Galaxy’s Edge at Disney’s Hollywood Studios is gaining popularity for a variety of different experiences—one of which is the ability for guests to build their own custom light saber at Savi’s Workshop. But is the light saber building experience worth both your time and money?
Well, I got the chance to build my own saber at Galaxy’s Edge recently, and in this article, I’m going to break down everything you need to know and what surprises you can expect the next time you visit Hollywood Studios!
Savi’s Workshop: Handbuilt Lightsabers
I’m sure by now, all of you have heard about Savi’s Workshop, the home of a group called “The Gatherers” who supposedly collect scrap metal and old pieces that look like junk to anyone else.
This is the place where “travelers,” such as yourselves can come in and build a lightsaber of your own design. A Gatherer speaks to you about the “power of the force” and you are instructed and helped on building a lightsaber yourself.
This, of course, is the story behind Savi’s Workshop. The detail behind this entire experience is absolutely wild. Honestly, that is what makes spending the money on building your own lightsaber absolutely worth it. It is an experience that you will remember; an experience that totally immerses you into the world of Star Wars and the Jedi.
If you are a Star Wars fan, this is one of the most ultimate experiences that you could have. It is downright magical, and you are seriously a part of the story. In fact, you’re in the middle of your story. Galaxy’s Edge’s goal is to, not only bring you right in the middle of the Star Wars Universe, but also encourage you to create your own story. So, how exactly does Savi’s Workshop work? Let’s dive in!
Savi’s Workshop Reservations
Now, because Savi’s Workshop is an actual Disney experience, you will have to make a reservation to build your lightsaber. Reservations can be looked up and made here, while you are also able to call in order to make one. Savi’s is a very popular experience and is subject to availability, so make your reservations as soon as you can.
Reservations can be made 180 days in advance, so you have plenty of time before your trip. If you do not make reservations early, this does not mean you won’t get in. It is just suggested that you do them as soon as possible so it does not fill up and you can’t build your lightsaber at all.
When the day of your reservation arrives, you should check-in no earlier than fifteen minutes prior to your time. The check-in location is located right in front of Savi’s Workshop and is pretty easy to spot. Savi’s is located right in the middle of Galaxy’s Edge, next to the Droid Depot and Dok-Ondar’s Den of Antiquities.
If you get lost, there are plenty of “residents of Batuu” or cast members around for you to ask where Savi’s is located. Every person that is a part of your reservation must be present at the time of check-in. Make sure you arrive on time! For late arrivals may not be accomodated. At the time of check-in, they ask you to please have your reservation number, your photo ID, and credit card present. Payment is due at the time of check-in.
The check-in process is fairly easy. It only takes a couple of minutes, and then waiting for your lightsaber building experience to start is not that long at all. It is not longer than fifteen minutes if you happen to check in right at the fifteen minute mark before your reservation.
During this time, you can look at the different options of lightsaber parts, and are shown an example of how to put your lightsaber together by a cast member. The wait does not feel long at all.
The Atmosphere and Process
Okay, so here comes the fun part. The details of this experience is beyond your wildest dreams. If I’m being honest, the entire Galaxy’s Edge land is beyond your wildest dreams, but right now we’re focusing on Savi’s Workshop. It’s absolutely incredible.
Let’s start from the beginning. Like I mentioned earlier, Savi’s Workshop is located in the center of Galaxy’s Edge. It is right next to the Droid Depot and Dok-Ondar’s Den of Antiquities. Again, if you get lost, ask one of the cast members, and they will help you find it immediately. You can also find it on the Disney’s Hollywood Studios map that you can grab at the beginning of the park.
Once you find Savi’s you’ll see that it is truly the perfect place to build a lightsaber. It doesn’t look like much on the outside, but that is where the “Gatherers” supposedly store their scrap metal and antiques and historical pieces they find throughout the galaxy.
The story is that these men and women have dedicated their lives to restoring balance to the galaxy and passing down their knowledge of the Force and the Jedi ancient ways.
Savi is supposedly one of the first gatherers, which is why the workshop is named after him. If you are pulled by the force and have the urge to build your own lightsaber, you will know that you are in the right place with a giant blue and white symbol on the outside of Savi’s. More details about the story behind the Gatherer’s can be found here.
When you go to check in, you pay upon arrival, and a “gatherer” will ask you what type of lightsaber you wish to build that day. There are four different kinds of lightsabers:
Peace and Justice – These are pieces are supposed to be salvaged from old Jedi temples and starships that represent the Republic-era.
Power and Control -This style is rumored to have pieces from the Sith homeworld and their temples
Elemental Nature – The theme of this choice embodies the Force, with your lightsaber made from living things such as the bark of a Brylark tree and Rancor teeth.
Protection and Defense – These are pieces that hold inscriptions and motifs from the ancient world of the Force and the Jedi, giving off a very Old Republic vibe.
I was pulled towards the Elemental Nature theme, and I absolutely love my lightsaber! A menu is given to you upon waiting to check-in, and you are allowed to look at the pieces of each theme displayed so you can choose which one you would like to build.
When you check in, you are given a pin that represents your theme so the gatherers will know which pieces to give you when you are building.
Then you will wait to enter Savi’s shop while given a brief explanation of how to put the pieces of your lightsaber together. Each builder is also allowed to bring one guest into the workshop with you to watch the process. For instance, if your party has two builders, you are allowed to bring two guests in: one for each builder. The pieces include:
- 1 hilt
- 4 sleeves (you pick two)
- 2 emitters (you pick one)
- 2 pommel caps (you pick one)
- 2 sets of activation plates and switches (pick one set)
Upon entering Savi’s Workshop, the gatherers direct you to your spot that you are going to be building your lightsaber. A head gatherer will then start the process by speaking about their knowledge of the Force and what you will be doing there that day. They explain what the Force is and all about a lightsaber and how you will be guided by the Force to build your own custom lightsaber.
To be honest with you, I was completely geeking out. The entire ambience really draws you in and immerses you into this world. The musical score in the background while the Gatherer is speaking is the icing on the cake. Picking out your kyber crystal, the center of the lightsaber, is amazing because it’s the start of creating the lightsaber that you have pictured in your mind.
The kyber crystal colors you can pick from are blue, green, purple, yellow, and red.
The entire process is easy as the gatherers guide you through it. If you have a question, they are right there to help you out. At one point, I was so enthralled with everything around me that I missed the next step of the process. The head Gatherer that spoke actually came over and helped me build my lightsaber, which was so much fun! He was so kind and let me take my time choosing the pieces.
They give you more than enough time to build your lightsaber, and then once you are done, you set it on the stand in front of you. The Gatherer then goes on to explain that the final process, the bond between builder and saber is about to be forged. During this, a special presence of a very famous Jedi of the past might interrupt the Gatherer. Master Yoda made an appearance during our groups’ session, and it added just that extra touch of magic to hear a very famous character from the stories.
The gatherers then have to make sure the “calibration of the hilt and blade” are perfect by sticking your lightsaber hilt into a compartment that will connect it with the blade.
Then, at one point, the head gatherer will command you to activate you lightsabers. This moment is so amazing, because all of the builders’ lightsabers will light up, showing all the different colors that everyone chooses.
The compartment your lightsaber is in will open up and you will be asked to raise your lightsabers. This moment was so surreal, and again, I was geeking out even more. The music climaxes inside the building and everything, completely drawing you into the story. What makes it even better is that it is your own story, because you designed and built your lightsaber custom to your liking.
At the end of the building process, you are provided a carrying case for your lightsaber so you can carry it around the park at your convenience. If you are an extreme Star Wars fan, this is an experience for you. It seriously was the highlight of my Galaxy’s Edge visit, and I am so glad that I did it. If you are even remotely thinking about doing it, then you absolutely have to.
Who is Savi’s for?
I’m here to tell you that anyone of any age can enjoy Savi’s! It is not something that is just for kids.
One of the most frequently asked questions is who exactly is Savi’s Workshop for? Which age group is it mostly for: kids or adults?
Actually, more adults than kids have actually enjoyed the experience since it has opened. The park has other experiences geared more towards kids, such as the Jedi Academy show and building a lightsaber at Tattooine Traders near Star Tours.
The lightsabers built at Tattooine Traders are plastic and have expandable blades, and the process is much shorter and more relaxed since it is located in a gift shop. Savi’s Workshop is a completely immersive experience, both for adults and kids.
Mostly teenagers and adults did this experience from what I could see. There were multiple kids as well, but mostly older kids and adults participated. While this is not always the case, some kids did the experience due to a parent really wanting to do it. If you are older and want to make a lightsaber, that is exactly what this experience is for.
The age recommendation is five years old and older. That being said, the lightsaber is a legitimate, heavier object that can be heavy for small children. While it can take a beating, it is also fragile, so you want to be careful by having smaller children handling it. The lightsabers can be used for pretending to “duel,” but you do not want to do this all the time. They can be used for display and decoration as well, which is what a lot of people tend to do. If a child is the builder, just make sure to reiterate that the lightsaber is fragile and can break if they are not careful.
To sum it up, however, the experience is for people of all ages. Everything about it is so welcoming and fun, and you whether your seven or seventy, you are invited to create your own lightsaber.
Savi’s Workshop Price
At the time of this publication, the price is $199.99, plus tax, per lightsaber, which is a high price (prices are, of course, always subject to change). Many people are turned away by this when they see how much it costs and it does not fit into their Disney budget. They are doing absolutely nothing wrong. However, let me tell you what all is included in this price range.
What people don’t realize is that it is an experience, not just the building of a lightsaber. The experience lasts for about twenty to thirty minutes, and you get to be in an atmosphere that is completely Star Wars, get to hear from a gatherer about the Force and the Jedi, and you get to personally choose the pieces you want in your lightsaber. The lightsaber itself is a quality, heavy, and displayable object. It does make sense why it is expensive, but then with the entire experience with it, it is most definitely worth the price.
It is not something that you go to a gift shop and pick it up off the shelf and pay $200 for. This is a quality, immersive activity that is not over and done with in a couple minutes. The $200 includes the pin of the lightsaber theme you choose, the personalization of the lightsaber, the kyber crystal, the immersive experience, and a carrying case for your lightsaber to carry around the park with you. In the grand scheme of things, the $200 all-inclusive price pays for so much, and it is definitely worth the price.
There are a couple things that are separate, however. The good thing is that these are your choice to get them, so you do not have to spend money on them if you do not want to. When checking in to Savi’s, you will be asked if you want to purchase a belt clip so you can wear your lightsaber on your belt. The belt clip costs $17.99 and can also be purchased at Dok-ondar’s Den of Antiquities.
A carrying case is provided for you to carry your lightsaber around as you exit the workshop. However, if you would like a more detailed one, a lightsaber sheath is also available in Dok-Ondar’s for $49.99. A lightsaber stand to display your lightsaber is also available for $24.99. This will add on to the price of the
Savi’s Workshop experience, of course, but you do not have to buy these accessories if you don’t want to. The only other thing I bought when I was checking in was the belt clip. I will say, it was worth it, because I really enjoyed carrying my lightsaber on my belt around the park. The lightsabers are heavy, so you should definitely have a sturdy belt and/or tight pants waist so the lightsaber does not weigh your pants down.
Overall, the price might seem scary at first, and for good reason! However, if you look at everything that is included in the lightsaber building experience, it is definitely something to think about doing, especially if you are a huge Star Wars fan.
My Final Thoughts
I recently was lucky enough to experience Savi’s Workshop myself, and as a huge Star Wars fan, it was beyond anything I could have ever imagined. I had seen multiple videos and pictures on social media, but nothing compared to actually standing there and experiencing it for myself.
On my last trip with my mother and brother, my brother and I had decided to build lightsabers. Our mother was our guest, and not being the biggest Star Wars fan, even she was impressed by the amount of immersion and fun that went into the entire experience. She loved seeing our faces during the entire event and enjoyed every single little detail that was involved with it.
Being someone who does not know that much about Star Wars, my mother really enjoyed it and loved how much we enjoyed it. Watching the joy on your kids’ faces, your parents’ faces, your friends’ faces, whatever, is always a true treat, especially when it is part of a fandom that they truly love.
Galaxy’s Edge as a whole is absolutely amazing, with the heart of it being Savi’s Workshop. Many people asked us where we purchased our lightsabers and if it was worth it or not, and we always said yes. What I say is that if you are even remotely thinking about doing it, you need to do this activity.
If you are a Star Wars fan, this experience is something that definitely needs to be on your Disney travel to-do list. What Star Wars fan hasn’t dreamed of picking out their kyber crystal and making their own light saber? It really, truly, feels like you have stepped into the world of the Jedi and that you are one with the Force when building your lightsaber.
Yes, it is a lot of money for something that might not seem worth it at first. However, you get so much more than the lightsaber when you pay the fee. The experience is unlike any other in the Disney parks, and it is a full twenty to thirty minute show/experience for the guests.
The atmosphere is spot on, making you feel as if you are really surrounded by all the artifacts, scrap metal, and antiques the Gatherers have accumulated over the years. You experience something different in the Star Wars universe that is not necessarily shown in the movies. Yet, you hear about classic and legendary Jedi, such as Luke Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi, and you even get to hear the spirit of Master Yoda.
My final word on Savi’s Workshop is that it is absolutely worth it. The experience is unlike anything else in the Disney parks, and if you absolutely love the world of Star Wars, this is an experience you will not want to miss.
This article was written by Countdown to Magic contributor Kylie Twiest. Photos used in this article were taken by Kylie Twiest.
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