The American Idol Experience in Hollywood Studios is officially closed. Most people are probably ok with this change, but not me. This is a former Cast Member saying good-bye to their attraction and sharing what it was like during the first days at the American Idol Experience.
My dream has always been to work for Disney. That dream came true in 2009 when I did the College Program. I was assigned to be part of the opening team for the American Idol Experience. At first, I wasn’t thrilled. I didn’t even like the show, but since I already worked in TV I guess it made sense to put me there. I showed up for training anticipating an attraction I wouldn’t enjoy, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. Being part of an opening team was an remarkable experience. As a guest, you experience the outcome of all the hard work beforehand. We were a group of people trying to create a flawless experience for guests. Changes happened constantly. Our motto was, “It’s all carved in Jell-O.” This means there was some confusion or frustration time to time, but by the time we opened we were confident in the American Idol Experience.
Opening day came February 14th, 2009. All of the Cast Members were in the park extremely early for the “blue carpet” media event. All of the Idol winners were there along with Ryan Seacrest, Paula Abdul, and Randy Jackson. David Cook and David Archuleta performed for Good Morning America. It was an amazing day that I will never forget. This grand opening is what opened my eyes to how amazing this attraction was going to be. Not only was my dream coming true, but I was being a part of making others’ dream come true too. This was the best feeling in the world. I spent the next 5 months of my program with a smile on my face every day.
Much of my happiness came from the incredible team I worked with. I left with lifelong friends and too many memories to count. I think about my team a lot, and sometimes wish I had extended my stay. But everyone knows all good things must come to an end. I wasn’t able to make it to the last shows on August 30th, but I was there in spirit, clapping and singing “I’ve Got the Music in Me” with all the other Idol cast members. I have so many other stories and emotions I could share, but I think all there is really left to say is thanks for the time of my life American Idol. Being a part of this was an honor.
I’d love to hear your American Idol Experience memories. Maybe that will cheer me up! Hit me up on Twitter @hoodie_life.