Mom And Son Safari
  • On Apr 1, 2011
    Twila from MI Asked

    We are planning a trip in September. My son is a BIG Star Wars fan and would love the Jedi Training Academy...However, he won't be 4 until February. The website says it's for kids 4-12 do they make any exceptions? And do we have to sign up for it?

    Hi Twila,

    Its hard when a child is so close to turning the minimum age to participate in an attraction. The age limits set by Disney are carefully thought out & decided with good reasons. Children participating in the Jedi Training Academy (JTA) go up on stage with a lot of people looking on which can be a little intimidating. There are no protective railings around the stage so a child must be old enough to be very mindful of that. Participants are asked to stand on a specific circle & taught a "routine" by a Jedi Master. They must be able to follow directions & quickly learn this routine. Once this is completed, each child goes out on stage with the Jedi Master & "battles" Darth Vader using the routine they just learned. Coming face-to-face with a character (especially one as large & menacing as Darth Vader) can be super scary to some children.

    JTA is located next to Star Tours & is held several times a day. The times will be listed on the Times Guide that you pick up along with your Guide Map when you enter Disney's Hollywood Studios. The number of participants is limited & they start registration first thing in the morning & stop once the spots are filled for the day (they usually fill up fast during peak seasons). If you feel that you want to give it a shot, head that way first. Children must be present with an adult to register. Cast Members will ask potential Padawans a few of questions (including their age) to make sure they can follow some basic directions.

    Now, do they require proof of age? No, but you run the risk of him being told he's not quite old enough & then face a potential meltdown from a disappointed child. You may want to go ahead & explain, that he'll be able to do it next time but let him know how much fun it will be to watch the other kids & cheer them on from the sidelines.

    Wishing you many magical memories :-) Allison
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Meet the Panelist: Allison, Georgia

I'm a Disney-fanatic! I made my first trip to Disney World the year it opened and have grown up crazy for all things Disney. As the Mom of a son with Cerebral Palsy, I love providing recommendations for families traveling with a special needs member. Learn More About Allison

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