Your child can battle Darth Vader and Darth Maul at Disneyland Park!
What is the Jedi Training Academy? It's a rousing, interactive Star Wars themed show at Disneyland Park in Anaheim, California, and has also played at the Walt Disney World in Orlando Florida (at Disney's Hollywood Studios...formerly named the Disney MGM Studios. )
The Jedi Training Academy show lets kids participate in hand-to-hand combat with Darth Vader and Darth Maul! Head to the show in advance of its starting time if your child wants to participate. About 2 dozen children are selected to train as students of the Jedi Training Academy for every showing...so your child does have a fairly good chance of being selected.
Each participating child is given a robe to wear during the show session. Kids chosen to participate seem to be approximately in the 5 through 9 age group. The robe size will not fit toddlers, nor would toddlers be able to follow the Jedi training instructions, so this is not an activity that the littlest tykes will be able to join. (However, toddlers do enjoy watching the older kids get in on the action.)
Star Wars fans also enjoy watching the action. Would adults attending Disneyland Park without kids in tow enjoy the Jedi Training Academy show? The answer is a firm "maybe." Anyone who enjoys the Star Wars movies and characters can enjoy this live Disneyland show. But, it probably wouldn't interest Star Wars "die hards" who would roll their eyeballs into the back of their heads at the sight of Darth Vader pulling his punches while "fighting" against a 5 year old kid!
On this page, you'll see pictures of the Jedi Training Academy taken both at Disneyland Park in Anaheim, California, and at Disney's Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. As you look at the pictures of Darth Vader, Darth Maul and the Jedi Masters, you can decide for yourself if this fun Disney attraction will make it onto your "must do" list for your next Disney theme park vacation!
Jedi Training Academy live show at Disney theme parks
Jedi Master accepts "students" to be trained
The Jedi Training Academy begins with a call for would-be Padowans. As mentioned above, it's essential to be early for a Jedi Training Academy showtime in order for your children to be considered for acceptance into this prestigious school! That's because this popular Disneyland show's action doesn't begin until the "younglings" are all selected for the session that's about to begin.
Children will be asked to don brown-colored robes, then go stand within a specially marked circle. (The children will be learning how to use "dangerous" light sabers; Disneyland has designed the show to accommodate a gaggle of youngsters all brandishing plastic "light sabers" while not bopping each other!) Another important measure to ensure the children's safety is the fact that the Jedi Master has a number of assistants helping him keep the kids going where they're supposed to go and doing what they're supposed to be doing!
As you see in the picture of the Jedi Master to your left, the show begins as the kids receive some basic training. First they learn how to hold & unfold their plastic light sabres. Then, they learn some basic saber-fighting maneuvers...to prepare them "just in case" Imperial forces burst onto the scene.
Darth Vader arrives by space ship
Storm Troopers stand by to guard their evil leader
Darth Vader arrives! It seems that the students have honed their light saber skills none too soon---for Darth Vader invades the Jedi Training Academy!
Dramatically rising from out of the stage, Darth Vader's space ship intrudes upon the Jedi Training Academy studies in a cloud of fog and eerie lights. To make the situation even more tense, Storm Troopers train their weapons on the crowd of hapless youngsters. Will they make it out of the situation alive? It's time to see whether or not the students have learned their lessons well!
In the picture of Darth Vader to your right, the menacing master of evil threaterns a Jedi Training Academy student with his light saber at Disney's Hollywood Studios in Orlando, FL.
Are there Darth Vader "sound effects?" You bet! You can hear his mechanical breathing apparatus hard at work...giving him the strength to battle the very serious-faced children that he encounters. (The kids get deeply involved in the proceedings, as you might imagine. The mere sight of Darth Vader towering above their little heads seems to send their collective pulse racing!)
Darth Vader looks over the crowd of kids facing him as you see in the picture of Disneyland's Jedi Training Academy to your left.
Lord Vader knows that these chidren have barely begun their training. Feeling that it will be easy to turn these kids "to the Dark Side," he pleads with them to come join him. Together they can rule the universe!
Parents watching from the crowd are pleased, proud...and maybe even a bit relieved...that their child easily spurns Darth Vader's beguiling propaganda. There are no takers today! Not a single child turns to the Dark Side...vowing, instead to fight to his or her ultimate capacity to defend light and truth!
So, it's going to be a showdown, is it?
No problem. Darth Maul is on hand to help Lord Vader in the fight to gain followers!
In the picture of Darth Maul to your right, he leaves the Imperial space ship amidst a smoky screen of fog. His trusty double light saber, known by all Star Wars fans to be Darth Maul's weapon of choice, is at his side.
But Darth Maul's double light sabre won't be staying still for much longer. The fight begins! And Darth Maul leaps into the action alongside the evil Vader to battle against our heroes.
Blazing sabers at the Jedi Training Academy!
Students struggle to remember their maneuvers as the Imperial attack begins
In the photo of Darth Vader, you see the evil master confronting a Jedi Training Academy student in a battle of light sabers.
Kids participating in this interactive Disney show seem to take the battle to heart and try their best to defeat this malicious menace to the people of the galaxy. The Jedi Master stands at the side of each student to help him or her remember the light saber moves and tactics that have been learned during the first segment of the show.
Simultaneously, Darth Maul uses his double light saber to attack a different student at the Jedi Training Academy. A member of the Jedi Academy's faculty assists the youngling in fighting Darth Maul. It is important that each child perform his or her maneuvers well. Parents in the crowd do not wish to take home a child missing an arm or leg that has been severed by a laser cut. (Just kidding, of course!)
Other members of the Jedi Master's group of assistants, organize the other students into a line. Each child participating in the Jedi Training Academy show gets a chance to do "real" battle---either against Lord Vader or Darth Maul.
Storm troopers stand by guarding their masters with drawn laser blasters. However, the two Sith fighters never call upon their backup protectors to join the fray. Lord Vader and Darth Maul can see that they're too overpoweringly outnumbered, and give up the fight...but only for this moment. Students and Jedi at the Academy must stay on the alert---for the Imperial bad guys WILL RETURN!
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