ExtraTERRORestrial Alien Encounter, or just Alien Encounter for short, was a "theater-in-the-round" attraction co-created by George Lucas and located in the Tomorrowland section of the Magic Kingdom found only at Walt Disney World Resort. It was a darkly humorous science-fiction experience that used binaural sound to achieve many of its effects and it was simply a MARVELOUS attraction! Sadly, it has been replaced by Stitch's Great Escape! For all of you who love the original attraction continue after the page break and let us reminisce...
ExtraTERRORestrial Alien Encounter opened briefly for previews on December 16, 1994, on the site of the former Mission to Mars attraction, but was ordered closed on January 12, 1995 for retooling by then CEO Michael Eisner. It opened officially on June 20, 1995 as part of the Magic Kingdom's New Tomorrowland. It closed permanently on October 12, 2003 and was replaced by the more "kid friendly" Stitch's Great Escape!, which uses much of the same technology and set pieces. Although it was short-lived, it developed a cult following, myself included, among Disney fans.
|Michael Eisner from Alien Encounters TV Special|
Prior to the attraction's opening, Disney released this one hour special, with no advanced notice to the public, and only in 5 major cities. While watching this clip try to remember the quotes you are about to hear were delivered by Disney CEO Michael Eisner and program narrator Robert Urich with straight, matter-of-fact, totally serious cadence and inflection. I find this special goes a little to far to try an get people excited about a new "attraction". I don't know about you but it just doesn't seem to Disney-like to me. Check it out:
A little intense huh?
In essence, ExtraTERRORestrial Alien Encounter did exactly what it was created to do... entertain guests over 12 years old. As parents ignored these warnings and executives watched children exit in tears, the ride was quickly toned down and turned into a decent, mediocre attraction.