The Force is strong at Disney’s Hollywood Studios! Only here can young Padawans complete specialized training in order to defeat the Dark Side! This fun and engaging entertainment experience is open for children 4-12 to participate, but all ages will enjoy watching this 30-minute show.
My four-year-old is obsessed with Star Wars so I thought this would be something fun for him, and it was! If you are interested in having your child participate, I’ve walked you through the procedure below and even threw in a few tips!
We arrived at Disney’s Hollywood Studios at 8:30 with a park opening of 9:00 am. When you enter you want to make a left at the end of Hollywood Boulevard, passing Hollywood & Vine and 50’s Prime Time Café on your left and Echo Lake on your right. You will head to Indiana Jones Adventure Outpost to sign up, just past 50’s Prime Time Café. There are plenty of Cast Members with signs along the way to point you in the right direction.
Once it’s your turn to sign up you will have your choice of available show times. We got there early enough to select the first show at 9:40 am. There were 20 shows the day we visited, which may change depending on time of year. (You can always check My Disney Experience under “entertainment” for the day you want to visit for exact times.)
They will give you a ticket with your child’s name, show time, date, and return time that you need to bring back with you when you return for the show. For the 9:40 show we had to report back at 9:10 for the kids to receive robes and instructions. After they fit the kids with robes they divide them into two groups. One parent is asked to stay with the child while the other members of the group are free to go to the stage to wait for the performance.
You will definitely want to send someone there in advance to secure a nice front row spot for pictures. To get to the stage, continue past Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular and over toward Star Tours- The Adventure Continues. The Jedi Training takes place on a stage to the left of Star At show time, the children participate in a short parade from the Indiana Jones Adventure Outpost to the Jedi Training Temple Stage. My son, one of the two smallest, got to carry the banner leading the young Jedi. The kids were so cute in their parade to the stage.
The stage show is really neat. Kids are separated into the upper stage and lower stage and are taught a basic light saber combination in order to “prepare to meet the Dark Side.” Finally the moment came and Darth Vader and a new villain, the Seventh Sister Inquisitor, met the young Jedi in training for the match of the century! Shows and Villains are subject to change, however during our visit the young Jedi on the upper stage got to battle Darth Vader and the lower stage met with the Seventh Sister.
We were excited to see that a Photopass photographer was on hand to capture the action, especially since we had the Memory Maker package. However, we later realized the photographer only takes pictures of the children who battle Darth Vader. Good thing I took pictures as well because even though my son was on the upper stage and was captured in some really nice shots, my daughter was on the lower stage and we only have the pictures of her that I took.
My son took his job fighting Darth Vader very seriously. He was the last Jedi, and probably the shortest, to meet the Dark Lord, and he rose to the occasion and rid the Galaxy of evil. My daughter, who is 9, had a great time as well and already asked if we could go back and do it again the next time we visit.
Some tips from a galaxy far, far away:
- Go straight to Jedi Training sign-up as soon as the park opens. This will give you great odds of securing a spot and a choice of show. (Of course there are no guarantees, but the earlier you get there the better your chances are.)
- There are no FastPasses for this entertainment experience. You must be present to sign up.
- You MUST have your child with you at sign-up! I witnessed first-hand someone who was mad with Disney because they wouldn’t bend this rule. Lucky for you, I’ve given you this tip ahead of time to help you avoid the hassle!
- They need to see your child to talk to them briefly. They asked both of my children, “Can you follow simple directions?” Children are separated from their parents while on stage so this is an important question. Know your kiddo. If they can’t deal with separation, maybe you could have them watch an earlier show and see if they’re up for the experience.
- The show is subject to cancellation due to weather. If weather looks questionable on the day you plan to go, try to sign up for an earlier spot.
- Take your own pictures! If your child is on the lower stage (which you have no way of knowing ahead of time) they will not be included in the Photopass photos. Although I hope they reconsider and eventually try to photograph all kids in the future.
- Don’t force your child to participate if they are afraid of Darth Vader. He is really big (even to a grown-up!) and to a kid I’m sure the scenario is very realistic. My 4 year old did an amazing job (I was a little nervous for him) but later when we had a chance to meet Darth Vader at Star Wars Launch Bay, he politely declined. I guess battling the Dark Side one on one was enough for one day.
If your child loves Star Wars at all, I suggest giving this experience a try. It was a lot of fun for my kids and I really enjoyed watching it as well. Want to see the experience in action? Check out this video!
In addition to Jedi Trainin: Trials of the Temple, Disney’s Hollywood Studios is going all-out with Star Wars fun from now until Star Wars Land opens in a few years.
Read all about the experiences, food, souvenirs, attractions and more in this month’s issue of WDW Magazine by clicking here!