by Fairy Diva
One of the most immersive and unique experiences offered at Walt Disney World is Jedi Training Academy, located at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. And the best part -it’s free! This out-of-this-world opportunity is available to all children between the ages of 4 and 12 and is a dream come true for young Star Wars fans. Padawans have the chance to battle the Dark Side without having to travel to a galaxy far, far away.
Jedi Training Academy takes place daily at the stage adjacent to Star Tours: The Adventures Continue ride. Typically, there are 15 shows per day, and each show includes 12 selected Jedis-to-be. During Star Wars Weekends, more shows are added. Each Jedi Training Academy class lasts 20 minutes. A Jedi Master teaches proper lightsaber techniques and a few Jedi moves to the group. Suddenly, a disturbance is detected (as the tune of the Imperial March (Darth Vadar’s Theme) blares through the area). Stormtroopers and the notorious Darth Vadar join the Padawans on stage. Each student is allowed to try their moves in a lightsaber battle with Darth Vadar himself! Master Yoda offers a few encouraging words to the Padawans upon completing Jedi Training Academy, and all participants are given a certificate. It is a great show!
Registration for Jedi Training Academy is currently held at the ABC Sound Studio at park opening. Children wishing to participate must be in attendance with an adult. Cast members ask each child a few questions and then work with FastPass and Advanced Dining Reservations to find a time slot that works best for your family. Participants are required to meet 30 minutes before the scheduled show time, and are given a pin to wear, as well as a Jedi robe. Lightsabers are provided for all young Jedis-in-training and are distributed during the show, but must be returned at the end of participation. This is a very popular experience and slots for training classes are often filled quickly. At park opening, it is not uncommon to see families running toward the ABC Sound Studio to secure a spot in line. Once all slots are filled, there are no other participants allowed for that day.
Here is a great tip for getting at the front of the line to register for Jedi Training Academy. First, plan to attend Disney’s Hollywood Studios on a day that does not have Extra Morning Hours. On that day, be sure to secure an Advance Dining Reservation at Hollywood & Vine for the hour before park opening, ideally between 8:00 to 8:30 a.m. (if staying at a Disney resort, you can make these reservations 180 days before your trip). If you are unable to secure this reservation time, continue to look as you near your trip for possible reservation cancellations. Our family got an 8:15 a.m. reservation just one week before we left for our trip! Very lucky!
Scoring an early reservation time allows you to enter the park before it opens at 9:00 a.m. When you are done with your meal, you are right across from the ABC Sound Studio and can head over as soon as the park officially opens, helping you to bypass the large mass of people waiting to enter. Note that this is a buffet-style breakfast, featuring several favorite characters from Disney Junior. Even if your child is not into the Disney Junior characters, you can still have a great meal and a front-of-the-line spot to register for Jedi Training Academy, allowing you to pick the show time you prefer. If you have not finished your meal at park opening time, an adult and the child wishing to participate can leave the restaurant, register for your time slot, and then return to the restaurant to finish your meal. This worked perfectly for us on our last trip. We were actually the first in line to sign up for Jedi Training Academy that day!
And are you looking for a fun way to dress the part of your favorite jedi? Try the Galactic Warrior Cloak from Mom Approved Costumes! It’s lightweight, reasonably priced, and best of all, machine-washable!
Jedi Training Academy is weather permitting, so consider a slot in the morning to avoid a cancelled show due to afternoon showers, which can be common in Florida during certain times of the year. If the show gets cancelled, participants are allowed to do a meet and greet, usually with Stormtroopers and Darth Vadar. Additionally, a valid park ticket for Disney’s Hollywood Studios is required. Consider making Jedi Training Academy a part of your next vacation. May the Force be with you!