The American Idol Experience is one of the newer attractions at Hollywood Studios. It replaces the live game shows of Let's Make A Deal and Who Wants to Be A Millionaire. While I don't hate it, a lot of the reason why I like it is because it's so, so, so, so terrible. Which isn't a positive thing for Disney.
Everyday at Hollywood Studios they have their own mini singing competition. First, you have to audition at the park sometime in the morning to early-afternoon hours. They have one show every hour during the day which features 3 "singers" who have passed the audition phase. During the day shows, the audience chooses one "winner" from the 3 "singers" and that person gets to go to the finale event that evening. Every night, the finale event allows all of the day's "winners" to "sing" and the audience chooses the best "singer." That person wins a dream ticket which allows them to bypass the line at any of the actual American Idol auditions. I would argue that this was an awesome prize a few years ago, but how is American Idol relevant anymore?
Here is the real deal with this show. You go into the theatre, which is set up to look like the American Idol stage. They even have a judging table with the Coca-Cola cups.
Once you get into the theatre, they really try to pump you up and tell you when to cheer and when to boo. It's super hokey, but I'm sure it's exactly what they do at real live TV tapings. Then this guy comes out who is doing his best Ryan Seacrest impersonation. This is where the show is really lame to me. It would be fun if they would allow the people to have their own personalities, but the people are literally just doing a caricature impersonation of the real American Idol people. It's so dumb you can't even stand it.
Then they introduce the "singers." You will notice I am using this word in quotes because even though I've seen this show 3 times at Hollywood Studios, I have yet to see someone who can actually carry a tune. After the "singers," they bring out the judges. This is another terrible part. The first guy is the "Simon." He will say mean things and we are told to boo him. He even speaks with a British accent. As if all Brits are de facto douchebags. Then they introduce the crazy woman who may or may not have an alcohol and pain killer mixture in her Coke cup. Finally is the black guy who says things like "Yo, yo, yo" and "what's up, dog." At this point, I'm just super offended at Disney for thinking that we are too stupid to recognize that we aren't actually looking at Simon, Paula and Randy. And, side note, Simon and Paula aren't even on American Idol anymore, so maybe you need to get with the times and hire some JLo's and Steven Tylers.
Finally the people "sing" and it's the worst thing you've ever seen. The people are uncomfortable, dancing really awkwardly, singing terrible songs and singing them terribly. You end up being really embarassed for them because they are really close to you. So close that you can make eye contact if you are brave. Often times their family members are sitting near you in the audience, so you feel like you have to smile and dance, but at the same time your eardrums are breaking and you have to fight the urge in your body to make that "what the eff is going on here" face. Folks, it's really, really, really bad. But, so good at the same time.
After everyone sings comes the most insufferable part of the entire show. They have this video that plays featuring Jordin Sparks singing some ridiculous song about dancing together and they want the audience to get up out of their seats and DANCE! Then they show video on the big screen of the audience members in their Mickey Mouse ears moving and grooving. Soooooooo awkward and gross. I live in fear of them putting me up on that screen, so usually I just stand there like an asshole daring them to put my picture up.
I've never been to the finale, but I would say 9 times out of 10 it's going to be a terrible show. Probably even more so than the day time shows because you have to sit through 7 terrible "singers" instead of 3.
I give this attraction a 4 out of 10 stars or a 1 out of 5. I think Disney really needs to rethink this one. It's poorly done, culturally irrelevant, probably expensive and showcases extremely mediocre talent. Disney, please, bring back the goofy game shows to this space. Family Feud anyone? How awesome would a big game of Family Feud be?