In late 2015, The Jedi Training Academy at Disney’s Hollywood Studios was re-imagined as Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple. Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple is a twenty-minute show with scheduled show times that vary based upon park hours and attendance. The show takes place on the stage located to the left of the Star Tours attraction. The show itself is a great way for Guests to see some popular Star Wars characters ranging from Darth Vader to Kylo Ren from 2015’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens to even the Seventh Sister from the Disney XD series Star Wars Rebels.
The true appeal of the attraction is that a limited number of children between the ages of 4 and 12 can participate in the show and engage in a lightsaber battle with either Darth Vader or the Seventh Sister. Throughout the years and through the different incarnations of the show, the sign-up process to land one of these lucky spots frequently changed, leading to confusion from time to time.
Here are some insider tips to help your children land those coveted Jedi spots on your next visit to Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
Arrive at Disney’s Hollywood Studios Main Entrance at least 30 minutes prior to park opening. Sign-ups occur daily at the Indiana Jones Adventure Outpost. This is located between the 50’s Primetime Cafe and the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular. Spots for shows are limited, and they are filled on a first-come-first-serve basis for that day only. This is even true on Extra Magic Hour Mornings, when the park opens an hour early for Resort Guests, giving them a chance to get into the park and sign up for the available spots before non-resort Guests. If you are not staying at a Disney Resort and you plan on having your children sign up for the show, there should still be some spots available when non-resort Guests enter the park, but they may be for shows much later in the day. You may want to plan your visit to the park on a day that does not offer Extra Magic Hours in the morning to ensure spots that work into your schedule will be available.
It is also important to note that the park will open many mornings earlier than the advertised opening time. Most days, the park will be advertised to open at 9 AM, but the Main Entrance could open as early as 30 minutes prior to the opening time to clear out the space between the bag check and the entrance area. Usually the Guests will be moved up to Hollywood Boulevard, where they wait behind a rope until the park is officially open. If the main attractions are ready, this can occur prior to 9 AM. Once the rope is dropped, there will be Cast Members on hand to escort Guests to the Jedi Training sign-up area, as well as stop Guests from running or engaging in any other unsafe behavior on the way to the location. Once you arrive at the sign-up location, you will queue up and wait for another Cast Member to greet your party and begin the sign-up process.
Keep in mind that although making reservations for Breakfast at Hollywood and Vine or any other dining experience will get you early entry into the park for breakfast, the Jedi Training sign-up area will be closed off until the park officially opens. In other words, breakfast reservations will not get you any priority access to the Jedi Training line.
Bring your children with you to the sign-up location. This is the biggest mistake parents make when they attempt to have their children participate in the show. Many parties will send one person to queue up for the sign-up process while the children go with the rest of the party to either experience another attraction, eat breakfast or visit a FastPass+ Kiosk. Unfortunately, that strategy will not work. The children must be present during the sign-up process. The main reason for this is because a big part of the sign-up process involves the Cast Members interacting with the children to make sure that they will not be afraid to participate. The Cast Members will ask the children their ages to make sure they are between the ages of 4 and 12. They will ask the children if they are brave enough to take on the Dark Side of the Force. Finally, the Cast Members will ask the children if they will follow the directions of the Jedi Master on stage. During this short exchange, the Cast Members will determine if the child will be able to safely participate in the experience. The children do not necessarily have to stand in the line, but they must be close by so that when the party member gets to the front of the line the children can quickly join. I can’t emphasize enough that the children must be present for the sign-up process.
There is a process for some alternates once all the show spots are filled. If you are too late to get a spot for your child in the show, you may have the opportunity to sign up as an alternate if there are still alternate spaces available. This does not guarantee you a spot, but as the day goes on other Guest’s plans may change and children who signed up in the morning, especially for later shows, may not show up at the call time. If your child is an alternate, he or she may have an opportunity to fill one of these vacant spots. As an alternate, the child is given a number. Your party can show up at the call times for any of the shows, and if there is an open spot due to a no-show, the child with the lowest alternate number present will be placed in the spot. If you have more than one child in your party who wants to participate, this can be tricky, since there may not be spaces for all of the children in the same show.
The character your child battles will be random. Some children or parents may have a preference for whether they engage with Darth Vader on the upper level of the stage or the Seventh Sister on the bottom level, but there is not a way to give a preference. As such, it may be a good idea to set your child’s expectations, or yours, prior to the sign-up.
Shows are Weather Permitting and Subject to Change or Cancellations. If the show your child is signed up for is cancelled due to either inclement weather or technical difficulties, there may not be any other options available to participate in another show. Disney Cast Members will be as flexible as they can be. If possible, the characters from the show will still do a special meet-and-greet with the children, allowing for a unique photo opportunity. If there are still spots open for future shows, there may be a chance to sign up for a later show. Generally, though, spots are filled very early in the day, many times before 10:00 or 10:30 AM. This can be very disappointing, but there are not a lot of options sometimes depending on the issue that causes the cancellation.
Space to view the show is limited. If a child in your party is participating in the show, it may be a good idea for at least one member of your party to stake out a spot close to the stage early so you can get good photographs or videos of the show. The stage is out in an open area, and there is no designated seating available.
Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple is a very popular experience, but if you follow these guidelines it can be one of the highlights of your Disney vacation. Children who participate in the show get an experience they will always remember, and parents who grew up as Star Wars fans themselves can get the same if not a bigger thrill from seeing their child take on the Dark Side of the Force. Good luck, and May The Force Be With You.