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Thursday, January 15, 2009

American Idol in soft previews

Ryan Secrest outside the American Idol attraction at Disney's Hollywood Studios
(Image copyright Disney. All rights reserved.)

In just a few short weeks, guests at Disney's Hollywood Studios will be some of the first to try for those Dream Tickets being offered by the American Idol Experience. Here's how it works: guests who wish to perform on stage will go through a series of auditions with Disney cast members. If the guest makes it through the initial auditions, they will be given a performance time for a preliminary show and will come back to perform in that particular show. There will be several preliminary shows each day. At each preliminary show, the audience will select the winner for that show. Each of the preliminary winners will come back for a finale show at the end of the day. The winner, again chosen by the audience, will get a Dream Ticket, which works much like a FastPass for the next regional American Idol auditions. That person will automatically go before Simon and the gang without having to go through any pre-auditions. There are a few strings with the Dream Ticket - most importantly guests have to meet the American Idol age requirements.

In the meantime, guests who just want to watch a show can just enter the main queue and watch a show without the need to go through the audition process.

This is a simplified description of the process. For more detailed information, see a news release from

Disney overview video courtesy of Orlando Attractions Magazine:

American Idol David Cook talks about the American Idol Experience at Disney's Hollywood Studios (again courtesy Orlando Attractions Magazine):

So now that you get the gist of how this works, here's my question for you. Will you actually watch a show? Will you try to audition?

I guess the answer to this is based largely on whether or not you're a fan of the TV show. I am not. I never have cared about American Idol and, based on comments from a few Disney message boards, so are many serious Disney fans. What really gets me is that Disney is cutting back on shows for Fantasmic! in order to encourage guests to attend the finale show of American Idol Experience.

The next time I'm at Disney's Hollywood Studios, I probably will catch one show, just to say I did and to see it for myself. I have a strong suspicion, however, that this will be a "one and done" kind of attraction for me and several other fans. My other great concern is the longevity for the American Idol TV show - it is getting old. How much longer can it last? What will happen to this attraction if Idol folds? Many good questions. I guess we will only know in time. What are your thoughts? Post a comment!

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