“ Attraction at Disneyland Resort Paris „
What is it?
While at Disneyland we had very poor weather indeed. Although there was no rain, we did find that it was ice cold which meant we spent a lot of time in the studios. In the studios you will find Animagic, stitch live, Playhouse Disney live and a number of other show based attractions rather than rides. One of the first we visited was stitch live. Stitch is a character from the Disney movie 'Lilo and Stitch' and although my children were not overly familiar with the film they did know who Stitch was. As mentioned before it is an interactive show rather than a ride, and as the waiting area and attraction are all based indoors. This is an animated show with a difference. Using technology Stitch puts on a show that interacts with the audience in real time, and this makes it feel like he is right there with you.
Upon reaching the attraction there is a display board that lists the times the show will be played. On the right hand side was the French time and on the left the English time. From what I can gather there is a viewing of each show every half an hour so if you miss one you can take a wonder and return for the next showing. I have to say the queuing system is a shambles. We were greeted by a French cast member who directed us to the left turnstile to enter the attraction. Leaving our pushchairs outside we entered into a small courtyard type area for the next show.
While we were standing there we were rather confused as both the French and English seemed to be queuing together. We asked (and so did a number of French people from what we could gather) if we were in the correct queue because of this. We were nodded at and then the cast members disappeared altogether. After about five minutes in the cold we were shown in to the next room and everyone became excited thinking this was it. What it actually was is another waiting area. It is a cold room which did not help considering it was minus figures outside, with concrete floors so it is impossible to sit down and no benches at all. We were one of the first in which we thought was great. Until a message popped up on an LCD screen in front of us telling us there was 11 minutes to the next show. This countdown continued every minute which became tiresome and we were close to walking out.
What stopped us from leaving? The sheer amount of people squished into this small room like sardines. Disneyland can get very busy as you would expect, and while there were not 300 people standing in this room (full capacity) there were at least a hundred maybe more. This helped heat the room up quickly but I was panicked that if my children were to move they would become lost in the crowd. Also as we had to leave our pushchairs outside we had all the merchandise and personal belongings on us leaving even less room. I have never felt so claustrophobic in my life and I believe this could be done a lot better.
Finally we were ushered into the next room. We held back while the stampede of people rushed through the door obviously thinking they would get the best seats. Wrong. We were shown to yet another room where we thought we were going to have a countdown again. There were benches at the back of the room but nowhere enough for the amount of people entering. This room did have carpets and we decided to take a seat on the floor with our children thinking this was the full attraction. Wrong again!
The show itself.
(Spoilers, so if you are taking a visit soon I would advise not continuing as it may spoil the show)
Finally in this second waiting room a message was displayed on the screen from an alien from a distant planet. We are given the history of how Stitch came to be on earth, but then he drops a big dilemma. Stitch has gone missing and stolen a spaceship! Not even Lilo knows where stitch is, and we need to find him before he is captured by the space authorities. Then comes another stampeded as we are told to enter either door (left and right of the room) to watch the main show and help find stitch! Again everyone was a little confused which side was French and which English so it was pot luck. As the shows are played every half an hour in different languages we should have guessed that both would lead to an English show, but it would have been nice to have cast members around to clarify and maybe reassure people there was no need for pushing or shoving. Also the poor French seemed very confused as to why they were being sent into an English viewing.
Then we were in the main part of the show. As we entered there is a huge projector screen on the front wall of the room, and enough benches for everyone to sit down. While you are walking in a cast member at the front introduces himself, and advises us what is going to happen. Children were asked to sit down on the blue mats at the front right in front of the screen. To be honest being an over protective mother (maybe a little too much) I was worried about this. If the pushing and shoving from the previous two rooms was anything to go by I was sure they would be crushed at the end. My children on the other hand were very excited to have their own area to sit in, and persuaded me to take them down. The cast member started hurrying me along making the audience laugh and I went bright red!
We are then introduced to the cast member running the show, and he tells us he is going to try and contact stitch. Low and behold the blue alien pops up on screen with the spaceship as the background. Then the magic begins and Stitch begins interacting with the audience. Stitch first says he wants to speak to one of the children from the audience. He asks their name and then starts a conversation about their favourite things. Next he picks an adult from the audience. I do not want to go into too much detail as it would spoil the show completely, but he goes on to humiliate this person. (In a fun way of course ;) ) He asks them to make silly noises, calls them crazy and sticks their picture on the screen imitating a jail. It was all good fun and there were a lot of giggles from the audience.
There is a short cameo from Lilo who rings to make sure Stitch is ok, but then the space authorities locate Stitch and we have to help him escape. By shouting the colours of the doors he should exit from of the screen, we help Stitch to get away. To be honest the audience were terrible at this. Everyone was shouting the wrong colours and poor stitch and the cast member looked rather confused. The children were much better and thankfully they manage to help stitch get away. Then it ends as quickly as it began, and it was time to collect the children from the front and leave.
The show is an interactive treat. Using a cast member in the room with a microphone, and an actor controlling Stitch in real time it means Stitch is brought to life on the big screen. He interacts with the audience and his replies are aimed at what is happening in the room there and then. It is done really well to make it enjoyable and my children enjoyed it. My children were amazed that stitch was able to have a conversation with the audience, and in fact knew everything that was going on in the room. It is a fantastic attraction for both adults and children. Stitch is highly entertaining and the visual effect on the screen is great. They are able to take pictures of the audience and project them on the screen which was fantastic, and my children are still puzzled as to how it worked.
My children did enjoy it, but at the end of the show my son asked id that it? I have to admit I was thinking the same. We had stood in that horrible room then moved on to the preshow and in all queued for around 20 minutes. The show said estimated running time 15 minutes but to be honest I think it was closer to ten if that. While this is a fair amount of time because of the queuing system we just felt a little disappointed. I liked that they included humour for both the adults and the children to make it a real family show. The whole thing is very well put together, and it is entertaining.
I do think half of our problem was that we had the same idea as everyone else. Let's go and hide in the studios away from the weather. Saying that, the show was nowhere near capacity so I would hate to see how it would be when it is full, as we found it bad enough around half full. It is an interesting show and not one to miss but just be prepared for long queues and people acting like it is the end of the world if they are not first in! We were near the back and still had a fantastic view, so my advice would be to hang back a little to avoid the rush.
When we first went to Disneyland Paris, back in February 2008, they were just about to open a new attraction called "Stitch Live", where apparently, the audience would be able to interact with a cartoon character on screen in real time. I was intrigued by this concept, but unfortunately, the attraction was not due to open for a few weeks, so we were not able to see what it was all about. It opened to the public in March 2008, at Walt Disney Studios Park in Paris. It is based on an attraction called "Stitch Encounter" that opened at Hong Kong Disneyland in July 2006. However, this wasn't the first attraction at a Disney park to feature interaction between a cartoon character on screen and the audience. The Epcot park in America had previously featured something similar, called "Turtle Talk with Crush", starring the turtle from the Nemo movie.
Attractions such as these utilise what is known as "Digital Puppetry", which uses sophisticated techniques and real actors to acheive an amazing effect. The cartoon image we see on the screen is controlled by an actor, and their moves and voice are portrayed on the screen in real time. In this way, the character is able to interact with the audience and improvise dialogue, creating a unique show experience for each new audience that goes in to watch the show. The actor controlling the character can see the audience, and refer to individuals in the audience and react to things that they say or do, leaving everyone amazed and wondering how it is done!
For the benefit of those of you who have not visited Disneyland Paris, you may not be aware that there are two parks that you can visit. The first park, Disneyland Park, is the traditional Magic Kingdom, with the castle, and familiar rides. The newer park is the much smaller Walt Disney Studios Park, which has more of a Hollywood theme and is styled like a movie backlot. This park has more shows, exhibitions and interactive experiences than the other park, although they have introduced a few rides as well. To give you an idea of just how small the park is, you could probably walk from one end to the other in less than 10 minutes, and there are significantly less attractions in this park than its "sister" park. Stitch Live is located in the studios park, right at the far end of the park if you turn left when you exit the main entrance tunnel. There is a big sign featuring a picture of Stitch, so it is quite easy to locate, but you can also locate it quite easily on the map you receive when you enter the park.
Stitch Live is situated next to another attraction called Playhouse Disney Live, and the queueing system and turnstiles are identical for both. Each attraction has two sets of turnstiles, one for the French audience, and one for the English speaking audience. This is because there is a show every 15 minutes, but they alternate between the two languages, so actually, there is an English show only every 30 minutes. Large digital signs above the turnstiles show how many minutes there are until the next show, and also how many places there are left for each show, as there are a limited number of seats. Every time someone goes through the turnstile, the number of places goes down. It is really important to attend the show in the language that you speak, otherwise the humour will be lost on you! I did consider going in the French version to cut my waiting time, but after seeing the English version, I was really glad I didn't, as the show features lots of dialogue! As all of the turnstiles were in a row, I accidentaly went into the wrong one the first time, and ended up in the queue for Playhouse Disney. My suspicions were aroused when I found myself surrounded by toddlers, and saw the big "Playhouse Disney" logo on the wall! We soon made a sharp exit and got into the right queue though!
*The attraction itself*
After entering the turnstile, we were ushered into a large, rather boring waiting area, with a concrete floor and coloured glass block walls. This area slowly filled up with people, and we were standing around for quite a long time. To relieve our boredom, a staff member on a microphone tried to get the audience singing and chanting Disney songs and shouting and clapping as loud as we could. A small screen on the wall counted down the minutes to the show by means of a space themed animation sequence.
After a while, a door opened, and we were all ushered into the "pre show" room. There were a couple of benches at the back, but other than that, no seats, although the room was carpetted, so most of the kids sat on the floor while the adults stood up and watched the large screen that was still counting down minutes to the show. Finally, a short animation sequence began, which explained the backstory to what we were about to see. An alien, the Grand Councilwoman, explained that an alien called Stitch had come to earth. This alien was a result of a genetic experiement and was designed for evil, but after spending time with a little girl called Lilo and her family, he had become good and been allowed to stay on earth, although the aliens check in on him from time to time. However, Stitch has gone missing, and not even Lilo knows where he is. it is our job to find Stitch before Gantu (some kind of space policeman) does, and help him to get home. I have never seen the movie Lilo and Stitch before, but the story was easy enough for me, and no doubt others unfamiliar with the movie, to follow.
After this sequence, we were then ushered into another room. The "Galactic Transmission Centre"! This room had a large screen at the front, and several long metal benches for the adults to sit on. All of the children were encouraged to sit on the carpet next to the screen, so my 3 kids went off quite happily down to the front row, whilst me and dad hung back in the seating are, wondering what we were going to see!
A staff member introduced himself and started chatting with the audience. We managed to "contact" runaway alien Stitch on his ship, and that was when the fun really began! Stitch started talking to the host, moving around the screen just like a real cartoon, and then he expressed his desire to speak to some of the kids in the audience. He described a girl by what she was wearing, and the host took his mic over to go and talk to her. The little girl Jessica, was asked questions like where she came from and what her favourite colour was, and Stitch chatted back, much to the children's delight and amazement!
After speaking to a couple of kids, Stitch stopped and started sniffing the air. He could smell a "Man smell"! He directed the host to a very embarassed looking man in the audience, and the host went over with the mic to interview him. He said his name was Ben and he was from the Netherlands. "No!" said Stitch. "Me know who you are! You are crazy crazy crazy crazy crazy Ben, who just escaped from space prison!" Everyone burst out laughing as a picture of this poor bloke was posted on the screen with a prison logo stamped underneath. I was really impressed with the way that they were able to take photos of audience members.
The show was interrupted by Stitch's phone ringing. It was Lilo, worried about where he was. He told her he was at the zoo, and tried to get all of the audience to make animal noises. He mocked our pitiful lion impressions, saying "the lions are really sick today"! After the call, he stated that one boy in the crowd particularly impressed him with his monkey impression. He asked the boy to do it again, while he took a photo. Stitch then aimed his cartoon, on screen camera at the boy in the audience, and then a picture of the boy appeared on screen. Stitch said that he wanted to keep it close to his heart, so he promptly ate the camera and picture!
At this point, Captain Gantu appeared on scrren, eager to catch up with Stitch. We had to help Stitch escape, by shouting "Lightspeed" as loud as we could. We also had to help Stitch when he was floating in the air by all standing up and jumping, at which point he was knocked back to the ground by the jolt!
The audience are then shown a maze, with different coloured doors, a bit like the honeycomb maze, for anyone who watches Takeshis Castle! We get an overview of the maze and can see Stitch and Gantu, and we have to shout out which door Stitch needs to go through to make his escape. We succed, and Stitch escapes Gantu, deciding to return home to Lilo. He thanks the audience and mentions everyone he has spoken to by name, telling them they will always be close to his heart and his best friends, apart from Ben from space prison!
As a family, we all really enjoyed the show and the kids wanted to go back in and watch it all over again. The humour and interactive aspect of the show was great, and the technology was really cutting edge. It really did feel like a proper cartoon! It also impressed the kids, who knew that the characters in the parks were just people in costumes, but couldn't work out whether this cartoon character was really alive or not!
I hope that Disney, as well as other theme parks, produce more of this type of attraction, as it has a wide appeal across all age groups and was a lot of fun, also a nice rest from all of the rollercoasters and a chance to sit in the warm for a while! I heartily give this attraction a full 5 star rating, as I cannot find any fault with it, and I loved it, even though I have never seen the movie. If you are visiting Disneyland Paris, please make to visit this attraction, as in my opinion, it was one of the most memorable, and certainly had less queueing time than most of the other rides!
* What is it? *
Stitch Live is an attraction in the Walt Disney Studios at the Disneyland Resort, Paris. It opened in 2008 and there is also a similar version of the attraction at Hong Kong Disneyland called Stitch Encounter. The attraction is not a ride but more of an interactive show that uses real-time animation and digital puppetry.
* Where is it? *
Stitch Live is located in the Production Courtyard which is to the west of the Walt Disney Studios park (turn left outside of the entrance building) and is next to another attraction called Playhouse Disney Live On Stage. It is clearly marked on the park map and has a big sign outside which is hard to miss.
* Who is Stitch? *
Stitch is a character from the 2002 animated Disney film 'Lilo and Stitch' and appears to be a favourite amongst young children - probably down to his mischievous nature! He was an experiment created by an alien called Dr Jumba Jookiba. He is blue and funny looking, and his the best friend/owner is a little Hawaiian girl named Lilo.
* Show times *
Shows run around every 15 minutes and you can choose from a showing in English or French, which is ideal - unless you don't speak English or French of course! There is an electronic board outside of the attraction which tells you when the next showing is (and in which language) and how many seats are available (it counts down every time somebody enters the turnstile). I believe each showing holds 200 people and lasts 15 minutes.
* Going live! *
First off, if you are planning a trip to Disneyland you should stop reading now as I wouldn't like to spoil the surprise for you! Here is my experience of Stitch Live...
There is a pre-show which we missed as we grabbed the last couple of seats! The pre-show is basically an introduction to Stitch (handy for those who aren't too familar with him) and informs everybody that Stitch has stolen a space cruiser and has gone missing. It is your duty to find him and return him home to Lilo.
We walked into an indoor theatre-type room, refered to in the pre-show as the 'Galactic Transmission Center'. Inside were rows of benches, a big screen at the front (surrounded by lights to give it a futuristic/spaceship feel) and a man with a microphone. We were instructed to take a seat and the children were encouraged to sit at the front inside a circle on the floor.
Stitch appeared on the screen and the man with the microphone explained to him that he was from Galactic Communications and we were his guests. Stitch then gave us a big "Aloha" - our efforts were mocked until we replied very loudly. Stitch then went on to point out 'the little people' at the front and asked one of the little girls what her name was, how old she was and where she was from.
Soon afterwards Stitch claimed to recognise a man on the back row. Stitch described the man by the colour of the jacket he was wearing and where abouts he was sitting - the man with the microphone walked over to the man and Stitch asked his name. The man in the back row replied "Dave" into the microphone to which Stitch asked "and where are you from Dave?". Stitch and Dave had an amusing conversation for a little while which ended in Stitch informing everybody that Dave was a bad man and had escaped from space prison, before producing a poster which read 'Reward - Wanted for escaping from space prison' along with a photo of the man!
There was then a video message from Captain Gantu (the 'baddie' alien from Lilo and Stitch) who told Stitch that he knew he took his space cruiser and was after him - Stitch called him a stinky fish face much to the childrens delight! We then had to help Stitch escape from Gantu in his space cruiser by shouting 'lightspeed'.
A mobile phone started ringing and Stitch was quick to tell the owner of the phone off, before realising it was actually his phone! The phone call was from Lilo (her picture came up on the screen) - she told him that she knew that Stitch had stolen the space cruiser - Stitch denied this claim and instead blamed Dave! We had to roar like lions and make monkey noises to fool Lilo into thinking Stitch was at the zoo and not in space. Afterwards Stitch told a young boy in the front row that he did a really good monkey impression - he went on to ask his name and then took a photo of him doing a monkey face. Afterwards he turned the camera round to show everybody the photo before swallowing the camera to 'keep it close to his heart'. Gantu then stormed into the space cruiser and we had to direct Stitch out of the space cruiser (by shouting different coloured doors out) to escape from him. Stitch escaped and thanked his new friends by name.
* Suitability *
Stitch Live is described as a 'family adventure', which means it's suitable for all ages. This attraction is an all rounder that will amaze and amuse both children and adults, so I recommend to everybody!
* Overall *
I wasn't really sure what to expect as we were entering the doors to Stitch Live, but I never expected an animated interactive show! It went above and beyond my expectations. Me and my partner thought it was great and were laughing throughout the show - whilst also praying that we wouldn't get picked to talk to Stitch! My young daughter loved the show and was so excited to be interacting with Stitch. She often gets quite shy with new people or in unknown environments but she sat right at the front and really got involved throughout the show.
It's such a clever attraction - kids will leave the attraction thinking they have actually spoken with Stitch and adults will spend the day pondering on how it works! It's great how Stitch's movements, facial movements and tone of voice change on what members of the audience say - he has some great comebacks and is very witty too! It's also very clever how he can repeat things perfectly and can pick people out of the audience by their hair, clothes, posture, general appearance and seat positioning - he actually interacts with the audience which is something I have never seen before (although apparently there a similar Finding Nemo attraction in America). I have no idea how it works but to be honest I think I'd rather not know.
I should also mention that every show differs according to the audience, so no two shows will be the same and each show is unique (but with the same overall story I think). Check out YouTube if you want a sneak peak! I am revisiting Disneyland Paris again this year and am interested to see what Stitch has to say this time around.
In my opinion Stitch Live is a must-do if you're visiting Disneyland Paris.