Rumors abound that the American Idol Experience at Disney’s Hollywood Studios will be closing January 3, 2015. The attraction opened, even as it was obvious that the American Idol phenomenon in the U.S. had peaked, in 2009 and plays at the Superstar Television Theater at the Studios.
This is a huge footprint in the park, and has been the set of many great interactive shows at the Studios. While the closing is probably not seen as that big a deal by the many guests who were not flocking to see the attraction, eventually something will need to take its place.
What do you think should replace the American Idol Experience if it is indeed closing?
This weekend marked the debut of Harambe Nights – a hard ticket (that is, extra admission) event at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. And earlier this week, Disney announced the one-night only (for now) Villains Unleashed party at Hollywood Studios, which sold out of discounted tickets for Annual Pass and DVC members the same day they were offered (regular price tickets go on sale today). These events, along with the After Hours Wind Down at Epcot’s World Showcase, are new money-making ventures for Disney that promise lower crowds, exclusive entertainment, and special food and beverages for people willing to spend money for an extra admission ticket. It’s a strategy that has been wildly successful at Magic Kingdom with Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party – the combined seasons of which seem to now last a third of the year.
The prices vary from $35/guest plus gratuity and tax for the Epcot event to a whopping $134 plus tax for Harambe Nights for adults with premium seating (which sold out for all dates this summer, by the way). Keep in mind these prices are per guest. For a family of four (2 adults, 2 children under 10) to experience Harambe Nights, the cost is over $400 for a single night’s entertainment (including food and beverage, but not including any “commemorative merchandise” you pick up at the event).
Everyone is getting excited about the final piece of New Fantasyland, the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. The new Magic Kingdom roller coaster was first announced on January 18, 2011. It has been over three years, and we still do not know when the attraction will open.
Since we don’t like to speculate or go on rumors, we’re going to let you do it! When do you think the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train will soft open? (We will define a soft open as the first day Disney guests are allowed to ride.) Disney cast members will get to ride before the soft open date.)