New ‘American Idol’ Kris Allen Celebrates His Crowning Achievement with His Fans at Walt Disney World Resort

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (May 29, 2009) – Dreams keep coming true for new “American Idol” Kris Allen.

Last week, the 23-year-old singer from Conway, Ark., became the newest “American Idol” by garnering the most fan votes in the television series’ thrilling Season Eight finale. Moments after his victory, Allen did what dozens of sports celebrities and heroes have done for more than two decades: He looked into a television camera and shouted, “I’m going to Disney World!”

This week, America’s newest star lived out his post-finale show pronouncement when he basked in the glow of a victory parade and gala celebration at “The American Idol Experience,” the new Disney’s Hollywood Studios theme park attraction based on the “American Idol” television show.

Celebrating with Allen Friday at Walt Disney World was his new bride, Katy. The longtime sweethearts were married eight months ago.

Thousands of fans turned out May 29 for Allen’s day in the Disney sun, which included a party-filled procession through the theme park and a chance for fans to see the newest “American Idol” amidst the celebratory setting.

In the iconic commercial shot on the Nokia Theater stage in Los Angeles following the May 20 season finale show, Allen not only shouts the famous “I’m Going to Disney World!” line, but his voice also is featured throughout the ad as he performs the famous song, “When You Wish Upon A Star.” And with the same immediacy that has made the Disney spot one of the most beloved commercials of all-time, the newest “I’m Going to Disney World!” commercial debuted on television within hours of the “American Idol” finale.

By starring in the Disney commercial, Allen joins a line-up of superstar professional athletes and heroes who have shouted the famous “I’m Going to Disney World” line. He is the second singer ever to star in the Disney commercial in its 23-year history (2008 “American Idol” champion, David Cook, was the first).

Fittingly, Allen made his visit to Walt Disney World as Disney Parks asks guests “What Will You Celebrate?”

Allen’s victory on “American Idol” took the country by storm and highlighted Season Eight of the show.

His journey on “Idol” began when he and his brother drove more than eight hours from Arkansas to Louisville, Ky., and then waited another 14 hours to audition. All of Allen’s long hours and hard work were rewarded May 20 in the star-studded season finale when he was crowned the newest “American Idol.”

“The American Idol Experience” at Walt Disney World Resort – which had a February 2009 grand opening – is the first major theme park attraction in the world based on the popular television series. Walt Disney Imagineering developed the interactive attraction in conjunction with FremantleMedia Enterprises and 19 TV Ltd.

“The American Idol Experience” lets Disney guests experience the glitz and glamour of the “American Idol” television show, whether they are auditioning for a Disney producer, performing on-stage in front of a packed theater or voting for their favorite singer from their audience seats. Attraction performers who receive the most audience votes in the preliminary shows return to star in that evening’s grand finale show. In addition to their new-found theme park fame, the top vote-getting guest in the finale show receives “The American Idol Experience” Dream Ticket – which allows an eligible holder to schedule a front-of-the-line audition at a future regional audition for the “American Idol” television show.

Debra Martin Koma wrote about food, travel and lifestyle issues for a number of local and national publications before she fell in love with Walt Disney World on her first visit — when she was 34! She's returned to her Laughing Place more times than she can count in the ensuing years, and enthusiastically shares her passion with readers of AllEars.Net and AllEars®. Deb also co-authored (along with Deb Wills) PassPorter's Open Mouse for Walt Disney World and the Disney Cruise Line, a travel guide designed for all travelers to Walt Disney World who may require special attention, from special diets to mobility issues.

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