We’re five days away from 12th annual ABC Super Soap Weekend at MGM Studios in Orlando, Florida’s Disney World.
And Kara and I will be there for the two-day soap extravaganza Saturday and Sunday – and we’re going to tell you all about it.
Who we see.
Who we meet.
Who we touch.
It’s our third annual sojourn to get up close and personal with our favorite ABC soap stars from All My Children, One Life To Live and General Hospital.
And, as I’ve learned from past experience, expect the unexpected.
Last year, I ended up on stage as part of the “I Wanna Be A Soap Star” competition. During my scenes, I ended up rolling around on a couch with All My Children’s Cameron Mathison (Ryan) and General Hospital’s Scott Clifton (Dillon).
Talk about getting up close and personal! It doesn’t get much better than that!
I can’t imagine anything topping that, but you never know.
If you’re going, here’s my top five tips:
Tip 1. Get to the park early if you want to get more than one fast pass per day or if there’s an actor that you absolutely must meet one-on-one.
I mean really early….For us it’s getting up at 5 a.m. and getting there by 6:30 ish….Last year, I ended up with three FastPasses on Saturday. The gates to the park open at 8 a.m.
In order to see the actors one-on-one at the specified meet and greet autograph sessions, you need a FastPass.
And to get a FastPass, you must stand on line with thousands of people for several hours….There are three separate lines, each at a different location, for the three ABC soaps. Then, once you get one, you can run to the back of the line and go through again. Or, you can run to another location, for a different soap, and stand in that line.
Tip 2. The General Hospital line is closest to the entrance – and it’s always the longest. You can possibly get one or maybe two FastPasses if you’re lucky, but chances are you will not get your favorite.
One Life To Live is usually the shortest line. If you get there by at least 7 a.m., you should be able to go through that line at least twice and the same for All My Children. But the All My Children location is the farthest from the entrance, so be prepared to sprint.
Last year, I began Saturday in the One Life To Live line, because my goal was to meet Erika Slezak (Viki). I got her FastPass and then dashed over to the General Hospital line. There, I got a standby FastPass for Tristan Rogers (Robert Scorpio). After getting that, I ran back to One Life To Live and got a FastPass to meet David Fumero (Christian).
A standby FastPass means that the actor can opt to take standbys after taking all of the people holding regular FastPasses. I took a chance and Tristan took his standbys. The next day, I was lucky enough to get a standby to meet General Hospital’s Jason Thompson (Patrick). He was incredibly nice. He stayed through his break and met everyone with a standby ticket.
A word of caution with standby FastPasses – not all actors take their standbys. So, if it’s your first time, you might want the bird in the hand….
Tip 3. If you don’t want to get up early and stand in the long lines, you can still see the actors. Look up the times and locations for autograph sessions of the actors you want to see. Go to the autograph locations and stand outside of the railing. You will be able to see them and take pictures of them.
Some of the actors go to the railing and sign autographs for the milling fans and some will even take photos with fans standing there.
Last year, I saw Michael E. Knight (Tad), from All My Children, at his autograph session, but I didn’t have a FastPass.
I called him to the railing and he came up to me. I asked if I could get a photo with him and he said, “sure!”
I started to do a one-handed shot….you know the kind where you hold the camera out in front of you….Then he said, “Give me the camera. My arms are longer.” and he proceeded to hold the camera out in front of us and shot the picture. How nice was that??
Tip 4. One Life To Live fans will get a real treat if they show up one day early. On Friday, you can meet Kassie DePaiva (Blair Cramer Manning) without a FastPass. Kassie will be holding an autograph signing of her new CD “I Want To Love You” from 1-3 p.m. at The Writer’s Stop in MGM Studios. The CD is wonderful and if you never met Kassie, she’s super nice and so friendly! She will also be one of the stars available by FastPass on Saturday and Sunday.
Tip 5. Keep your camera at the ready at all times! You can almost always catch some of the actors walking from place to place.
All SSW events are included in the price of the admission ticket to MGM.
Click here to view the participating actors, events and schedule.
Click here for more information and tips.
And check back here – at Soapbox – for any updates and recaps.
If anyone who reads this is going, please feel free to list some of your “survival tips.”