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Who Wants to Be a Millionaire - Play It!

Opened

April 7, 2001

Closed

August 19, 2006

Designer

Walt Disney Entertainment

Length

25:00

Replaced by

Toy Story Midway Mania

Who Wants To Be A Millionaire - Play It! was an attraction at the Disney's Hollywood Studios (formerly Disney-MGM Studios) theme park at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida. The attraction was a modified version of the Who Wants to Be a Millionaire television game show.

Attraction Description[]

The attraction's theater was a replica of the television show. Sessions of the game ran several times a day; each session was 25 minutes long (but did not wait until the current contestant vacated the hot seat to stop) and seated 647 park guests.

The Disney park version of the game differed from the television version in several ways:

  • Contestants competed for points, not dollars. A contestant won a Disney collector's pin for each point level he passed (minus any down to the previous milestone if he or she got a question wrong).
  • Every audience member had his or her own A/B/C/D keypad. The ten contestant row seats were not special in any way (other than a video display of the camera work). Access to these seats were chosen in a number of different ways before the show, including random selection, quizzing of guests waiting in queue, and special "Magic Moment" coupons dispensed from the attraction's Fastpass dispensers telling the bearer to present their Fastpass to an attraction Cast Member for special seating. There were several times where just asking before the show began would grant you access to one of these seats if they were still available for the next show.
  • To begin a session, a fastest finger question was asked. The audience member who got the correct answer in the shortest time got the hot seat.
  • The hot seat contestant had only fifteen seconds to answer each of the first five questions (100-1,000 points), thirty seconds per question for the next five questions (2,000-32,000 points), forty-five seconds for the next four questions (64,000-500,000 points), and fifty-five seconds for the final million-point question.
  • Each audience member could answer a question on his or her keypad at the same time as the hot seat contestant did. Contestants won points by pressing the correct button quickly; at the 1,000 and 32,000-point levels the game was paused briefly to show the top ten scores. If the hot seat contestant got a question wrong or decided to walk away, instead of additional fastest finger questions, the top scorer in the audience took his place, as long as there was time remaining. (Usually, only two full games were played.) The player with the highest score on the last game only won congratulations from the host, if that.
  • The three lifelines were 50:50, Ask the Audience, or Phone a Complete Stranger. Ask the Audience is immediate; the audience's answers can be instantly polled, because the audience already had a chance to enter their answers. Phone a Complete Stranger connected the contestant to a Cast Member outside the theater who found a guest to help.
  • Disney Cast Members were not permitted to participate.
  • Park guests playing as hot-seat contestants were required to sign a waiver after completing their game. This waiver declared the "Fair Market Value" of all prizes received (in Walt Disney World by regulations set by the Florida Gaming Commission) and an agreement that the guest would be ineligible to participate as a hot seat game player for a pre-determined amount of time. (100-500,000 point winners had a 30 day blackout. 1,000,000 point winners also had the 30-day blackout, but were also prohibited from winning the million-point prize again for 365 days.)
  • Questions based on Disney parks and films often appeared at any point during the game.
  • Usually, because the fastest finger question could be won by a younger audience member randomly selecting the correct one of the 24 possible orders and inputting it in a ridiculously small amount of time, the first five questions were usually easy enough that anyone in the audience could answer them correctly.

Special Events[]

During Disney's Hollywood Studios' Star Wars Weekends, the first two games of the day featured questions based on the Star Wars films and universe and began with Greedo in the hot seat, answering questions in the alien language Rodanese. The lifelines in the Star Wars Weekends version of the game worked exactly like the regular game but were named 50:50, Ask the Jedi Council, and Phone a Stormtrooper.

During ESPN The Weekend, also based at Disney's Hollywood Studios, Play It! consisted of sports trivia questions; contestants got to "team up" with ESPN personalities and sports figures, according to the official ESPN The Weekend website. For this edition of the game, the "Phone A Complete Stranger" lifeline was replaced with a chance to ask an ESPN expert (either Howie Schwab or the Sklar Twins) for assistance.

History[]

FASTPASS was initially offered, but was taken out when the Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show arrived.

The attraction's former sound stages at Disney's Hollywood Studios are now the site of the interactive Toy Story Midway Mania attraction.

When the attraction closed, most of the props from the studio were removed and given to a third party company who sold them online. Such items include all of the audience member keypads, fastest-finger chairs, monitor covers, and more. Jeff Gross (former $500,000 winner on the US syndicated version of the show) announced in November, 2008 during an appearance as an "expert" for Millionaire's new "Ask The Expert" lifeline that he was the successful bidder for the auction of Play It!'s contestant hot seat. The hot seat reportedly sold on eBay for more than $400.

On several occasions over three years, the attraction at Disney's Hollywood Studios hosted tapings of the syndicated television show for later broadcast.

Sources & External Links[]

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