|Stitch's Great Escape!|
Promotional photo of Stitch in the show theater
|Opening date||November 16, 2004|
|Replaced||ExtraTERRORestrial Alien Encounter|
|Attraction type||Interactive theater|
|Designer||Walt Disney Imagineering|
|Theme||Lilo & Stitch|
|Audience capacity||162 per show|
|Duration||17:30, about 3 minutes for preshow|
|Height restriction||40 in (102 cm)|
|Audio-Animatronics||5 (three pre-show figures; two Stitch figures, one for each theater)|
|Off-season||Stitch's Alien Encounter Character Greeting!|
|Related Attraction||Stitch Encounter|
Closed captioning available
Stitch's Great Escape! is an amusement park attraction based on Disney's Lilo & Stitch franchise. The attraction is a theater-in-the-round experience, located in the Tomorrowland area of Magic Kingdom at the Walt Disney World Resort. Designed by Walt Disney Imagineering, many of the animators who worked on Lilo & Stitch were directly involved with the attraction's development.
The attraction opened on November 16, 2004 as a replacement for the ExtraTERRORestrial Alien Encounter, being the fourth attraction to occupy its show building. The attraction has been operating on a seasonal schedule since October 2, 2016. When not in use, the attraction's first pre-show area is converted into a character greeting area for Stitch and other costumed characters.
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 public-address system to proceed to the High Security 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 chili cheese 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. (The original ending of the attraction had Stitch terrorize park guests on Astro Orbiter, with the ending video changing depending on the time of day at the park.)
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, Walt Disney's Carousel of Progress, the Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover, and Astro Orbiter are the only remaining Tomorrowland attractions 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 of a chili dog.