it was a pleasure. I am an adult (in age) and found it funny and entertaining unlike most reviewers. I also did not notice any children having a problem with any aspects of the show. The Stitch animatronic is very well done and moves very realistically. He talks in your ear, bounces on your shoulders and musses your hair. I thought it was great fun and ended up going on it 3 times.

*****

Andrew - December 2004

It was awesome until Stitch spat on you.

*****

Susie - December 2004

We love Stitch but not the ride/attraction. The shoulder harnesses are horrible. I don't have shoulder problems but the harness was hurting me. Thankfully it's a short show. My 10 year old son's shoulder harness went past his shoulders and pinned him. Granted he's small for his age but he's 10 - how can the other smaller children handle it? The seats are very hard and uncomfortable too. Not worth a long wait in line. The burps aren't pleasant either - hold your breath. My 13 year old son liked it but he's the only one who did that I know.

*****

Kelli Trickey - December 2004

The Stitch ride/attraction in my opinion was lame. It was great up until you got into the "room" that used to be Alien Encounter and there the storyline basically ends. There's no story, just some stupid effects that aren't for anyone over the age of 7. Disney could have done so much more with this attraction and they really blew it! My 5 year old liked it okay, but none of the rest of our party of 10 thought it was worth it. You come out of there saying, "Is that all?" Don't recommend it.

*****

Melissa Harley - December 2004

During my first trip to WDW this week, I had the chance to go on the Lilo and Stitch ride and I thought I would leave you my two cents. To me, it wasn't a horrible ride. I had never been so I hadn't experienced Alien Encounter. But, this ride was alright. My boyfriend and I liked the water sprays, it would be more fun maybe if you were a kid. The chili dog burp was a little gross smelling but it added to everything. Maybe it was a little slow paced but I thought Stitch was cute and seeing him standing right there in front of me was neat. It could be scary for the little ones though. A boy in front of me, maybe about 5 or 6 started crying and his dad had to comfort him during the time that Stitch was trying to play with the audience. He is supposed to be a mean character. Also, another man had to leave with his smaller child. Other children loved it.

*****

Rachel - December 2004

Wow....Stitch's Great Escape was not "great". I hated this ride, it was just about the worst ride in Disney history. Alien Encounter was better than Stitch's Great Escape and Alien Encounter was stupid! After going on this ride I felt like telling the other people still waiting in line not to waste their precious Disney World time. The seats were very annoying. Everyone in my family thought that this ride was horrible, stupid, and totally gross not funny. Thats weird, I read that "the room will be filled with laughing more that screaming." But if it was, why did 4 kids had to leave halfway through the ride? SKIP IT!

*****

Alayna - December 2004

I just returned from Disney and went on Stitch's Great Escape while I was there and I was very disappointed. It might be fun for very little kids to see Stitch - there is not much else to the attraction. I realize Alien Encounter was too scary but this attraction is lame and definitely NOT worth the wait. And not to spoil too much but the "Chilli Dog" smell was a bit too much. They should have just started from scratch and not tried to save money by using the equipment from the old Alien Encounter. My advice, get fass passes for Buzz Lightyear next door instead.

*****

Laurel - November 2004

I can't get over how incredibly lame this new attraction is. Alien Encounter opened after my previous trip so I never went on it to compare. The attraction is not scary, not funny, not anything. My husband and I (36 and 34, no kids with us) had the exact same reaction at the end of the show - "that was it?" I wouldn't go on this again even if there was no wait at all.

*****

Andrew L - November 2004

I am 7 years old. I went on the new Stitch ride. At first it was a little scary because they turned off the lights and the big prison guard said a very dangerous alien was coming. But when I saw Stitch, I felt better! He is so cute! And if you have ever seen the movie, you know he really just wants someone to love him. He burps during the ride, and it really stinks! I had to plug my nose! I think the bars they put over your shoulders hurt when they first come down, but they loosen up when the show starts. I want to go on it again because I love Stitch!

*****

Anne - November 2004

What's doubly disappointing about "Stitch's Great Escape" is the cannibalization of a great ride to create a boring one. I went into SGE knowing that I was an adult who had loved Alien Encounter, and this new ride was undoubtedly made less frightening for children. I tried to judge it with that it mind. But it didn't work. There's still an intimidating pre-show, and the creepy chamber and the darkness and the rigid harnesses; it's still not for kids. I was having a reasonably good time until Stitch's escape--and after that all suspense left, as random noises of mischief but nothing more serious filled the chamber. It was DULL. My mom, who had never been on Alien Encounter, had an unbiased: "All that build-up, and then nothing happens. Boring." I'll never forget what a delightful ride AE was--all the subtle jokes aimed at adults ("If it can't be done with X-S, it shouldn't be done at all"), and the way the ride had been deemed so scary they had to pipe in a "heckler's" soundtrack ("Glg--my mouth was open!"), and the way I shrieked when blood (water) dripped on my head as the alien was crunching down on the hapless technician overhead. Sad to know that's gone--miserable to know it's been gutted to make way for something so lame.

*****

Doris Collins - November 2004

We attended the passholder weekend event for Stitch's Great Escape. My sons are 11 and almost 8. This was something they had been looking forward to ever since we saw the signs beginning in April. Unfortunately, it was disappointing. My 11 year old was BORED, in his words. My almost 8 year old was TERRIFIED. He is usually pretty good about the dark but when you go to a show thinking you're going to see Stitch and you see a lot of darkness....it's very upsetting. I doubt we will ever do this one again. There were quite a few screaming, crying children of all ages in this theatre and I am really disappointed with Disney for not making many changes with this show from the Alien Encounter. Maybe with all the negative feedback I am sure they are getting, Disney will take to heart and change it to be more kid friendly. After all, they took a beloved character and they are using him to scare little kids.

*****

Dyanne Westerberg - November 26, 2004

I need to comment on Stitch's Great Escape as many have already. It stinks!! It is by far the worst ride I have ever experienced. My teenage children and 9 year old all agree. As others have said- there is no plot and it is uncomfortable. Stitch spits several times in the beginning and you get sprinkled. also you smell his chile dog belch which is gross in my opinion. A waste of time. Surely their imagineers can think of something better. My advise "skip it!" -- go see philharmagic twice instead.

*****

George Cappello - November 23, 2004

About three days ago, I had the chance to go on the new Stitch ride. I for one was not disappointed. People keep on relating this ride to Alien Encounter and how similar it is. It is supposed to be. They took out the evil alien and put in the menace Stitch. I know the older one had the thrills, but Magic Kingdom is for families and AE was about the only ride in M.K. that some people would not ride, not because of height or age, but out of actual fear. I know because I have a cousin who would refuse to ride AE, but now wants to go on the Stitch ride. By putting in Stitch, they took out the fear and are able to make it a family ride. Yes, it may still be a little scary, but it's all light-hearted fun and thrills instead of hardcore fear. This ride is o.k. by me.

*****

Sandra Lew - November 19, 2004

My 6 year old daughter used a Fast Pass for Stitch's Great Escape. We were very disappointed in the attraction. We had never gone on Alien Encounter, and I did not read any of the reviews posted in order to remain unspoiled. I kept expecting something "more" but "more" never happened. Too much of the attraction took place in the dark, and while my daughter was ok with that, I can see where other kids would be really frightened. The only good thing I can say is that we didn't waste our time in the long stand-by line.

*****

 

Bruce Marshall - November 2004

My family and I just got back from two weeks at Disneyworld . We were lucky or as we found out unlucky to have got to preview Lilo and Stitches new attraction. It was horrible , too scary for little kids and too stupid for adults . I am in my mid 40's an dmy wife is also. We hated it. My kids are 6,11, and 16 and all of them hated it. Very poor planning by Disney.

*****

Barbara Todisco - November 2004

We also attended the new Stitch attraction last week. While I understand that the former Alien Encounter was extremely frightening, this "retread" was as big a disappointment as I have ever experienced at Walt Disney World. It is neither innovative, scary, fun and not worth the time while there are many other attractions to be seen. I won't go into the details of the attraction, they have all been published before by your readers, but this new attraction is definitely not worth the time or effort to see.

*****

Jim Cotterman - November 2004

Stitch's Great Escape. Lame. Close Stitch and reopen CoP full time! There is no story, no ending, just a chance to push guests into the shop after the ride. Same technology as Alien with the movie overlay. It is hard to figure how it could have taken so long to throw this together. It may be worth one trip, just so you can say you have done it all, but only if there is no line and you have time to waste.

*****

Diana Danford - November 2004

This is more of a review than a tip - I guess the tip would be - avoid the new Stitch ride at Magic Kingdom if you have small children who are easily frightened. The ride is AWFUL!!! You're sight says that it claims to be a very family friendly ride with laughter, not screams. This is soooo wrong. It freaked out MANY children in the audience, my 5 year old daughter included. Everyone is strapped in, so you can't hold your child. I tried to pat and comfort her and she freaked out even more because she thought it was Stitch getting her! (She couldn't hear me telling her it was me not Stitch because it is so loud and her eyes and ears were shut tight). We talked to several people who went on this ride and they disliked it as much as we did and said that a lot of kids were terrified. I also heard random people around the park discussing it and there were NO positive comments. As an adult, I thought the technology of the ride was really neat but the presentation of it was really dumb and not at all anything I would want to experience again.

*****

Christy - November 17, 2004

Since one of our favorite attractions was the Alien Encounter, we went to the Magic Kingdom during the Extra Magic Hour and headed right for the new Stitch ride, which had just opened the day before. At 8:15, the ride was not open yet, because of "technical issues." We were able to get a FastPass, and came back several times that morning to see if it was opened yet. It opened a few hours later (around 11:00) and by then the fast pass machines were covered up (maybe they were all gone by then?) There was a big line at that point, but we used our FastPasses. After waiting in the outside waiting area (which is in direct sunlight at that time of the day and quite hot), we headed inside though a couple of preride rooms. Part of the ride showed cartoons, which weren't the quality of animation that we were used to from Disney--they looked really poorly done. It was pretty cool heading into the attraction because of the mist inside, but that was the only thing cool about it. Two kids that I could see from my seat were terrified and screaming, and much of the show is just in the dark with dialogue--which is boring and difficult to follow. When Stitch burps, not once but twice, the smell of "chili dog" is nauseating. And it doesn't feel like it used to, where the Alien was right next to you. What a waste of a great attraction. Too scary for kids and too boring for adults.

*****

Nikki - November 16, 2004

We just returned from WDW and had the opportunity to attend the "Grand Opening" of the Stitch attraction. Myself (25) and my boyfriend (27) have no children. We enjoyed the attraction (even though he felt that there was little too it). I thought the effects were funny and enjoyable and other than the darkness, I can't imagine anything scaring a child. There were no scared children in the room when we took in the attraction. All seemed to enjoy it.

*****

Tracey Lago - November 2004

We were at the Magic Kingdom the day before the "official" opening of Stitch's Great Escape, so we were very excited to see a big sign that touted a preview that day. After waiting excitedly in line for about a half hour, we were let in to the ... attraction? hard to describe what it was, but fun is not one of those descriptions. We were seated in hard, uncomfortable seats that dug into my adult back, but may have been okay for kids, and had heavy restraints dropped down on our shoulders. Thinking this was a prelude to a ride, I tolerated this. But after a bit of "live action" Stitch (just barely visible) a belchy smell in the dark, some noise and flashes of light, the thing was over. My kids and husband and I all looked at each other and said, "that's it?" My son, age 7, said "how lame." My 5-year old daughter, who LOVES Stitch said, "it wasn't a ride, it wasn't a movie, what was it? It wasn't fun." What a disappointment! I'd recommend skipping this so-called attraction, even if there are NO lines. It's a complete waste of time.

*****

Irma - November 2004

My family and I just returned from a magical week at Disney World (returned 11-21-04). We took our girls (ages 8 & 11) to see the new Stitch attraction. We thought we were lucky in getting a fast-pass prior to the "official" opening of the ride. We were very disapointed and did not enjoy the experience. It was hard to follow and not pleasant at all. Many younger children were actually afraid and crying. Any person with neck or back problems should definitely not go on this. We are die-hard Disney fans, but they really missed the boat with this attraction. Would much rather have seen the Timekeeper attraction open (which was closed during our stay.)

*****

Susan - November 2004

We went to the passholder preview and walked right into the waiting room. About 5 minutes later we were on the ride. I have a three and a half and five year old and neither one was scared. They both liked the ride, however I did not. It's basically the same as Alien Encounter with Stitch. I was disappointed and thankful I didn't have to wait in line. I would suggest riding only if there is no line.

*****

Sonny Merrill - November 2004

Stitch was the BEST attraction at the park!

*****

Melissa - November 2004

I recently went to the Stitch passholder "preview". I made the mistake of taking my 3 and half year old who ADORES Stitch. After waiting in line (which by the way where they had us standing there is very little to do except stare at strangers). We entered the "ride" and made our way past all the story setting and into the main room. Now my daughter is a good trooper. She'll sit though the dark, she'll be ok during loud noises. She adores to be scared but this ride turned her favorite character into a big meanie. The story line is too cute for adults and just to mean for the younger ones (who just cant understand Lilo hasnt been met and tamed the mean lil guy yet). My daughter didn't cry or scream or need to be taken out, but she'll never look at her beloved Stitch the same way again.

*****

Ed Popielarczk - November 2004

We were able to see Stiches Great Escape before the official open. My youngest son (who is nine) typicaly does not like the dark. He had no problem with this ride. He loved it! My older son (14) and I were very dissapointed. We found it cute but boring. There were other children in our group who were 6 and under who were crying during and on the way out of the attraction. You don't even see Stitch that much as 80% of the ride is in the dark.

*****

Tammy Naylor - November 2004

My family and I just got back from Disney World and we were lucky enough to get to try out Stitch's Great Escape. We did not like this ride at all. Also I just want to let those of you with small kids know that it is pretty scary for them. There were alot of terrified children crying when we were there. While I love Stitch, there really wasn't much to this attraction. I was extremely disappointed.

*****

Sandra Reifler - November 2004

We just returned from a trip to WDW. While there we were able to view Stitch's Great Escape. I have to agree with other reviews. I was very disappointed with this attraction. For the most part you are sitting in complete darkness just waiting for it to end and I heard many children crying. Disney should have kept Alien Encounter which was 100% better than Stitch. If you have a chance to go see Stitch don't. My 5 year old did not even like it.

*****

Roberta - November 2004

We recently tried the new Lilo & Stitch ride in Tomorrowland and were disappointed as it is very much like Alien Encounter. I would NOT recommend this ride for small children as it is not a "kid friendly" ride (darkened room, same seating with shoulder harness - too scary for little ones).

*****

Donna Slaboda - November 2004

We were disappointed to find out that Stitch would not be opening until the week after our visit in early November. On our last day in Magic Kingdom, we were excited to see the ride was open to all park guests. (On our 1st visit it was open to annual pass holders only.) All 8 of us (3 children, ages 8, 8, & 5) excitedly used our fast passes to enter the ride. Most of the preshow & attraction area was exactly as I remember Alien encounter, (the 1 time I rode it). When the ride ended, there was a general groan of "That's it?" I think the word 'lame' was used more than once. It was a great dissappointment to the adults and children alike. The best thing I can say about it was we didn't have to wait. I was very disappointed. Definitely not a ride to do more than once, if that!
And just too clarify, we are not Disney ney-sayers. We love Disney and go at least once a year. This was just not up to par for a new Disney attraction.

*****

Penny Smith - November 2004

My daughter and I had a couple of very Magic Moments this past week, when we had two opportunities to "sneak peek" the experience at Stitch's Great Escape at Magic Kingdom. A previous reader had written that he was disappointed that the attraction hadn't changed much from the "old" extraterrestrial Alien Encounter except for the last part of the experience. I'm thrilled to report that although the building and much of the layout are the same, it has been completely updated to tell Stitch's story. I don't want to give anything away, but did want to say that kids and adults are going to love it! There were guests who were in our group who had never seen Lilo and Stitch (If you can imagine such a thing) and they still loved it. We saw several smaller children, and no one seemed to be overly frightened--at least in our groups there no tears, but lots of giggles.

*****

JJ - November 7, 2004

I previewed Stitch the week of 11/7 but I really could not hear most of it because of the SCREAMING kid sitting near me. Now, I am not saying you should go crazy with your planning but c'mon people do a little research before taking your kid on a dark ride... Anyway, even though there were no lines, I didn't bother going back. What I did see and hear was very lame. My 5 and 8 year olds were bored and not at all scared. I got a "that's it?" at the end of it. Not sure what the big deal is with this attraction except for the fact that it is new? I never saw Alien Encounter so I have nothing to compare it to.

*****

Deb Kesse - November 7, 2004

We were able to do the Stitch ride on Thursday Nov 7 when they were opening to anyone as a test ride. We were very disappointed. I didn't think it was scary, funny or coherent. Many of the kids (6-10 year olds) in the ride were petrified. There was too much time in the dark with nothing going on.

*****

dvcconvert - November 6, 2004

I had the opportunity to do the AP/DVC preview on Nov. 6th. I had never gone to this attraction while it was AE. Previous to my visit on Nov. 6, I believe the last time I was in that building would have been in the 70's when it was home to 'Mission to the Moon'.

This was a huge disappointment. I love Stitch and imagined what could have been done with this space and that character. The only way I can describe it would be like driving an old junker car which had recently had an expensive paint job. I can only imagine that the imagineer's were told; "make it Stitch, use this building and despite your projections that it will cost $20 Million, here's $2 million...do the best you can". In contrast, after going to stitch, my family and I went on Carousel of Progress. We were all instantly struck by the galactic difference of good verses cheap. I really truely wish I could give a better review of Stitch. But it simply does not merit it in it's current state.

*****

Michele - November 5, 2004

I got to preview this attraction the first day that DVC Members could. I have to say I was very disapppointed in it. For anyone that was in the attraction before when it was Alien Encounter it is the same. The que area all they changed was the writing on the wall, Skippy is in a different bell jar and all they did was put a uniform on SIR. They did add a short video to tell you that a prisoner was on the way and that we had to watch him. I knew at this point that it was going to be bad. When we proceeded into the area for the show it was the same as Alien Encounter no change. I would of thought that they would of done more. Stitch appears in the transportor and that is it. They could of had him in the rafters or something. They need to do alot more work on this attraction. The special effects were the same as before with the water and the shoulder harnses that move to make it feel that he is on you. They added the smell of his breath. But I have to say they would of been better off leaving this as Alien Encounter. I can not believe they opened this ride being so BAD! I was with three people and none of them liked it. A cast member stopped us to ask us about it and we said the same thing that everyone else did that it was so bad words could not describe it.

Vince Honts - November 5, 2004

Maybe I just did'nt get it, but I attended the annual passholders preview on 11/5. I like many of you had followed it's progress for months and was anxiously awaiting it's preview. I thought it was stupid & a waste of time. It's sad that Alein Encounter was closed that long & Disney spent that much money to come up with this. It will definitely NOT be on my must see repeat list of things to see/do on future WDW visits.

*****

Michael Valendo - November 5, 2004

Having read about the Annual Passholder preview of Stitch, we headed right there. What a disappointment. The two preview areas are barely changed. "Skippy" the alien remains, as does the robot from Alien Encounter. They changed what he says and his movements, and put him in a Galactic Federation officer's uniform. The main "ride" is like Alien Encounter starring Stitch. Same premise with the harness and the lights going out. Stitch jumps around in the dark, and burps once or twice. My 2 year old was terrified (and she rode the Barnstormer, so she's no wimp). Very disappointed with what they did to this ride.

*****

Chris White - November 5, 2004

My husband and I rode Stitch's Great Escape during the Passholder preview. Although the changes were cute and made the ride far less scary than Alien Encounter, we were mildly disappointed. For all the hype about the new Stitch ride, very little changed. I would not recommend this ride for younger children due to the fact that most of the ride is in complete darkness. Also, if you have back or neck injuries, just as the old Alien Encounter harness pushed down on your shoulders, this one does, too and it seems to be with more force. You are given a 60 second warning that the harness is coming down. If you raise yourself off the seat temporarily by 2-3 inches and let the harness set a few inches above your shoulders, it will still come down to your shoulders in the latter part of the ride, however, it will not push down with force. You will lose some of the special effects, though. Overall, it's a cute and less scary ride, but we were expecting a very different experience from the old Alien Encounter. Considering the popularity of Stitch and Disney's ability to make fantastic rides, we were disappointed. We won't be waiting in line 30-45 minutes for this one in the future, and we did not ride it a second time.

*****

Steve Savage - November 2004

I had a chance to preview it the first week of November. It's a pretty sad replacement for the Alien Encounter. It lacks a decent story, a sympathetic character, and it is indeed just a cobbled-together ride made from leftover parts of the Alien Encounter. This is yet another example of Disney's incessant corner-cutting in order to save a buck. I could give you quite a few other examples of how Disney has gone downhill over the last few years, but suffice it to say that as a 31-year veteran, I decided that I had finally had enough of skyrocketing prices and plummeting service and quality. It will be a long time before I take a trip back to WDW. I know this is pretty much a cheerleading site for WDW, so I don't expect to see this published, but I think anyone who has gone there for any length of time, say greater than 10 years, would be hard-pressed to come to any other conclusion.

*****

April and Tim - November 5, 2004

We just returned from our sixth trip to WDW and we love all things Disney. We don't have kids, but love all the rides, whether they're supposed to be for kids or not. So, we were both pretty excited to try the new ride. Unfortunately, it was a big let down for each of us. It's fine to do it once, but we both found it pretty boring. It was mainly just sitting in the dark, waiting for something to happen. I think very young children may get scared, because of the darkness. One family had to be escorted out for this reason. They sure won't need the fastpasses for long on this one.

*****

Bob Fiegel - November 5, 2004

Went to it last night during Annual Passholder Preview. It was a big ho-hum, in my opinion. I will advise my summer visitors (I live 15 minutes from WDW) not to stand in line for it unless they are desperate for air conditioning. Regarding the scare factor, one child was taken out by a parent and there was a parent several seats to my right with a flashlight on for his child, which certainly ruined the effect for those of us around him. The way the cast member was surveying and partially cruising the crowd as the show went on indicated to me that they have indeed had a problem with small children needing to be taken out.

*****

Keith Droz - November 4, 2004

I had the unfortunate opportunity to experience Stitch's Great Escape on 11/4 during a preview. Disney once again is cannonballing head-first into a disaster of an attraction. Not to say that you can't build an attraction around Stitch...There is an old saying "if it ain't broken, don't fix it" and frankly Alien Encounter wasn't broken.

What should have been the dead giveaway that this attraction was not going to be good was the reappearance of our old friend "Skippy" from AE in the pre-show area. What the heck was he doing there??? He wasn't integral to the storyline. They just used the original pre-show set and changed the dialogue...all it was missing was Tim Curry. The pre-show was certainly lackluster but compared to the main show it was a riot. As you enter the main chamber a feeling of deja-vu hits you..."am i in the right place???" something here seems awfully familiar here. And you'd be right.

The main show missed on all marks. It had absolutely nothing to make you crawl out of your skin (like AE did). The only "sensory" gag they had was Stitch eats and belches a chili dog...cute. BTW that gag was played twice. not cute. just redundant. If I can say anything good about the attraction was that the animatronics of Stitch was vastly improved over the original AE, but that's where it stops.

Here is my tip (barring any major changes to the attraction)... If you avoided AE because it was too scary then you'll enjoy this attraction. If you were a fan of AE (like myself) skip this one and head over to Philharmagic instead. Just one person's $0.0375 (adjusted for inflation).

*****

Kelly LaFramboise - November 4, 2004

My husband and I visited the new Stitch attraction. Stitch was very real-looking. I was troubled by the restraints they lowered onto my shoulders. They were very heavy. If a person had back or neck problems, they could be in quite a bit of pain. The "chili-dog burp" smelled so gross. Not at all like a chili-dog, more like dog food! I won't say I'll never return to the attraction. When returning to Disney World, I'll go see Stitch again, this time preparing myself for the shoulder restraints and holding my breath during the burp!

*****

Melissa - November 3, 2004

My mom and I were able to try out Stitch's Great Escape. To say that we were disappointed would be an understatement! We both LOVED "Lilo and Stitch" the movie and were thrilled to have a chance to preview this attraction. Unfortunately, this attraction was ABSOLUTELY HORRIBLE!!! It had no point, no real plot and it was not entertaining at all! You basically just get taken into a room with uncomfortable seats, see Stitch appear in a glass tube then all goes dark and Stitch bounces on your head a few times, burps and in your face and something gets you wet. That's it! It's a short, dumb attraction not worthy to be in the wonderful Magic Kingdom.

*****

Craig - November 3, 2004

Being familiar with the previous Alien Encounter attraction can interfere with the enjoyment of Stitch’s Great Escape. The changes are small enough that I had trouble releasing on the old to enjoy the new.

Most of the effects used are the same as those used in Alien Encounter, but the setup for these effects isn’t as good. For example, in Alien Encounter, you saw the creature flicking his tongue shortly before the lights went out and you felt something flicking the top of your head. No doubt it was his tongue. Something, apparently Stitch, touches the top of the head in the new attraction, but I’m not certain what Stitch was doing or why. It just happened.

Although I always enjoyed Alien Encounter, I understand why Disney wanted to take the edge off it to make it more acceptable to children. I also understand replacing the Alien with Stitch, a popular Disney alien. Unfortunately, there are still periods of darkness and loud noises, so it still scares little kids. And, without the old edge, it lost its appeal to this adult.

Usually when I go on a Disney attraction for the first time, I want to go on it again right away. But not this time.

*****

Shawn - November 1, 2004

After a few days of trying, I finally got to see Stitch in action today. I have to say that Alien Encounter was far better. I had two friends see it before me and neither of them liked it either but I thought they were just being jaded. I heard many bad things from the guest who where on it with me as they exited the ride too. The ride is totally geared more towards children but it is still not kid friendly either. Part of the reason the idea behind the ride works is that the place goes dark for long periods of time and the kids just started screaming after a few seconds of this. They even had to undo the shoulder bars off of one kids and her Mom because the little girl was having a total fit over the situation. It seems Disney may have just shrunk the demographics for this ride. Before the ride appealed to adults, teens, tweens, and some very adventures older children. Now it's set up to appeal to older children and younger children, the later who will be scared out of there pants when they go on it and might need help because Disney restrained them in the dark for a few minutes. The Stitch figure did move great as did the robot arms. I'm very sorry to say that this looks like it will need a quick redo like when they took Figment out of Imagination.

*****

Jessica Jesky - October 29, 2004

There were 4 of us (me and my husband, and another couple). We had a blast! Yes, the ride could use more Stitch in it, but for the life of me I can't understand how even young children could be afraid of this attraction. You are never once given the impression that Stitch is going to hurt you. He's just wreaking havoc around you. I don't remember too much darkness in the chamber, either. It didn't seem excessively dark at all. I also don't remember any children crying or screaming, either. Most kids were laughing and carrying on when we walked out. There was just one child that seemed a little upset. It's a great attraction, and a lot of fun. It's not meant to be an end-all be-all attraction. It's fun, it's got the best Disney character around, and I can't wait to experience it again.

*****

Stitch-tar (Rhymes with Ishtar)
by Len Testa
Unofficial Guide to WDW


(Editor's Note: This review describes things that happen in the
attraction, also known as spoilers.)


In the comic strip Bloom County, the character Opus once wrote a movie review that went something like this:

"George Phblat's new film, 'Benji Saves the Universe,' has brought the word 'BAD' to new levels of badness. Bad acting. Bad effects. Bad everything. This film just oozed rottenness from every bad scene... Simply bad beyond all infinite dimensions of possible badness!"

"Well, maybe not that bad, but Lord, it wasn't good."

This was the first thought I had after getting a peek of the pre-opening, still-being-refined Stitch's Great Escape at the Magic Kingdom this past Saturday. Simply bad. Bad beyond all reasonable explanations of badness. And if it isn't really that bad, then Lord, it isn't good.

The Stitch attraction begins with a short pre-show film, where guests are told they've been accepted as new recruits in the Galactic Federation's prison system. Some of the same characters from the Stitch movie, including (I think) Agent Pleakley and Captain Gantu, appear here, and remind the guests that these prisoners are very dangerous.

After the film, guests are led into the same pre-show teleportation demonstration area as Alien Encounter. As homage to that attraction, Skippy, the test subject from the old show, is shown here in the left teleportation tube. Replacing Alien Encounter's S.I.R., the explanation of how prisoners are teleported to the facility is done by a robotic prison sergeant, voiced by someone who sounds a lot like Richard Kind from ABC's old Spin City television series. Walt Disney Imagineering seems to have re-used much of the animatronics from the old S.I.R. robot, with bits of policeman uniform thrown on to remind guests they're in a prison. To anyone who's seen the old attraction, the costume looks like a cheap addition. To those who've not seen Alien Encounter, the first impression the uniform gives is probably "android Village People."

Also during the demonstration, guests are told that the jail holds two types of prisoners: "Level 1" and "Level 2," with the latter being the most hazardous. But as the demonstration ends, guests are breathlessly told that a "Level 3" prisoner is being teleported in, and the new recruits should prepare for this very dangerous individual.

Guests are then led into the same seating area used in Alien Encounter, with the same seating configuration, same teleportation tube, and same combined safety harness/binaural sound system. The harnesses are lowered on to guests' shoulders, and the show begins.

A captive Stitch is teleported into the tube, and kept in place by two robotic plasma beams. As with Alien Encounter, the subject escapes, this time by spitting acid on the robots. (When Stitch spits acid, the audience is doused in water.) The acid, of course, short-circuits the prison electrical system, including the robotic beams, and a blackout ensues. Just like Alien Encounter, the now-free prisoner runs around the audience, this time jumping on shoulders and eating the guests' food, while flickering lights and urgent shouts from the prison guards fill the theater.

Eventually, power is restored and Stitch is quickly beamed out of the prison, to exile in Walt Disney World, where his particular Elba is the Astro Orbiter (how apropos). The attraction ends with Stitch grinning mischievously, and the prison leaders apologizing for the mix-up.

I left the theater stunned. It's immediately obvious that the story behind the attraction doesn't work. Guests are never given a reason to empathize with Stitch, so it's difficult to root for him during his escape attempt. We're never told why he's a prisoner or what crime he's committed. (Maybe they should have beamed him to Guantanamo Bay instead of Walt Disney World?) If he's so dangerous, why is a theme park an acceptable prison alternative? And are we really supposed to believe that a civilization advanced enough to master teleportation isn't smart enough to have a backup generator for power outages?

The pre-opening publicity from Disney emphasized that the attraction would be more child-friendly than Alien Encounter. That's completely untrue. During my show, several children had to leave the attraction midway, and many more who remained were in tears as they left the theater. Later, I stood by the exits and watched three complete sets of guests exit the attraction, and most of the kids had the kind of shell-shocked look on their faces that you'd normally associate with refugees streaming out of Bosnia. Not a single person, child or adult, said anything remotely like, "Hey, let's go on that again!"

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