Greetings fellow Mouse Fans!
It's about a month until our own family trip to Walt Disney World and the only thing on the minds of the young ones in my life is, "Are we going to get to do the Jedi Training Academy?!" This show takes place throughout the day in Hollywood Studios, just outside the Star Tours attraction. Children ages 4 – 12 are eligible to participate. But spots are limited!
My 8-year old son is a pro having already participated on our last trip but my 8-year old niece, who knows the Star Wars Universe backwards and forwards, is OBSESSED with getting her shot to fight Dath Vader. And my 4-year old nephew simply wants to do whatever the big kids are doing!
I have promised my niece that I will do my very best but that it will require them rising early and being at the park when it opens. (This particular point is directed more at her parents than at her!) So if your kids are like mine, what are the best ways to get a coveted spot in the Jedi Training Academy?
The first and most important tip is to plan to be at Hollywood Studios EARLY. This means before park opening. Don't forget to check Extra Magic Hours! If the park opens to the public at 9 but EMH starts at 8, be there for 8!
Next up is to know where you are going! Currently, sign up is located in the old Sounds Dangerous building. Look for a Cast Member holding a sign!
Don't forget to bring your children with you! If you plan to split up for Fastpasses, etc. make sure that the adult going to sign up for Jedi Training Academy takes the kids. They will need to be present for sign-up and will need to answer a few short questions.
There are shows throughout the day. Shows are assigned in order, they do not take requests. So you cannot sign up for a particular time, one will be assigned to you.
The show takes about 30 minutes but there is some training for the Padawans. (Star Wars speak for Jedis-In-Training!) Be prepared to commit at least an hour out of your day for the show!
Don't be late! If you are assigned the 10:00 show, you must arrive NO LATER THAN 9:30!
Prep your kids. Darth Vader comes out and can be intimidating for some younger children. Make sure that your child knows what is going to happen! This will help prevent your 4 year old bursting into tears on stage, saving you money on future therapy bills.
Arrive at the viewing area early. While technically there is a "reserved viewing area" for the parents, this fills up quickly. If you want to get pictures or video, scout out a location early! I recommend being towards the right of the stage as Darth Vader is typically on the left and your child will be on the right during the duel.
Did you purchase the PhotoPass+? There will be a PhotoPass photographer documenting the show. He will give you a special Star Wars photopass. You can take this to the photo shop at the front of Hollywood Studios or any other park and have the photos of your child added to your PhotoPass+ card! Be prepared to weed through ALL the photos to identify the ones of your child.
Enjoy! Jedi Training Academy is a highlight for most kids. And typically a huge hit with their Star Wars fan parents!
Be well and make magic wherever you go!