American Idol producers say nearly 10,000 people turned out for their Season 9 auditions at Orlando’s Amway Arena today, and several of them had a coveted Disney Dream Ticket.
The Dream Ticket is the prize awarded to the finale show winner at the American Idol Experience each day at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
Caitlin MacAllister (pictured left), 21, of Elkton, Maryland, won her Dream Ticket on June 17, singing Martina McBride’s “Independence Day.”
Caitlin was vacationing in Orlando with her family on the day they visited the theme park.
“I had heard about it,” she said. “But I wasn’t planning to audition. We walked by and there wasn’t any line, so I decided to try.”
The senior in speech pathology at Towson University says she sings and performs in community theater in her hometown. She flew back down to Orlando on Wednesday to attend the audition today.
Here’s a quick video featuring Caitlin’s singing talents along with a look at Ryan Seacrest recording a segment for one of his many television shows:
The main advantage that the Disney Dream Ticket seems to give those that hold it is experiencing no waiting in the registration lines.
People began lining up to register for a wristband that allows you to audition at 1 a.m. on Tuesday, but Disney Dream Ticket holders did not have to arrive until this morning.
Luke Davids (pictured right), 20, won his Dream Ticket just a few days ago on July 3. Luke is originally from London, England, but lives in Orlando now.
The session musician and songwriter said he decided to try the American Idol Experience because the Dream Ticket “registers you right away.”
Syesha Mercado, who made it to the top 3 contestants in Season 7, had a similar “front-of-the-line” pass for the Miami auditions. At the American Idol Experience opening in February, Syesha told me the pass (which she won through Miami’s local Fox affiliate) was convenient, but she didn’t consider it an advantage in making it to Hollywood.
Caitlin, Luke and the thousands of others who turned out in Orlando today for their shot at American Idol stardom don’t know yet if they will make it to the show’s Hollywood round.
The show’s producers say about 150 to 200 singers will be called back to audition in front of Simon, Randy, Paula and Kara in a few weeks.
Article, photos, and video by Leigh Caldwell, freelance writer for Orlando Attractions Magazine. You can find more from her on her Web site at themeparkmom.com