Though we haven’t gotten any official word from the Walt Disney World resort as to when and if Stitch’s Great Escape will officially induct its last batch of Galactic Federation recruits, the “seasonal” status it has been branded with recently all but assures that this attraction will be replaced with something else in the near future. It wasn’t an easy task to fill the shoes of the ExtraTERRORestrial Alien Encounter that resided in its place when Stitch took up residence in Tomorrowland, but over the years Stitch has made himself at home spitting and burping on thousands of guests each day. If you’ve visited Magic Kingdom since 2004, you probably know all about this unearthly attraction, but there still may be some things you might not know.
You May Get Wet
The audio animatronic that is teleported into the center of the room in Stitch’s Great Escape is 39″ tall and the first animatronic to spit! During the show, Stitch is being held captive as a Level 3 criminal by the Galactic Federation. His size and demeanor, at first glance, confuse Captain Gantu as to why he would be considered a Level 3 criminal. The Captain leaves to straighten out the mix-up, while 2 “plasma cannons”, which were also featured in the “Lillo & Stitch” film, are honed in to Stitch’s DNA and stand guard to make sure he stays put. In order to rid himself of the oppressive plasma cannons, Stitch spits around the theater to get the cannons to follow his DNA and fire chaotically, which eventually leads to them firing on themselves. This is how Stitch escapes!
Stitch Toilet Papered Cinderella Castle
On November 16, 2004, when Stitch’s Great Escape had its official opening, you could see evidence of where the mischievous little creature had escaped and already caused havoc in the Magic Kingdom. When guests entered the park, there were “Wanted” signs up and down Main Street and, when they reached the hub, guests could see where Stitch had toilet papered Cinderella Castle. In addition to the massive amounts of TP all over the castle, you could see where a “Wanted” poster had been posted to the castle and Stitch had spray painted “Stitch is King” over it.
Skippy is an alien that was caught jaywalking between the moons of Jupiter. He is what the Galactic Federation considers a “Level 1 Criminal”, one of the least threatening criminals that the Federation contains. If you had a chance to experience the previous attraction that stood where Stitch was, The ExtraTERRORestrial Alien Encounter, you might recognize Skippy from that attraction as well. The basic layout, characters, and structure of the pre-shows for these 2 attractions are both very similar, so it was very easy for Disney to incorporate Skippy into this attraction as well.
You might recognize a Kind of familiar voice
If you think the voice of Prisoner Teleportation Office Sgt. C4703BK2704-90210 sounds familiar, it’s probably because it is the voice of actor Richard Kind. You may know Richard as Mark Devanow from Mad About You, Paul Lassiter from Spin City, as well as a slew of other television shows and films. He is also the actor who voices Van from “Cars”, Molt in “A Bug’s Life”, and Bing Bong in “Inside Out”.
A Familiar Language
The foreign alien language seen throughout the Prisoner Teleport Center was created by Disney Imagineers and inspired by designs that were created for the opening scene of “Lilo & Stitch”. Graphic designers actually created an alien alphabet based off of these designs that can actually be decoded into English.
It features original Disney animation
The animation created for certain aspects of the attraction were not done by Walt Disney Imagineering but by many of the same animators from Walt Disney Feature Animation who worked on the “Lilo & Stitch” film. This includes footage of Skippy being picked up as shown in the Prisoner Teleportation Center, Captain Gantu addressing the audience on the screen in the main theater, and footage of Stitch crashing in on Cinderella in Magic Kingdom’s Cinderella Castle.
Stitch’s Great Escape is one of those attractions that I feel definitely doesn’t get enough love. Overall, I think this is an entertaining attraction that, logistically, fit perfectly as a replacement for the ExtraTERRORestrial Alien Encounter. There are striking similarities between the story and plot of both attractions, yet it doesn’t seem like it was forced. In fact, the prisoner teleportation units appear in the film as do the plasma cannons that are central to the story of the attraction.
Stitch very well may have made his last escape in Stitch’s Great Escape. The attraction is currently closed and in “seasonal” status with rumors being highly circulated that the attraction has already made its last run. While we await for the official word, whether you’ve never experienced the attraction or just want to see it again, you can experience it virtually right here!