Disney Theme Park

"Stitch’s Great Escape" Opening Day Photos

stitch_07November 16, 2004 - Visitors to the Magic Kingdom were greeted by a huge blowup sculpture of the mischievous Stitch. The loveable Stitch was on the loose to mark the official opening of “Stitch’s Great Escape.

The biggest surprise came when visitors strolled down Main Street and noticed something wasn’t quite right. It seems that Stitch was up to his usual tricks and toilet papered Cinderella’s Castle during the night. Upon closer inspection, it was discovered that “Stitch is King” was spray painted on one of the turrets.

Fortunately, Stitch was captured and is now safely locked away, or is he? You can find out when you try out the newest attraction in the Magic KingdomStitch’s Great Escape.

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REVIEW by Kevin Klose

Ok….I’ve heard the complaints.

“They have recycled an old attraction.”
“It’s nothing but the Alien Encounter all over again.”
“They’ve even kept Skippy and the Robot.”

Now let me tell you what I think. It’s my opinion that this is a big, old-fashioned HIT. Disney has taken a beloved character and found a place to add him into the Magic Kingdom. I mean c’mon….stop the griping. It’s not like they made Stitch’s Flying Rocket Ships (think Dumbo,  Astro Orbiter, Aladdin’s Carpet’s or the flying dinosaurs at Animal Kingdom.)

The physical space in which Stitch now resides hasn’t changed that much since Flight to Mars. It’s still theater in the round. And yes…..the story line is similar to the Alien Encounter Attraction, but there are some great changes. First, the attraction looks great. There is great new signage out front and the smoked glass “portholes” in the facade have been covered. In the first of the two pre-show stops, the video presentation has changed to an animated version featuring the characters from Lilo & Stitch. Pleakley can be heard making the pre-show announcements, the Council Woman is present and Captain Gantuu tells us to be brave.

The “plot” of Stitch’s Great Escape is that we, the riders, are new recruits in an inter-galactic security system. We will be transporting “space criminals” to a secure location. In the 2nd of the two pre-shows, we are given a demonstration of the transporting device.

Stitch’s Great EscapeIt’s in this show that it occurred to me that Disney fans are a tough group to please. We’ve all heard that they haven’t changed the attraction enough, but we’ve also heard that they shouldn’t have changed the attraction at all. Well, it looks like Disney tried to please both groups this time. S.I.R, the robot from Alien Encounter has changed. He is now an inter-galactic policeman, in charge of receiving prisoners. He has been given a uniform and some additional facial features. He’s also been given some funny lines. Also, back for an encore is Skippy, the plucky little space creature who has the misfortune of being the test pilot again..

During this demonstration, we learn that as new recruits, we will be handling level one criminals as we are not ready for level two. Prior to moving to the transportation room, we find that a LEVEL THREE criminal is being sent and that we must hurry into the room, as it will take all of us to keep him in line. The seating is same as that used in Alien Encounter. There is a device which lowers onto your shoulders  It is important to follow the directions as to how to proceed as this device is lowered. It will effect your enjoyment of the show.

Some things you should know…it does get very dark in the theater, several times during the show. There are some funny-scary things that happen, but when you are 5 and not happy in the dark…they are just plain scary. And…here’s the best….if you sit in the lowest, two front rows…there is a pretty good chance that Stitch will spit on you. How cool is that?

I don’t want to give away too much of the show. There are some great new lighting effects. The Stitch audioanimatronic figure made me laugh  out loud. The effects used throughout the show are cool. They have been used in other Disney World attractions, but are put to very good use here too. And as usual….you exit the attraction into the shop featuring all the new Stitch merchandise.

For those that want to know this kinda stuff....the attraction lasts for 18 minutes and 34 seconds, from door to door. If you are looking for this generation’s Haunted Mansion or Pirate of the Caribbean , this isn’t it.

If you are looking for another great Magic Kingdom experience, give Stitch a chance.

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