Stitch's Great Escape!
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|Stitch's Great Escape!|
|Opening date||November 18, 2004|
|Replaced||ExtraTERRORestrial Alien Encounter|
|Attraction type||Interactive theater|
|Designer||Walt Disney Imagineering|
|Theme||Lilo & Stitch|
|Duration||17:30, about 3 minutes for preshow|
|Height restriction||40 in (102 cm)|
Closed captioning available
Stitch's Great Escape! is a Tomorrowland attraction at the Magic Kingdom theme park within the Walt Disney World Resort. It is a "theater-in-the-round" experience starring the title alien from Walt Disney Animation Studios' 2002 film Lilo & Stitch. It opened November 16, 2004 and is the fourth attraction to occupy the site in Tomorrowland. Many of the animators who worked on Lilo & Stitch partnered with Walt Disney Imagineering for Stitch's Great Escape! The attraction is a replacement of The ExtraTERRORestrial Alien Encounter, which formerly occupied the building the attraction is housed in. On September 21, 2016, it was announced that the attraction would be switching from a daily operated attraction to a seasonally operated one, depending on attendance, starting October 2, 2016.
The experience takes place in the Galactic Federation Prisoner Teleport Center. Guests have been recruited by the Grand Councilwoman (Zoe Caldwell) to be guards for the Galactic Federation. After being taught the basic procedures of guard duty and the classification of prisoner hazard levels by Sergeant C4703BK2704-90210 (Richard Kind)—and a brief, but comical, reprisal of Skippy from The ExtraTERRORestrial Alien Encounter—Captain Gantu (Kevin Michael Richardson) gives an alert of a Level 3 prisoner being beamed to the Center. Guests are then instructed by Pleakley (Kevin McDonald) over a communicator to proceed to the Level 3 prisoner teleportation chamber.
After being seated, shoulder restraints come down onto the guests' shoulders (to not confuse the prisoner's DNA with the guests') and the prisoner is then beamed into the chamber via a large plume of smoke and is revealed to be Stitch (Chris Sanders). After a brief period of puzzled talking by Gantu and his two assistants, Stitch uses the flaws of the armed laser cannons (the cannons follow and destroy any genetic material, including saliva) and disables all power to escape, causing mass chaos in the crowd. During this period, hydraulic pumps and small hoses in the shoulder restraints make it seem as if Stitch is jumping on guests' shoulders and tickling their heads. Also, Stitch devours a rancid chili dog and burps - accompanied by a foul smell effect being released into the chamber - and destroys a cell phone, once again reminding the guests of the rules about eating or drinking in the theater or the use of electronic devices in the theater. When the power comes back on, the laser cannons continue their attempt to bring Stitch down. Again using the cannons' fatal flaws, he manages to fire the laser cannons into the crowd. Shortly after using the diversion, he escapes to the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida (pronounced by the characters as Flor-ee-da). Cameras capture him going into Cinderella Castle (where Stitch gets into the castle by claiming to be Prince Charming from Cinderella. Stitch crawls in and says, "Oh Cinderella, your prince is here." Off-camera, Cinderella (Jennifer Hale) realizes that Stitch is not her prince, and kicks him out of the chamber; alternately, he is shown riding the Astro Orbiter). The audience is then released from their duty and exit into one of two gift shops—Merchant of Venus or Mickey's Star Traders. On the way to the gift shops, guest see a sign labeled "Days without an escape" and a big number going down. It was also the last Tomorrowland attraction that fully lacked a post-show gift shop prior to its opening. In reality, the Carousel of Progress is the only remaining Tomorrowland attraction at Disney World to lack a post-show gift shop.
The attraction includes much of the technology and sets from its predecessor, the ExtraTERRORestrial Alien Encounter, including the comical alien Skippy in the preshow area. The 39-inch Audio-Animatronic Stitch figure built by Imagineering reportedly is one of the most complex creations of its size. Other special effects include binaural sound, simulated laser cannons and a pungent smell (that of a chili dog, which lampoons the rule about bringing food and drink into the theater).
- Bevil, Dewayne. "Disney: Stitch's Great Escape switching to 'seasonal' operation". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved 21 September 2016.
- "Stitch's Great Escape". WDWHistory.com. Retrieved August 12, 2006.
- Official page on the Walt Disney World website