The ESPN Wide World of Sports at Walt Disney World will play host to the Orlando auditions Aug. 25 for the next season of “American Idol.”
The Orlando event will part of a 20-city, nationwide bus tour along with a separate set of auditions held on the same day in San Diego. The three “American Idol” judges — Katy Perry, Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan — won’t be in Orlando, but three members of the show’s most recent season will be: finalist Catie Turner, runner-up Caleb Lee Hutchinson and winner Maddie Poppe.
Despite being labeled as the kickoff for the bus tour, the Orlando event is not the first open call for season 2 and won’t even be the first in Florida. New Orleans hosted auditions on July 20 and Miami will host another on Aug. 22.
It’s the second straight year Disney World has hosted “Idol” auditions after last year’s event at Disney Springs.
Singers have to preregister before attending the auditions. All the “Idol” hopefuls have to be between 15 and 28 years old and are allowed to bring one guest ages five and up.
Disney is encouraging singers to arrive early, with parking available as early as 4 a.m. Registration will begin at 7 a.m. and auditions will start at 9 a.m. Overnight camping will not be allowed.
Large crowds are expected, as thousands turned out to Disney Springs for last year’s auditions.
Though “American Idol” is entering only its second season on the Disney-owned ABC — having spent 15 seasons on the Fox network — the show has a long association with Disney World. From 2009 to 2014, Disney’s Hollywood Studios was home to The American Idol Experience, a scaled-down version of the show where the daily winner was awarded a slot at a future regional audition for the real “Idol.”
The show building is now home to For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration.