Retro Disney World Podcast

61 - Alien Encounter - Part 1

September 28, 2020

Comments & Corrections

We start this month with some sports, weather and candy updates. The Disney World stuff will come eventually, we promise.

  1. Big update on the old school turnstiles around the parks. Carla Carle gave us the full report with pictures – thank you!!
  2. The Kugel Ball is huge – literally! We’ve been getting updates on local Kugel Balls, pictures are being sent and we love seeing this.
  3. How gives us some more information on the Tomorrowland palm trees. We discuss some of the manufacturing, history, and theories on these things. The story goes on….

Listener Mail

Right to the mailbag this month! The bag is full and we love that! Every month, you can possibly get on the show, so be sure to write to us at Also, top tier donors can even join us on a show! Take a look at how you can join us live on an episode.

  1. Downey wrote in asking about the talking elevator at The Contemporary Resort. We discuss this being a real thing and also the 80s/90s talking craze.
  2. Keith touched base this month regarding Birnbaum’s, which we cite often. Keith actually worked on the books – thanks so much for writing Keith.
  3. We heard from Andie regarding injuries on Alien Encounter. Her mother had some issues on this ‘ride’ and we’re curious who else has been injured on Alien Encounter?
  4. Bill wrote in about being in the College Program and how he collected Alien Encounter flyers, which helped promote the ride. These are so amazing and we’re so glad you saved these and scanned them for us.
  5. Our final note is from Neuro, he gives us some fun acronyms for EPCOT. Good stuff Neuro!

Audio Rewind

Our audio rewind this month is from the Space Mountain exit queue – Thank you for all the guesses and emails!

We have a winner! Congratulations Chuck Jordan!

If you think you know the answer to this month’s audio rewind, email us! – This month, the winner will be getting a 2016 WDW Poster Art Calendar. All entries are due 10/12/2020 and a random winner will be selected.

Main Topic

We are staying in Tomorrowland this month, but zeroing in on a specific attraction that is no longer with us: Alien Encounter, or the ExtraTERRORestrial Alien Encounter if you are using its full legal name. This one came online back when Tomorrowland had the major overhaul in 1995 and is a fan favorite. X-S Tech is hosting a demonstration at the Tomorrowland Interplanetary Convention Center and everyone is invited, including you! How leads us this month with lots of history, first-hand experiences, and also the two versions. With this being Part 1, we focus on the versions and what everything looked and felt like.

One of the first things everybody notices are those porthole type windows; they had a tint to them that really didn’t allow you to see in, which created some questions right from the get-go outside. We learn about why there is a manhole cover lifted and also why the massive yellow tower is on top of the building. The story elements were plentiful and most of them went unnoticed. This attraction was designed to draw in those teenagers and pull them back from Universal. It was high energy and extreme – which is what the Magic Kingdom needed for that particular crowd.

Now this attraction had two versions – we include them both in this episode comparing the similarities and differences. The first show is missing a bit to connect some dots and the second gets darker and creepier. How explains how the pre-show undergoes a major change across the versions as well. If you never had the chance to go on Alien Encounter, this episode will paint a pretty good picture with lots of audio clips and on-ride sounds. We also get into answering lots of why questions as a group, as we all took a spin on this one over the years with varied success and enjoyment. We hope you have a good time with us back in Tomorrowland of the 90s!

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