As part of Limited Time Magic, for this week only (August 12–18) Disney’s Hollywood Studios is offering something special for kids 6 to 13 years old. The American Idol Experience (AIE) usually only allows people ages 14 and up to audition and perform, but this week they are allowing kids to audition and perform on a “Juniors Edition” show at 6:00 pm.
My daughter, who is 13 years old, tried out yesterday. We arrived around 11:00 am and went straight to the audition building. There we were given the special song list for the Juniors Edition audition. The audition works pretty much the same as the regular show: you sing a capella for 30 seconds, and then you pick a song from a list and perform it front of a casting director. I noticed that there were more kids than adults inside the audition facilities. Plenty of kids said how excited they were to be able to audition and expressed that they hoped the change is permanent.
After my daughter’s audition she was told that she was very good but not ready for the big stage. The audition director also said that they were expecting about 150 child auditions per day and only had five spots for the Juniors Edition show. We stayed, as we were very interested in the talent level of the kids picked. The show started with an announcement that this was a special show and that the kids were performing just for fun since the winner would not earn an audition for the American Idol television show. From the five kids selected, only three stuck around for their show (I’m guessing the heat was too much), and all I can say is that the talent of these kids was equal to or even better than what is usually showcased by adults in this attraction.
All the judges were kind, commended the young performers for being so brave, and lauded them as future stars. The young boy who won was 9 years old and from England; he sang “Reflections,” brought down the house, and received a standing ovation (and, of course, a shower of confetti!). One of the judges said, “We have heard that song sung many times, and I think it’s the first time we heard it on pitch.” As a special surprise, the young talent was invited to perform an encore for the finale show at 7:00 pm. We exited the show around 6:30 pm and made our way back to watch the finale. About half of the audience from the 6:00 pm kids show did the same! The young winner was presented at the finale show after the three regular contestants sang, and it was obvious that plenty of us in the audience had already heard him. He was greeted with thunderous applause!
I really hope they keep this option for the future, as plenty of kids are discouraged when they hear about the AIE rules. Also, family members of Cast Members are allowed to audition and perform for the special Juniors Edition, which is not the case for the regular AIE attraction.
Here’s the song list for the Juniors Edition:
- “Ain’t Too Proud To Beg” by The Temptations
- “Best of Both Worlds” by Miley Cyrus as “Hannah Montana”
- “Breakaway” by Kelly Clarkson
- “Bubbly” by Colbie Caillat
- “Circle of Life” by Elton John
- “The Climb” by Miley Cyrus
- “Colors of the Wind” by Vanessa Williams
- “Drops of Jupiter” by Train
- “Go the Distance” by Michael Bolton
- “I Want You Back” by The Jackson 5
- “Life is a Highway” by Rascal Flatts
- “Love Story” by Taylor Swift
- “One Thing” by One Direction
- “Part of Your World” by Jessica Simpson
- “Reflection” by Christina Aguilera
- “Rock With You” by Michael Jackson
- “The Story of Us” by Taylor Swift
- “Stuck like Glue” by Sugarland
- “This is Me” by Demi Lovato
- “Walking on Sunshine” by Katrina and the Waves
- “You’ll Be in My Heart” by Phil Collins
And here’s a video of the winner: