Thursday, February 21, 2013

The ExtraTERRORestrial: Alien Encounter!!!

Hey everyone, how's your week going so far? I hope its better than a kick to the nuts, cause if it's not, perhaps this post will put a smile on your face. Its full of good stuff, nostalgia, loud noises...alright, so its about one ride that resided in Tomorrowland at the Magic Kingdom. The ride doesn't even exist anymore, but it scared the crap out of everyone who went on it time and time again. This ride almost made Jake pee his pants...almost! He was really close! Of course, the liter of Mountain Dew he had consumed before the ride didn't help. As everyone can tell from the title, I'm talking about the one, the only, Alien Encounter!
Past this sign, terror awaits you.

The pre-show room.
This ride had it all. It had a clever story build up with a nice "testing room", a funny, yet sinister robot, and a little alien named Skippy. Now this Skippy was the real star of the show. He was cute, cuddly, oh man, I wanted to take him home and hide him in my closet! You know, because that's what you do when you bring home a cute alien... Anyway, this Skippy is just minding his own business when the sinister robot known as S.I.R. (Simulated Intelligence Robotics) who was voiced by Tim Curry, tests the teleportation device in front of the audience to give us an idea of how it works.

S.I.R. is uncaring.
Sure enough, Skippy disappears from the left side of the room, and reappears on the right side, only somethings gone horribly wrong. The cute cuddly Skippy that everyone wanted to take home and hide in their closets was burned to a crisp, and glowing! But on a good note, the teleportation did indeed work. S.I.R then makes Skippy disappear indefinitely. That's right folks, the damn robot killed Skippy! When parents ignored the warning signs out side of this attraction that warned that the ride is “intense and unintended for children under the age of 12”, they soon realized that, indeed, the Walt Disney Company was not lying. I tried not to laugh at those parents as their little ones began to ask what happened to Skippy!

Poor little Skippy.
After that fun pre-show, you would finally get to sit inside of a round room that was used for an old ride called Mission to Mars. Same seats, however a bit modified. As you chose your seat, you were then instructed to put on the shoulder restraints so you can't get out of your seat! Those things were so secure that I think the HULK would have a hell of a time ripping you out. So there you sat, in a chair with roller coaster type restraints wondering if you perhaps made a poor decision in choosing this ride. Too late to change your mind, though...the terror was about to begin.

The tube from which terror is born.
The lights went dark and some humanoid alien was on a screen talking about some jibber jabber, and that they were going to teleport some dude from their planet to ours to talk about something. I didn't listen to that part, I was still wandering if somehow this ride blasts off and we go through ten loops! Why the hell else would you need shoulder restraints? Well, I learned that teleportation doesn't go so well, because that's what the pre-show taught me (R.I.P Skippy), so I knew something bad was about to happen.

As soon as the teleportation started, my gut served me well. We were in a crap storm of trouble! The teleporting messed up (big surprise) and the computer scanners showed something huge, bug like, and rather unfriendly was locked inside the teleport tube. Steam is blowing out of pipes everywhere, Aliens are on the screens screaming about not to worry, and also about how there's no way the creature can get out. The shields around the tube lift, the thing inside of it is pretty much my worst night mare, and holy shit, the lights go out, glass shatters, air blasts punch you right in the face, I pee my pants, the lights come back on and the tube is shattered. Not only is the tube shattered, but so is my heart, because I know I’m about to die. To my horror there isn't an alien in the tube any longer...its in the room with all of us, and we’re strapped to our seats, no where to go.
Commence self-pissing.

I weep, the lights go out and I feel something run behind me. That freaked me out. I felt the shoulder harness compress upon my shoulders and I knew I was about to be food for an ungodly creature! Just then the audience hears some sorry soul scream bloody murder as the creature’s battle cry rattles the entire seating area. I don’t remember the poor mans name, but I remember him screaming, a crunching noise, warm blood (just water) splattering on everyone's face, and then silence...

Promotional art, but a very accurate depiction.
Where was the wretched beast now? I heard something on the screen stating they were going to lure it back into the tube, but I was more worried about the warm breath that was on the back of my neck, and that steady low growl! Yep, I literally shit in my shorts! The sucker was right behind me, I was next! As I sat there realizing that up to that point in my life I hadn't really lived, its wet tongue licked the top of my head (this really happened on the ride) and it bellowed another scream just before some how they lured it back into the tube!

The lights turn on, the bug's in the tube, some lady next to me is squeezing my hand so hard I thought she was in labor, and then BOOOOM!!! The bug explodes, we get all wet, I start crying tears of joy that everyone is still alive,(except for that brave soul who’s blood we all wore on our faces), and the ride ends as brilliantly as it started. As my brother and I sat there, hearts still pounding, pants full of urine, I realized then that Disney is capable of straight up scaring the hell out of people at will!

Ugh. Just...ugh. Too cute. Too many smiles in the audience.
Not enough horrific terror. 
 Brilliant ride, amazing affects, and now it's been taken over by Stitch, a cute, furry, less menacing alien, because everyone complained that the ride Alien Encounter was too intense for their children. If they would just read the signs! It said in big bold letters that it wasn't meant for kids under the age of 12. I feel that they were using their kids as a scapegoat, the parents were the ones afraid, and rightfully so, that ride was more intense than waking up next to a warthog with a wedding dress!

(Editor's note: Alien Encounter is the one Disney World attraction I miss the most and wished they would bring back. Stitch's Great Escape is a piddly joke of a once-great attraction. That is all.)