Stitch's Great Escape! moves to seasonal operation

Sep 21, 2016 in "Stitch's Great Escape!"

Posted: Wednesday September 21, 2016 10:50am EDT by WDWMAGIC Staff

Stitch's Great Escape! at the Magic Kingdom is moving to seasonal operation next month.

The attraction will have its final day of daily operations on October 1 2016, with its next scheduled opening on November 19 for the busy holiday week.

It will then close on November 27, reopening again on December 17 for the Christmas and New Year week. Even during those seasonal openings, the operating hours will be restricted to 10am to 8pm.

Stitch's Great Escape has been an unpopular attraction since its opening in 2004, where it replaced the highly rated Alien Encounter attraction.

The move to seasonal operation suggests that work may well begin on its replacement in the new year, with a Wreck It Ralph attraction rumored to move in. Read more about that on the WDWMAGIC Forums.

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BocabearDec 12, 2022

I would agree with that... there was a lot of style to the Tomorrowland 94'...problem is it was there long after the theme had kind of died... Losing AE and Timekeeper kind of changed the feel. Also the groovy-mod soundtrack in the queue at Space Mountain...all little nods to the theme consistency. the current Tomorrowland is just kind of a mess... Half-restored buildings back to the original gleaming white future...Not having a fantastic entrance to the land, just silver painted rocks, kills the theme that was once there. The entrance to Tomorrowland should have two attractions that tell the story of the land. Two place-setting attractions should not be impossible for a company that is all about telling stories... IP or not... and as we have seen, sometimes a non IP attraction can inspire further development like Haunted Mansion, Pirates Of The Caribbean and Jungle Cruise. What does "Tomorrow" look like? Well I kind of think it is not silver painted rocks...they can do better than this. and for the flagship park that WDW is, they should.

celluloidDec 12, 2022

Most of those were also free to experience or dirt cheap due to sponsorship. Tomorrowland 94 was near perfection on both quality and thematic integrity. Buzz was a good side player.

Rich BrownnDec 12, 2022

That was a lot of dead air. No matter how much you blah blah blah disney didn not mean his park was going to be everything to everybody, Wasn't his intent then, Isn't their intent now. Dont bother responding.

SplashZanderDec 11, 2022

??? That was entirely my point. Alien encounter had a height restriction. This was a design choice to prevent taking your 5-year-old on it, regardless if you wanted to. My point, was that the height restriction didn’t prevent children from being traumatized. What ride at early Disneyland couldn’t have been enjoyed by a whole family? Mine Train Through Nature’s Wonderland was a family ride, not the big Thunder experience it is today (also hilariously long title that mirrors the current ride-naming scheme that people groan about). But in the first decade of Disneyland operation, Matterhorn is the only standout as not being fit for the whole family. Having rides fit for kids, doesn’t dumb down the ride to the lowest common denominator, different age groups will experience various rides differently. It’s like watching Ratatouille, a 5-year-old can watch it, but it won’t have the effect as when a 30-year-old watches it. You’re arguing that for entertainment to be suitable for kids, it has to be coco melon garbage. But Pixar and other studios, have shown content can be enjoyed by everyone. It wasn’t until the Eisner years that he specifically made attractions less family friendly and geared towards teenage interests (like splash mountain and alien encounter). TWDC has long abandoned the “I want families to have fun together” mantra. I ride far less rides with my elderly parents today than I did 10 years ago. They still ride the same rides they did a decade ago, but they aren’t riding Guardians when they would ride Energy, for example. I see no reason why the issue of traumatizing kids wouldn’t be an issue at Disneyland. The issue was that people were taking kids to the experience. There are kids at Disneyland. There may be a more general understanding that not everything is for kids, but that doesn’t stop the issue. It wouldn’t stop the issue at Hollywood Studios or EPCOT either. If a parent wants to experience AE without dumping off their kids, they can’t regardless of which park it’s at. So they bring their kid and ensure them it’s not that scary (maybe selfishly, maybe wrongly because they don’t think it’s going to be that scary). The only thing that stops that is an age requirement, which would allow AE to function anywhere. Selling alcohol at Disney World isn’t an issue because there are kids that could buy it illegally, because there’s an age requirement to sell it. Since I’ve gone on a bit of a ramble to your silly response, let me summarize. The parks were originally family fun together. They’ve evolved into a separate but equal fun scenario. The concept that experiences can be enjoyed by a plethora of audiences isn’t dead, as displayed by Pixar. AE’s primary issue isn’t the placement (may lead to slightly more or less traumatized children) but moving it without instituting some other child traumatization preventative measure. The Disney brand as a whole has been very concerned about breaking its family image. We’ve recently ventured into new territory where R-rated content isn’t buried in shadow studies and will be integrated with the main content and sports betting will be pushed by its primary sports platform. Walt’s philosophy, which has mostly been abandoned, absolutely was about family-fun together.

Rich BrownnDec 11, 2022

Height restrictions do not automatically ensure it's ok for kids. And no, he didn't mean everything needed to be dumbed down to the least objectionable limit. There are rides for kids, rides for teens, and rides for older. AE would have been a hit at DL. It's our MK that has that image problem. Even locally I hear people say they'd rather go to the Studios because MK is just for kids.

SplashZanderDec 10, 2022

I'd disagree. How many opening day attractions had a height requirement? All of zero? It wasn't, "I want everyone to have fun independently at the same place," it's "I want families to have fun TOGETHER" I do think Alien Encounter has a place at parks today. They could replace the height requirement with a strict age requirement (like 14), regardless of whether parents protest and place it in H.S.

Rich BrownnDec 10, 2022

He meant fun at the whole park, not individual rides. Matterhorn was not a kids ride - aimed more at teens and adults. And many other rides - Space Mountain, Tower of Terror, etc - are definitely not aimed at children. As I said, if AE had opened at Disneyland, it probably would have been ok, as it is seen as a park for EVERYONE. Our MK, however, has a reputation of being a KIDDIE park, suitable only for families with children and nothing for teens or adults. True or not, thats the perception of the parks.

pdude81Dec 09, 2022

This is fair. I loved alien encounter but it would have scared the crap out of my child

VJDec 09, 2022

Here's where Alien Encounter went wrong. Walt Disney had one overall edict for Disneyland, and by extension the rest of the Disney theme parks: to be a place where parents and children could have fun together. AE may have been fun for the parents, but it terrorized the children not old enough to understand what was going on. That is why I think the attraction is better off in Yesterland.

Rich BrownnDec 09, 2022

One could argue CircleVision was a "futuristic" theater. (CV was inspired by the 3-camera/projector Cinerama of the 1950s)..

TwilightZoneDec 09, 2022

The movie had some of the best marketing I've ever seen, which made the actual contents of the movie that much more disappointing.

JenniferSDec 09, 2022

Great trailer though.

HauntedPirateDec 09, 2022

Disagree. I love it. 😀 But I also can’t see the appeal of Encanto. 🤷‍♂️ They really need to get back to basics. Sadly, most of the Imagineers who could help them with that are gone.

HauntedPirateDec 09, 2022

“Immersive storytelling in our theme parks! MAGIC!!!”