/ The Disney Traveler

American Idol Experience Sees First Anniversary

A little over a year ago, a new attraction was launched at Disney’s Hollywood Studios theme park.  With huge fanfare, including “Idol” celebrity appearances and visits from former contestants of the top-rated musical reality show,  The American Idol Experience debuted on stage for the first time.

The experience allows for guests at Walt Disney World Resort (map) to watch and vote for their favorite singers as they perform on an elaborate stage, just like on the live television hit series.

For a talented few,  auditions are held that would then allow you to  perform in front of a live audience in a 1000 seat theater.  If that audience thinks you have what it takes, they will vote on their interactive keypad right their at their seats.  If you are the winner of the daily grand finale show, you will receive a Dream Ticket.

Dream Tickets, subject to eligibility requirements of the actual American Idol television series,  grant the holder a reserved spot at a regional audition in front of a representative of the series— who knows you could be the next American Idol!  Just ask current American Idol contestant, Aaron Kelly, a former Dream Ticket winner.

The entire Experience is modeled after the reality series, with sets  designed by the actual set designer for American Idol, a host and panel of judges,  all making guests feel they are a part of the show from the moment they arrive.  While you are waiting for the performers to begin, audience members should take a good look around for three “Hidden Mickey’s”.

Guests, age 14 and over,who audition, perform first in front of a casting director, where they are rated and judged.  Three contestants are chosen to perform that day, but not without a quick stop in the hair and make-up area and a few tips from a vocal coach.  Actual judges will critique each performance, while audience members vote their fate in the finale.

Think you have what it takes?  You might want to check out all the frequently asked questions or review the song list or get tips to do your very best during the audition.

Fans of the show can enhance their American Idol Experience by purchasing an “add-on” package to receive the Ultimate Fan Experience or the Ultimate Backstage Experience.  These extras include souvenir t-shirts, ID badges and a reserved seat to the show.  Guests must have admission tickets to the Disney Hollywood Studios theme park to enjoy  any of the American Idol Experiences.

Photo Selections: WDW News, David Roark and Gene Duncan, photographer

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