We spent all of Thursday night packing so we could get to Disney’s Hollywood Studios ASAP so Kim could see American Idol winner Kris Allen. Our plane was leaving at 2:20pm so we had enough time to see him at his scheduled time of 10:00am. I realized before we left that today was setting up to be a very crowded day at Hollywood Studios. For starters it was early entry day for Walt Disney World resort guests. It was the start of the second Star Wars weekend and Kris Allen was there. Back at Animal Kingdom Lodge we packed up the last of our stuff and I called valet and bell services for our hasty departure. We skipped eating and decided to get some food in the park at Staring Rolls Bakery next to the Hollywood Brown Derby, this would later be proven to be a mistake. We made it to the park at 8:40am there was a huge line waiting to get in at 9:00am so I was glad we could get in early with our resort room key. Inside the park it wasn’t that crowded. We headed down to the American Idol Experience building. For those of you familiar with Disney’s Hollywood Studios we did not head to the central plaza and then go left. Instead we got to the end of Hollywood Boulevard and took a sharp left near the last store, Disney and Company, and ended up near Min and Bill’s Dockside Dinner. There wasn’t a huge number of people over there and we walked up to the rope and spotted Kris among the several people standing in a production area. They had a small stage set up with one camera. The AIE building was directly behind the small stage but it was across the plaza. They picked out some young people from the few that were there and placed them on the stage. They were instructed to cheer and be the background for what seems to be the new intro for the Idol Experience. Kris looked a bit uncomfortable with this and it took several takes. There was this one girl behind him that kept running her fingers through her hair when the camera was off. It was so distracting that you could hear other people commenting and chuckling about it. I felt like yelling at her “Hey, You’re just a prop, give it a rest will ya!” Her hair never looked any different no matter how many times she would tease it with her fingers.
There were a few press people in a roped off area directly across the main stage where Kris was to be after he arrived by car down Hollywood Boulevard. I spotted Deb Wills from Allears.net. I called out to her but she just looked over in confusion. I yelled again so she knew where and from whom it was coming from, got the same look but her hand came up in a half hearted attempt to wave. Now I have to change gears here a bit and unburden my pain. I first met Deb in 2005 on the Mexican Riviera inaugural cruise. I saw her again at Magic Meets 07 and spent some time with her during a privet reception. I met her again at the 25 Anniversary event for Epcot. Now when I saw her that time She told me how much she enjoyed my You Tube trip report videos. I saw her again at Magic Meets 08 and got a big hug and a hearty hello from her. I started my Twitter page for this trip and I get a message that Allears.net is following me, cool. So I yell out to her and I get a confused look, OK its crowded too much going on, she doesn’t recognize me no problem. So Kim and I are watching them film the intro with Kris for about the 4th time and Deb comes over to leave the press area. Kim and I are standing right at the rope clip. Deb comes over and I say HI DEB! And she hardly took her eyes off the rope clip to say, hi how are you….That’s it…no hay it’s great to see you…no hey good tweets this week…nothing…No love for Spectro…I felt like I just cleaned her room over at Saratoga Springs and she caught me leaving and felt obligated to acknowledge me. I was crushed and am still damaged by the incident. I don’t expect Deb to remember me but at least fake it with a little enthusiasm. Is that too much to ask? I was embarrassed for myself, I didn’t even know that feeling was possible.
Alright back to the trip report. Kim and I were hungry so we went over to the bakery to get some food. We wait in a huge line for about 6 minutes when Kim notices that the pastry cases she can see all looked pretty empty. I tell her not to worry there are some inside we can’t see, they would have something in them. We wait about 5 more minutes and we are now just inside the store. Kim jumps out of line and looks around. She discovers that they have indeed underestimated the amount of people in the park this morning and are running out of food. We jumped out of line and went back over to the plaza for the arrival of, as Ryan Seacrest would say “Your, American Idol”. Still hungry we wait by the railing across from the main stage they had set up in front of the Idol building. The big ugly hat is to our right. At 10:00am they start the motorcade which wasn’t really a cade at all. It was a troop of Orlando motorcycle officers and Kris. They had the sirens on and would drive up and circle, wait for the car Kris was in to catch up and then repeat until they were at the stage. Mickey was in the car too and has Kris went by all I saw was Mickey. That was OK, after all Mickey has been an American Idol for 81 years.
Now just before the motorcade there were cast members giving out bright orange wrist bands to people who said they were Kris’ biggest fans or they loved Kris yada, yada, yada anyway they were moved inside the roped off area in front of the stage. Once Kris arrived on the stage they were told to rush up to the front edge of the stage. This is something Disney has done for years during the taping of the parade performances. So now the motorcade stops and Kris walks over to the crowed with the wrist bands on and shakes hands and high fives as he breezes past them and heads on stage. The host of the American Idol Experience, who is trying so hard to be Ryan Seacrest that it is unnaturally distracting, asks him some very cliché questions. He then is handed a bunch of blue cards from someone in front of the stage and tells Kris these are questions from his fans here at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. These questions are equally as mundane as the host’s questions. I almost forgot, they also showed the “I’m going to Disney World” commercial after he was announced the winner of Idol. Little trivia break hear. Who was the first person to do the “I’m going to Disney World” commercial…….
Answer, Phil Sims Quarterback of the NY Giants at the conclusion of Super Bowl XXI.
I don’t know about you but I shed a tear everytime I see that video
Here’s Kris’ Video
So after the so called Q and A Kris did perform for everyone, that was cool and definitely the highlight of the morning. It was speculated that he would be in the 11:00am Idol show but Kim and I did not know how long the show would run and we did not want to have to rush to the airport so once Kris was done and the show over we headed to the airport.
We arrived around 11:30. Kim bought a battery for her noise canceling headphones and we went to the Macaroni Grill for lunch. That was a big deal for us because all the ones in CT closed about a year and a half ago so it was a real treat to eat there again.
Our flight left a little ahead of schedule and we made up time in the air. We arrived about 30 minutes early. I wish they could have gotten me to Orlando 30 minutes early last Thursday, heck I would have loved it if they could have gotten me there on time.
Well the trip was over and it is always a sad day but it is also good to be home. Saturday night I was on the phone making my ADRS for our trip in August. I am upset because I could not get into Ohona’s or Le Cellier. Did I mention the only thing about Disney I hate as much as bag check is the dining plan? The only thing I hate more is free dining plan while I am there.
Over all the trip was a good trip. We did not really do a lot of rides because we liked the hotel so much. Plus the rain played a huge factor too. We figured we would do more rides in August when we are staying at Saratoga Springs. It’s a nice place but not as relaxing as Animal Kingdom Lodge.
I will try to post reviews of the restaurants at a later time.