Written by April
If you’re a Star Wars fan and you have a youngling aged 4-12, Jedi Training Academy:Trials of the Temple at Hollywood Studios is a must do! Even if you aren’t a Star Wars fan and you aren’t exactly sure why I’m using the word youngling, Jedi Training Academy is a pretty fun experience for kids and parents.
What is Jedi Training Academy? It’s an interactive experience for kids, where they are trained the ways of the force by Jedis. Their training comes in handy when it comes time for each young Jedi to battle the Dark Side. Where else can your child go light saber to light saber with Darth Vader himself? The best part is, it’s completely free with your park admission. Space is very limited, with showtimes every hour.
With space being so limited and this being such a popular attraction, getting to Hollywood Studios early is the most important part of signing up. Sign up begins as soon as guests are allowed in the park, and many people will arrive before the park opens to be one of the first in line. As soon as the park opens, you’ll want to head directly to sign up. The later you get to this area, the later your show time will be. You also run the risk of shows being full and not being able to sign up at all. You can do this at the Indiana Jones Outpost between 50s Prime Time Cafe and the Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular show. There is usually a Cast Member standing outside with a sign for the training to guide you.
You will need the child/children you are signing up with you, so make sure you have them with you. Once inside, there are cast members to help get you registered. They will let you know of available show times, you can pick the best time for you.
Once your child is registered, you will be given instructions for when and where to return before your training, which is 30 minutes before the showtime. Our showtime was the first of that morning, 9:40, and we were instructed to return to just outside the Outpost where we signed up at 9:10.
Pro Tip: Want to beat the mad rush at the line for sign ups when the park opens? Get in early with a breakfast reservation. The day we visited, the park opened at 9. We reserved breakfast at Hollywood and Vine for 8:05am. We were able to get into the empty park before it opened. Sign ups were open to those of us in the park for breakfast, so I was able to take my kids right over(the Outpost is right next to Hollywood and Vine and 50s Prime Time Cafe) and sign up with no waiting. All show times were available for us to choose from.
You’ll receive a printed ticket with your child’s name to return with.
When you return with your children at your designated time, they will be lined up from shortest to tallest.
After everyone is lined up, each child is given their very own Jedi robe to wear.
Parents stay to the side and cast members assist the kids with putting on their robes. Once everyone is dressed, the cast member in charge leads them to the temple where their training will begin. Parents stay to the side of their children, which helps keep little ones in line.
When you arrive at the temple, parents are given a special Photopass card(which is an awesome keepsake!) and then dismissed to the viewing area, while the children are lead to the temple stage.
When they get to the stage, children will be divided up into two, smaller groups. There are two levels and half the group will be on one level, the other half on the lower level. There are several Jedis to assist with the training of each group.
Once divided and in place, each child is given a light saber(don’t worry parents, they aren’t the real thing, nobody will be losing an arm here). Now the training begins!
Once the children are properly trained in the ways of the force, it’s time to put them to good use against the Dark Side.
Villains can vary, during our show they were Darth Vader and Darth Maul. The Seventh Sister, an evil inquisitor, was recently introduced, but she was not there when my children did the show.
Eaach group of children will have their own villain to battle. Half of the group will battle one, the other half will battle the other. Each young Jedi will have their own turn battling the dark side.
Once each child has had their turn, a battle between the adult Jedis and the villains ensues. The Jedi in charge will lead the rest of the group in using the force to send the villains back to where they came from.
But they aren’t quite finished yet. The Jedis and villains will put on a bit more of a show, before fully banishing the Dark Side and celebrating the win.
At this point, the children are gathered, robes and light sabers are collected, and children are returned to their parents. They are also given a keepsake pin for completing their training.
This is a really fun show that lasts for about 20 minutes, not including the time you spend before the show gathering the children, lining them up, handing out robes and walking them to the training temple, which is right next to Star Tours. Plan for about an hour out of your day at the park. If you get in to sign up early enough, and you have many options to pick from for your return and show time, you will be able to plan around your Fastpasses and other plans, like meals or naps for younger children. So get to the park early, make sure you experience this interactive show, and may the force be with you!