One of the highlights of our Disney World Vacation was when Eli did the Jedi Training Academy at Hollywood Studios. What is the Jedi Training Academy? Younglings, children age 4-12, can train in the ways of the Force and put their skills to the test against the Dark Side. They learn how to use the force and wield a light saber against Star Wars villains.
You have to register to participate in the morning, at the Indiana Jones Adventure outpost. It’s a very popular experience so when reading about it before our trip, I read that you had to go there first thing in the morning. RJ and Eli went straight there when the park opened and Emmy and I had the stroller while we waited for our Character Breakfast. There were a lot of people ahead of them, so Eli got an evening slot, around 7. The Jedi apprentice has to be present to register for participation and it’s first come first serve, so I’d recommend getting there right when the park opens.
Cast members ask the younglings questions to determine if they can be eligible. They asked Eli how old he was…he held up 4 fingers. They asked him if he will you follow directions in the training…he nodded. And then, they asked “Do you want to fight the Dark Side on the stage?” and he said “Yes!” So he was in!
When you do the Jedi Training Academy, you have to report 20 minutes before the time slot you’re given. Eli, of course, had to poop at the exact moment we were supposed to be there, so I was really nervous that he wouldn’t be able to do it…but, there were only about half the children there right on time, and the Jedi teachers let him get right back onto his spot.
Each young padawan gets a robe, which Eli looked super adorable in, right? After they follow their Jedi teacher up to the Trials of the Temple Stage, each padawan gets a light saber for the training. The robes and the light sabers have to be returned at the end of the training.
We planned our day at Hollywood Studios on Eli’s 4th birthday, knowing that he would want to do the Jedi Training Academy, so I was worried that he was going to be a little young. He did great, but there were a few things that could have went better. He got a little focused on watching the other kids at times, so he would be watching the older kids so their light saber moves and not practice his. They had to practice, “left shoulder, right shoulder, up and block, duck, then cut to the head.” I think he did the motions once or twice during practice, the other times he was turned around watching other kids.
When it was his turn to fight the Dark Side, he fought a lady Darth Vader. Or at least that what’s Eli called her. We later found out she was a Jedi Hunter, the Seventh Sister Inquisitor.
He was one of the smallest kids there, so they put him up front to watch the “show” between Kylo Ren and the Jedi teacher. I was worried that he would be scared, but he seemed okay. It is very fast paced and Eli had to be guided a few times to the correct part of the stage or when it was his turn.
He loved it and was super into it. When he was using the force I got a little teary because he seemed so little and so big at the same time. He was super into it, especially the parts where they use the force. It’s possible that he occasionally tries to use the force at home now, like to move couches, or get me to give him candy for breakfast.
It was such a cool experience and if you have a tiny human who loves Star Wars, you definitely need to fit the Jedi Training Academy into your Disney World trip. And, if your 4 year old has a little sister who wants to do every single thing that he does, be prepared to detain her during the Jedi Training. If she is anything like Emmy, she will try to get up onto the stage with her brother. The Ergo was perfect for keeping her away, but held her high enough to watch her Eli.
Since his time slot was so late, it was dusk and I didn’t get the greatest pictures with my iPhone, so I was so thankful we had the Memory Maker and they got some great shots. It’s easy to see which pictures I took and which pictures the Disney Photopass Photographer too.
Eli keeps talking about going to Disney World again when he is 5, so if that happens, I’m sure he will do even better at the Jedi Training Academy. The force is pretty strong with this one.
Have your little padawans trained at the the Jedi Training Academy? Did they love it? Are you planning a trip to Hollywood Studios soon? Let me know in the comments!