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


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

See NEW photos HERE!


WARNING!
Reviews have descriptions of the attraction.
If you don't want to know the details (AKA "spoilers"), don't read this page.

*****

Andrea - October 2004

My family and I experienced the Stitch's Great Escape sneak preview Halloween weekend. It was fantastic! Better than expected, not very scary at all. My 2-year-old daughter and 5-year-old son were not afraid because they knew it was Stitch, even in the dark. My son was grossed out when Stitch "spit" on him and burped the chili dog, his reaction was so funny! Stitch's movements were so smooth it was like he was real. Absolutely fabulous, funny, and great for kids. It would be even more fab if they could somehow make it include Stitch's cousins.

*****

Tim - October 2004

We made only our second family vacation to WDW for Halloween week. The highlight was getting to see some of the RED SOX parade down Main Street USA. However, one of the lowlights was being "LUCKY" enough to get a sneak peak at the Stitch ride. We were not familiar with Alien Encounter, so we can't compare it to that, but I can say it's not nearly as entertaining as PhilharMagic, nor even Muppets 3-D or It's Tough to be a Bug!

*****

L.M. Michigan - October 2004

Got to ride the new Stitch's Great Escape (old Alien Encounter). Rode it with my 14-year-old and 7-year-old. We were all VERY disappointed. It is BORING. NOT much action. Few things: basically you smell Stitch's bad breath and feel him jumping on your seat restraint. Lots of dark boring moments in between. Not worth the wait. Must mention, the Stitch robot does look incredibly alive and real, not mechanical-looking at all. Very lifelike. Ride: BORING. No one liked it in our family.

*****

Juan & Melissa - October 2004

My girlfriend and I were lucky enough to catch one of the few previews of the new Stitch ride in Tomorrowland at Magic Kingdom. We both had been previously let down by the original Alien Encounter ride. We were also somewhat skeptical about this new ride because it seemed just a simple "redressing" of the old one. After having waited about 30-45 minutes, we went through the ride. Without giving anything away, we have to say that we were both pleasantly surprised. It was a lot of fun and way more enjoyable than the Alien Encounter. The basic concept is still there (transporting and escape) but it was upped for the hilarity of Stitch. We will definitely do it again once it's fully up and running.

*****

Milli Ramirez - October 2004

I rode the Stitch ride and was very unimpressed. It reeked like Cup o' Noodles (due to the "special effects") and was boring! I was so jazzed at being one of the first to try out the ride, but was sorry I wasted my time.

*****

Lindsay - October 2004

I was able to preview the ride on October 30. It was cute, but I thought it was too scary for young kids. A lot were screaming when the lights went out. Also some were afraid of the shoulder restraints.

*****

Lynn Schulz - October 30, 2004

I was at the Magic Kingdom on October 30 and got to see the Stitch attraction. There were many small children in the show that I saw and I didn't hear any crying or any indication that the children were scared. I think that because they know Stitch so well they weren't frightened. I really enjoyed it.

*****

Beth Fulcher - October 30, 2004

We just came back from a long weekend at Disney (over Halloween) and were able to preview the new STITCH ESCAPE show. Unfortunately, we were not impressed. The previous show was one of the best. The replacement is geared to very small children only. Don't believe teens and adults without small kids should bother.

*****

Bobby Cline - October 30, 2004

I had the opportunity to experience Stitch's Great Escape on Saturday, October 30. The park was very crowded, but luckily I only had to wait about 25 minutes to ride this attraction. I had my 4-year-old son with me. I had experienced Alien Encounter 10 years ago and I felt that Stitch's Great Escape was definitely not as scary as that ride. However, when the show was over I asked my son what he thought about it and he said that he did not like it. I think it scared him and I could tell during the show that it was not something he was enjoying. I did think that Stitch looked very good and that made the experience a bit better. I enjoyed the attraction, but would not need to experience it more than once. It's not really a thrill ride to me and seeing it again would be like watching a rerun of a TV show. I would recommend seeing it at least once, but I would leave children 5 and under out of the experience.

*****

Jennifer Kovick - October 30, 2004

We were able to experience the new Stitch attraction on October 30. I have to say that it was kind of a disappointment. I guess I expected more effects and more laughs. At least three families had to leave because the darkness and noise frightened some of the smaller children. An OK attraction to experience once but I would never call it a "must see."

*****

Donna Woitha - October 30, 2004

We just got back from WDW. We love all things Disney, but my husband and I were both disappointed with the new "Stitch adventure." I understand that Alien Encounter was kind of intense for small children, but they really didn't change that much of the show -- just took away the "scary" alien and replaced it with Stitch, and didn't do a very good job of it. (They could at least have left Tim Curry's voice on the robot!)

*****

Monica - October 25, 2004

We were fortunate to see Stitch's Escape. My 6-year-old daughter loved it! She has been collecting Stitch trading pins ever since. The darkness of the show was a little scary, but the silliness of Stitch makes it fun. We heard no crying children, just laughter.

Cara Ramos - October 25, 2004

I was able to go on Stitch on Monday, October 25. I loved it! Even though they kept it mostly the same I was laughing more than I used to scream for AE. My 5-year-old daughter, who LOVES Stitch, however, hated it... she cried. She said it was too scary and she never wanted to go on again.

*****

Denise Callies - October 24, 2004

We just visited Magic Kingdom and were able to preview the ride. Eight of us did the ride, four were children age 5, 6, 8 and 9. They all hated it -- crying, sore shoulders, etc. I guess I myself have to say why they tried to make it cute because of Stitch, but the long periods of darkness and the repeated slamming of the harnesses on the shoulders were too intense for our group of kids. I was quite shocked to see that Disney would change Alien up to this. Although there were warnings that the ride may be too intense for children, I think that most parents (over 50% of the riders were small children) ignored the warnings since it was Stitch. I know that we will not ride it on our next visit.

*****

Cathy - October 24, 2004

They use the same pre-show set up as before with S.I.R. now named Sarge and in uniform, and Skippy was still there. The concept is that you are security recruits and this is your first day of training. During the pre-show, you get word that a Level III offender is coming in (Sarge just told you there were 2 levels of offenders) -- and Captain Gantu orders Sarge to get us in there to help out/witness.

You go into the same exact looking setup as for Alien Encounter, with the XS signage changed -- but the seats are identical -- overhead restraints that come down to your shoulders to allow the full effects to be experienced by all tall enough (sorry, I didn't catch the height).

My Opinion - First - in full disclosure mode - I really enjoyed Alien Encounter and would do it multiple times on a week-long trip (my sister, too).

I think the height restriction, necessary for the full-effects, also keeps the very young ones out of the attraction, which is probably a good thing. It's not ALL that much less scary than Alien Encounter, and I think the repeatability is even less than the previous version. To me, it was about the same, just watered down -- so it's this cute little cuddly-looking guy instead of a scary alien spitting on you, sneezing, and breathing down your neck (and now he burps, too - yechh) - so I guess it's less scary, but it still goes pitch black and although I didn't hear any kids freak out, it wouldn't surprise me if it happens.

All-in-all, I'll probably visit it on each trip, but doubtful if I'll go multiple times in the same week.

*****

Anne - October 24, 2004

We got to see Stitch on Sunday when we went past and realized it was open. The descriptions given here by others are very accurate as far as how the ride goes. I must say that we had fun at this new attraction. My son, who is 5 can't stop talking about it. He loved it so much we went on it twice! He is a big Stitch fan. We did not find it scary at all, and saw no other kids who were upset either. Of course both of my kids love the Haunted Mansion, my 2 year old daughter laughs at it. So fear is not an issue on most attractions for them. She was unfortunately 1/2 an inch too short for this attraction. Maybe next time we go she will be taller.

*****

Jerry Jones - October 24, 2004

We were patiently waiting for the passholder preview on November 5th, but were very surprised to find that Stitch was open today (10/24). We had previously experienced the Alien Encounter, so we were somewhat familiar with the environs once we entered. The basic layout was the same as with Alien. You first entered the presentation on the teleportation of captured alien offenders, then were sent to the main teleportation chamber where higher level prisoners were teleported. This was where Stitch entered the picture. The overall experience was quite a bit less intense than previously experienced with Alien Encounter, especially with the familiar character. My boys (ages 6 and 11) enjoyed seeing their favorite character, so any uncertainty was ameliorated by the familiarity of Stitch. We enjoyed it very much and look forward to our return.

*****

Karen - October 24, 2004

Stitch's Great Escape was open today when I was at the Magic Kingdom. It is essentially the same ride that was there before (Alien Encounter) except that the theme has been changed to Stitch and the alien is Snitch instead of that ugly alien.

*****

Vicky Braun - October 24, 2004

Note: This contains spoilers for Stitch's Great Escape. I will mark the portion below where the spoilers begin. The beginning part should be fine to read if you don't want too much information.)

I just returned home from 9 wonderful days in the World. My husband and I really enjoyed Alien Encounter so we were very curious to see how they transformed the attraction and excited because we would be able to bring our kids, ages 4 and 6, who we might not have brought in to Alien Encounter. Yesterday (Sunday, Oct. 24) we decided to spend our last few hours in the Magic Kingdom before our evening flight home. We were very excited to hear from the Talking Garbage Can outside Mickey's Star Traders that Stitch was open that day for previews. The wait was not terribly long; about 30 minutes. The signs said that you must meet the minimum height requirements, but nothing indicated what that requirement was. I asked a CM and was told that "right now it's 35 inches" so it sounds as if that is subject to change.


***SPOILERS START HERE***
The queuing area was very similar to that of Alien Encounter. Of course the characters were different. The premise is that Stitch is the guests are all guards for prisoner transportation. You get the basics on the TV screens when you first enter the building. This is an animated introduction by Gantu and the Grand Councilwoman. Pleakly can be heard, but not seen. Then you are herded into the next room where the same robot from Alien Encounter, but dressed in uniform, explains how the prisoner transportation works. Again, this is very similar to the old Alien Encounter. During that presentation we are informed that there is a Level 3 (very dangerous) prisoner that needs to be transported and that we, the "guards" would have to go along even though it was our first day on the job. Then you are brought to the main theater that looks the same as the Alien Encounter theater. Like in Alien Encounter, the harnesses are located above you and slide down after every one is seated. I was seated in a seat that had a new all plastic harness. My 6 year old son next to me had what appeared to be an older harness left over from Alien Encounter. His harness had a foam or rubber padding at the bottom. As the harnesses were coming down I shifted over slightly to make sure my 4 year old daughter was sitting properly. As in Alien Encounter, the harnesses press down on your shoulders to determine how far they should go down and then ease up slightly. Because my harness was all hard plastic, this was quite uncomfortable, and almost painful. And since I had been leaning slightly to make sure my daughter was all the way back, the harness was not positioned right for me and I was unable to sit up straight during the entire "show" because the hard plastic harness was digging into the top of my shoulders. Neither of my children were tall enough to have the harnesses even reach their shoulders, so they missed that part, but I'm glad that they didn't have to deal with the discomfort.

I found the "show" itself to be disjointed and hard to follow. I thought at first that it was because I was uncomfortable and not paying close enough attention, but the rest the other 5 adults in my party agreed. The script was lacking. The audio was hard to hear unless you had your head all the way back, which was not made clear at the beginning. Stitch, was of course the Level 3 prisoner we were assigned to guard. As in Alien Encounter, the harnesses press down to make it feel as if the alien is on your shoulders. Because the new harnesses are not padded this was painful and did not have the same feeling of having someone's hands or feet on our shoulders. This was not just a problem for me with my ill fitted harness. Everyone in my party agreed that it was painful and did not achieve the desired affect. At one point I felt something on the top of my head. Some in my party felt that, but others did not. Some in my party also reported feeling something on their necks, but I did not feel that. The "show" makes use of some odors and water spray to give it a realistic feel. The room was never as dark as it was during Alien Encounter. Even so, they were a few crying children that had to be led out in the middle by a CM.

All in all, I was not impressed with the attraction. My kids liked it, but they didn't get the whole feel of it. They were just happy to see Stitch. I'm disappointed in this one, but if, as I believe, their objective was to make it for young kids (up to 10 or 11) then it probably does the job. Otherwise, they need to make some changes to make it appealing the older folks. The one thing that Disney must correct is the painful harness.

*****

Alyssa Leystra - October 23, 2004

I visited Stitch's Great Escape and I liked it, but it wasn't as good as I anticipated it to be. I liked the 'training introduction' but the actual attraction had no point to it. A lot of wires being broken by stitch and hearing him in the ceiling. The best part was him burping the chile dog, because it actually smelt like it, though it made me sick. They use water, like they do in everyone of these types of rides. One thing I advise is to not push the harness thing too hard. I couldn't push it up again and it hurt, especially when he 'jumped on me'. I would definitely go again, but not one of my must-see attractions.

*****

Kenny Cottrell - October 23, 2004

I was able to see the new Stitch's Great Escape on Saturday, 10/23. Without giving away too much here (spoilers below for those interested), I will say that Disney keeps a lot of the "techy" part of Alien Encounter, but for an animated type "Fantasyland" attraction, it is TOO technical as far as that is concerned. They spent too much money on nothing. There's no story line at all. You still have the two-stop pre-show as in Alien Encounter, but it doesn't provide a storyline that makes sense. Once in the theater, halfway through it, I felt like, "This should be done now, it's already too long." Stitch is just a character as far as the attraction goes, you don't need to know anything about Stitch for the attraction itself. I try not to learn anything about the attractions before hand, so I can experience them as unbiased as possible. I haven't seen the movie, so afterwards, I asked others if some of the effects were related to the movies and they said no.

They did do a good job with the audio-animatronic of Stitch, but the psychological effects (similar to Alien Encounter stuff: darkness, breathing, etc.) seem to still be too scary for children. We saw too many kids coming out with wet eyes -- one kid and his mom left during our show. And they didn't have any "may be too scary warnings." I think people have a false sense of security because it is "Stitch." But I'm not sure those types of effects are treated differently by children. I'd bet to children they're scary no matter who the character is. As one friend with me put it, "Stitch is mischievous without humor."

If you want to see it, it seemed to be open at least from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, although cast member previews are November 1-2, so it will be closed to the public then.

***SPOILERS START HERE***

This is how the show goes: We start off in the first preshow, being told that we are recruits for being guards for aliens. We keep naughty aliens until they become nice. In the second preshow area, Skippy is in the teleportation chamber and S.I.R. has been replaced (kind of replaced... just dressed up and with a new voice) by a training guard. They explain teleportation type stuff and explain our mission. Then it's off into the theater. As we are looking for our Alien, we get Stitch. They decide he isn't too dangerous, so they lift up the teleportation tube and then Stitch starts to cause mayhem. He manages to disconnect the electricity, so it goes dark. After they lift the tube and before he turns out the lights, he spits directly onto two different people, one on each side of the theater. I can't remember what the reasoning is for the other water, but they did lots of water effects, probably the most of any WDW attraction to date that doesn't actually *involve* water. Stitch breathes on us a couple of times and he fights a woman "in the audience" for her chili dog. He takes it and eats it, and then breathes on us, so there is a smell effect too. (I guess he burps.) He bounces around the room too, so the restraints are used to make that effect happen. But it's very similar to the psychological effects used in Alien Encounter... just with a different character. All in all, it is just Alien Encounter with Stitch replacing the Alien.

*****

heidi - October 23, 2004

The line curves under the people mover, then moves back in front of the ride again. There's no theming in the back end of the waiting area & I hope they're still going to add something, even just posters from the film. They said the line would be 60 min but it was more like 35 to the 'front door' when we went.

At the intro room, pleakley introduces the grand councilwoman who tells us how we are going to guard the naughty until they become nice. Then Gantu comes on the screen, and we get a quick scroll of stitch's 'cousins'. The pleakley sends us into the next room.

Next room is the familiar three rows and the robot guy from alien encounter is now a prisoner guard. A 'level one' gets sent into a teleportation chamber after a bakery incident. Then, an alert comes in from gantu regarding a 'level three' and we're moved to the chamber with the chairs.

It's a similar room to the alien encounter one but it doesn't go black. Stitch teleports into the tube and cannons point at him before they lift the tube. Stitch eats a cellphone - it goes totally black for a bit so a flashlight is good for little kids. Then he eats a hot dog - it gets smelly in a funny way. The cannons try to blast stitch and they keep missing him. He jumps around and it's a little different for everyone, and most of the audience gets a bit wet. Then he teleports away again, back to earth, where he goes here to disney. Very clever visuals!

Then we're released to find him here at the park. And of course we exit into a shop...

The whole thing was a little too intense for my five year old, who entered with a sense of foreboding but was in tears in the dark portins. But on leaving I got him a blaster to take through next time. They should sell them beforehand, as a comfort tool for the little ones.

*****

Joseph M. Zafia - October 22, 2004

My two children, 17 & 15, & myself were lucky enough to get to go on Stitch's Great Escape. After waiting over 1 hour to get in we thought we would go in opened minded. Being told this ride wouldn't be available until November we felt lucky to preview this ride. What a disapppointment. The robotics were excellent but all in all the whole experience was boring. I think the whole ride needs revamping. It could never compete with Alien Encounter.

*****

Amy Keen - October 14, 2004

Our family (dad and mom age 35 and son age 11) had the opportunity to preview Stitch's Great Escape. My husband had experienced Alien Encounter, but our son and I had always skipped it. Hubby felt Stitch was just a slightly tamer, "Stitch-ified" AE. When the lights went out, many children in our group started screaming and crying. I was glad my son is older, but even he didn't appreciate all the noise and confusion.

My son and I both HATED the shoulder harnesses -- we found them very uncomfortable, and I felt downright claustrophobic. And when Stitch "jumped" on our shoulders, we both thought it was actually painful. I normally love the special effects in the Disney shows, but the smell of the chili dog "burp" was more than I could take. It was AWFUL.

All in all, our family was glad to have the chance to try "Stitch", but none of us ever feels the need to experience
it again.

*****

Susan and Rose Hubbard - October 14, 2004

We were in the MK for the MNSSHP and had planned the trip for the opening of this attraction...then we found we could participate in a "test viewing" looking for height requirement ie: small kids...which my 12 yr old Rose is not. We entered the old Alien preshow area to see the same two tubes one with a yellow alien inside and one empty and a automatronic lead officer teaching us how to transport level 1 bad guys...with tv showing an alien eating green stuff captured and transported into the empty tube...an "emergency level 3 captive was being delivered and we headed into the old alien chamber and told to find a seat with the harness up...which we did..it was exactally the same as in the alien adventure...the harness came down and dialog ran and the culprit was transported into the chamber in the middle of the room admist smoke and light effects and da..da..there was Stitch...which moved around alot and talked his talk and began spitting a substance and shorting out the lazers that held him captive...thus freeing him to run amock in the room in darkness... the lights came on and off..and the dialog tried to be funny to not scare the kids...some had their hands over their eyes..some were laughing...as Stitch jumped on our harnesses and they bounced around the room..then ate someones chili dog...slurging was heard around our heads..then a large and stinking BURP around the room caused laughter..then he began spitting and this we felt again around the room...finally they got him into the chamber and he transported to an unknown planet which the tv monitor showed as Earth, and a city mispronounced as Flor-id-a, and Orla-nd-o and showed Stitch riding a rocket and laughing...I thought it was the jet rockets and Rose thought it was Space Mountain..anyway he was now one with us at the MK....She/Rose Loved the ride and I thought it was about the same as Alien but for kids and not scary except for the dark and the smoke and noises which would scare some. I think everyone will exit having a craving for a chili dog and expect to see them putting chili on the dogs in the restaurant there as they have at Caseys corner..calling it a Stitch special...and selling lots of new Stitch related merchandise in the shop that the attraction empties into. I found myself buying the tye dyed shirt for $25 which Rose just "had to have".

*****

Pete Sapio - October 13, 2004

We were walking by Stitch's Great Escape on 10/13 and saw a group going in. When we questioned whether it was a soft opening, we were told it was the first trip through.. and we just missed it. The cast member told us they may have another run through in about an hour and to check back. When we got back we were told they decided to do one more test run and we could participate. We had a little talk by an imagineer first and then saw the full two stage show. Some of the seats were not functioning yet but otherwise it was complete.

Without giving away too much detail.. there isn't very much new in this ride. If you saw the movie, Stitch is a prisoner and from the name of the ride, you can guess he gets away. The ride mechanics are very similiar to Alien Encounter. The biggest feature removed was the AE seatbacks that had pokers that stuck you in the back. So actually it is the same effects (3D sound, water, breathing, aroma) but toned down. Stitch of course is not as threatening as the original Alien.

I think AE was a bit too intense for young kids and they were trying to make a version of the same attraction but more kid friendly. It didn't seem to scare as many kids as AE but there still were a few crying.

If they were looking to make it more attractive for returning guests, I think it will be about the same as AE... once a trip... maybe.. It is well done but just lacks the story and anything new or really different to make it worth more than one trip through.

The potential is there with Stitch now, so I hope they keep working on it and fine tune it to make it better.

I don't like to compare attractions but after coming out of this ride, I watched people doing Buzz Lightyear 3-4 times in a row, and hearing people waiting to get into Carousel of Progress saying how they always look forward to the Carousel and never miss it when it is open... I don't see that happening with the new Stitch attraction...