Many Disney characters have made their marks, and continue to make an impact, on Disney’s parks.
Many Disney rides have closed over the years and been replaced by others — some rides you may have even completely forgotten about! The fan-favorite Disney alien, Stitch, used to have more than just cool (but sometimes creepy) merchandise in the parks (we’re looking at you Stitch Crashes Disney Collection). In fact, the history of Stitch in Disney World is pretty wild, and we’re here to give you all the details!
Remember when Cinderella Castle was turned into a giant birthday cake for Disney World’s 25th Anniversary? Okay yeah, kinda hard to forget. Well when Stitch’s Great Escape debuted (and we’ll get to that in a second), for ONE DAY Cinderella Castle was TP’ed by Stitch!
And see that graffiti? Yep, Stitch even graffitied “Stitch is King” on the castle, and wanted posters were placed all over the park to search for Experiment 626. This caste decoration was up for quite literally one singular day in 2004, and then it went away. It was a CHOICE.
Now let’s talk about Stitch’s Great Escape, which was the attraction that replaced The ExtraTERRORestrial Alien Encounter, which was a very unpopular Magic Kingdom attraction that was in Disney World from 1995-2003. Stitch’s Great Escape opened in 2004. The storyline was that Stitch had been captured by the Galactic Federation and park guests, acting as security, accidentally let Stitch escape.
However, this attraction was just as unpopular as its predecessor. Guests complained that the show was dark, scary, and not geared for family audiences. Many even called it “The Worst Ride At Walt Disney World.” Starting in October of 2016, the ride started operating on a seasonal schedule (which meant it was closed most of the time), and Disney filed for demolition permits in early 2020, and it was announced that the attraction was closed permanently in July of 2020.
Right now, you can see Stitch at his meet and greet in Tomorrowland and see his 50th Anniversary statue, but that’s about it! Despite Stitch’s rough history in Disney World, we still see lots of Stitch merchandise online and in the parks, and Disney had a special event and created specific merchandise for Lilo & Stitch’s 20th Anniversary. Maybe we’ll see more of Stitch in the park someday, and if we do, stay tuned to DFB because we’ll be the first to let you know!
Do you want to see more of Stitch in the parks? Let us know in the comments below!