Stitch’s Great Escape
Opened: November 16, 2004
Location: Across from Monster’s Inc Laugh Floor
Extra Magic Hours: Morning, Evening
Type: Animatronic theater show
Similar To: Uniquely uncomfortable
Requirements: Must be 40” or taller
Scary Factor: High. Stitch’s Great Escape may be frightening, with dark scenes, loud noises, and harness restraints that make visitors feel like they’re trapped in their seats. I do not recommend this attraction for kids under the age of ten or those with claustrophobia. This is one of the rare attractions at Disney World that has a height requirement and isn’t a roller coaster or thrill ride. There’s no risk of bodily harm like there is with a rider who is too small for Rock ‘N’ Roller Coaster or a similar ride. Instead, Disney is purposefully trying to keep young riders out by posting the 40” height requirement, so take that into consideration when deciding to visit this attraction.
What to Expect: Stitch’s Great Escape replaced the ExtraTERRORestrial Alien Encounter that was housed in the same space. Many people complained that the Alien Encounter was too scary for kids, so Disney finally shuttered the attraction and reopened with Stitch at the helm. The new version is mostly the same, with similar special effects and a supporting cast that is exactly the same. Visitors begin the attraction in the preshow area by watching a short video providing the background story. After that, you’ll be seated in a large circular theater with harness-style restraints. The show begins and an audio-animatronic Stitch appears in the middle of the theater. He goes about his business, cutting the power to the building, spitting water on visitors sitting in the first two rows, and burping the stench of chili dogs. The theater will intermittently go dark and it will seem as though Stitch is moving around the theater, touching people and creepily whispering in their ears. It’s a bizarre and unpleasant experience for many visitors from start to finish.
When To Go: Consider visiting in the afternoon or evening. Although it isn’t a relaxing attraction, it is seated, air-conditioned, and unpopular.
Expect to Wait: The word is out on Stitch’s Great Escape and lines are generally shorter than most other attractions at the Magic Kingdom. If the line is longer than 15 minutes, try again later.
Length: 10 minutes
Commentary: Stitch’s Great Escape will likely scare youngsters and bore adults. It’s not much more than watching a robot talk to you for 10 minutes while you’re stuck in a chair with uncomfortable shoulder restraints and a disgusting smell wafting about the room. The darkness, coupled with the touching effects are enough to scare most kids, sometimes to the point where it ruins the rest of their day and will make it more difficult to get them to enjoy other, more fun shows in the future. If your kids were scared on any other attraction at Disney World then you’ll probably want to skip this one. If they aren’t scared, then they’ll be bored. The only reason to visit it is to see if it’s really as bad as everyone says it is. Trust me, it is.