Jedi Training Academy was one of the most popular attractions during Star Wars Weekends and Disney made Jedi Training Academy a pemanent attraction, which offers the opportunity for kids to enlist with the Jedi Order and become a Jedi padawan (that's Star War-ese for a Jedi in training). Disney has changed how children are selected for the Jedi Training Academy now, as there is a standby line for children to line up in. Before each show, children are selected from the line in the order they waited in. The kids go up on stage and are given robes and plastic lightsabers (same kind you see at any toy store.)
The "Jedi Master" has a script that he seemed to follow very closely each show. Mostly he says things that Yoda said during the movies. He teaches the kids a series of moves with the lightsaber ("block high," "duck," "cut low") and they learn them in a specific order. They run through it a few times, until they all have it down. Darth Vader comes out and then the Jedi Master informs Vader that the kids wont join. Vader then duels with each kid, as the Master calls out moves to perform, just in case the child has forgotten. When all of them are done, the Master announces that Vader has been defeated and the Sith Lord marches off in a huff. Then the kids all get certificates.
Jedi Training Academy is great fun for kids of the age that it's targeted at. If you've been to Star Wars Weekends in the past, then you'll know this is a highlight of the event and because of how well it's pulled off, Disney made it permanent. It's fun for the kids because they get to go up and fight Darth Vader. There are plenty of adults who would love to do that.
In terms of how old your child should be if they want to participate, anyone under 4 will not understand and any child over 9 or so will find it boring and stupid. If you feel your child might or might not be interested, have them watch the show first and ask them if it's something they'd be interested in. If your child wants to volunteer, try for the first show or two in the morning or after the afternoon parade. Those ought to be the least crowded times to sneak in.
The method for signing your kids up has changed at Jedi Training Academy. Cast Members now take sign ups at park opening and as soon as the shows are filled for the day, that's it. Often, the shows will fill up with volunteers by 10:30am or so, thus you you will need to act quickly and be early to get your child into a show.
Make sure your child definitely wants to be a part of the show before they get in line. The Jedi Master is quite good and can "go with the flow" well when a kid misses a move or freaks out and doesn't want to particiapte.
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