Saturday, August 7, 2010
Alien Encounter at Walt Disney World
Alien Encounter (also called "ExtraTERRORestrial Alien Encounter") had been one of the attractions announced as part of the "Disney Decade" in the early 1990s. I had been looking forward to the new extraterrestrials Walt Disney Imagineering was dreaming up for Alien Encounter and another new show called "Plectu's Fantastic Galactic Revue."
The only projects that were realized from the announcement shown here (from a 1992 Mickey Mouse Magazine) were Splash Mountain, Alien Encounter, Disney's Dixie Landings Resort (later absorbed into Disney's Port Orleans Resort), Disney's Boardwalk Resort, and "the fourth theme park"---Disney's Animal Kingdom.
Alien Encounter's premise was this: "The X-S Tech, the galaxy's leader in innovative technology, attempts to test their new interplanetary transportation system...the corporation with the motto "seize the future---with X-S" accidentally transports a fearsome alien beast into the auditorium of the Tomorrowland Interplanetary Convention Center. The guests soon find themselves in the middle of a terrifying "alien encounter."
In the pre-show, a robot (originally voiced by the late Phil Hartman, then later by Tim Curry) named S.I.R. (Simulated Intelligence Robotics) demonstrates the teleportation procedure using a cute alien creature named Skippy. The hapless creature gets fried in the process.
Oh well, here's the back of the container!
Of course, there was more merchandise, too...
But wait, there's another scary alien collectible!
Alien Encounter went through changes after opening to tinker with the level of scariness. The ferocious alien terrorized guests in the dark through the use of Audio Animatronics, audio and special effects.
Alien Encounter had replaced the old space travel simulation, "Flight to the Moon" (1971-1975) which later became "Mission to Mars" (1975-1993). In 2004, "Stitch's Great Escape" replaced Alien Encounter. The show is now set in the Galactic Federation Prisoner Teleport Center, and guests are in charge of guarding Experiment 626 (Stitch, from the 2002 movie, Lilo and Stitch). Skippy is still in the show, but is now a prisoner. S.I.R. was re-themed to a character named Seargeant (voiced by Richard Kind). The fried version of Skippy was redressed to become another alien prisoner. An animatronic Stitch replaced the scary monster that was the star of Alien Encounter.