More than a year after it’s predecessor, ExtraTERRORestrial Alien Encounter, had closed, Stitch’s Great Escape opened in November, 2004. Expected by many to be a vastly different experience from the prior attraction, the new “ride” was very similar in design, using the same preshow animatronics and theater technologies.
After a brief introduction to the Galactic Federation in the first holding area, guests were ushered into a standing preshow space where they were introduced to Sergeant C4703BK2704-90210 (a redressed S.I.R. animatronic). Here, the original Skippy animatronics were reused, however, instead of one being hid until the teleportation sequence has been completed, both are represented as individual creatures.
Following the preshow, guests were seated in the same theater used in each of the prior 3 attractions. As with it’s predecessor, shoulder restraints were once again used both to keep guests in their seats throughout the dark attraction, as well as to provide force feedback special effects. Outside of the new state-of-the-art 39″ Stitch animatronic at the center of the room, the largest addition to the theater was the addition of two large “laser” cannons, programmed to target genetic material, and thus subject to easy manipulation as Stitch lobs spit balls around the room.
In late September 2016 it was announced that the attraction would operate seasonally. A year later, ahead of Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, it was announced the attraction would temporarily become Stitch’s Alien Encounter Character Greeting. During the party itself, guests would “trick or treat” through the queue and preshow, where the Sergeant animatronic had been reprogrammed to wave at guests as they passed through.
In December 2017 it was announced that the attraction would reopen for the Holiday crowds and then, close its doors forever effective January 6, 2018.
Since that time, the pre-preshow space has been used in a number of ways, including a temporary photo op area during MNSSHP, as well as a space for limited edition TRON merchandise during it’s grand opening celebration.