Stitch's Great Escape.
Stitch, the furry blue star of the 2002 feature Lilo and Stitch, took over the real estate previously occupied by Alien Extra-terror-estrial Encounter.
Alien Extra-terror-estrial Encounter had the spookiest name of all Disney attractions since the early days of Disneyland. Back then, the Dumbo ride was officially called 'Dumbo and the Four Elephants of the Apocalypse That Will Rise Up and Stomp Your Children to a Bloody Pulp.' A few years later the name was shortened to 'Dumbo.'
In the movie Stitch was an alien genetic experiment gone wrong. Virtually indestructible, the little monster was imprisoned, but escaped to Hawaii.
One hour and fifteen minutes later, Stitch is lovable and destined to live the rest of his life in Hawaii, disguised as a dog.
The ride, however, is a prequel.
I flew to Florida yesterday JUST to see this ride. Now I am doing an article about it JUST so I can write it off on my taxes.
I expect to get 5-10 years in prison for tax fraud. Then, upon my release I plan to head back to Walt Disney World to haunt Stitch just like Robert DeNiro in Cape Fear (although I won't do that whole 'laughing at Problem Child' scene he did. There are some things even I won't stoop to.
There were many signs up around the attraction in Stitch's language.
You can get a decoder online to decode the message. This one said:
This Galactic Federation
Prisoner Teleport Center is
hereby dedicated to the
preservation of peace and
harmony throughout the
galaxy by protecting the
nice from the naughty
The Grand Councilwoman
2004 November 16
Hey maybe I can get a job at the UN as the Stitch interpreter. Then, when the IRS comes, I can claim diplomatic immunity. I can also curse at my dry cleaner in a foreign language!
HOW ABOUT THAT, DRY CLEANER? IT DOESN'T SOUND LIKE MUCH FUN WHEN THE SHOE IS ON THE OTHER FOOT, DOES IT????
As for the attraction, I went two days AFTER the opening day, hoping to avoid the opening day crowds. Still, when I got there the Fast Passes had been handed out for the day. The wait time was 60 minutes.
So I made friends with a handicapped person and we went to the front of the line. Unfortunately, now I have to make a dish for the 'Handi-capable Pot Luck Dinner' in Tampa next week.
The attraction is very similar to Alien Extra-terror-estrial Encounter; in fact, it is almost the same attraction.
Let's take a look at the two:
Neither is a ride in the traditional sense, instead it is an animatronic show featuring 3D audio and sound and preceded by two six minute pre-shows.
Takes place in front of a wall of video monitors. Gives you the illusion that you are done waiting in line, even though you are still in line.
AE (Alien Extra-terror-estrial Encounter):
We are introduced to a race of aliens played by Kevin Pollock, Kathy Najimy and Jeffrey "Eddie Barzoon" Jones.
I think they are from the planet W.N.W.T.W.B.N.O.W.R.U.I.T.M. (We Needed Work This Week, Besides No One Will Recognize Us In This Makeup.)
In this pre show we are introduced to a new group of aliens. This time they are animated from Lilo and Stitch. This takes place just before the events of the movie.
We, the audience, are recruits from an intergalactic security force.
This pre-show consist of Animtronic robots. Standing room only
We meet a robot named S.I.R (voiced by Tim Curry.) he tells us he is going to teleport a small furry alien named Skippy from one side of the room to the other. He does and poor little Skippy gets burned in the process. Clearly this teleport tube thing needs some work.
Skippy is still in his tube, but this time it is a prisoner transfer tube. S.I.R. is now called Sgt. 90210 and he is a wisecracking wacky robot. Soon after his introduction we are told that a high level prisoner is being transported to the main chamber.
You are ushered into a large circular theater with a giant tube in the center. Shoulder harnesses are lowered, giving you the impression you will be moving, but you never do.
AE: One of the aliens is going to transport himself into the room, but something went wrong and a giant Predator-like creature appears in the tube. The lights go out and people are terrified as the alien EATS the tourists! You feel the alien's breath on your neck as he walks past you.
STITCH: After about ten minutes of being told to move to the END of the row, everyone FINALLY moves to the end of the row.
Tourists are stupid. No wonder the Predator ate them.
Next, Stitch is transported into the room and he is being shadowed by two laser cannons. The cannons are locked on his DNA signal. So, he spits into the crowd and the cannons shoot at the tourist. Nothing actually happens to the tourists, it's just a light effect, unfortunately.
Then the lights go out, and Stitch starts wandering around the theater. Your harness moves up and down to give the effect that he is bumping into you. This effect coupled with the 3D surround sound makes the show amazing.
Then you hear Stitch argue with a woman who is eating a chili dog. He steals the chili dog and eats it. He burps and you feel his breath across your neck. Then you SMELL the chili dog! It is like hanging around with my crazy Uncle Jake. Man, is he gassy!
Overall, the attraction was a lot of fun. If you like Stitch you will like it. If you liked Alien Extra-terror-estrial Encounter you will like it. And, if you like chili dogs you will like it.
Hey! Maybe that is what I can bring to the Pot Luck Dinner!