The Jedi Training Academy is one of the most popular attraction for kids in Disney's Hollywood Studios and with Star Wars Weekends beginning tomorrow, it's bound to be swamped with even more kids for a chance to confront the dark side of the force. It's interesting to note how the Jedi Training Academy came to be and a lot of it has to do with the popularity it has with kids.
The Jedi Training Academy started out as one of the special events at Star Wars Weekends. It was held only during the annual event and was performed in the same spot that it is today. It was originally called, "Obi-Wanna-Be" before assuming the more formal name of Jedi Training Academy.
There was no stage, just a backdrop and spaces for the kids to be a part of the show. The show was nearly identical to the one today, just a difference of staging and presentation.
Jedi Training Academy proved to be so popular that following Star Wars Weekends in 2007, Disney filed plans to construct a permanent stage adjacent to Star Tours for the Jedi Training Academy. By July 2007, Disney announced their intentions to make the Jedi Training Academy a permanent attraction in the Studios.
On October 9, 2007, the Jedi Training Academy opened to become a year-round attraction. The process for picking kids has changed over the years but the heart of the attraction is the same today as it was when it was a part-time event during Star Wars Weekends.