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.

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Rebecca George April 23, 2014 at 7:39 am

We did this when we were in Disney World! My son Cian also wore a Star Wars shirt. It works a bit differently there, the kids are picked in the morning as soon as the park opens and you are given a time slot during the day to come back for your training. At Disney World I would definitely advise getting there as Hollywood Studios opens and heading straight for the ABC Sound Studio where you sign up. They ask a couple questions and then send you on for your padawan training!


jessicaturner April 23, 2014 at 7:58 am

Thanks so much for sharing this!


Robin April 23, 2014 at 4:45 pm

thanks! We are headed to Disney world in a few weeks and this was something my kids really wanted to do!


Sarah K April 23, 2014 at 8:17 am

If we ever get to go, this will be at the TOP of the list!!!


Erin April 23, 2014 at 9:41 am

My 5 year old did this is Disney World and it was one of the best parts of the trip! I agree with you about the tears! The commenter above already mentioned how it is done differently there. Arrive right when they open to get your ticket! Actually my advice is to make sure that your child does in fact want to take part in this. They ask three questions that they want the child to answer. We saw several children in tears with parents trying to convince them to do it. It made me very sad. That is why they want the child to answer. For us it was incredible, but this type of on stage performance is not for everyone!


Cindy April 23, 2014 at 10:13 am

I was going to say the same thing that at Disney World it’s different. And like another poster said they will ask your child questions, so don’t send them off to ride Toy Story or something with dad while you wait in line, because the kid has to be in line with you. You will be given a showtime and a time when to report back. My son has done this 3 times and it is always the highlight of the trip. The Disney people are great with the kids. Again get there first thing. And I mean as soon as people are let into the park, which is typically 15 minutes before the opening time. Head straight to the signup, which is located across from Echo Lake, where Sounds Dangerously use to be located and it’s on the way to the stage which is located to the left of Star Tours. Also take advantage of the photopass photographer taking pictures. They will take tons of pictures of the whole show. They will then give each parent with a child in the show a special photopass card. Late on after the pictures have been uploaded, you can go to the photopass store and have them go through all the pictures and put the ones of your child onto your own photopass card. And if you buy the cd, it’s a great deal, and it has cool Star Wars borders. Don’t forget while you are over in that area, to get pictures taken on the pod racer located in front of the store, there is typically a photopass photographer there. And sometimes you can ask them to do a magic shot for you, where you are battling Darth Vader. Another heads up if you are there during Star Wars weekends, I have heard that it is packed and they do additional shows, but it is even more important that you get there early.


Bree April 23, 2014 at 10:54 am

We did this in Disney World and it was ABSOLUTELY the highlight of the trip for our son. One tip I’d like to share with you is to make a photo book of JUST THIS experience for Elias. It is soooooo worth it. (and you always know all the good sales and deals with the ebook companies). My son loves LOVES to look at his album. I also did a canvas of him fighting darth vader. Ours hangs in the family room as we have only one child, you could hang his in his bedroom. But its certainly a conversation piece when people come over and he loves to tell the story. I know is cliche, but it is more than just the actual event – its a complete experience, and a wonderful special memory. Even though it was a highlight for our son, it was a true highlight for my husband and me too because of how awesome it made him feel.

PS – we too had a star wars party for our boy this past year (after the jedi training academy) and we used his pic from disney all dressed up as a padawan for his invite. If you’re interested in any other Star wars party ideas we used, let me know – I have an awesome invitation….actually – check it out here on my blog


Katie April 23, 2014 at 12:55 pm

My kids are 3rd generation Star Wars fans, my son more than my daughter. Sadly, my daughter was picked and my son was not. I was super worried about his feelings being hurt and our day ruined but he said the cutest thing to me, “I know I wasn’t picked Mommy, because I’m ALREADY a Jedi, I don’t need anymore training!” :)


Jolene April 23, 2014 at 4:32 pm

That is so cute! What a great brother.


elisabeth April 6, 2015 at 1:22 pm

Thats super cute. We, too, only had 1 child chosen and I thought the other one would sulk but he turned to me, and my mother, and started shouting, “I’m so happy my little brother got picked! I’m so happy my little brother got picked!” We were definitely sweating that one but were so proud of our big boy. Kids will surprise you like that. Proud parents are we.


Kristie M April 23, 2014 at 4:38 pm

So glad little Elias got to do the Jedi Training. My son did it at Disneyland in 2010 around Halloween. He really wanted to get picked, so beforehand, we took a picture of him in his Jedi Halloween costume and edited the background to look like a spaceship. Then we enlarged the photo to poster size and added ‘The Force is Strong in This One’ in large letters. And since it was during Halloween time, my son also wore his costume while holding the poster of himself. Maybe it was a bit much, but he was picked immediately.


Margi April 23, 2014 at 5:09 pm

How wonderful for Elias….what supportive parents you are. Thank you for sharing.


Jenni Hufford April 25, 2014 at 10:00 am

we did this at Hollywood Studios in WDW and it was my FAVORITE memory from the trip. They do things a little differently (as of last summer) and you have to go wait in line in the Indiana Jones theatre to get a ticket and time for the training academy. It is an ABSOLUTE must for the first thing to do in the morning (get the ticket) if you want a chance at all to do this!


Lindsay July 7, 2014 at 10:03 pm

My daughter will turn 4 while we are there this fall. She is a huge Star Wars fan thanks to daddy, is this age appropriate?


jessicaturner July 8, 2014 at 7:35 am



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