- Alas, Poor Scrappy: To some extent among American Lilo & Stitch fans who were saddened by the reduction of operations and the supposed belief that the December 23, 2017 to January 6, 2018 run was its last,note as this is the only Lilo & Stitch-themed ride that operated in their country, while Stitch Encounter/Stitch Live! remains a foreign-only attraction that's unlikely to come to the United States anytime soon. In fact, one Lilo & Stitch fan made a petition to get Walt Disney Imagineering to not only keep the show running but to make some necessary repairs and improvements.
- Americans Hate Tingle: The ride's reception was so bad that Stitch's reception in the United States became permanently tarnished, the character essentially becoming a scapegoat to American Disney Parks fans as "everything wrong with Disney" during the 2000s. Lilo & Stitch is not unpopular in the States, but a lot of older American Disney Parks fans have grown to hate the Stitch character and the franchise, and would probably not ever accept a new Lilo & Stitch attraction in their country if Disney were to ever announce one. As a result, the Lilo & Stitch franchise never received another American attraction (outside of the much shorter-lived Stitch's Supersonic Celebration outdoor stage show) since, and Stitch Encounter, an interactive digital puppetry show, has never been ported to the American Disney Parks resorts.
- Broken Base: The ride actually managed to build up enough of a fanbase by the time it entered seasonal operation that it has actually gained this status, but it still remains one of Disney's most polarizing attractions with a vocal hatedom.
- Critical Backlash: As a result of the massive hate towards this ride, many people who've gone on it have had this reaction. It's widely agreed to not be the best ride, or even a good ride, but a lot of people have said that it's not that bad. One of the guys running the YouTube channel Yesterworld Entertainment even states that he likes the attraction, which stands in stark contrast to the many other theme park-focused YouTubers who don't.
- Ensemble Dark Horse: Skippy from the ExtraTERRORestrial Alien Encounter's pre-show managed to survive the transition to this ride. Helps that he actually looks like an experiment.
- Franchise Original Sin: Well, they're not part of the same franchise, but both the ExtraTERRORestrial Alien Encounter and this ride use the same exact effects to give the illusion of an alien escaping containment. However, Alien Encounter was praised for using them to create a chilling atmosphere, while Stitch's Great Escape! was panned for using these same "cheap" effects to replicate the effect.
- Misaimed Marketing: Another reason why the ride garnered such negative reception was Disney's really poorly handled and aggressive marketing of Stitch when the ride opened, as they believed that Stitch would be most popular with young boys from ages 5 to 12. As the blog linked below shows, Disney overpromoted the mischievous and gross side of him, which included selling "Stitch Boogers" and having him "vandalize" Cinderella Castle on the ride's opening day. They also put him on lots of merchandise with the Fab Five throughout the 2000s, which was a huge turnoff to classic Disney fans. All this helped fan the flames of the anti-Stitch/pro-Alien Encounter movement which still lingers on to this day and, as noted above, hurt the character and the franchise's reputation in the U.S.
- Nausea Fuel: Stitch's chili dog belch, which was used so often it made the air in the main theater really stale, as well as him spitting all over the place in the dark.note
- Never Live It Down: The fact that this is the ride to replace the Cult Classic ExtraTERRORestrial Alien Encounter, while recycling many of the props and mechanics from that ride tarnished its reputation right out the gate; the fact that in the eyes of many it proved to be merely So Okay, It's Average after such major fanfare has reinforced this reputation, with many at a loss as to how it has managed to stay in operation.
- Nightmare Fuel: Not as much as its predecessor for sure, but it's still not a ride for the little kids despite its more kid-friendly material, considering the loud noises and prolonged periods of darkness. Some Disney Parks fans believe that the ride has an unnecessary minimum height requirement just to prevent the easily-terrified little kids from ruining the ride for others (not that it matters much considering the ride's reception, but still).
- A meta example: In late 2018, photos were leaked showing the ride (supposedly) partially dismantled. The most unsettling being the metal skeletal remains of one of the Stitch Audio-Animatronics, which people have compared to something from Gremlins and Five Nights at Freddy's.
- Nightmare Retardant: Stitch's hair-playing Jump Scare moment can easily be deterred by simply leaning forward before it happens. Additionally, the shoulder bars won't press down to simulate Stitch's weight if you either raise your shoulders during the lowering process so the restraints would lock above them or you squeeze between them and let them reach the bottom.
- Overshadowed by Controversy: Most discussions about SGE! are usually about how "bad" it is with Stitch getting tons of heat for replacing the ExtraTERRORestrial Alien Encounter. Even theme park journalists can't avoid taking a dig at the attraction whenever it's mentioned.
- Quality by Popular Vote: Of the overwhelmingly negative kind.
- Replacement Scrappy: To the ExtraTERRORestrial Alien Encounter, especially since this show was made to capitalize on Lilo & Stitch's then-high popularity. Stitch (who is otherwise an Ensemble Dark Horse among Disney characters) became a Base-Breaking Character among Disney Parks fans thanks to both this show and Disney's overblown and heavily misguided promotion of him in the 2000s. As this blog article about the ten-year anniversary of the ride states, Stitch's Great Escape!, combined with the poor marketing of Stitch, may have also played a role in the Lilo & Stitch franchise's eventual loss of popularity in the United States, where it has become somewhat obscure today (or, more accurately, somewhere between cult and popular) after the original chronology ended in 2006.Passport to Dreams (the linked blog): Casual visitors and Stitch fans hated it because of what it wasn't - a showcase for a character they learned to love during a redemption arc. Alien Encounter fans hated it because of what it represented - the [infantilization] of something expressly intended for teens and adults. There was no way Stitch's Great Escape could satisfy both camps, but it failed to satisfy anyone. By remaining beholden to the Alien Encounter show format, Stitch's Great Escape betrayed the audience it was after from the start.
- The Scrappy: The show's version of Stitch himself. Since the attraction is set up to be a prequel to the original Lilo & Stitch film, Disney had to combine elements of the scary, crude pre-character development Experiment 626 with elements of the silly, fun-loving post-character development Stitch for the blue alien's portrayal in the ride. Unfortunately, this resulted in a portrayal that had the worst traits of both sides to him. Audiences couldn't tell whether they're supposed to be afraid of him or laugh along with him, and instead found him just plain annoying and gross.
- So Okay, It's Average: For those that not have bought into the wickedly zealous hatred of the attraction—or so easily disgusted by the chili dog belch and the gross humor—it's nothing more than a merely mediocre ride.
- Values Dissonance: The revised ending became this. After the #MeToo movement, there is no way that a comedic ending where a sentient male character, even a non-human one, deliberately invades the privacy of a woman would ever be considered acceptable today.
- Uncertain Audience: An infamous example. The darkness, 4D effects, and loud noises mean that it's still too scary for young kids, but anyone older than preteens will be irritated by the unpleasant and gross humor. Even Lilo & Stitch fans don't like how the ride puts the titular Stitch, one of Disney's most emotionally complex characters, in a very unflattering light (as detailed under The Scrappy above), which has been and still is perpetuated by older American Disney Parks fans to this day.
- Ugly Cute: Sergeant 90210. Not much of a looker among robots, but this Richard Kind-voiced guy still has some charm. Considering that this is a Lilo & Stitch-themed attraction, and this trope is a norm for the franchise, he fits right in.
- Visual Effects of Awesome: Regardless of what one may say about the ride, it is a technically impressive one. The 39-inch Audio-Animatronic(s) of Stitch was a very complex creation for the Imagineers at the time and is rather well done, while the laser cannons on the ceiling move so fluidly that they look even better than how they appeared in the original film.
YMMV / Stitch's Great Escape!