Thursday, February 20, 2014

Thursday Tip - Signing Up for Jedi Training

Do you have a Star Wars fan in your family?  Are they between the ages of 4 and 12?  Then I am guessing that defeating Darth Vader may be the highlight of the decade for them!

Star Wars Jedi Training Academy is held in Disney's Hollywood Studios daily.  Show times vary, so be sure to check the times guide located throughout the park.  This is one of the most popular things to do in Hollywood Studios.  Many do not know that you have to sign up.  Years ago it was that they picked people from the audience.  You got up close and they randomly selected children, but a few years ago they started the sign up.  It is completely free to participate!  Some are angry that it is now an event you sign up for, but really everyone gets an equal shot this way too.  I guess there are arguments for and against it.  Regardless, you MUST preregister for it.  
My son in 2011 fighting Darth Vader.  I think he was slightly Star Struck!  He has since done it 2 more times - again fighting Darth Vader and the last time he got to fight Darth Maul!

Here's how to ensure your little Jedi gets to train with a Jedi Master and fight the one and only Darth Vader.
  1. Get to Hollywood Studios at least 30 minutes prior to the posted opening time.  If the park is opening at 9am, be there and ready to walk through the gates at 8:30am.  A little known fact is that Epcot, Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios routinely open before the posted 9am.  If it is an Extra Magic Hour Morning for Hollywood Studios and you are a Disney resort guest get there early still, but you don't need to be there at 7:30am.  (It couldn't hurt though!)  The exception to all of this is traveling during Star Wars Weekends.  (I will cover that in it's own section!)
  2. Ok you got to the park bright and early.  They start letting people in, but where do you go?  Sometimes they have a cast member holding a sign, but not always telling you how to get there, but for you....a map!  Notice the "OR" - go the way that the least people are going, it shouldn't be to bad if it's not a really busy time of year.  Walk briskly and have the Jedi WITH YOU!!  The child signing up must be present at the sign up!!!
  3. Once you get there you will be in a line, unless you have beaten everyone there, then you are good!  The line moves quickly and they start assigning shows.  They start with the first and move on through.  When they get to you they will speak to you and the child, but they will ask your child specific questions - How Old?, etc.  Nothing hard at all.  They will then assign you a time and give you a ticket to come back 30 minutes before.  If that time is a conflict you can ask to be moved to a later show, but do it right then.  For instance - if you have a Fastpass+ reservation for Toy Story Midway Mania at the same time as Jedi Training, that won't work, so tell them and they will work with you.
  4. Show up 30 minutes before at the same location.  You will want to send one parent to get a spot close to the stage to be able to see your little Jedi!!  Jedi Training Academy takes place on the stage right next to the Star Tours ride.  Another show may be just finishing up when you arrive so wait for them to clear out.  Be sure to secure a space for the parent that is with the child too!  
That pretty much covers it!  Take lots of photos and videos!  If you purchased the Memory Maker there is a photo pass photographer there taking GREAT shots, so make sure you get the card to be able to upload it to your account.  You can get the card regardless and buy some of the photos taken up front at the Photopass shop.

  1. The park opens at 8am on SWW.  That is the posted time.  They will start letting people in as early as 7:30am, I have heard even earlier, so try to be at the main entrance by 7:15am.  You will want to see the opening show anyway!  :-)
  2. You have the opportunity to fight either Darth Vader, Darth Maul or Ventress.  However - you CANNOT request who you will fight.
  3. Sign ups - follow the same path....BUT sign ups will be at the Indiana Jones Theater.  There will be a cast member carrying a sign if you got there at opening telling you where to go.  
  4. Be sure you have your Jedi with you!

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