Touted as a teleportation exhibit, Alien Encounter was, if nothing else, corny to the point of hilarity. Before going on it the first time, I was terrified. Wanting to go back every time after that was in hopes of getting a good laugh.
I was always a big fan of the pre-show as I tend to have a sweet spot for animatronic characters. Maybe this is something instilled in my from countless trips to Disney as a child but whenever I see an animatronic character giving a presentation I am drawn toward it.
Effectively a fake demonstration of a new teleporation device, Chairman Clench of X-S Tech was willing to show a few lucky people (the 50 people they crammed into the room ever 15 minutes) his company’s latest, greatest invention. Good ol’ S.I.R. shows us how it all works.
Poor little Skippy was the guinea pig for the demonstration. I always felt bad for him. He looked so innocent and unwilling to be in the demonstration, yet he was picked on every 15 minutes for 8-12 hours a day, 360ish days a year.
Once inside the demonstration chamber, everything goes awry. Instead of Chairman Clench appearing in the gigantic teleportation tube in the middle of the room, an alien pops up (first round of screams).
As you can imagine, madness breaks out as the alien escapes from the tube and terrorizes all the guests in the chamber. This is where the discrepancy between the advertised and actual occurs. Well, not entirely: there were always plenty of adults screaming and children crying (which added to the hilarity of the whole situation).
I found it amusing when the alien “jumps” on your shoulders and “breathes” on your neck (which always elicited the most screams, and thus, the most laughter from myself and my family). Luckily, the good guys come through in the end and corral the alien back into the chamber, teleporting him back to the nasty place he came from.
As with a lot of Disney attractions, Alien Encounter was closed and remodeled into a new attraction. Apparently other people besides my family found it not only un-terrifying but quite funny since they themed the new attraction to be funny (which, honestly, it’s not – at least not as funny as Alien Encounter was).
Sure, what 8 to 80-year-old guy doesn’t love the fact that Stitch bounces around the room belching on people and eating loudly? At the same time, because it’s supposed to be funny( and Disney usually caters to the younger crowd) going on the ride as a 20-something doesn’t make me chuckle.
I found it more amusing that Alien Encounter wasn’t supposed to be funny…yet was hilarious. I still enjoy the new attraction and don’t love going to Disney any less because of it, but I could use a good not-as-scary-as-they-want-it-to-be-alien-catastrophe induced chuckle now and then.