Wow, what a mess! Sorry that happened to you. It seems the screaming CM was upset for a reason....someone let in way too many (as it sounds by your posts) guests.
I can see how the "restraints" would seem more than a little uncomfortable if you didn't know about them (I believe in an emergency you just push them up lightly and they go the rest of the way up on their own). My mom found the harness painful when Stitch "jumped" on it (and it hit her shoulders). So when she rides (truthfully, we don't really like this attraction so we rarely ride it), she puts her hands a few inches above her shoulder so the harness stops with a little more space above.
I agree, you should have gone to guest relations, but I don't blame you for not wanting to dwell on it. Still, you may want to write a letter to WDW Guest Communications, if only so that the leads in Tomorrowland know that this has been an issue.
I agree - not a ride. But I've not done Stitch, I did AE 3 times and hated it - especially the restraints. (I don't have a problem with them on coasters, but I do just sitting around). I haven't done Stitch for that reason. I am sorry about your bad experience.
And that's probably the dumbest part about the whole thing. What's the point of having those restraints if you're not even going anywhere? I squirm during shows, it's just how I am. On rides at least on most of them the cast members are around to make sure you are strapped in comfortably. And I couldnt handle the chili dog smell. Ugh. Fun fact: the source of the smell is from Casey's on Main Street!
And that's probably the dumbest part about the whole thing. What's the point of having those restraints if you're not even going anywhere?
Because a lot of Alien Encounter and now some of Stitch takes place in total darkness. Some people totally freak in that kind of situation and the restraints keep them in place so they can't get up trying to get out and trip in the dark and hurt themselves or hurt someone else.
The restraints for SGE are show pieces much like they were in AE. I have never ridden either but I can tell you that the audio comes from directly behind the guest's head in order to create a sense of the "alien" being right behind you. Also, some other show effects are built in to the restraint. It makes the experience very realistic, and in the case of some guests, too realistic.
They do serve a very important purpose other than preventing guests from standing during the experience.
Originally posted by Phonedave
Well, if your parents can't teach you, maybe you can learn from a taser.
Some people totally freak in that kind of situation and the restraints keep them in place so they can't get up trying to get out and trip in the dark and hurt themselves or hurt someone else.
These "restraints" are in no way restraints. There is no concern for people getting up and running around. These are filled with show elements, from the binaural sound to the chili breath. Back on AE they also included the blood spritzer and the alien tongue effect on top of your head. Without these effects, you'd be watching a badly animated movie and some AA figures. The shoulder effects really bring you into the attraction (for better or worse!).
And back to the OP, I can't imagine how the harnesses could come down without the announcement. They're all a part of the same program, which isn't started until everyone is seated. The animation starts up, they make the comment about the devices, and then they lower. If they just came down with no notice, then that's a serious failure in the show sequencing, which is kinda hard to believe. Perhaps the OP simply missed the announcement in his efforts to corral his kids?
Back on AE they also included the blood spritzer and the alien tongue effect on top of your head.
I hated AE.
The first time I went on, I didn't realize how hard the restraints came down. I was in pain for the whole time. I did better the next two visits, but the attraction freaked me out so bad that I haven't been on again.
I could have just missed hearing the announcement, but the rest of my family didn't hear anything either. When I was in the other "show" (not "ride", I stand corrected) area, the message was so clear that I thought immediately to myself, "There's no way they played that the first time." I don't know if the CM's shouting at the people drowned it out or what, and I wouldn't testify in a court of law, but I'm pretty sure the message wasn't played the first time. I don't know if the CM was using a microphone to "yell" at the people sitting in the aisles and maybe that cut into the message or what, but it definitely was chaotic in there.
As has been mentioned by others, the restraints do seem a bit of an overkill for what is to follow during the show and that's what led me to believe we were getting ready to do some serious moving. That's what was the scariest part for me--worrying that my daughter wasn't correctly secured in the seat if, indeed, we were going to be doing some spinning/moving, etc.
Having said that, it all happened very quickly and we may have under-reacted when all was said and done. For those of you expressing worry that our vacation was ruined, thanks for your concern, but we recovered nicely and had a great time!
I really liked alien encounter (Stitch, not so much). The design of the room definitely does make it look like the attraction spins and the restraints definitely add to that impression. The first time I saw the show theater, I, as well as several other guests, had to ask the CM if this was a spinning ride. I can see why you were concerned.