Friday, February 1, 2013

Fixing Attractions- Stitchs Great Escape

In this new series, we'll be looking at Attractions from around the theme park and amusement park worlds that desperately need some love and attention. This could range anyplace from badly needed maintenance to the entire attraction needed a new and improved show.

Now there are honestly TONS of these types of attractions lurking out there, so we'll begin slowly with everyone's favorite "Love to hate it" attraction:
Stitch's Great Escape

Image from

Attraction: Stitch's Great Escape
Location: Walt Disney World, Tomorrowland
Problem: Annoying, Everyone honestly hates it. 

   This attraction began life as "ExtraTERRORestrail Alien Encounter" in 1994 and was hailed as one of the best show style attractions ever to grace Magic Kingdom. It was re-vamped once to make the attraction even more intense and scary, it was considered "Intense, Dark Humor" at the time. This attraction closed in 2003 without any real answers as to "WHY" it happened. Some blame Disney going "Stitch Crazy", while others say interest faded and yet more agree that it didn't fit into the "Family friendly" atmosphere Magic Kingdom was always pushing for. 
   All of this is how we wound up with such a lackluster attraction such as "Stitch's Great Escape", which opened in 2004. Some feel it was quickly rushed threw to be open for the busy Christmas season and thus fell short of what the goal was. Either way, if you've seen this show you also where probably not impressed with it. 

Bit Of Trivia:  Before "Ursula" in the new "Journey of the Little Mermaid" attraction opened, Stitch was the most advanced, operating animatonic at Disney World. Remember, the Yeti is still broken.

How to Fix It?
 Well this is the harder question by far. 
It really depends how much you like Stitch as a character. Personally, I LOVE Stitch. He is easily one of my favorite characters created by Disney in a very long time, so I'd love to see an altered version of this attraction stick around.  Now, I am by no means any kind of engineer and can't begin to even tell you if their possible or not outside of my own reasonable guesses. Also please keep in mind these ideas are just my own, flushed out with the help of some awesome folks on my Twitter. With a special thanks to Alexander who also shares my love of Stitch!

Now one of the main ideas is putting in an entirely NEW ride within the space currently existing. Following a tried and true model that we've seen with Universal's Spider Man or even the independent movement the ride cars from "The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh" share a 'Roaming Motion Simulator'.  Beginning with a ride car that has independent movement gives the attraction FAR more depth and adding in the 3D element gives you the immersion you need to really experience a character like Stitch and his really rather large universe.

The Ride
-Idea One-

The setting (in my idea) would take place at the very beginning of the "Lilo and Stitch" movie where we find Stitch in custody of the Galactic Federation. You would be a new recruit of the Galactic Federation on your very first prisoner detail and (Oh Crap!) you get Stitch.

This attraction would take you threw Stitches adventure while escaping! 
In the beginning you first see the current animatronic of Stitch, while he plots his escape. Suddenly you turn around and go threw a massive air vent where you would encounter your very first 3D screen. You follow quickly, zigzagging threw the crazy collection of air vents while Stitch somehow manages to evade you each time you get close. 

Suddenly you turn again, your ride car bouncing around. This part would look much like your still chasing through these air vents then you would come upon an area full of tangled wires and computer controls. Hearing Stitch's laughter you keep up your pursuit before turning into another 3D Screen. Stitch is ripping the wires apart bouncing back and forth between the area, your ride car is also bouncing at this point you keep turning and lurching forward trying to catch him. 

Then you turn into the next room, with another Stitch animatronic holding a large wire plug. Suddenly he unplugs it and everything goes dark. A large beam on your ride car now turns on (like a flashlight), bouncing slightly as you try to follow the sounds of Stitch's babbling laughter. Your next 3D screen room is now in front of you. The beams of your car flicker and suddenly you "see" yourself on a platform.. rising up through bars of light. Suddenly, you burst out another air vent into the hanger bay of the Federation ship. Stitch is already in "the red one" and your in (bounding) hot pursuit!

Suddenly he takes off!CRAP!
He's got the red one and you ride car bounces into another ship and takes off right after him. Now using an old Disney trick, a rounded ceiling with projectors played upon is (much like the old Delta Dreamflight had) your in space! Stitch and 'The Red One' fly randomly around the ceiling while your ride car is tilted back and bouncing slightly. As you approach the end of the tunnel he engages his warp drive! A voice calls out and riders hit a blinking button beside them to engage your own warp drive after "clear to launch" is called. Suddenly everything on the screen blurs and your in another room with flashing and streaking lights, your ride car shudders and shivers around you to mimic the feeling of speed.

The final room is also a 3D screen. In this room you see earth quickly approaching, then Florida. Suddenly you see Stitch veer off and head towards Hawaii but your on a crash coarse and can't stop! You land right in the middle of Magic Kingdom! Everything suddenly stops and goes black, on the screen the Grand Councilwoman appears (rather ticked with you) and grudgingly orders you to explore this new land while they try to locate Stitch. 

This would then end the ride, you exit from your ride car and enter this strange new land of a human theme park!


 Okay, so it's not perfect and probably not even really practical with the current space allotted to the  Stitch attraction unless you went full simulator for the ride.  It's also my own, personal, work-in-progress idea which even I will admit could use refinement and fine turning. It also needs something closer to a script and a layout, perhaps even images to bring it more to life. Which in time I'd very much like to work on as time permits. However, I think even in it's current rough state it's a FAR cry better then the current "Stitch's Great Escape" offering we've got at Magic Kingdom.  

 So with that being said, what would YOUR ideas be? Got something better or even an idea that hasn't popped into my own head? Let me know! I'd love to create a good working model of this attraction even if it is only for our collective amusement. 

 In the end it's fantasy, but I do hope you've enjoyed it and perhaps maybe even believe if it happened you'd enjoy riding this new attraction. 

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