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Walt Disney World (WDW) News Discuss Stitch's Great Escape! Promises Pandemonium For Walt Disney World in the News & Rumors forums; Mischievous Alien Busts Loose at Magic Kingdom in Fall 2004 Fans of Walt Disney Pictures' hit film "Lilo & Stitch" know him as a cuddly but destructive alien prone to ...
  1. #1
    Lou Mongello's Avatar
    Lou Mongello is offline Lou Mongello (AKQJ10) - Disney Expert, Host, Author, Speaker and Entrepreneur
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    Stitch's Great Escape! Promises Pandemonium For Walt Disney World

    Mischievous Alien Busts Loose at Magic Kingdom in Fall 2004

    Fans of Walt Disney Pictures' hit film "Lilo & Stitch" know him as a cuddly but destructive alien prone to hilarious fits of havoc. But what was Stitch like before the movie?This fall, Walt Disney World guests will find out when they come face to face with the mischievous character in a new Magic Kingdom attraction -- Stitch's Great Escape!

    Under construction on the former site of The ExtraTERRORestrial Alien Encounter, the kid-friendly Tomorrowland adventure will put guests in the middle of the mayhem caused by the naughty "Experiment 626" -- a.k.a. Stitch -- when he's captured by the Galactic Federation and teleported to a processing center for alien prisoners.

    Park guests are recruited to provide additional security as the six-limbed alien arrives with a reputation for playful disobedience -- and an appetite for chaos that exceeds all limits. Sights, sounds and -- ewwww! -- smells add to the pandemonium.

    Walt Disney Imagineers are tackling the challenge of bringing a character from an animated film to life as an Audio-Animatronics figure. The result is a 39-inch-tall version of the unstoppable blue menace animated with a breathtaking degree of realism, one of the most complex creations of its size, custom-made by Imagineers with more than 350 detailed, hand-machined parts and more than 40 separate functions.

    In addition to Stitch, the fun-filled attraction will feature several characters familiar to fans of the film, including the Galactic Federation's Grand Councilwoman, Captain Gantu and Agent Pleakley, with voices supplied by the movie's original actors. Skippy, the hapless alien "volunteered" for a teleportation demonstration in The ExtraTERRORestrial Alien Encounter, will return in a new role.

    Also featured will be two "plasma cannons" that follow Stitch's DNA whenever -- and wherever -- it move.

    Stitch's Great Escape! will offer Disney's FASTPASS, the innovative free service available to all guests that eliminates the need to wait in long lines for popular attractions.

    Posted June 22, 2004
    Source: Walt Disney World Resort
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    MickeyBabe is offline Lady Administrator..................... Sassy but Humble Parks Game Player
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    Yes!!!!!


    Skippy will live on!!!!!!!


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    At least they kept something good. Finally watched the movie for the first time last week. Loking forward to the attraction more now.

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    Lou Mongello's Avatar
    Lou Mongello is offline Lou Mongello (AKQJ10) - Disney Expert, Host, Author, Speaker and Entrepreneur
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    Now if they could just bring back the bird from Flight to the Moon...
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    Parkhopper is offline A-Ticket holder
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    I hope that this new attraction will be a lot of fun.

    I never was there for flight to the moon...my missions started with Mars!

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    Lou Mongello's Avatar
    Lou Mongello is offline Lou Mongello (AKQJ10) - Disney Expert, Host, Author, Speaker and Entrepreneur
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    I think I have to watch Lilo & Stitch again... "Hello, Netflix?..."
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    Main Street Magic's Avatar
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    Lou...

    You made a comment about bringing back the bird from Flight to the Moon. Are you talking about the gooney bird landing? If so, it has been brought back. Ypu can see it in Mission Space on one of the monitors in the command center.
    Keep your hands and arms inside the post at all times and remember no smoking or flash photography please!

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    Jiminy Cricket's Avatar
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    Just checked the AP section about Stitch Preview and still zero, nada, zilch, even though it said check back after August. Anyone else have any info?
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    Well it was supposed to be handed from Imagineering to Operation yesterday, not sure if that happened. Once Ops has it who knows. The recent Stitch Monitor mentioned Nov being the official opening. Expect previews late this month and next.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TrendyMagic
    Well it was supposed to be handed from Imagineering to Operation yesterday, not sure if that happened. Once Ops has it who knows. The recent Stitch Monitor mentioned Nov being the official opening. Expect previews late this month and next.
    Thanks for that update. With these hurricanes it is either going to push up the opening or push it back. I just wish the hurricanes would just go away.
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  11. #11
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    Latest newa

    Magic Kingdom revamps alien attraction
    Stitch, a popular new Disney creature, is star of reworked Alien Encounter
    By Todd Pack
    Sentinel Staff Writer

    October 25, 2004

    In an earlier version of this story, a character called Skippy was misidentified.

    Chris Sanders knows Stitch better than anyone.

    Sanders, a veteran artist whose credits range from the Saturday morning cartoon Muppet Babies to big-screen masterpieces such as Beauty and the Beast, dreamed up the alien creature, wrote the story for Lilo & Stitch and co-directed the Disney feature.

    And like Walt Disney was with Mickey Mouse, Sanders is Stitch's voice, playing the part in a small-screen sequel and Disney Channel series.

    Still, Sanders was surprised when he finally met Stitch in the real world.

    Sanders pictured the alien as roughly waist high, but when he saw a model created for a Stitch attraction opening next month at the Magic Kingdom, "I was shocked."

    "You always think of him as two dimensional," but once the cartoon became a mechanical figure, "he has this volume that you don't consider," the artist said.

    "It's not just his height. It's his immense head," Sanders said.

    "Most of him is a mouth."

    Standing 39 inches tall, the robotic Stitch will star in Stitch's Great Escape. Stitch's official opening is Nov. 16, but Disney will open the ride for testing several times over the next few weeks.

    Disney usually doesn't give a character a permanent attraction so soon after its debut. Lilo & Stitch, made at Disney's now-defunct Orlando animation facility, earned $145.8 million in theaters in summer 2002.

    But Stitch has "established himself in a very short time as a classic Disney character," said Rick Rothschild, executive show director and senior vice president at Walt Disney Imagineering.

    Disney Corporate Brand Management, which oversees the use of Disney characters across the company, says Stitch is one of the most popular Disney characters of the last decade with children ages 3 to 11. And unlike the Disney Princesses, for example, Stitch is popular with girls and boys.

    Sanders said it took him a while to understand the character's appeal.

    'He's the naughty one'

    Over the past couple of years, he's come to realize that Stitch "occupies a part of the Disney universe that had been vacant up to that point."

    In a universe of do-gooders such as Mickey Mouse and Buzz Lightyear, "he's the naughty one," Sanders said.

    In fact, one of the ideas Sanders said he tried to get across in his original story was the idea of a villain who becomes a hero.

    That's an idea that's carried over to the attraction.

    Stitch's Great Escape is set at the beginning of the movie, when the mischievous Stitch, officially known as Experiment 626, has been captured by the Galactic Federation and transported to a prisoner processing center.

    Not to spoil anything, but Stitch escapes. In the attraction, sound effects and physical effects built into the seats will make it seem as if the alien is running loose inside the darkened room.

    Stitch's popularity was plain on Friday, when one tourist after another asked park workers whether they could take a peak inside even though a large sign out front said it wasn't open.

    Robert Walsh, a 12-year-old Scottish tourist, explained why loves Stitch.

    "He's crazy," Robert said.

    Robert's father, Kerry, said he's also a fan because, while Stitch is funny and impish, "deep inside, he's quite good."

    But although the decision to create a Stitch attraction was based largely on the character's popularity, the company also considered the cost.

    Stitch's Great Escape is really a reworking of the ExtraTERRORestrial Alien Encounter, which opened in 1995 and closed last October.

    Stitch has a nearly identical story line -- an alien gets loose and seems to clamber through the audience -- and will use many of the same sets and special effects as the earlier attraction.

    Sanders said he doesn't mind the recycling.

    "The thing I liked about this was that they were going to keep the spirit of the former attraction alive and have that kind of Halloween fun, but I liked the idea that it was going to be open to a broader audience," he said.

    Some parts of the show, in fact, are identical.

    Skippy, a big-eyed alien prisoner who appears in Stitch's Great Escape, also had a part in the Alien Encounter.

    One reason for that was that Skippy fit in nicely with Stitch's story: In Disney's universe, the cute alien escaped the clutches of the earlier show's monster only to wind up a prisoner of the Galactic Federation.

    But another reason for keeping Skippy is that the robotic figure was already there.

    Retrofit saves money

    Disney, which is rebounding from a nearly three-year slump in travel, is adding attractions at each of its Orlando parks, but it has said it will spend less going forward than it did a few years ago, when it was building parks in Orlando and Anaheim, Calif.

    Disney isn't saying how much money it's spending on Stitch's Great Escape, but it isn't paying anywhere near the $100 million the company is thought to have spent on the spaceship ride Mission: Space at Epcot, said Dennis Speigel, a theme-park consultant based in Cincinnati.

    "When you can go in and retrofit a building, you don't have to build all of that expensive infrastructure," he said.

    Retrofitting an existing attraction also means Disney can open Stitch a year sooner than it would have if the company had needed to build everything from scratch, Rothschild said.

    Disney began contemplating the idea of a Stitch attraction while the original movie was in production at the company's former animation facility at Disney-MGM Studios, he said.

    But it didn't move forward until the film was released and it was clear audiences liked the character, Rothschild said.

    Sanders, the artist, said he hasn't seen the attraction but likes the sketches and models he's seen and is excited the alien has landed an attraction at the Magic Kingdom.

    Before the original movie came out, Sanders said, he told co-workers, "Isn't it weird, in the coming years, when anyone does a lineup of Disney characters, our characters will be in there?"

  12. #12
    bigbrian-nc.com's Avatar
    bigbrian-nc.com is offline WDW: A History In Postcards
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    could someone do a favor for me

    Thanks CB for posting that story from the Sentinal. I'll just take this opportunity to ask anyone going to see this attration in the next few months to keep your eyes peeled in the gift shop to see if they do a Stich's reat Escape postcard. The past few new attractions that have opened have had postcards (Philahamagic had one, Mission Space had Three I think, though I have not gotten all the ones they did for it.). I'll gladly re-emburse anyone who will pick one up for me.

    Walt Disney World: A History in Postcards

  13. #13
    crashbunny's Avatar
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    Brian,
    I'll get you some - just pm me and tell me what you want and where to send them.
    Marie

  14. #14
    TrendyMagic's Avatar
    TrendyMagic is offline On Mars
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    I was there today. I will look again on monday when I am back as well and let you all know. They are doing previews at random. I have not yet been lucky yet.

  15. #15
    crashbunny's Avatar
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    what are our chances to see it while we're there?
    Can we get some sort of pass?
    Dont have AP this year we were going to get one next year.......

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