The American Idol Experience at Walt Disney World’s Hollywood Studios
Disney’s Hollywood Studios has opened a new attraction that allows guests to be the star. The American Idol Experience gives visitors who are 14 years or older the ability to perform an acapella song in front of a Disney casting director. If they pass round one, then they move on to round two where they are ushered to the “red room” to pick out a pre-approved song to sing in front of a Disney producer, to see if they have what it takes to be the next American Idol.
Guests chosen by the Disney producer then meet and train with a performance coach and receive the “Hollywood treatment” from professional hair and make-up designers.
After their “look” is show ready, guests hit the main “American Idol Experience” stage for the first time. The Disney show director, stage manager and staging specialist conduct a dress rehearsal to provide final instructions.
As the butterflies build, hopefuls wait backstage in the theater’s VIP green room while park guests file into their seats for the big show. The lights come up, the music begins pounding, and it’s showtime!
In addition to the individual performances, the high-energy show features all the glitz and glamour of the TV show, including special montages from past “American Idol” winners and contestants, exclusive video clips and shout-outs from “American Idol” favorites.
Three park guests sing their hearts out in each of up to seven 25-minute preliminary shows. The best performer (as chosen by an audience vote) of each preliminary show is invited back to the 45-minute grand finale show to perform once more with hopes of being voted the day’s top singer.
In addition to their newfound theme park fame, the top vote-getting guest in the finale show will receive “The American Idol Experience” Dream Ticket, which allows an eligible holder to schedule a front-of-the-line audition to a future regional audition for the “American Idol” television show.
Little CajunMama and I enjoyed The American Idol Experience from the audience perspective last night for its gigantic opening celebration, which was an Idol-studded event. It was just like being at a real Idol taping. We were even treated to a special performance by Carrie Underwood and David Cook. This was also the first time all seven previous Idol winners were all together. We were even able to catch up with former finalists, like Jason Castro, who sat down to chat with us (Thanks Jason and CastroMama).
You can have the same experience at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, where maybe YOU will be the next American Idol.
Now that’s what I call a ride! My husband would love to be in the audience for that.
L. Diane Wolfe
Awe Jason is my favorite idol ever. Look how attentive he is to the little girl.
Jason Castro is the best talent to come out of AI – voice of an angel and just a beautiful human being. Waiting anxiously for his cd to come out!
how nice of Jason!
I hope Jason performs in the NY/NJ area soon-we are patiently waiting for that angelic voice to come to the Northeast ASAP!!! 🙂
I had the amazing opportunity to be in a show during the soft opening in late Jan. I have 2 teens, and a sweet husband… so you know I’m not a typical American Idol contestant. But as a HUGE American Idol fan it was an AWESOME chance to be on stage, judged by …. Ryan, Paula, and Simon…. well, pretty darn good representations, and even though I didn’t win (and Simon told me I was too old for this – duh!) I did receive very positive feedback and had a chance to “be” a part of American Idol. All I can say is, Wow!
And Jason Castro is one of the most original contestants ever!
hi, how old do you have to be to enter in this american idol it’s 14 to what age. how do you get a spot to try out.
We were in WDW that week and missed the Idol appearances. 🙁 What day was Jason Castro and the other celebrities there? Thanks.
Wendy – It is 14 to try our for the Attraction but you must be at least 16 to be able to make it to be awarded a Golden Ticket. The attraction in Disney’s Hollywood Studios doesn’t list a maximum age, but for the show itself, it used to be 28 or 29.
Courtney – The Idols were in attendance on Feb 12.
Here’s my review. Hope you enjoy!
Leave it to Disney to find the next big thing in Live Entertainment. The American Idol Experience is a whole season of American Idol, compacted into 8 shows in one day; 7 preliminary shows, and one grand finale show that throws the 7 winners from throughout the day on stage to face off for a Dream Ticket. The Dream ticket allows the winner from each day to skip the actual American Idol Audition line.
On my recent trip to Hollywood Studios, I went for the entire experience and saw all 8 shows and was not disappointed at all. I am a HUGE American Idol fan; I’ve seen every episode of every season. I’ve even been fortunate enough to see a live taping in Los Angeles. The production value of Disney’s version is just… well, better. Disney brings the magic of what we see on television to real life.
The cast of this show is outstanding. I was fortunate enough to see more than one actor for each role on stage. When it came to the judges, there were three that stood out. The “Randy Jackson” was spot on for what we expect. Although he certainly resembled Jackson from afar, he was far from an impersonator and really brought his own style to the table. The “Paula Abdul” was actually entertaining! She had the crowd ROLLING with each of her unpredictable critiques. From her crazy blonde hair to her quirky attitude, I couldn’t wait to hear what she had to say next. The Australian version of “Simon Cowell” had the entire crowd laughing before he even opened his mouth. He was brutally honest, yet there was still something we just loved about him. He forced you to decide whether to “boo” or laugh after he spoke, and chances are, you did both at once! Now The Walt Disney World Company is known for finding diamonds when it comes to up and coming stars, and they have succeeded yet again with their judge panel, but hopefully when you get to experience this show, you’ll be guided along by their host who is a more charming, wittier cross between Ryan Seacrest and Tom Hanks (I kept hearing a group of girls refer to him as “Sexy Seacrest” after the show). He made each audience member feel like he was talking to them, in a crowd of thousand. I felt really safe that if anything went wrong, or if a contestant wasn’t the greatest singer, there wouldn’t be awkwardness on stage. He was the “star” of the show, making people laugh throughout, yet he would modestly step down and make the guest performers shine the brightest.
The amazing production value from start to finish makes this attraction a must see. Disney once again brings the magic as they transforms everyday guests into pop stars.
I was fortunate enough to be chosen to be a part of the American Idol Experience last week at Disney and I have got to say, IT WAS AWESOME! I loved every minute of it from the coaching, to my performance, to the judges review. I didn’t win the golden ticket but,now I am more pumped then ever to go for those summer auditions. THANKS Disney for preparing me! It was a GREAT experience!
Simon Cowell is soooo bad, still funny to watch him take people down though
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