The famous Imperial March signifies the impending entrance of Darth Vader. This larger-than-life villain awaits brave young Padawans at The Jedi Training Academy.
First things first, you have to sign up and sign up early. The academy usually runs from 9:20 am – 8:00 pm, with about 15 twenty minute shows throughout the day. Each show has room for 12 Jedi Knights in training and sign-ups are done on a first come basis. Also, it is required that the child be present at the time of sign-ups. So, if you are thinking about sending Mom or Dad ahead of the group, that won’t work. That also means you may need to head to registration first thing to make sure your spot is reserved. The earlier you arrive, the better chance you will have of selecting a time you want.
Be sure and keep the weather in mind. The Jedi Training Academy currently takes place outside and will be cancelled due to inclement weather. It sure stinks when you get your little Jedi all excited and they have to keep their lightsabers holstered due to rain.
If you are able to secure a spot, and have nice enough weather to participate, then this is a really, really, really cool treat. Those that are accepted into the Jedi Training Academy will be provided a temporary Jedi robe and lightsaber for the training. A Jedi master will appear on stage and proceed to give a most impressive display of his lightsaber skills. The master will then turn to the younglings and tell them new Padawans are needed to help in the fight against the Dark side.
From here, the kids are invited onto the stage with the Jedi Master where they learn a short, but effective lightsaber routine. Just when they seem to have this new routine down, the Jedi Master senses a disturbance in the Force. Two Stormtroopers appear, followed by Darth Vader himself. The time to face the Dark side has come.
Each aspiring Jedi is given the chance to duel with Darth Vader one at a time. The Jedi Master is always close by to give any needed assistance. After the entire class has faced Vader, he retreats and the crowd rejoices! The group is congratulated and made official Padawans. Each Padawan receives a certificate to keep.
While the kids are participating, the rest of the family can watch the show from below. The last time my whole family was at Hollywood Studios, we signed up the nephews for the Academy. Unfortunately, their slot was rained out, but it was so late in the day they had forgotten. I think I was the most disappointed because I was hoping to live out my Jedi dreams vicariously through them. Even without having your own kids in the show, it is fun to watch others take on Darth Vader.
I hope you will check out the Jedi Training Academy the next time you are at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. For the lucky young Star Wars fans that get to participate, this is sure to be a memory they will cherish for years to come. While you are there, don’t forget to ride Star Tours- The Adventure Continues two, three, or four times. Remember, each Star Tours experience is randomized so you never know what part of the Star Wars universe you will get to visit!
Thank you for checking out our look into this super cool experience. May the Force be with you, and go make each day a ride worth taking!