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From Youngling to Padawan at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

If you ask Damon, he’ll readily admit to being jealous of this particular experience.  However, he was out of the running by over two decades as it’s aimed at the little ones from five to twelve (if I’m not mistaken).  So he was forced to live vicariously through Lily-Ann, whom we were ALL super excited for.  After all, how many kids get to go from Youngling to Padawan all within 1/2 hour?!?!

When you take your family to Disney’s Hollywood Studios, the Jedi training academy really needs to be at the top of your “must do” list.  It’s an absolutely fabulous experience!  But you do need to get there early to sign up or risk not being included.  We had arrived at the park early to take advantage of the Magic Hours (extra hours for resort guests only) and then meandered our way over to the sign-in area.  We got there at about 9:30 and made it into the 2:30 group – the last group goes at 3:30 with the training ending by 4:00 (again, if memory serves).  So yeah… head over there first thing, and get signed in before doing any of the character meets, rides, or other attractions just to guarantee your youngling’s spot.

Lily-Ann was so proud of herself.  She took her training very seriously, and mastered her fears – taking on Vader like a seasoned pro.  She jumped and skipped, thusting her diploma in the air with a strong and determined “I did it” attitude.  It really was one of those once in a life time, amazing, moments that won’t be forgotten.

The Disney Dining Plan

The Disney Dining Plan, get it, use it!  I love it!  Seriously.

Having the quick service dining plan made our lives so much easier.  We didn’t have to carry cash, or watch prices.  It was great!  And the amount of food you get with this plan is crazy!  In addition to your main course and side dishes you get dessert with every meal.  Not into sweets?  Get grapes, apples, or a mixed fruit dish.  These are super handy to take with you both in your room and at the parks.

The quick service plan includes two quick service meals and a snack daily.  And I’ll admit, before getting to Walt Disney World I was worried about whether it would be enough.  The kid and I tend to be grazers, and like to eat throughout the day.  I was concerned about the dining plan meeting our needs – but it did, with a bunch left over at the end.  We’d always pick up some fruit or other portable snack item as our dessert, so we always had something healthy to munch on whenever the urge struck.

I’m so glad Karla (our travel agent) recommended the dining plan.  It really did make things so much easier…  and we always had a ton of food, smoothies, and great snacks whenever we needed them.  If we make it back (we certainly hope to, and soon) we’ll definitely get the dining plan again.

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