In Which Jenn Is Afraid Of Stitch’s Great Escape

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.”

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?

Don’t forget, you can follow us on Twitter @fairestrunofall. To see how our training is going, check out Jenn’s dailymile here and Moon’s dailymile here. If you have any questions for us, leave a comment or email us at fairestrunofall@gmail.comSee ya real soon!

Kill/Refurb/Marry: Extinct Attractions

It’s Kill/Refurb/Marry time again! I found this installment of the monthly blog hop particularly fertile. This time around we’re talking about extinct attractions. Strap in!

Kill: American Idol: The Experience

Man, an embarrassment of riches with this one. Body Wars is a decided no thank you on my part, but since I never rode it I can’t speak to it knowledgeably (although I can viscerally, and my viscera say: NO GOING INSIDE PEOPLE I’M LOOKING AT YOU MAGIC SCHOOL BUS).

I came THISCLOSE to killing Superstar Limo, too. Since I made it to California Adventure during the extremely brief period the ride actually existed, I think I am uniquely qualified to judge this perplexing and unpopular attraction as easily murdered.

And then I remembered that American Idol: The Experience was quite recently a thing. What are some words I can use to describe my opinion of AI:TE*? Awkward, forced, cringe-worthy, inferior prizes, total time suck for everyone involved. DO NOT WANT. Next!

* Hereinafter to be referred to as Aiight.

Refurb: ExtraTERRORrestrial Alien Encounter

I know. I KNOW. A lot of you just LOOOOVED this ride. But I do NOT like touching under the best of circumstances. I still haven’t even tried the replacement Stitch ride – I went through the line once but took the chicken exit in a panic because NO DON’T TOUCH AHHHH. Add a horror element and I can only imagine if I’d ever gone on Alien Encounter I would’ve had a nervous breakdown.

All that having been said, I find the concept very interesting. Can we bring it back, but offer a stand-off-to-the-side-and-just-watch option? All the animatronics, light flickers, and frightening sound effects, none of the saliva, hot breath, and fake alien fingers?

Marry: Horizons

The obvious choice is of course Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, but since it still exists in Disneyland I feel like it doesn’t qualify. 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea? Again, Disneyland.

I thought about demanding that Dreamfinder be brought back immediately, but as the Journey Into Imagination still exists in a different, albeit inferior iteration, I don’t think that works either (and anyway I mentioned it last time).

I finally landed on Horizons, that much-loved dark ride that bowed in favor of Mission: Space. And as much as I love me some Gary Sinise, I must say the deletion makes me sad. I have fond memories of discovering the attraction with my family in sixth grade, and since this was in my No Roller Coasters Too Scary phase, I was thrilled to find something so gently entertaining. The scenes were cute and the finale “motion simulator” video was fun. And when I later found out that it was meant to be a sequel of sorts to the Carousel of Progress, I loved it even more.

If ever there was an extinct attraction with an enormous fan base, it’s Horizons – someone even recreated the entire thing virtually, which is a nice stopgap but not quite the same. Please, Disney, won’t you give us back our Horizons?

Jenn is running the 2015 Marine Corps Marathon for the Diabetes Action Team. Will you help her earn her bib while fighting diabetes? Click here to make your tax-deductible donation.

Don’t forget, you can follow us on Twitter @fairestrunofall. To see how our training is going, check out Jenn’s dailymile here and Moon’s dailymile here. If you have any questions for us, leave a comment or email us at fairestrunofall@gmail.comSee ya real soon!