Hello, my fellow Disney nerds! I’m Stacey and I could not be more thrilled to be joining the AMAZING TouringPlans.com blogging team! It’s been a dream of mine to have an outlet to talk about the biggest passion in my life, Walt Disney World. Maybe some of you have read my own Disney blog, Confessions of a Disney Nerd, but if not let me catch you up to speed. My favorite park is by far Epcot and I believe that a dole whip is perfectly acceptable for each and every meal of the day. When I’m not working or talking about anything Disney, you can find me daydreaming that I’m drinking around the world. Anyone want to join me? Be sure to follow me on Twitter and Facebook just in case I’m stumbling around outside Rose & Crown and need assistance.
One of the newest and most creative attractions at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, American Idol Experience, puts YOU in the spotlight. You can’t just walk up on the stage and start performing though. There is a somewhat time consuming audition process that needs to weave into your day. Given that you make it through the audition and onto the big stage, you’ll have to fit a performance or two into your day. Many people think that it would be a total time suck so they don’t bother auditioning and end up missing out on a really amazing attraction experience.
Looking at the Unofficial Guide One-Day Adult Touring Plan for Disney’s Hollywood Studios, you can see that you’re advised to arrive early to the park. I think that this is no different for a visiting party that has an individual that desires to audition for American Idol Experience. When you’re bored and waiting to get through the turnstile, American Idol Experience often has a casting director and camera crew out in the crowd trying to wrangle people into auditioning for the show right there on the spot. If your goal is to save as much time as possible and maximize your day (like any good Touring Plans reader), then I suggest you take full advantage of this audition time before the park even opens. You honestly get the full effect though, if you audition in person right at the attraction.
Let’s pretend that you want to participate in American Idol Experience fully… from the audition to the performance. You can audition up until around noon or 1:00 p.m. most days as long as they don’t fill up on performers in the morning. Go ahead and follow the touring plan until 10:00 or 10:30 a.m. Be careful not to scream your head off on any attraction! You don’t want to wear your voice out!
Wander on over to American Idol Experience and head into the audition building to start the process. Now, it’s time for you to show them what you’ve got! Make sure to give them per-son-ality! If you’re nervous just try and shake it off. Remember, you’re just doing it to have fun! You should know your own voice and come prepared with a song that you want to sing. It doesn’t have to be on the official American Idol Experience song list just make sure it’s something that you like. If you don’t like your song then you’re not going to have fun with it and that’s what the judges really want to see on top of having a good voice. Don’t just sing the song… perform the song!
If you make it onto the next round then you’ll need to pick a song from the official American Idol Experience song list. Take your time in the Red Room and get your butterflies out. Hopefully you remembered to bring water with you to keep your vocal chords from drying out. Don’t worry about singing out in the Red Room either. If you want to see if “Breakaway” by Kelly Clarkson suits your voice then by all means… practice like no one is listening. You’ll be a better judge of your own voice if you really sing it like you would with a mic in your hand. If you’re really smart though, you would have already come prepared with a song from the list that you want to sing.
Hooray for you if you made it past the producer and onto the show! You’re given a card with a time to come back and go through a small rehearsal, vocal coaching, and hair and makeup. Yeah, even you manly men out there need a little sprucing up to stand out under the bright stage lights.
Since you should have some time to kill before you have to be back, consult with your traveling companions about what everyone wants to do. You’ve probably eaten up only a half hour of your day so I say you just jump right back into your touring plan and proceed as usual. Eat lunch as usual but try and avoid table service restaurants. Save that for after your performance. If you need to reschedule an Advanced Dining Reservation, dash over to Guest Relations and have them reschedule for you. Keep an eye on the clock when you’re thinking of seeing a show. It takes up a lot of time and it might not be worth it. This might be the perfect opportunity to hit up some character meet and greets. Yes, I suggested visiting characters while on a touring plan but this is an exception! Characters will see your American Idol Experience “Vote For Me” lanyard and play it up with you. I once had Pocahontas ask me to sing to her!
Once you take on the stage and the cheering audience, your journey could either stop right there or you could move onto the finale show to take your shot at winning the coveted Golden Ticket. No, not like Willy Wonka. A different golden ticket. The “golden ticket” is like a FASTPASS for an actual American Idol television show audition. No waiting in line for you because they already know you’re good enough and deserve to get a shot to audition. If you happen to be this lucky winner then you’re going to need to come back later that evening for the finale show. Thankfully you’ll have some down time and this is your opportunity to grab your gang and get back into your touring plan. Just pick up from where you left off. Use traditional touring plans etiquette and skip any attraction your group isn’t interested in. Realistically, you’re going to have to sacrifice a show and maybe a few attractions because you just won’t be able to fit it all in. Now is the time to get some grub because I’m sure you’ll be hungry after all your hard work. If a table service meal is planned before the finale, just make sure to keep an eye on the clock.
When it’s time for the finale performance, show up at your specified time and get ready to sing your heart out! Backstage during a finale show can be more cut throat than a preliminary show because tension is high and you’re competing against the best of the best for the day. Just relax and have a great time. That’s what the attraction is all about!
Most likely you’ll end up missing out on a first showing of Fantasmic! by the time your American Idol Experience show gets over with. My advice is to think ahead and pick a day to participate in American Idol Experience that has two showings of Fantasmic! so you can make the second show along with your group if you happen to make it all the way to the finale.
I’ve personally participated in American Idol Experience twice before and had such a fantastic time. The whole attraction process is as real as you can get to an actual American Idol show experience. You audition, have to think about song selection in the “Red Room,” perform on a replica of the real American Idol stage in front of a full audience, feel the pressure under the hot stage lights as the judges critique your performance, and wait anxiously as the audience votes for their favorite performer. There absolutely is nothing like it.
You can most definitely enjoy a full day of attractions while still reaching for the stars! Don’t be afraid to jump into stardom at Disney’s Hollywood Studios! So, what do you think? Are you giving more thought to American Idol Experience now?