Saturday, 22nd March saw the official opening of the new Stitch Live! at Walt Disney Studios Park. The attraction welcomed its first official guests as a Hawaiian fanfare preceded the day's parades.,
The attraction we first heard about as an unexpected rumour in October 2006, then followed through months of construction without so much as a crane or piece of scaffolding, finally opened to the public this Saturday just passed. This follows three weeks of public tests and rehearsals, reports and photos from which you can see in our various earlier reports.
For its opening day, the skies above Stitch Live! were suitably grey enough to encourage guests to enjoy the warm indoors of the Disney Channel studios. As is the norm for a new attraction opening, a special ceremony at 10am sharp starred the two resort ambassadors, this time with Stitch himself (the furry character version) to cut the ribbon alongside the privileged “first family”, who would be first to officially enter the finished attraction.
The queues — and pushchairs — built throughout the day as children could, for the first time, discover something at the Studios just perfect for them outside of Toon Studio. And whilst those queues built, the clever new electronic signs kept track of every person…
The signs don’t simply display the upcoming showtimes as expected — the first displays the exact number of minutes until the next show is due to begin (or at least until the guests are moved into the pre-show area), whilst the second displays the number of seats available.
This kind of information is already displayed on the Cast Member consoles outside other show-based attractions at the Studios such as CinéMagique and Art of Disney Animation, but is now presented to the guests for the first time, helping them to judge whether they need to join the queue just yet.
A bigger unexpected surprise on opening day was seen over in Disneyland Park (and possibly at Walt Disney Studios, though no reports confirm this) — a special Hawaiian fanfare preceding the day’s performance of Disney’s Once Upon a Dream Parade!
Such an initiative or celebration for a public opening was never even considered for the launch of, say, Tower of Terror or Buzz Lightyear Laser Blast, so it’s good to see that, by the Studios’ fourth new attraction opening, the resort has given its guests a good show for the opening day.
The real events, however, will be saved for the important upcoming press weekend on 5th and 6th April, which will mark the official inaugurations of not only The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror and Stitch Live! but the entire “Celebration Continues… Big Time!“ year.
Whilst the big nighttime events and unique fireworks at Walt Disney Studios Park will not be open to the public (who have paid for their entry to the park), we have heard that those ‘regular’, paying guests who visit on the 5th April may at least sight of Stitch’s live broadcast “interfering” with video screens at several of the park’s original attractions, such as Art of Disney Animation and Moteurs… Action!, or even the Disney Hotels’ resort TV channel…!
– Click here if you missed our exclusive interview with Imagineer Laurent Cayuela, all about the creation of Stitch Live!Â