In addition to recently celebrating its first year of operation in February 2010, “The American Idol Experience” attraction at Walt Disney World Resort can now celebrate the success of one of its top vote-getters – Aaron Kelly. The 17-year-old crooner from Sonestown, Penn., who began his “American Idol” journey at the Disney Parks attraction, advanced to the Top Five in the finals during season nine of the “American Idol” television show.
“The American Idol Experience,” which officially opened Feb. 14, 2009, at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, is the first and only theme park attraction in the world based on the smash-hit “American Idol” show. The attraction provides guests the thrill and pageantry of the television show, as excited theme park guests age 14 and older audition before Disney producers and directors to see if they have what it takes to perform on stage that day. If their auditions are successful, guests at the attraction are ushered through performance coaching sessions, cosmetology and stage rehearsals to prepare for their big moment on the theme park stage. Then, the lights go down and guests perform a hit tune in the theme park’s 1000+-seat theatre.
While on-stage, judges provide critique and audience members at each preliminary show determine who will advance to the attraction’s grand finale show that night. At the grand finale, the top vote-getter is awarded a “Dream Ticket,” a ticket that allows an eligible guest to schedule a front of the line audition at one of the regional auditions for the “American Idol” television show.
“The American Idol Experience” attraction was developed by Walt Disney Imagineering in conjunction with FremantleMedia Enterprises (FME) and 19 TV Ltd. It is based on the hit television show “American Idol” – produced by 19 TV Ltd. and FremantleMedia North America (FMNA) – and is designed to immerse Disney’s Hollywood Studios guests in the authentic feel of a live television production.
It was at Disney’s Hollywood Studios that Aaron Kelly’s road to “American Idol” stardom began.
Only four days after the grand opening of “The American Idol Experience” at the theme park in February 2009, Kelly put his talents on display for park guests and the attraction’s judges.
Once he passed the audition stages and received the most votes at his preliminary show earlier in the day, Kelly’s rendition of the Lonestar hit song “Amazed” earned him the most votes in the attraction’s Grand Finale show. As that show’s top vote-getter, Kelly was then awarded “The American Idol Experience” “Dream Ticket,” which allowed him a front-of-line spot at a regional audition for the ninth season of the “American Idol” television show.
When the regional auditions for the popular television show were announced, Kelly utilized his “Dream Ticket” and scheduled his audition in Orlando, Fla., which started him on his “American Idol” road to stardom.