May The Fourth Be With You, my friends.
If you have a Star Wars obsessed kid, you are no doubt thrilled by the blending of all things wonderful with the arrival of Star Wars characters at Disney Parks.
When my son made his maiden voyage to Disneyland last month, all he could talk about was becoming a Jedi. He had seen videos of The Jedi Training Academy at Disneyland and knew that’s what he wanted to do. Never mind Space Mountain, The Matterhorn, Mickey’s Toon Town, or Splash Mountain – my son was going to California to become a Jedi.
And he did. Twice.
“Daddy! I’m a DOUBLE Jedi!” is all he would say when I skyped him on his vacation and when he landed at the airport.
If you have kids who are strong with the Force, take them to the Jedi Training Academy stage at Disneyland, Disney World, or Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
Here’s what to expect…
Star Wars Kids 1 of 16
That's a genuine smile if I ever saw one. Check out how my son got it when he became a DOUBLE Jedi at the Jedi Training Academy at Disneyland.
Jedi Academy Stage 2 of 16
How To Get Picked 3 of 16
My son showed up a little late for the first show one day, so they sat and watched and knew how to act to get picked. You know those crazy people on The Price Is Right? Your kid needs to be enthusiastic like that, but also show they can listen to directions. 25 kids from age 4-12 are chosen for each show.
Jedi Master 4 of 16
The Jedi Master walks the kids through the various skills needed to be a Jedi, chief of which is listening. He also makes sure the parents are listening too and stay back in their seats and just watch. This is about the kids becoming Jedi, after all.
That said, during Star Wars Weekends over the summer, a special edition of Jedi Training Academy is planned, with parents invited to join their children on-stage for the training and final showdown with the Empire.
Activate! 5 of 16
The younglings are shown how to activate and deactivate their light sabres and warned that The Force is a powerful tool and can never be used to attack, but rather defend.
Lightsabre Maneuvers 6 of 16
The younglings are shown a series of moves for their light sabres. They are shown to attack the Right Leg! Left Leg! Right Arm! Duck! Left Arm! Go For The Head! They master the series of moves that will later be practiced in battle.
Lord Vader! 7 of 16
Just as the younglings are finishing their training, Darth Vader rises from the stage to challenge the Jedi Master. Vader sees the younglings and then issues a challenge for them to step forward and show they understand the power of The Force.
Duel 8 of 16
The children are then divided into two groups, to challenge either Darth Vader or Darth Maul or another agent of the Sith.
Darth Maul 9 of 16
Darth Maul popped up to challenge my son with his double ended light sabre!
En Garde! 10 of 16
Zacharie showed he had been listening to the Jedi Master and quickly dispatched Darth Maul. He then scrambled into the other line and fought Darth Vader too..
Come With Me To The Dark Side! 11 of 16
After dispensing of the Darths, the younglings are then given a tough choice as Darth Vader, impressed by their mastery of The Force, invites them to join the Dark Side. Of course the kids say no and Vader leaves in disgust.
Graduation 12 of 16
Ladies and gentlemen, the graduating class of the Jedi Training Academy on April 19, 2013, 4:35pm show!
Diploma! 13 of 16
Need proof my son is a Jedi? He's got the diploma.
I’m A Double Jedi! 14 of 16
On his last day at Disneyland, my parents asked Zacharie what he wanted to do before leaving. He wanted to be a Jedi... again. Hence his claim to becoming a DOUBLE Jedi!
Jedi Brothers 15 of 16
Zacharie was given some money to buy himself a souvenir when he was away and he insisted on buying a lightsabre - for himself and his brother. Cutest thing ever.
Jedi Master 16 of 16
Now that Zacharie is a Jedi Master, sorry .. DOUBLE Jedi Master, he tells everyone he meets and holds training sessions on the playground at recess. He's even teaching me the ways of The Force.
All images via Buzz Bishop. No use without permission.