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MGM expands Jedi show

Orlando Sentinel

Original Article »

July 16, 2007

One of the most popular features of Disney-MGM Studios' Star Wars Weekends will become a permanent show this fall when Walt Disney World completes construction of a new stage for the Star Wars Jedi Training Academy.

The Jedi stage will cover a large patio area outside the Star Tours attraction at Disney-MGM. Disney officials would not say whether the construction would force removal of the Ewok forest or AT-AT Walker structures. However, project paperwork filed by Disney World with the Orange County Comptroller's Office earlier this month shows the facility covering a rectangular area approximately 140 feet long and 96 feet wide -- more ground than two NBA-size basketball courts.

During the Jedi Training Academy shows -- popular events during the park's Star Wars Weekends each June -- costumed Jedi masters select children for training with light sabers and in other Jedi skills drawn from the movie series. Other costumed characters portraying Darth Vader and storm troopers later join in.

Disney spokewsoman Zoraya Suarez said the academy should have as many as eight shows a day, each with a dozen or more children, starting this fall. "They loved it, so we'll build it," she said.

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