In Which Jenn Is Afraid Of Stitch’s Great Escape

Lilo and Stitch

No doubt you’ve heard the news that the Tomorrowland attraction Stitch’s Great Escape is moving to a seasonal schedule. We all know this is the death knell as it goes the way of Body Wars, Horizons, and many other rides before it.

Unlike most, however, Stitch’s reduction and (assumed but I think fairly) ultimate removal will incite little outcry. The attraction has been pretty universally reviled since its opening, built on the skeleton of cult favorite ExtraTERRORestrial Alien Encounter. Doubtless the fan community will welcome its demise in favor of something new and – we hope – better. I’ve never once heard anyone rave about it.

Another thing I’ve never once done: ride it.

I almost did, once. I was there with a friend from grad school and her younger sisters, and they wanted to ride it. I got all the way through the pre-show and into the show room before having a mini-panic attack and asking the nearest cast member for the chicken exit. She looked at me like I was insane but pointed me toward the exit.

I’m sure this makes me sound crazy. It’s Stitch, for heaven’s sake! I LIKE Lilo & Stitch!

In it for this line.
Also this one.

Sure, he’s mischievous, but a huge part of Lilo & Stitch is pointing out that Stitch has a heart; that he is “broken, but still good.”

Stitch's Great Escape is not still good

But I just can’t hack it, and it has nothing to do with the scathing reviews. My fear of Stitch’s Great Escape stems from a couple of things, the first being, illogically, Alien Encounter, which you may recognize as not actually the ride anymore. Still, I remember when it was about a giant killer alien stalking around in the dark and, like, licking your shoulder or whatever, and even though I never rode that one either, the concept, as it ever did when I was twelve, makes me want to BOLT. (New idea for making a PR in my next race: threaten to take me back in time and ride Alien Encounter.)

I know lots of people loved it, including people whose opinions I trust, but there it is. Stitch’s Great Escape may replace the killer alien with a lovable prankster alien, but the basic idea remains unchanged, only now you’re being hazed instead of terrorized.

Perhaps more important is this: the aspect of being held in place while your senses are unabashedly messed with is EXTREMELY anxiety-inducing for me. As someone with a very strong fight-or-flight instinct (ask me about that one time I kneed a coworker in head after he jumped out at me from around a corner), I simply CANNOT BEAR the idea of being trapped in a harness while Stitch, however innocent his motives may be, does God only knows what to me while I sit powerless to stop him.

And that’s why that one time in 2009 I said NO THANK YOU to Stitch and did not ride. Now maybe I never will. And I DON’T CARE.

(Also, I don’t love having hot dog smell burped in my face. I hear.)

Well? Am I making a big mistake?

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  1. I'm not the only one!! I will admit that I did Stitch once. I was 18 and the pre-show freaked me out but I didn't chicken exit… and then the ride freaked me out so bad I literally cried! I don't know why I was such a big baby about it but just being in the dark, not knowing what's going to happen hit on my worst fears I guess. So I'm definitely not sad that it could be leaving.

  2. EXACTLY. I do not like my senses assaulted and I especially don't like it when I don't know how they'll be assaulted next! (Thank God we never did Alien Encounter.)

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