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Jedi Training Academy
Disney's Hollywood Studios
UPDATE JANUARY 2013: In light of recent events, the Jedi Training Academy shows at both Disney's Hollywood Studios and Disneyland have been modified to limit even the pretend threat of violence directed at children. Interactions between the Stormtroopers carrying blasters and the children participating in the show onstage are limited, and Stormtroopers now deliver the line, "Halt! Put down your weapon," with a raised blaster and outstretched hand, as opposed to pointing the blaster at the children. At Disneyland, the Stormtroopers enter with Darth Vader, instead of running through the audience with their blasters. These changes will remain in effect indefinitely.
Do you have what it takes to become a Jedi Knight? The Jedi masters at the Jedi Training Academy will help you find out!
The Jedi Training Academy is a 30-minute session that takes place near Star Tours in the Disney's Hollywood Studios. The Jedi Master and his assistants work with participants in a light saber training exercise -- robes and plastic light sabers are provided. Those who successfully complete the training are proclaimed to be Padawans, and receive a certificate.
Sign-ups take place at the ABC Sound Studio (former home of Sounds Dangerous with Drew Carey). Children ages 4-12 can participate and there are approximately 15 children per show. Participants are required to meet 30 minutes prior to their show time at the ABC Sound Studio. Ten minutes prior to the show they are walked down to the stage.
The show begins with a fanfare of the Star Wars music. A robed and hooded figure comes to the stage, and throws back his hood to reveal that he is the Jedi Master. The Jedi Master performs a short and very acrobatic light saber routine on stage, before announcing that he is looking for those strong in the Force to become prospective Padawans.
NOTE: See sign-up process in Touring Tips below!
The Jedi Master takes the preselected children and has them swear the "Jedi Oath." They are then given step-by-step instructions to perform a short light saber routine. The Jedi Master keeps things moving along with an entertaining patter that the adults will also enjoy.
Suddenly the Jedi senses a disturbance in the Force, and takes all of the kids over to the side. Two stormtroopers run onto the stage... and Darth Vader comes into view.
He informs the Jedi Master that he is there to turn the students to the Dark Side, which of course the Jedi Master tells him that he will never do, especially since he is outnumbered.
To prove themselves, the students must take on Vader, using the routine they have just learned. Fortunately the Jedi Master is standing by to remind, help, and encourage the kids to follow through.
The entire show is accompanied by appropriate music, light saber sound effects, and dialog from Darth Vader and the Jedi Master.
After all the students have had their turn, Darth Vader is forced to admit defeat and he exits menacingly. The kids are proclaimed to be Padawans, and after they return their robes and light sabers they receive a certificate.
The Jedi Training Academy has become one of the most popular offerings for children at Disney's Hollywood Studios. However, due to the nature of the show, it is only available to a relatively small number of guests per day. The Jedi Training Academy offers 15 shows daily with 15 children participants per show.
Be sure to consult the daily Entertainment Times Guide for performances the day you visit.
As a result, if your child wants to participate, signing up for the Jedi Training Academy should be high on your priority list when planning a visit to Hollywood Studios. Here are some strategies to help set you up for success:
Arrive Early: Sign-ups for the Jedi Training Academy start as soon as the park's turnstiles are opened (this includes Extra Magic Hour mornings); if the park is scheduled to open at 9 a.m., they tend to open about 15 minutes prior. This should be your first stop once you enter the park -- the earlier you sign up, the earlier the show you will get into. Spots fill up very quickly and it is not uncommon for all spots to be filled by 10 or 10:30 a.m., depending on park attendance. One parent should go immediately with the children to sign them up while the other goes to get Fastpasses for another attraction.
Have Your Children With You: As part of the sign-up process the cast members need to ask your children a couple of questions to make sure they will follow instructions and be safe on stage. Cast members will also ask the children how old they are to verify they are between the ages of 4 and 12. For this reason, you need to have your children with you. Spots cannot be saved for children who are not present.
Plan on Committing an Hour for the Show: When you sign up for a particular show you will be asked to return to the sign-up location 30 minutes prior to the show time. This is to ensure that all the children participants are present before heading to the stage. With the show lasting 20 to 25 minutes, this means that the whole Jedi Training experience will take almost an hour out of your day. You should take this into account when signing up. If you have a dining reservation let the cast members know. They are generally very accommodating with getting you into a show that will work for you.
Show Viewing Areas: The viewing area at the stage is first come/first serve and does fill up. If possible, have one parent go with the child to the check-in area and the other adult go to the stage area to secure a viewing spot.
Know the Alternate Process: Once all guaranteed spots have been filled for the day, cast members will begin to sign up alternates. THIS DOES NOT GUARANTEE THAT YOUR CHILD WILL GET INTO A SHOW, but it does give them the possibility of getting in if a child with a guaranteed spot does not show up. Alternates are numbered in the order in which they sign up and will be asked to return 20 minutes prior to any of the shows. An alternate must be present in order to be placed into the show and if multiple alternates show up, the lowest numbered alternate will get the available spot. For example, if alternates 3, 7, and 9 were present, number 3 will be placed into the show if a child with a guaranteed spot does not show up. Note that alternates can return for as many (or as few) shows as they want until they are placed into an available spot.
A cast member will take the children to an area next to the stage about 10 minutes beforehand. Family members of the participants are given spots in the front of the audience. A PhotoPass photographer takes pictures during the show. You can have the photos of your child added onto your PhotoPass at the Cover Story photo shop after the show.
Backlot Express, offering burgers, sandwiches, and snacks, is nearby.
The nearby Tatooine Traders offers a wide selection of Star Wars costumes, t-shirts, light sabers, and character figures. There is also a Build-Your-Own-Lightsaber center located here.
The Jedi Training Academy became a regular feature at the Studios in October 2007. Previously it was only featured during Star Wars Weekends.
You can find the Disneyland Resort version of this live entertainment HERE.