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Opening Magic Kingdom

Opening Magic Kingdom

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Jedi Training Academy--Changes for 2013

Jedi Training Academy is an opportunity for children ages 4-12 to take on the evil of the dark side and learn lightsaber moves.  Some changes have been made for 2013 to this great experience:

  • More children can now participate in each show, as the “stage” has been expanded to include the area below the original stage area.  This has doubled the number of kiddos that can get the opportunity for each show.  Based on our experience, the taller children have the lower portion of the stage area.
  • Darth Maul has been added to the show—definitely a plus!

What hasn’t changed:
  • The need to head to the Sound Studio as soon as you arrive in the park—if your child or children ages 4-12 is interested in participating—and reserve their slot for a show.  You must have your child present when you register.
  • Arriving at the Sound Studio 30 minutes prior to your slotted show time.
  • Photopass photographer on hand to capture the magic and the memories—you are given a card with the event number and can add the photos to your Photopass account.

The boy has been participating in Jedi Training Academy since he was, well 4.  While the show hasn’t change much over the years—except for the addition of Darth Maul, the process of how children get into the show has.   The sign-up and come back system is definitely the best!

Some things to know and tips to help you:

  • Visit with your child(ren) prior to your trip or arriving at Hollywood Studios to see if this is something they want to do as signing up early is important.  The day we were at Studios there were 15 shows with double the kids and all were full with a “wait list” before 3:00 pm.  It your child isn’t sure, have them watch some of our videos to help them decide.  We have seen many disappointed adults and children who stumble upon Jedi Training Academy while walking by and then try to get their child in a show, only to find out that all the shows are full or only slots are available for shows much later in the day.  You want to plan ahead for this experience.

  • When you sign-up for a slot, it doesn’t have to be the next available slot.  Know the plan for your day and pick the time, if available, that words with that plan, including ADR’s.  The boy and the husband went off to sign-up as soon as the park opened (I headed to Toy Story to get Fastpasses).  The husband requested the 3:40 pm show, even though he was the first person to sign-up for that day and would have normally been assigned the first show (9:20).  The 3:40 time worked in our schedule for the day better knowing that we would need to be there by 3:10 pm and would be done by 4:00 pm—our dinner ADR was for 4:30 pm.
  • Be sure your child knows that they are borrowing the lightsaber and the robe for the training.  Each child does get a certificate to take home and there are “make your own” lightsabers for sale in Tatooine Traders nearby and at Downtown Disney.
  • Have your camera ready!

Jedi Training Academy is another reason Disney’s Hollywood Studios is a top park for us at Walt Disney World.  The changes for 2013 have made the experience better for the participants.  The boy was thrilled that he got to take on Darth Maul and looks forward to our next trip.  Time is running out for us, as this experience is for children ages 4-12.  We better hurry!

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