May the 4th is Star Wars day and I thought it was a great reason to share one of our favorite Star Wars memories/experiences from our trip to Walt Disney World this past November.
My son is a big Star Wars fan, so when I saw they offered the opportunity to learn to use a lightsaber and actually fight Darth Vader, I knew Jedi Training was an experience we couldn’t pass up. It required a bit of planning to get signed up on the morning of our day at Hollywood Studios, but it was well worth it for this free and unique opportunity.
To participate in the Jedi Training Academy, young Jedi’s need to be between 4 and 12 years old (sorry dads!) and be present at the time of registration. Registration is done in person at the park on the day of, at a first-come, first-served basis. I recommend you try and get to the park right at opening and head directly to the line at the Indiana Jones Adventure Outpost to get your name on the list and be able to choose your preferred time. The Outpost is located right between the Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular and the 50’s Prime Time Café. The line was already pretty long by the time we managed to figure out where we were going, but it did move pretty quickly once they opened up.
When it was our training time, we headed back to the Outpost where the kids got suited up in Jedi robes and were assigned to their training team. The excitement continued as everyone lined up and made a parade through the park to the training stage beneath the giant At-At at Star Tours. My daughter was even lucky enough to help be the flag holder.
Once at the stage, the trained Jedi’s worked hard to instruct the younglings how to wield their lightsabers and learn the ways of the force. It was a fully immersive experience with the cast members really committing to their characters, while Star Wars music and sound effects blasted in the background.
After initial training came that extra touch of Disney magic as Darth Vader and Darth Maul both appeared in a cloud of smoke, ready to defend their turf. Each Jedi was given a turn to put their newly learned skills into practice fighting a member of the Dark Side.
During the whole experience, parents got to enjoy watching from the sidelines as several Disney Photopass photographers worked to capture the exciting moments. We were given a card with a code at sign-in to download these photos afterwards. I was grateful to have these additional pictures and impressed at how well the photographers did capturing several shots of each child participating.
My 7.5 year old son seemed to really enjoy the experience, but my 5 year old Jedi princess was hot, tired, hungry, and a little less then enthusiastic during it all. Luckily this grumpy mood was easily fixed with chicken and waffles and Darth Vader cupcake from Backlot Express right after. Pro tip: A dose of sugar and air conditioning is usually an easy fix for a case of the crankies at Disney.
We had an amazing and jam-packed day at Hollywood Studios. We ran out of time to make it to the Star Wars character meeting spot, so I am happy we did the Jedi Training and managed to get some great pictures of the kids. The kids will likely be too old for by the next time we make it back to Walt Disney World, so this truly was a once in a lifetime experience. Luckily with Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge in the works, I know the opportunity to experience all things Star Wars is only going to get better at Disney World.
To learn more about Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, head on over to the Walt Disney World website.
For more Jedi friendly fun at home, check out this fun Star Wars themed Ice Cream Social I planned a few years back.
Happy Star Wars Day!