This annual event is the highlight of the year for many fans of ABC soap operas. It is a super fun weekend that I have never missed, and look very forward to every year! If you are an ABC soap fan it is a must-see event!
The first ever Super Soap Weekend was held at Disney-MGM Studios on October 19-20,1996. The crowds were not that large but the fans came and Disney decided to make this an annual event. For every year after that, they held the event in November, usually the second weekend. The only time it was different was in 1999 when they held it on September 25-26. This was a wash out so to speak â€“ there was too much rain, and some motorcades and interviews had to be cancelled. So the following year they went back to November.
Super Soap Weekend seems to draw more and more fans every year. In fact, for the past few years they have had to temporarily close the Studios because they were filled to capacity on Saturday. Sundays are usually a little less crowded, but you do have to plan ahead and know where you want to go if you want to be sure to see the shows, motorcades, or get the autographs that you want.
In the first few years of the event you could simply wait in line at specified times to get your favorite soap star’s autograph and a photo or two. Today the event is so popular that Disney now utilizes the FastPass system for the autograph sessions. Soap fans are VERY dedicated and loyal to their shows and soap stars. Fans start to show up at the park gate around 3:00 a.m. In fact last year I heard that people camped out all night just to get a FastPass for a particular soap star! Each soap star usually has two signings a day, and for each signing they issue out 100 FastPasses. Then they issue what they call “stand by” FastPasses. These can be used if the star finishes with all of the regular FastPasses and still has time in their one hour time slot to sign more autographs. You are not guaranteed an autograph, but sometimes you get lucky! When the park opens at 8:00 a.m. (they usually open earlier) there are always huge lines that wind around the park with fans on the quest for autographs. There are 3 Soaps: General Hospital, All My Children, and One Life to Live. Each show has a separate line with its own FastPass spot. Disney does a great job with keeping the lines in order. Each person is allowed one FastPass per park ticket. You have to be in line to get a FastPass, so you can’t get one for someone else who is not in line.
There are other things to see at Super Soap Weekend besides the autograph sessions. There are talk shows, which are usually held at the ABC theater. This year, however, they are holding the talk shows in a new location. They will be at the Playhouse Disney Live tent that is back between Tower of Terror and Rock â€˜nâ€™ Roller Coaster. This is because they are doing some type of refurbishment on the ABC theater, so it will be interesting to see how it works out having it in the tent. In the past, these shows are VERY popular. We have waited up to 90 minutes just to guarantee a seat for a particular show! But while you are waiting, there are other fans to talk with, and it is fun to meet new friends. These shows are like a question/answer session with a host and then the audience is allowed to ask a few questions as well.
There is also a game show held in the Beauty and the Beast theater. This is a trivia type show where some of the audience members get chosen to play along with the soap stars. This is usually quite funny and very entertaining. This game show replaces the â€œWho Wants to be a Millionaire Super Soap edition,â€ that they used to have, before the Millionaire stage was demolished to make way for the upcoming Toy Story Mania attraction.
Then they hold “I Want to be a Soap Star” shows. This is a take off of the popular reality show on SoapNet. In this show they pick 3 fans who get the chance to act out a scene with a soap star. The audience picks the best one and they get to do the scene. This is usually very funny as well!
Another fun thing to see are the motorcades down Hollywood Boulevard, where the soap stars ride in cars up to the Sorcerer’s Hat stage where they are interviewed and then the audience can ask questions as well. The Grand Motorcade is held at the end of each day where all 30+ Soap Stars ride in the parade. You may have to wait one hour to get a good spot for this event. It is very popular too.
After the Grand Motorcade every night they hold a Street Jam where some of the soap stars get a chance to sing at the Sorcerer’s Hat stage. The park is packed with fans dancing in the streets. After the concert there is an awesome fireworks show! It is a really cool way to end the day.
Now, others have tried to duplicate this event, but with little success. Disney-MGM Studios Super Soap Weekend is hard to beat! In November of 2000 Universal Studios Florida tried to jump on the band wagon by holding their own version but with NBC soaps. They had this weekend on the same weekend as Super Soap and they called theirs “FanFest”. This was the one and only time that this event was held. Disney has even tried to have Super Soap Weekend in California hoping the west coast fans would come. The first Super Soap Weekend in Disney’s California Adventure was held in the month of April 2002. They had a perfect setting for this event there with the Soap Opera Bistro restaurant. They had one weekend for All My Children and One Life to Live, then the following weekend for General Hospital and Port Charles. The crowds were very light for this event, and the Soap Opera Bistro closed soon after, but they did try it one more time. In 2003 at Disney’s California Adventure you could go May 31-June 1 for All My Children and One Life to Live and/or June 7-8 for General Hospital and Port Charles. The crowds were a little better, but they did not repeat this event here. However, it was great for us fans who did attend, and didn’t have to wait in long lines or fight crowds to see our favorite soap stars. Plus, it was twice a year for Super Soap Weekends! I wish they would bring it back to California as well.
Super Soap Weekend has always been for ABC soaps only. In 1996 the soap The City was represented at Super Soap along with General Hospital, One Life to Live, and All My Children. From 1998-2002 the soap Port Charles was represented. After their event in 2003 in California, the show was cancelled. The very popular soaps General Hospital, One Life to Live and All My Children have been represented at every Super Soap Weekend. This year the SoapNet spin off show General Hospital- Night Shift will be represented. This was a new type of night time drama, which ran for 13 episodes, and did very well in the ratings for SoapNet (a Disney owned company). Maybe this is the future of soaps as ratings seem to be declining at times in this daytime drama category of television. But you would never know it if you go to Super Soap Weekend and see all of the loyal and devoted fans who will do whatever it takes to make contact with their favorite soap stars. I for one, hope there will be a Super Soap Weekend forever! I absolutely LOVE it!
A little about Bonnie Smith:
Home- Lake Placid, Florida
Favorite Park- I Love all 4
Favorite Attraction- Soarin, Tower of Terror, Kilimanjaro Safari, Wedway Peoplemover
Favorite Character- Piglet
Favorite Resorts- Animal Kingdom Lodge and Beach Club
First Visit to WDW- Summer of 72 stayed at Fort Wilderness
First ride was If you Had Wings (I was 8 yrs old)
Most missed Attraction- Skyway
Job- I am an Elementary School computer teacher, BUT one day I will be a cast member (it has always been my dream