Thrifty Thursday: Cast Your Vote at the American Idol Experience

As avid followers of the ABC talent show, American Idol, my family has really enjoyed participating in The American Idol Experience at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. We have had lots of fun being part of the audience and have been lucky enough to see some very talented contestants as well. We love having the opportunity to vote for that talented someone who could actually end up with a dream ticket to try out at a real American Idol audition.

The show is put together just like a real American Idol taping. While you are waiting in line, they fire up the audience and do some preliminary taping of the crowd. Once the doors open, you enter the auditorium and take your seat in the audience. Since this is an indoor attraction, it is especially appealing during the hottest part of a Summer day or on the coldest Winter day.

During the 25-minute show, three park guests who have auditioned for judges earlier in the day, take to the stage and sing their hearts out. Then, you vote for your favorite and once the audience scores are tallied, they announce the winner for that show.

Performers who receive the most audience votes in the preliminary shows held throughout the day return to star in that day’s grand finale show later in the evening. The best part is that the winner of the 45-minute finale show actually receives a “dream ticket” which allows him or her to schedule a front-of-the-line audition to a future regional audition for the American Idol television show, provided that they are of legal age and meet the other requirements for being an American Idol tv contestant.

If anyone in your family is brave enough to try out, you can find the audition times on your times guide when you arrive at the park. Last year, one of our favorite contestants on the American Idol tv show, Aaron Kelly, got his big break just that way. He auditioned at The American Idol Experience during his family’s vacation to Walt Disney World. He ended up being the chosen winner that day, which earned the 16-year-old the chance to audition for Simon, Paula, Randy and Kara. He did great and hung around all the way to the top 5 finalists for season 9. Since then, he has participated in a national tour, and has appeared on The Ellen Degeneres Show, the Late Show with David Letterman, and Access Hollywood. Now, he is confirming summer tour dates for 2011, writes and performs his own songs, and will participate in this year’s CMA Fest in Nashville.

My family wasn’t in the Studios when Aaron auditioned, but we have proudly cast our votes for several other contestants, and the same could happen to one of them. We like knowing that we have an opportunity to possibly share in changing someone’s life if they are lucky enough to win the dream ticket that day. The American Idol Experience is definitely one of our favorite things to do at the Studios.

Brenda is a native Texan born and raised on the Gulf Coast. She visited Disney World twice as a teenager and always dreamed of growing her family Disney. She took her first-timer husband and their three children to Disney World in 2000 and they now spend every Thanksgiving there. Brenda writes with a comedic twist on various Disney topics. She will be sharing tips she has learned during her travels and also hopes to enlighten people on little-known freebies that Disney has to offer. She wishes she could have met Walt Disney and considers herself to be a student of Walt. In parallel to his dream it is her wish that everyone would take at least one trip to Disney World in order to share in its magic with their families.

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