If you are visiting Disney World in Orlando Florida with a child who is a Star Wars fan you are in for a real treat if you visit the Hollywood Studios Jedi Training Academy. There is an attraction at the Disney Hollywood Studios theme park that not only has an awesome Star Wars ride called “Star Tours 3-D”, but it also features a Jedi Academy. This is a interactive show that will make your trip to Hollywood Studios worth the price of admission, so if you are interested please check out the rest of my tips and review of the Jedi Academy at Disney Hollywood Studios.
The Jedi Academy is for children who want to take part in one of the Jedi lessons that are conducted at select times during the day, so if you want your child to take part you need to be at the park when it opens at 9am and sign up IMMEDIATELY upon getting into the park. They only take 12 children per show, and with only a few held throughout the day spots fill up quickly. I know this from personal experience because the first day trying to get into the Jedi Academy we arrived at the park about 10:30am, and was told that every slot has been taken and to try again tomorrow. So my 4 kids were quite disappointed, however we decided to come back the next day at 9am to make sure we had a slot in one of the shows. Well we came back the next day early and ran to the part of the park that has sign ups (Right next to the American Idol Experience), and enlisted right away. Just to give you an idea about how fast the slots fill up we arrived at the sign up station at approx 9:05am and the first two experiences were already all filled up, so when you get in the park high-tail it over to the sign up station.
Now that we were all signed up they asked each child three questions that they had to answer before being allowed to complete enrollment. They questions were:
Will you follow all instructions on the Jedi Podium?
Will you be able to perform on the Jedi Podium?
Are you prepared to take on the Dark Side by yourself?
Well I thought the questions were great and the looks on my children's faces as they told them the dark side question was great. The first three said yes with confidence, however my youngest looked at him with a puzzled look and reluctantly said yes. Once they got through the preliminary screening they were all given a Jedi Academy ticket. So now that we got our Jedi Academy admission we just had to kill a few hours while we wait for the experience to begin.
We arrived back at the registration station 20 minutes before our scheduled time as we were instructed to do so. A nice crew member took a roll call and collected everyone's Jedi Academy tickets. They then had all of the kids sit together so they can get to know each other and then they played some fun Star Wars trivia to pass the last few minutes before the show. When the time came they marched single file over to the Jedi Academy Podium which is adjacent to the Star Tours 3D ride.
Now that everyone was in their places a person in Jedi clothing came out and provided everyone there a Jedi Robe that looked like the one that Obi Wan Kanobi wore in episode IV A New Hope. They were then lead
onto the octagon shaped stage where they met their Jedi Master who was to train them. The children were then provided with their training lightsabers. After a few minutes of instruction the Imperial March was played and Darth Vader appeared out of two doors in the back with two Stormtroopers. All of the kids got a chance to face off 1-on-1 with Vader in a lightsaber battle. After everyone went solo they all used a “force push” move and knocked them back to the door in which they came. When the battle was over everyone received a Jedi Academy diploma and left very happy.
If you are looking for a memorable activity to do on your Disney trip then this must be #1 on your list. I can't think of any other place where you get to live out your movie fantasy by battling Darth Vader in a lightsaber duel 1-on-1. I give this part of Hollywood studios 5 stars of awesomeness.