Friday, November 6, 2009

Ride Review - Stitch's Great Escape

Intro: Opened in Tomorrowland in 2004, “Stitch’s Great Escape” replaced the “ExtraTERRORestrial Alien Encounter”…one of the all time unique attractions in all of Walt Disney World. The ride elements remained essentially the same only with a Stitch overlay to make them more cute than scary. And by “cute” I mean “unspeakably annoying.”

Pre-Pre-Show: Yeah, they actually thought this ride was going to be popular enough to warrant multiple pre-shows. Anyway, this is more of a holding pen where a few TV’s play information meshing the ride’s loose “Lilo & Stitch” backstory with the “Tomorrowland” story.

Pre-Show: We’re brought into a room where the “Principal Teleportation Officer” teaches us about “Level 1” prisoners (since we’re not yet equipped to handle Level 2’s.). There is Skippy, the doomed alien creature from the original Alien Encounter. We’re interrupted by a donut thief who is teleported into jail. If you think this is stupid to read, trust me, it’s no better to experience. Suddenly an alert is issued because of a Level 3 (!!) prisoner being transferred into the facility.

Show: We enter the “High Security Teleportation” room. A large tube in the center of the room lights up and is filled with smoke and then suddenly Stitch teleports in. He is, I should note, roughly 3 times the size he was in the movie. Of course, this is a world where cartoon mice are 6 feet tall so I guess I shouldn’t nitpick QUITE this much.

Anyway, Stitch looks around and makes goofy noises before deciding to spit on some guests. Then he manages to cause the power to go out in the room. So he hops around on people and at one point steals a guy’s chili dog and burps into the guests faces, unleashing one of the most repugnant odors this side of the bathrooms outside La Pirata y el Perico.

The Galactic officers restore the power and Stitch is nowhere to be found. He knocks the power out and causes some more hijacks before finally getting trapped in the teleportation chamber again. He somehow ends up getting transported to Disney World. An animated Cinderella Castle appears on screen with an animated Stitch knocking on a window. He’s greeted by an animated Cinderella. The Galactic Federation guys are flabbergasted and send the recruits home.

Thoughts: I don’t know how many different ways there are to say that this ride is terrible.

First of all, the story makes no sense. If we’re really recruits to be SECURITY officers, why would they bring us into a huge briefing room and STRAP US INTO SEATS?? Wouldn’t they want us to be able to assist in capturing this big threat to security? Then there’s the mixture of animation with audio animatronics. I don’t mind it if it’s done in a way that sort of makes sense, like at Cranium Command. But here it just comes off as hokey and cheap. The real Cinderella Castle is RIGHT THERE. Lame, lame, lame!

More over, this ride is not thrilling, it’s barely funny, and it replaced one of the most original attractions they’ve ever had. If you think I’m over reacting and that the makeover was necessary just remember that Alien Encounter was a headliner and this plays to empty crowds.

Worst ride at Walt Disney World.

Overall Rating: -**


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