Today, I write in honor of Star Wars Day. I enjoy watching all six movies (and I will watch Episode VII). I’ve seen several episodes of Star Wars: The Clone Wars. I’ve read a few books.  I love the iconic music. However, my favorite Star Wars experience happened in Disneyland Park in Anaheim, California in 2011.

Jedi Training AcademyIt was our first time in Disneyland Park, and we discovered that there was something called the Jedi Training Academy. They had several sessions throughout the day, so we queued up for one.  It was full to the brim with kids and parents! For about half an hour, we saw several kids randomly selected from the audience dressed up as Padawan and were taught to wield lightsabers.  It was so cool!  My son, who was six years old then, wanted to try it.  We decided to come back the next day and try our luck.

Jedi Training AcademyOn our next day in Disneyland Park, we chose a Jedi training session and queued up extra early. That got us in a spot close enough to the front. When it was time for the Jedi Master to select the Padawans, all the kids started jumping up and down, raising their hands and calling, “Pick me! Pick me!”  Luckily, my son was one of the chosen ones!

I was so excited seeing him and the other kids wear the brown robes, take the Jedi Oath and train to use lightsabers. After the training, it was time to face villains from the dark side of the Force.

Everyone, adults and kids alike, got so excited when Darth Maul showed up! He demonstrated his killer moves with his double-bladed light saber. Then, the Imperial March plays, and Darth Vader appears!  So cool!

Darth Maul It was time for the kids to practice what they’ve learned. They were divided into two groups: one would line up to individually fight against Darth Maul, the other group lined up against Darth Vader.  My son went to the group what would fight Darth Vader. When it was his turn to fight, what made it extra cool was that he was taught by the Jedi Master to use a Force push against Darth Vader, and a double Force push against two stormtroopers! Everyone was cheering after that!

At the end of the training, all of the children were given certificates from the Jedi Training Academy, stating that they are now Padawan.

The Jedi Training Academy was such a fun Star Wars experience, not just for the kids, but for the adults too. The kids got to act out being Jedi in training, and the adults got to cheer them on as they battled the forces of evil. All in the comforts of Disneyland.

May the 4th be with you.