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Walt Disney World moves up closing date for American Idol Experience

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Walt Disney World Resort has moved up the closing date for its American Idol Experience, reported the Orlando Sentinel on Aug. 15. The attraction, in which guests participate in a singing competition based on the Fox TV show, will have its last day on Aug. 30.

In June, Walt Disney World announced American Idol Experience would close permanently some time in January 2015. A Disney spokesperson, speaking with the Orlando Sentinel, says the shift to an earlier closing date reflects the company’s ongoing review of its entertainment offerings.

American Idol Experience first opened in 2009. The performance-based attraction offers Disney guests the chance to audition and potentially advance to the live competition. Those guests who make it through then perform in front of “judges” and an audience of guests. Winners of each day’s shows return to compete against one another in one final round. That day’s grand winner receives a “dream ticket” that provides the singer with a front-of-the-line pass to a regional audition for the “American Idol” TV show.

The Hollywood Reporter points out that “American Idol” finalists had earned a “dream ticket” at the attraction before securing a spot on the TV show. American Idol Expereince winners include season nine's Aaron Kelly, season 11's Erika Van Pelt, and season 13's Majesty Rose, Ben Briley and Emily Piriz. Some “American Idol” winners also took part in the company’s classic “I’m going to Disney World” campaign.

Disney has not officially announced any plans the American Idol Experience building. That said, several unofficial Disney sites as well as new channels like the Orlando Sentinel have suggested the space might be used to house a “Frozen” show, at least temporarily. They point to the popularity and extension, until Sept. 28, of “Frozen Summer Fun Live!” at Disney’s Hollywood Studios as reasoning.

“Frozen Summer Fun Live!” celebrates Disney’s blockbuster animated movie “Frozen” with a parade, ice skating, fireworks and, notably, “For The First Time in Forever: A ‘Frozen’ Sing-Along Celebration.” The last is a 30-minute show that takes place several times each day; it offers a comedic retelling of the history of Arendelle, the imaginary land which “Frozen” takes place, that features sing-along moments.

“For the First Time in Forever” could be easily moved from its current location at the park’s Premiere Theatre to the American Idol Experience building after the latter closes on Aug. 30. Such speculation, however strong, remains rumor until confirmed by Disney through official channels. Look for updates to follow.

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