Disney World Tips for Jedi Training Academy

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It’s been awhile since I talked about Jedi Training Academy in Disney’s Hollywood Studios. For those that are unfamiliar with the experience, it is an interactive live show in which kids age 4-12 can train to learn the ways of the Force to defeat the dark side. Kids are given lightsabers and don cloaks. As a part of their training they will have a run in with one of many villains including Darth Vader, Darth Maul, or even the Seventh Sister Inquisitor (from Disney XD).

This experience was updated to incorporate experiences from The Force Awakens for the new Jedis and will very likely continue to evolve as additional movies come out! If you want your young Padawan to be a part of this fun experience, you’ll need to plan ahead!

This is an experience that is not available via FastPass or something that can be signed up for ahead of time and only 12 children are able to sign up for each available time slot. Sign up begins as soon as the park opens and shows are scheduled approximately every 30 minutes (beginning around 10 am). This is an increase from even a year ago at this time (I remember days that there were only 10-12 shows per day and I counted on today’s daily schedule a total of 20 (and this is not considered peak travel). DSC_1436

If this on your must do list, here are a few ways to set yourself up for success:

  1. Arrive at the park at least 30 minutes before official park opening. This will put you closer to the front of the turnstiles and allow you walk quickly and safely over to sign up.
  2. Know where to go. Sign up has MOVED from where it was a year ago at this time. Sign up is now located at the Indiana Jones Adventure Outpost which is between 50s Prime Time Cafe and the Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular. The child interested in participating AND a parent must be present at the time of sign up.
  3. Have a list of your FastPass to ensure you’re not going to overlap something like Toy Story that cannot be moved.
  4. This cannot be a park that can be “hopped” to with the expectation to get a time after 12 pm.
  5. Have patience! The queue forms quickly with excited families, but with more shows, you’re still sure to be able to sign up for this experience.

A few additional notes:

On days with early magic hours, you sign up begins DURING magic hours which is a leg up over leading the charge with day guests and Disney resort guests. You can also attempt to get a leg up on the action by booking the first breakfast at Hollywood & Vine. This may give you a little leg up. I wouldn’t book anything after 8:15 am because it may end up being a detriment to your end goal if you don’t get seated right away or you’re waiting to get your final bill (especially if park rope drop ends up earlier than the posted 9 am time).

Prep your kids! Make sure they know they will be facing a villain as part of the process. There is also a reason that the age requirement is 4 and not 3 (like things like bibbidi bobbidi boutique). It requires the ability to follow direct and wait turns. As a mom of a 3 year old, I know my child wouldn’t be capable of such direction (she’s also a “new” 3 and not closer to “almost 4”). Know that they will be away from mom and dad during this experience as well.

For moms and dads looking to get the best view of the action, fear not! When you check in for the time you chose at sign up, your padawans will be lead to the stage with family right behind so you’ll have the best seat in the house!

A free gift for your Disney vacation! The amazing and exciting Minnie Box! (subject to minimum vacation package)

A free gift for your Disney vacation! The amazing and exciting Minnie Box! (subject to minimum vacation package)

Are your young padawans ready to become Jedis? Please feel free to contact me anytime for a free quote. The benefits to using an authorized Disney vacation planner include saving time before and during your vacation with itinerary planning which can help save you hours of standing in line each day. Plus you won’t have to watch for available discounts, research resorts, wake up early for dining reservations, or stay up late for FastPasses. The best part about using a travel planner instead of planning yourself? It’s totally FREE! Plus I’ll take away some of the stress and confusion of planning a Disney vacation (especially if it’s your first one!)It’s also a worry free vacation opportunity. I’ll walk through through all of the steps to the process with a few little insider tips along the way! If you already have your vacation planned and are interested in transferring your vacation, ask me how!

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Planning your Summer 2016 Disney World Vacation

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The holidays are over and guests across the country (and really around the world) are planning their 2016 vacations. It’s really the perfect time to talk about summer! This guide is specifically for guests traveling in June, July and August. There is a guide for early 2016 travelers and spring 2016 travelers which covers January – early June).

There is plenty of time to plan for ANY of these travel dates, whether it’s grabbing a dining reservation, and planning FastPasses. Guests planning mid to late summer vacations are still beyond the 180 day mark so you can still have the best of the best dining reservation!

The summer months are perfect for those that like the heat and don’t want to taken their kiddos out of school (and teachers as well who don’t have the option to take time off of their work schedules)! Generally temps are hot and crowds are moderate to high depending on your time of travel. As it gets later into August, you’ll see a dip in overall crowds!

During this time, Disney offers quite long park hours, so it’s a great time to maximize your experience (and skip the heat of the day). It’s a great time of year to enjoy Disney’s water parks as well (start a day in a theme park, jump to a water park, and then back for dinner and fireworks!!)

This time of year at least sees an afternoon shower which is typically a welcome cool off from the heat and humidity of the day. I would consider this somewhat a rainy season. Don’t let the rain chase you out of the park – pop on a poncho and enjoy your day!

Crowd Calendars

Below are projections of crowds for summer. Click the images below to see the images larger! These are subject to change. Please don’t be concerned about a “red days”. You will have a magical experience no matter what time of year you travel. Typically it’s not “wall to wall” crowds!

 

June 2016 Crowds Calendar (Click to Enlarge)

June 2016 Crowds Calendar (Click to Enlarge)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

July 2016 Disney World Crowd Calendar

July 2016 Crowd Calendar(Click to Enlarge)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

August 2016 Crowd Calendar (Click to Enlarge)

August 2016 Crowd Calendar (Click to Enlarge)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Saving Money

Save up to 30% on your resort stay for travel dates in early June thanks to Disney’s current spring promotion!

Book By
February 28, 2016

Valid Travel Dates
February 22, 2016 through June 11, 2016

Important Details

  • Savings based on the non-discounted price for the same room.
  • The number of rooms allocated for this offer is limited.
  • Moderate and Deluxe suites may be available at a lesser discount.
  • Additional per adult charges may apply if there are more than 2 adults per room at Disney Value, Moderate and Deluxe Resorts.
  • Upgrade to a room and ticket package with minimum 4-day Magic Your Way theme park tickets, and receive one more complimentary ticket day.

Like all promotional rates, there are exclusions which include the usual suspects – Little Mermaid rooms at Art of Animation, Bay Lake Tower, Villas at Grand Floridian, the campsites at Ft Wilderness, and all 3 Bedroom Villas. This promotional offer also excludes Port Orleans French Quarter.

A summer promotion should pop up in mid-spring (think March!)

Refurbishments

This time of year is not often considered “peak” for refurbishment as Disney tries to provide the least amount of guest inconvenience. While you’ll still see some closures before the summer season, it’s typically reasonable! We’ve seen things closed like Test Track, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, and a few days of update on its a small world, but it’s not too bad!

  • Soarin’ (Jan 4 – Summer 2016)WL
  • Pizza Planet (Jan 11 – Late 2016)
  • Planet Hollywood  (Jan 6 – summer 2016)
  • Beach Club Villas Soft Goods Rehab (Jan 22 – August 17)
  • Wilderness Lodge & Villas (multiple refurbishment projects running through 2017)
  • Flying Fish Cafe (Feb 1 – Sept 30)

Thankfully, only Soarin’ is the only attraction with a “major” impact on guest travel!

Limited Time Experiences!

So what makes this time of year unique? A few really exciting things this year.

New Frozen attraction in Epcot! The update to the Norway pavilion will be complete by this time of year (it’s expected to be complete as of May 1st) this means a new Meet and Greet with Anna & Elsa as well as a new Frozen attraction in Norway. Expect this area to be buzzing with all things “new”

Update to Soarin’! With a 6 month refurbishment, this attraction will reopen sometime in summer (date TBD) with Disney World in the RainSoarin’ around the world and a THIRD track which should lower the overall standby line (HOPEFULLY)! Expect lines to be a bit longer as the attraction opens up – try and grab a FastPass!!

Growing Star Wars presence in Hollywood Studios. On December 1st, Disney opened Star Wars Launch Bay, updated Star Tours to include scenes from the new film, updated Jedi Training academy featuring a new villain and updated experience as well as a new themed stage, and new character meet and greets – you can visit the dark side and find Darth Vader or the light side and find Chewbacca! These experiences are available EVERY DAY instead of just limited time during Star Wars weekends!

Minnie’s Seasonal Dine at Hollywood & Vine. Each season, Minnie will host a character dinner at Hollywood & Vine which can be coupled with the Fantasmic dining package. This experience will allow you to meet Minnie and her friends (the holiday version came with Goofy & Mickey). In summer, you can have a beach bash with Minnie and her friends!

Sounds like Summer Concert Series. In previous years, Epcot has hosted the Sounds of Summer concert series. This experience is free with theme park admission and offers fun live music around the theme parks!

A free gift for your Disney vacation! The amazing and exciting Minnie Box! (subject to minimum vacation package)

A free gift for your Disney vacation! The amazing and exciting Minnie Box! (subject to minimum vacation package)

Ready to get started planning your 2016 Disney World vacation? Please contact me at any time for a free quote. The benefits to using an authorized Disney vacation planner include saving time before and during your vacation with itinerary planning which can help save you hours of standing in line each day. Plus you won’t have to watch for available discounts, research resorts, wake up early for dining reservations, or stay up late for FastPasses. The best part about using a travel planner instead of planning yourself? It’s totally FREE! Plus I’ll take away some of the stress and confusion of planning a Disney vacation (especially if it’s your first one!)It’s also a worry free vacation opportunity. I’ll walk through through all of the steps to the process with a few little insider tips along the way! If you already have your vacation planned and are interested in transferring your vacation, ask me how!