Walt Disney World news

American Idol Experience to close in January 2015

Leah Zanolla | Posted: Jun 14, 2014 | Updated: Oct 19, 2014 - 9:25:27 AM
With the steady decline in ratings for its television counterpart, the following news shouldn't come as any surprise. Rumor is making its way around the internet that The American Idol Experience at Disney's Hollywood Studios in Walt Disney World, will close in January of 2015. The interactive theme park attraction opened in Orlando in early 2009 and gave guests an opportunity to experience what it would be like to audition and perform in a live American Idol show. There are many "semi-final" rounds throughout the day and then a "finals" performance at the end of the evening with the day's winners competing against each other. The winner receives a "dream ticket" which enables him/her to jump to the front of any audition line at American Idol auditions around the country.

A widely circulated, yet not confirmed, joint statement has supposedly been released by Walt Disney World, FreemantleMedia and 19 Entertainment about the impending closure:

"After more than five successful years, The American Idol Experience will be coming to a close at Disney's Hollywood Studios theme park in January 2015. Our partnership with FremantleMedia and 19 Entertainment has been a great addition to the park and we are very appreciative of the amazing cast and guests who have devoted their time and talent to make this experience special and memorable. We are incredibly proud of the more than 2,000 Dream Tickets that have given guests a chance to live their very own Cinderella story and audition for 'American Idol'. This past season alone, three of the Top 13 contestants were originally discovered through The American Idol Experience and we expect the attraction to continue providing top contestants for 'American Idol' XIV in the coming year."

Along with this news comes a related rumor from DisneyAtWork.com suggesting that the Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular will also cease operation in January 2015. The blog suggests that both closures are directly related to a forthcoming 'Star Wars Land.' Details such as opening dates, attractions and land to be included are still in the rumor mill. However, the addition of Star Wars Land to the Studios makes sense considering the park already hosts Star Wars Weekends, the Star Tours attraction and the sure-to-be blockbuster film (still unnamed) 'Star Wars: Episode 7' is set to be released on December 18, 2015. With synergy being such an important goal within the Walt Disney Company, now seems like the perfect time to bring more Star Wars into the theme parks.