Jedi Training Academy – How to Get Picked

by jessicaturner on April 23, 2014

How to get picked for Disney's Jedi Training AcademyThe number one thing Elias wanted to do at Disneyland was the Jedi Training Academy. This is a special show in Tomorrowland where about two dozen kids are selected to learn how to become Padawans. (The Jedi Training Academy is at both Disneyland and Disney World.)

The timing worked out that it was one of the first things we did when we arrived to Disneyland, and it was a magical way to start our adventure – especially because Elias was selected to be part of the training. It was really neat for Elias – and Matthew and I both teared up for him.

I know. I know. ☺

There is no formal seating for the training academy, which lasts about 20 minutes. You just sit on the ground in a half circle around the stage. The academy has several Jedi trainers and a Jedi Master that take the kids through a practice exercise with their light sabers.

Then the stage rises and Darth Vader emerges along with two Storm Troopers. Darth Maul also comes out. The kids are divided into two groups to individually dual either Darth Maul or Darth Vader.

How to get picked for Disney's Jedi Training Academy
Elias got to battle Darth Vader. At first, I could tell he wasn’t sure about it, but as the minutes passed, I saw his eyes start to sparkle as he got braver and more excited. It was amazing.

Here are a few tips we followed to better Elias’s chances of being selected when we attended the show. We were so thankful he was selected at the show we attended. I have friends who went to several shows before their child was selected.

How to get picked for Disney's Jedi Training Academy
Tip #1:
Arrive early. We arrived 15 minutes before the 11:35 training and were able to find a spot in the front row.
Tip #2: Sit in the front row. This will ensure the Jedi Master who selects the children will see your child.
Tip #3: Wear something Star Wars. We brought a Star Wars t-shirt for Elias to wear and slipped it on over his tshirt before the Jedi Training Academy. Every child who was wearing Star Wars apparel was selected. Several kids had light sabers with them and one was wearing a full costume.
Tip #4: Be energetic: The kids who were selected jumped, yelled, waved their hands, etc. Elias was so cute jumping and yelling pick me, pick me.

How to get picked for Disney's Jedi Training Academy
At the end they receive a certificate that says:
This certificate announces that

Has proven to be worthy of training to become a Jedi, the guardians of peace and justice in the galaxy. The bearer of this honor is now a padawan, a student devoted to the anxiety training of the Jedi Knights.

From this day forth, remember a Jedi uses the force for knowledge and defense, never for attack.

The force be with you always.

I totally plan to use these for the Star Wars birthday party I’m planning for Elias this summer.

How to get picked for Disney's Jedi Training Academy
If your young Padawan wants to be a Jedi Knight, I hope these tips help you out. If you have done the Jedi Training Academy before, please share your experience in the comments.


Our Laguna Beach Vacation at the Pacific Edge Hotel

by jessicaturner on April 21, 2014

affordable laguna beach hotel This week is going to be vacation week here on The Mom Creative. I’m excited to share many of the fun details of our trip to California, what we learned, sweet photos, tips and more. Honestly, I have so much to share, I’ll probably be writing sporadic vacation and Disney content for awhile. The Mom Creative’s goal is to share content that helps you cultivate a life well-crafted and I think time away with family definitely fits within that!

Today I want to start with our time in Laguna Beach. We commenced our California vacation on Tuesday – Wednesday in Laguna Beach. We had been planning to do a family beach vacation this year before getting the opportunity to attend the Disney Social Media Celebration at Disneyland, so Laguna Beach before Disney was the perfect compromise. (Although, Laguna Beach and compromise should really not be used in the same sentence!)

Before planning the vacation, all I knew of Laguna Beach was what I had seen on television, and I had the perception that it was very expensive. Thankfully I stumbled on the Pacific Edge Hotel and found that Laguna Beach doesn’t HAVE to be pricey! The Pacific Edge covered our stay while in Laguna Beach, and I was delighted to collaborate because the hotel prides itself on being affordable for families.

IMG_8438The Pacific Edge has a series of buildings right on Laguna Beach. When you pull in, you are greeted by a charming sitting area and decor.

Affordable laguna beach hotelAffordable laguna beach hotel

Affordable laguna beach hotelI especially loved all the succulents they had throughout the hotel. I totally want to buy some for my home.

We were thankful to have a large suite to stay in for our stay, though the Pacific Edge offers a multitude of rooms fit for any budget. Trust me, you will want to be on the beach from morning until night anyway!

Affordable laguna beach hotel

Affordable laguna beach hotel

Affordable laguna beach hotel
The suite had a lovely living room and kitchen space, which was great for afternoons after being on the beach all morning. We could relax, while the kids napped in the separate sleeping rooms. I love the sunny colors and clean design.

There’s a grocery store a block down from the hotel, which helped keep our food expenses to a minimum too.

affordable laguna beach hotelOff of the living room and kitchen was a large bedroom, bathroom and a small room (or large walk-in closet) with a twin bed in it. Elias slept there, and Matthew and I took the big room. Adeline was also in a pack ‘n play in our room. It was awesome because the kids could nap/go to bed early in the bedrooms while Matthew and I hung out in the living room, which helped them to sleep really well.

We got to Laguna around 2 on Tuesday and after checking in we headed straight to The Deck, which is the only open-air, beachside restaurant in Laguna Beach. We enjoyed a great lunch (the burgers and mac & cheese are amazing!) and the headed to the beach for a few hours.

We played and played, the headed back to the room to get some rest. After getting up super early for our flight, we were in bed by 8 pm PST!

affordable laguna beach hotelaffordable laguna beach hotel affordable laguna beach hotel
We woke up bright and early Wednesday morning ready to get back out to the beach. Because we were still adjusting to the time change, we were all up by 4:30 am PST – yuck. Once the sun rose, we decided to go for a family walk in search of some tide pools, which Laguna has in abundance.

We then stopped at Starbucks for breakfast and ate muffins and drank coffee/milk right on the beach. Pretty awesome.

Our friend Laura brought her two kids (who are about the same ages as Elias and Adeline) to play for a few hours later that morning and we had an absolute blast.

IMG_8761 IMG_8760 IMG_8757 IMG_8727Laura and I met through blogging in 2009 and it was such a joy to see our kids enjoying one another. I never would have expected blogging to bring me some of my closest friendships.

IMG_8928 IMG_8913 affordable laguna beach hotel After our friends left, the kids’ didn’t want to leave, so we had a snack and played some more. Lunch can wait when you are at the beach! I love watching Elias and Adeline have fun on the beach.

IMG_9135 IMG_9139 IMG_9136It was so convenient being at the hotel’s beach because our room was right there. Within minutes of leaving, the kids were in the bathtub and then napping. So awesome. They also provide beach towels, lounge chairs, umbrellas and beach toys, which was great for us since we didn’t have room in our luggage for those types of things.

The Pacific Edge has two heated swimming pools and a private jacuzzi too, but we spent all of our time on the beach!

affordable laguna beach hotel
During the summer, the hotel offers tons of family activities including complimentary snow cones at the Surf Pool, fireside s’mores, Arts & Crafts in the Game Room, painting lessons at sunset on the beach, glow in the dark pool parties, yoga on the beach, face painting on the beach, hotel scavenger hunts, sandcastle contests and more. They also offer free access to the Pacific Marine Mammal Center – I know my kids would have loved that. We seriously could have stayed a week. It was so lovely.

laguna beach hotel We had so much fun that we contemplated extending our stay (but the kids’ couldn’t resist Disneyland!). It was a wonderful 36 hours and the kids haven’t stopped talking about the fun at the beach.

So if you are looking at vacationing in Laguna Beach, I definitely recommend checking out the Pacific Edge Hotel. You can’t beat the convenience.


Throwback Thursday Stories: Week 1

April 17, 2014

Welcome to the inaugural Throwback Thursday Stories. Each week you an invited to link-up and share an old photo + the story of the photo. Sometimes you might write the story of the photo itself, other times, you might chose to write how the photo makes you feel. The goal is to share a little […]

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Works for Me Wednesday: Fighting Allergies

April 16, 2014

The trees and tulips are in bloom and allergy season is in full-swing – especially in Nashville. Both Matthew and Adeline suffer from seasonal allergies and we are constantly looking for new ways to help ease their frustration. They do it all to keep the allergies at bay – from bathing every evening to wash […]

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Introducing Throwback Thursday Stories

April 15, 2014

I have a big idea that I hope y’all are going to love and participate in. As a memory keeper and writer, I value recording life’s stories. But this habit is something that has only developed in recently years, especially since forming my Project Life habit. While I have always been an avid photographer, I […]

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thredUP Tips and Haul Video

April 14, 2014

To update my wardrobe for spring/summer, I recently did some shopping on thredUP. Since we are coming home from California today (did you see all the fun pictures on Instagram?) and I wore thredUP clothes throughout our vacation, I thought it would good day to share more about the site. I have blogged about thredUP […]

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10 Easy-to-Sew Little Girl Dresses

April 11, 2014

Next month, my friend Katie and I are planning to have a sewing marathon and sew a bunch of cute clothes for our little girls. Needless to say, we have been scouring Pinterest for lots of ideas. I thought I would share 10 easy tutorials that I found because I know many of you also […]

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Easter Ideas from Hallmark

April 9, 2014

This is the second post in a sponsored series by Hallmark. All thoughts are my own. It’s hard to believe that Easter is just two weeks away! I was thrilled when Hallmark sent me a box of new Easter products to check out. They have so many sweet gifts and cards for the holiday. My […]

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Headed to Disneyland + Sale Extension

April 8, 2014

Today we are headed to California to go to the beach and Disneyland (don’t worry – someone is keeping an eye on our house!). Needless to say we are a bit excited. I’m sure I will be sharing A LOT of photos on Instagram, so be sure to connect with me there. Also, thanks to […]

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6 Reasons to Give it to Goodwill

April 7, 2014

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Goodwill. All love for donating and thoughts are my own. It’s spring, which means it’s a great time for cleaning and clearing out some clutter. A few weekends ago I did the big let’s see what fits afternoon with the kids, trying on clothes from last summer and new […]

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