BREAKING: Stitch’s Great Escape at the Magic Kingdom Will Not Return, Attraction Already Dismantled

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Remember when we told you that Stitch’s Great Escape was closing forever on January 6th, 2018? You may also recall that Disney reached out to other media sources on January 9th to claim that the Magic Kingdom attraction would return and that our report was incorrect. Well, according to MULTIPLE sources within the Walt Disney Company, Stitch’s Great Escape has already been partially dismantled and will never reopen to guests.

Bon Voyage Skippy… A shot of the final pre-show of Stitch’s Great Escape on January 6th, 2018

Sources indicate that the audio-animatronics characters from the second pre-show room (seen above) of Stitch’s Great Escape and formerly of the ExtraTERRORestrial Alien Encounter have already been removed from the building and torn to pieces. Sadly, Skippy, the last surviving, untouched figure from Alien Encounter has reportedly already been destroyed to be used for parts by Walt Disney Imagineering. Surely he could have been repurposed as a complete piece elsewhere, but I guess being a beloved and interesting piece of Walt Disney World’s history will only get you so far.

If you need more solid proof, the “holding pen” outside of the attraction’s first pre-show room was also recently removed to make room for more stroller parking.

Rumors indicate that a Wreck-It Ralph attraction is already in development for this space. As well, the first pre-show room is currently used for Stitch’s Alien Encounter Character Greeting for the time being.

Stitch’s Great Escape has been in seasonal operation for a few years now and has not been open since January. We are still awaiting an announcement or confirmation from Disney, but Stitch’s Great Escape most definitely closed forever on January 6th, 2018, as we originally reported. If you missed your chance to say goodbye, please enjoy our video clips from the very last show ever:

Also be sure to check out our podcast chroniciling the complete history of Stitch’s Great Escape, Alien Encounter, and all of the former tenants of the Tomorrowland Prisoner Teleportation Center:

All this being said, I’ll be visiting Rafiki’s Planet Watch on October 20th just in case…

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About the author

Tom Corless

Tom has been regularly visiting the Walt Disney World® Resort from the time he was 4 months old. While he has made countless visits in the last 28 years, he did not become a truly active member in the Disney fan community until the summer of 2007, when he decided to launch the WDW News Today website and podcast. Tom has since become an Orlando-local and is a published author on Walt Disney World.
Contact Tom at [email protected]


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  • I was kind of hoping it would finally be open in December this year so we could visit it one last time. I was never the biggest fan of this Stitch version of the ride, but remember vividly being both terrified and excited to do Alien Encounter.

    I hope they put something there sooner rather than later. It is a great piece of real estate in Tomorrowland. Also, right per usual Tom…

  • Alien Encounter was one of the best theme park experiences of my young life. Then the RUINED IT. Good riddance.

  • I’m not sad I’ll never get to do this attraction again because… yeah, it just wasn’t very good… but am sad that Skippy and that cool stitch animatronic (I assume) are gone. I wonder if the next attraction will still utilize a similar theater layout. If not, I’ll miss that too because of Alien Encounter.

  • I love Stitch, but this was doomed from the start. They gave him a lousy reskinned attraction, which was never fun and bordered on torture. It would have been much better as a classic style dark ride like Peter Pan and Mr. Toads.

  • Wow. You must be very sensitive to what folks say about this site. Your “breaking news” article begins by reminding people that you said it would never re-open, Disney said you were wrong, and now you have been proven right. (Which you actually haven’t been yet, since nothing is yet confirmed, but whatever.)

    Not exactly great journalistic standards to stomp your feet and say “See?!? Look at how right we were! Stop doubting us!”

    Looks, I get it. There are some places that bash WDWNT mercilessly. And many of those complaints are perhaps unfair. But you are never going to change people’s minds this way. Better to take the high road and let your content speak for itself, than to preface your news articles with statements about how right you are.

    • I visit before Christmas and this has been closed to me for years. The term seasonal is used a little general from one article to the next. How many seasons does Florida have?

    • I think the real story is that Disney lied to avoid dealing with the closure, not making the story about us. I find it fascinating that they decided it was better to lie than to confirm the story.

      • Because all guests hate it and they don’t want to admit how bad it is by closing it and have everyone rejoice?

      • Trying to give Disney the benefit of the doubt here, is it not possible that at the time you originally reported this they did intend to bring it back at some point, but later changed to a permanent closure? Is it necessarily true that they lied about it?

        • It is not, the figures were ripped out months ago, which would have not been long after January 6th. It was clearly decided to not announce the closure. As we said originally, internal documents stated that 1/6/18 was the last day and they just decided it best not to say that to guests.

          • Tom P., for someone so willing to criticize Tom C’s journalistic integrity it’s more than a little incongruent to so willing to give Disney the benefit of the doubt at the same time.
            WDWNT gets a good deal of negative comments in general and people call out Tom C. in particular so when he’s proven right, especially after being told he’s wrong, his affirmation of such is appropriate.

  • Why does it seem like so many things are being removed/redone to make way for more stroller parking? Strollers are so annoying.

  • It’s about time, good riddance. Hopefully they’ll repurpose Skippy somewhere in Tomorrowland.

  • “…check out our podcast…”

    Clicks video only to discover it’s 4 hours long! Holy cow, man. haha

  • Glad it’s gone. It was not a good attraction. Hopefully they will get rid if Journey into Imagination with Figment next.

  • It’s so funny to me how many people complain about the credibility of this website, yet here you are visiting it. I absolutely love this website, for better or worse, and appreciate any tidbit of news or information, no matter how small. I think everyone here does a great job, and I especially love the photo reports. We visit Disney yearly, and would love to go more often. This website helps me cope with the countdown to our next trip, and I visit here multiple times a day. All of my family and friends consider me their “go to” Disney expert to help with planning their trips and making suggestions, and I honestly attribute 90% of that knowledge to this website. It’s fantastic, and I dont mind at all when there’s no “breaking” or “life changing news” Any Disney news at all is fun and informative. Keep up the good work!

    • Completely agree Disney Mama! I go to Disney once a year and would LOVE to go more often, but just can’t. This website gives me a feeling that I’m still keeping in touch with WDW. Some people just love being trolls!

  • Mission to Mars, which was located in the Stitch building in the 1980s, was my first-ever ride in a Disney park. I guess I’ll always be a little sentimental about it! ;)

    if they’re going to the effort and expense of tearing things out instead of just locking the doors, I think it’s a safe bet they’re going to start putting in something new sooner rather than later. Here’s hoping it’s something really cool and futuristic!

  • It would be great if they could come up with a new attraction to replace it that has nothing to do with a Disney/Pixar/Marvel movie. There used to be such originality for the attractions but not anymore. That was part of the appeal to Alien Encounter. An attraction that isn’t Disney related would be great at MK.
    Stitch made no sense – You’re all police space cadets and we are strapping you in to a chair with the most dangerous criminal in the galaxy!

  • I don’t know if it qualifies as a “hot take” but I never minded SGE. It’s not great by any stretch but it was a decent time waster.

  • Seeing the dismantled animatronic made me upset.

    I’m super thankful I was able to go on this attraction when I was there and unlike all you negative killjoys (you’re all annoying) I cherish the memories I’ll always have of it. Not everybody gets to have a Disney park in their country and I always wanted to see this attraction since I was young.

    I didn’t want it to shut, but I’ll never forget it now it is. Good, bittersweet times.

  • This is my experience with Stitch… There were maybe 10 people total and cast members most likely knew it would be closing. I have to assume that it was live when Stitch was bouncing from seat to seat (not the movement part obviously) Stitch kept returning to my seat and saying “adult only” things in my ears. Sorry, but I doubt Disney would program an attraction to whisper sweet nothings like “you know you want me” in a random kids ear.
    I hadn’t laughed so hard in ages and it was probably the highlight of my visit finding that this cuddly looking alien was a complete and all out PERVERT!
    Naturally, Disney won’t budge on their secrets but when I noticed cast members trying to keep a straight face while we were leaving and my entire group asking me what was so funny….yeah, I knew they were in control and making their “last hoorah” fun. When we went back the following October, it was closed.

  • I have perhaps been Stitch’s biggest fan since before the first movie came out… I remember as a child, I was so excited when I heard Stitch had gotten an attraction at WDW that I convinced my family to go during the first year it had opened. I had a very deep emotional attachment to Stitch (and Lilo, too!) because being a girl with Asperger’s meant I got treated very similarly to Lilo at school and that it was as hard for me to make friends as it was for her and Stitch. The movie was in production during my first trip to WDW in 2001 when I was nine years old and when the Animation tour guide told us the story, I immediately fell in love because it was the first Disney movie with characters that mirrored sort of what it was like for me with Asperger’s. As soon as the first movie hit theaters, it became my all-time favorite Disney franchise. I made sure to watch every movie at least once, play all of the video games in it that I could and see every episode of the TV series. Even now that I’m 26, I still have an entire corner of my room filled with Lilo & Stitch toys… and I even tried to teach myself the Hawaiian language. We also started going to WDW every two years of my life and I always made it a point to get in line for this show and every time, I spent the entire wait singing all of the Hawaiian language lyrics to the songs “He Mele No Lilo” and “Hawaiian Roller Coaster Ride”… and sometimes, even the theme song to the TV series, which was also the ending credits song from the second movie. We last went to Disney World in Summer of 2017 because the only thing I wanted for my first college graduation was to be taken to say goodbye to the magical land of Oz on The Great Movie Ride and to say goodbye to the Dinosaurs on Universe of Energy at EPCOT. When I was small, my favorite fantasy film outside of Disney was the MGM Wizard of Oz and one of my obsessions since I was small has always been paleontology. When other girls wanted to be ballerinas or lawyers, I always stood up and said I wanted to be a paleontologist when I grew up. So, we went last year and said goodbye to those attractions the day before they would close forever and I walked away from my last ride into the mythological golden age of Hollywood in tears and shaking… But at least I got to say a proper goodbye, so I couldn’t really complain and I also finally got my first and only Great Movie Ride souvenir. We also did not miss out on the Magic Kingdom, but I came down with sickness that same day, so we had to go to the doctor and we weren’t able to return to the park until close to nighttime. I had heard that Stitch was going seasonal and didn’t know when I would get to see him next because of it, so I went to try to ride with him another time. When we got to the entrance, there was a guard sitting at the door who told us the ride was closed for the night. I had a nasty feeling then that I would NEVER see Stitch again with his attraction, so I said goodbye under my breath and I couldn’t help starting to cry. My mother told me that it might not be goodbye for good since the ride was on seasonal and she didn’t want me to cry at the park. So I choked back the rest of the tears, trying to believe I would get to see it one last time in person on another trip. I somehow missed out on being told it closed earlier this year and only found out just before Halloween in the worst possible way. My favorite Disney Parks youtubers started leaking photos taken in the backrooms of the ride of a broken, half-burned and completely dismantled Stitch unexpectedly and with no regard to how us Stitch fans might feel about it. I’ve been crying on and off since then and terrified I might have nightmares. I am very upset that I was sick during my trip in 2017 now because it cost me my final trip into the Gamma Quadrant area with Stitch. Stitch’s show was never my top favorite at WDW, but it did hold a special place in my heart for having Stitch and I’m honestly ten times more upset I didn’t get to say goodbye to it than I would have been if I had not said goodbye to TGM or UOE. I might add that I am closer to Stitch than anyone would ever believe. No one has to believe me, but I won’t lie- Disney owns my very first fursona. I made myself an Experiment and then happily handed her over to Disney. She is still extremely popular to this day and it makes me happy to see that.

    The ONLY good news to come out of this is that it seems they are considering WiR as a replacement and Wreck-It Ralph was my next close-to-my-heart favorite after Lilo & Stitch because I identified with Vanellope and I LOVE video games. But I am worried that the Stitch showfloor is not large enough for a Sugar Rush track???? I was thinking the area where Autopia is might be better suited.

    Also just noticed you have Sonny in your icon… Is that official art of him or did someone else do it? It looks much better than when I attempted to render him in cartoony form. haha I had a much easier time drawing Henry from The Country Bear Jamboree and Figment from Journey Into Imagination. XD

    • Seems you’re a huge Disney fan also. I had never heard if Stitch until I went there. It was so funny that I had to buy the stuffed doll. So much has changed and favorites are gone. Epcot isn’t as educational and teens with hair in their face and backpacks were flopped out in the doorway of the Emporium on Main St. Seems the wonderful world of Disney is turning into Pixar Park 100%. They need to save happy hour for night time when kids are less likely to be around or move it inside at the World Showcase. Younger millennial generation were acting like drunken fools and very rude in front of my grandkids. The restaurant in Mexico was to have the feeling of dinning outside but the “sky” was gone. So much of the excitement is gone that my grandkids aren’t as excited to go back as my kids were. Hopefully by 2020 it can be revived. Thank you for sharing your story BTW.

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