Saturday, March 8, 2008

New Walt Disney Studios " Stitch Live ! " Exclusive report !

The first soft opening of WDS new attraction "Stitch Live ! " - using the same technology than "Turtle talk with Crush" - began today for the annual passholders and no need to say that Disney and more was there for an exclusive report. Warning: the article is full of spoilers!

First, this new version of "Stitch Live !" is good, and better than in Hong-Kong - where it is called "Stitch Encounter". I was in Hong-Kong January 2007, and so, i know both versions. One of the main reasons why it's better is because of the pre-show area and the show room - which is bigger than in HKD. In fact, there is no pre-show at HKD, for a simple reason: the attraction is located under Space Mountain, and the room available was smaller than the one at the WDS.

At the Walt Disney Studios, the attraction is located in the art-deco Disney Channel building where guests previously were supposed to enjoy a visit of the TV studios.
The truth is that it was incredibly boring and certainly not an "attraction". Now,this new Stitch Live! is really an attraction - a kind of "B+" ticket, but at least it's a real one.

Because we are in Europe, the show presentation will be in different languages, and the entrance is located at the left corner of the building. When you enter, it looks the same than before, until you arrive in the pre-show room.

Four TV screen on the left and a dark blue colour, quite elegant, i must say.

Good point, also, for the lighting, and the art-deco style of the lights.

Guests wait a few minutes before the pre-show movie began on the tv screens where only the Disney Channel logo appear.

Then, the pre-show is on, and the surprise is that what appears on the tv screen have no relation with the show itself and Stitch! Instead, it's trailers for Disney Channel shows like "Hanna Montana", etc...Of course, the "alibi" is that we are in the "Disney Channel" building.

In HKD, there is no pre-show movie, but there is no pre-show room, too! Which means that if DLRP wanted to have a special "Stitch" pre-show movie, they had to ask WDI for a brand new one. And i suspect that if we have these Disney Channel trailers instead of a "Stitch" pre-show movie, it's once again for a problem of cost. Anyway, this is not dramatic, but always annoying as it is so easy to guess the intention "behind" , i.e to save some money.

Once this non-Stitch pre-show is over, doors open to enter the main room while the guests of the previous show are moving out.

Not only the room is bigger than in HKD, but the decor around the screen is different, too. The colours of the lights on the left and right hand side of the screen will change regularly during the show, depending of the action. For instance, when the villains invade Stitch's spaceship, the colours will turn red, etc...

A cast member ask the young kids to come in front of the screen, as they will "interact" with Stitch later.

The show begin with Stitch inside his space ship, and the quality of the image is perfect - pristine, i should say. The show this time was in french, and i think we can say that the guy doing the acting with Stitch's voice was okay.

Of course, the interactive technique is perfectly done, and one moment really amazed me. It's when Stitch took a picture of a young girl in the front row. Stitch push on the button of "his" camera, there is a "flash" effect, and less than two seconds later he shows on the screen to the young girl her picture - a real one. We all know, of course, how this kind of inlay effet can be done, but what is amazing is that it's done in less than two seconds. Brilliant.

We also see the Lilo character "calling" Stitch from his Hawaian home. But the villains trying to catch Stitch are on their way, and they appear two or three times in the screen "inside" the screen.

...Until they announce they are inside the spaceship. It's time for Stitch to escape, and a labyrinth map appear on the right of the screen. I must say that all this sequence has been really improved. In the HKD version, it was a bit poor, but here, it works much much better. The audience help Stitch to find his way out, and of course he succeed. The last image with Stitch escaping in his small shuttle are really good, too.

Of course, it's the end of the show, and the guests leave the room.

Stitch Live ! is a small attraction indeed, but WDI imagineers have done a real good job, and better than i expected. The show, for sure, have his limits, but i think it's a nice addition to the WDS, and, of course, the kids will love it! Don't miss it next time you come to the Walt Disney Studios!

Photos : Disney and more

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