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OTHER WALT DISNEY WORLD
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American Idol Experience
Disney's Hollywood Studios
Read Jack Spence's blog about the soft opening HERE.
Read about the Passholder Preview Tour held in December HERE.
The American Idol Experience at Disney's Hollywood Studios opened February 14, 2009.
Send us your opinions of the new attraction HERE!
WARNING: SOME SPOILERS AHEAD -- DON'T READ IF YOU WANT TO BE TOTALLY SURPRISED!
Susan: My son Forrest (18) was in the January 23 12:00 show during the soft opening! I had seen on your website that it was going on and we were there and thought it would be a fun experience. We were at the park opening and found the audition entrance right across from the ABC Commisary restaurant. They were all really nice and eager to get him started -- especially because this is new and not many people know about it. He went in to a small room with a very qualified musician (She was one of the voices of Liberty) and had to sing acapella. She was great and liked what she heard so she sent him on to the next level with one of the producers. Before he went in he had a little bit of time to look over the list of songs and listen to them in the "red room" which is like a small secluded corner with about 5 chairs for other contestants to prepare. The producer was also great they are all smiling and very encouraging and when you make it to the next level everyone cheers as you exit! In the Producer room Forrest had the music and a screen with the words - kinda like karaoke. He did Footloose and was chosen to move on to sing in the 12:00 show. Then they got some vidio shots of him and an interview that they showed later in the show! He was given a yellow tag to wear that had the American Idol logo on it and said Vote for ME so he could go around the park "advertising". He had to report back an hour and 10 minutes before the show for hair and makeup, meeting with a vocal coach,and his run through on stage! Very cool! This does require some time commitment on the performers part. They let me in early with the other family members of the other 2 contestants and placed us all the way to the left of the stage about 4 rows back which did give us a great view. The show went pretty much as you described and was so much fun and very exciting for me! Forrest did not make the final show but had a fabulous memorable experience -- they even took 120 pictures of him on a PhotoPass since we could not take pictures. The cool thing was that the experience lasted all day because people who had seen his show came up to him in the park and told him they saw him and what a good job he had done or that they voted for him - even later that evening at Downtown Disney he was getting recognized! I would recomend any one to go for it - it was more nerve-wracking than I anticipated at each stage but that is because they really try to make it as real as possible and they have professional singers,actors,and techs working the attraction. The winner (Mellisa) of the 12:00 show was able to go back to compete in the 7:00pm show so you have to be flexible with your time if you get chosen. So much FUN!
We just came back from the world yesterday and were lucky enough to see
the soft preview of American Idol on January 16. The attraction is surrounded
by cast members, but would not commit when an opening would be. Finally
after three days we had our chance. It was a refreshing experience. The
theater is large and they said that it seats 1000 people. The have three
judges to comment on the three performers and of course the host. At the
end it is the audience that votes on the winner and not the judges. They
keep the program moving from the very beginning (outside the studio) and
throughout the presentation. It lasts just short of a half-hour. Definitely
worth the wait. Because it is staged I don't know if I could go over and
over like some other attractions.
We witnessed the American Idol Preview On Monday January 19. I thought
it was a little over the top. The Brit was full of himself and plain boring.
I like the concept of the show but it was more of a comedy 1/2 hour than
a talent show. I hope they make some changes
because once is enough as it was displayed.
Nancy Smith: Had a chance to see a sneak preview of the American Idol Experience at the Disney Hollywood Studios. Its was fun. We missed the pre-show portion of the show, and just happened to be walking by and they were inviting people in to watch - so we did. The set up looks pretty much like the TV show (even the stools for the contestants are the same!). They had prerecorded clips from past Idol winners. They even did some of the "confession" booth interviews and background info on one of the contestants. I'm not sure how the contestants are chosen for the show (maybe at the preshow portion???). There were 3 contestants in our show. All were VERY GOOD SINGERS (seemed like they were cast members role playing - probably like this for these special sneak previews to work out timing, etc.). There are voting devices on each seat (on the arm rest) and after they all perform the audience chooses the "winner". Apparently, when the show is actually open, there will be a few shows each day. At the last show of the day, they will give out a "golden ticket" (a chance to audition at one of the REAL American Idol TV show locations next year). I'm not sure if all the winning contestants from earlier in the day will come back for a "finale" type show at the end of the day to win a "Golden ticket" OR ??? - not sure if a daily audition spot or weekly or ??? That part was a little confusing. There are 3 judges. We had 2 women and a man. They all pretty much took on the roles of the current Idol judges (although not using the same names - just similar characteristics - like Randy, Simon and Paula). And, of course there is the Ryan Seacrest (type) host. Our's happened to have the first name of Ryan also (coincidence - maybe!). Anyway, it was fun and the talent was great - would have liked to see some audition footage (or live) with some bad singing, like on the real show. Overall, pretty good. Don't know that I would wait in a long line to see the show (like I would for the Finding Nemo show at Animal Kingdom), but it was fun.
Pam A: Although my family and I have passholder reservations for Feb 7th for the American Idol Experience at Disneys Hollywood Studios, we were able to catch a soft opening this past Saturday, Jan 24th. Everything was wonderful with the exception of the host and the judges. We had a female host which took away from the Ryan Seacrest feel. I have read other readers had a male host. This particular host was over the top and phony--way too heavy on the make-up and hair. The 3 judges icluded a Randy look-alike who was a bad actor, a Simon look-alike who wasn't too bad and a blonde woman who was terrible. The sound and lights were great!! I could have done with a little less video of the real American Idol and more real show. The warm up guy was the best!!!!
I was lucky enough to attend a passholder preview of the American Idol
Experience today (2/7). For anyone who is a fan of the show they will
definitely enjoy it. It started off with a preview show outside
hosted by Justin Guarini, from Season 1. The Preview basically explained
the whole audition process and there was footage of previous idol winners/contestants.
Once you get in the theatre, the show itself is about a half hour
long and is exactly like the t.v. show. There are three contestants and
three judges. Because this was a preview I don't know if the same people
are going to be there opening day, but the guy that did the warm up was
hilarious. The host was a woman and, while she was good, it was
a little strange because I'm so used to Ryan Seacrest. The judges
were good and you could definitely tell which judge they were supposed
to be. The three contestants all sang well and the clips of idol
winners/contestants was a nice touch. The voting is quick, but easy
and it only took a few minutes for the winner to be announced. The
show was a lot of fun and the only complaint I had was that the seats
aren't that big, so it might be uncomfortable for some people. Like
I said, if you're a fan you should definitely check it out.