Stitch's Great Escape!
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Stitch's Great Escape! is a Tomorrowland attraction at the Magic Kingdom theme park within the Walt Disney World Resort. It is a "theater-in-the-round" experience starring the title alien from Walt Disney Pictures' 2002 animated comedy Lilo & Stitch. It opened November 16, 2004 and is the fourth attraction to occupy the site in Tomorrowland. The space debuted as Flight to the Moon when the Magic Kingdom opened in 1971, and later was replaced by Mission to Mars and the ExtraTERRORestrial Alien Encounter, which closed October 12, 2003. Walt Disney Feature Animation produced all of the attraction's narrative character animation. Many of the animators who worked on Lilo & Stitch partnered with Walt Disney Imagineering for Stitch's Great Escape!
The experience takes place in the Galactic Federation Prisoner Teleport Center. Guests have been recruited by The Grand Councilwoman to be guards for the Galactic Federation. After being taught the basic procedures of guard duty and the classification of prisoner hazard levels by a robot sergeant (and a brief, but comical, reprisal of Skippy from The ExtraTERRORestrial Alien Encounter), Captain Gantu gives an alert of a Level 3 prisoner being beamed to the Center. Guests are then instructed by Pleakly over a communicator to proceed to the Level 3 prisoner teleportation chamber.
After being seated, shoulder restraints come down onto the guests' shoulders and the prisoner is then beamed into the chamber via a large plume of smoke and is revealed to be Stitch. After a brief period of puzzlementitive 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 (happy) 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. 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 Florida's Walt Disney World. Cameras capture him traversing Cinderella Castle. The audience is then released from their duty and exit into one of two gift shops--Merchant of Venus or Mickey's Star Traders.
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 (that of a chilidog, which lampoons the rule about bringing food and drink into the theatre).
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