Stitch’s Great Escape Creates Mischief and Chaos in Tomorrowland

Sitting in the Magic Kingdom's Tomorrowland lies a unique theater in the round that has been home to several different attractions over the years. It first opened in 1971 as Flight to The Moon. The preshow of the attraction featured "Mr. Tom Morrow" who interacted with a live cast members and explained Mission Control to the visiting guests. In 1975 the attraction was reimagined as Mission to Mars, when after NASA landed a man on the moon it didn't seem futuristic enough. Sadly Mr. Morrow was now renamed Mr. Johnson, though vestiges of him remained.

Mission to Mars Mission ControlMission to Mars Mission Control

In 1995 ExtraTERRORestrial Alien Encounter made a brief stay in the theater, with a warning that the experience was intense, frightening, and unintended for children under the age of 12. The attraction's thrilling show unfolded in darkness, with only flashes of light to orient by, the groundbreaking use of binaural sound meant that guests would rely on the use of non-visual senses to experience the terror of the Alien that had gotten lose in the theater. The unknown happening of the show experienced during complete darkness lead guests to the most frightening depths of their imaginations.

Original Theater In The Round SeatingOriginal Theater In The Round Seating

Today, you'll find Stitch's Great Escape occupying the theater with a more light hearted use of the binaural technology that makes it feel as if the guest is in the middle of the action. The attraction (which lasts about 20 minutes long) stars the precocious title alien from Walt Disney Pictures' 2002 hit Lilo & Stitch, before his temper has been mellowed by Lilo's love and understanding. The terror of the previous Alien has been replaced with the chaos and mischief of Stitch. However small children and guests who suffer from claustrophobia may still have a difficult time with the experience.

Stitch's Great Escape MarqueeStitch's Great Escape Marquee

Guests, who have been recruited by the grand Councilwoman as guards for the Galactic Federation, enter the Galactic Federation Prisoner Teleport Center. After a short briefing the whole crew enters the circular theater for seating, where after finding a spot, an over the shoulder harness "secures" everyone in their seat. The harness is actually the key to experiencing the binaural components.

Stitch's Great Escape Pre-Show BriefingStitch's Great Escape Pre-Show Briefing

The prisoner, Experiment 626, is beamed into the transporter for the mission, but he uses the flaws of the armed laser cannons to escape, and mass chaos ensues! From jumping on guests shoulders and tickling heads, to a foul smelling chili-dog burp the wily Stitch evades capture and disrupts the operations of the Park outside. Without a mission to continue on, guests are released into the obligatory gift shop to go about their day.

Stitch Causes Chaos In the ParkStitch Causes Chaos In the Park

Thanks so much to Loren Javier for use of more fantastic Walt Disney World images through Creative Commons. Are you a fan of Stitch's Great Escape, or is this one of those attractions that you walk on by? Leave us a comment below and share your thoughts!

Ed(mouse) wrote on Thu, 09/19/2013 - 15:46:

Ed(mouse)'s picture

A truly bad experience. I recently decided to go back and see if this attraction really was as bad as I remembered. It was. I think this space is too valuable for Disney to leave wasted as it is. I hope they find something fun to replace it.

Sue wrote on Thu, 09/19/2013 - 19:05:

Sue's picture

This attraction has grown on me over the years!

S.Brannen wrote on Wed, 09/25/2013 - 13:36:

S.Brannen's picture

This was my least favorite ride and to me, was a waste of space! When planning our upcoming trip, I decided to not waste my time with this one. Surely there is a better way to incorporate Stitch and a much better use of this space. I was actually surprised that Disney produced this ride!

WendyB wrote on Sat, 09/28/2013 - 13:11:

WendyB's picture

I always go on this ride once every time I go to WDW, however, I enjoyed it so much more when it was the scary extraterrestrial version. I agree, this is prime Magic Kingdom real estate, and hopefully they'll turn it into something better than what is there now.

Kristen K. wrote on Wed, 10/02/2013 - 14:23:

Kristen K.'s picture

It's been years since I've done this attraction but it has certainly taken a lot of bashing on our Facebook group. I think I may revisit it just to take another look and see what I really think.

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