As a longtime Star Wars fan, it ws inevitable I would end up at Savi’s Workshop. I’ve wanted a lightsaber since I was… seven, maybe? I completely don’t care that I am a 32 year old dinosaur lady, it’s not my fault this experience wasn’t available when I was younger. Fortunately, there are folks of all ages excited to make lightsabers so if you are super excited about having full Star Wars experience but worried about being judged for participating in something not age appropriate or whatever, bah, don’t worry about it.
The experience begins, truly, by locating Savi’s Workshop. The signage in Galaxy’s Edge is awesome in its theming, but sometimes makes it difficult to find things. We located where we thought the experience was and asked a nice looking cat member if this was Savi’s Workshop.
Which, in proper Disney fashion, he said he had heard of no such thing.
“Is this the place we make lightsabers?”
“Lightsabers are outlawed by the First Order.”
“Okay but … in theory … if they weren’t … would this be the place?”
“This is a humble junkyard. We are law abiding citizens.”
Eventually he broke character and told me yes. But I love that he was in character because even though it was frustrating in the moment, this cast member may have been the only one we saw in character the entire trip. Usually Disney’s immersion goes as deep as their cast members, but this trip was a bit less so. And I’m not entirely surprised considered the rocky last couple years these individuals have had, employment-wise.
Point of the story is: if you’re looking for Savi’s Workshop and you’re not 100% sure where it is, ask for the “junkyard”.
When you check in for the experience, you get to choose a build. This will be the tray you work off of – you’ll get two different options for each piece of the lightsaber based around a general theme. You can preview these ahead of time while you wait, so it doesn’t have to be a complete surprise. I went with Elemental Nature, which has more earthy and less technical parts. You’re given a pin indicating your choice (a Disney official collectible pin at that!) that the cast members inside the experience will use to identify your choice. Make sure to keep it visible!
We ended up waiting for a little while to get in, but there was a cast member with the waiting party. He was very congenial, interacting with everyone, stepping in and out of character depending on who he spoke to. We never felt pushed aside while we waited our turn. When the experience was ready for us, we joined crew of about twelve and entered the workshop.
Savi’s Workshop is truly an experience. There’s a whole presentation with an actor and light effects. You are not just building a lightsaber – you’re continuing a legacy. Every step, from the moment you reach the outside of the workshop, is a careful handoff of possibilities, lore, and special tokens. As you enter the workshop, you take your ticket and place it down on the counter. It’s like your although it’s properly a ticket to get in, it feels a bit like you’re passing over a secret code item, like a special word that gets you into a speakeasy, only this is an underground piece of the resistance that works to keep the legacy of the Jedi alive despite the rules of the First Order.
Each individual gets their own station. You are allowed to bring a single person in with you if you’re building a lightsaber. Once everyone is inside, the doors closed and the guise is dropped – this may look like a junk shop, but really, this little pieces of junk are lightsaber parts. Even this small element adds to the story of building a lightsaber – you can’t just get a full hilt off the bat, because they have to smuggle the hilts in pieces to avoid detection.
Savi shares a brief background of lightsabers and the history of each of the different colors. The background given struck me as a perfect balance – enough to initiate the uninitiated, but not so much to bore the fans. Cast members brought around the Kyber Crystals. In Savi’s workshop, you may choose between red, blue, green, and purple although other Kyber Crystals are available for purchase elsewhere. I chose blue – for Obi-Wan, for Luke, for Rey. There was never a question in my mind I’d be making a blue lightsaber. Though to be honest? Most people chose red! Sith.
Once the Kyber Crystals were passed around, the cast members then brought our the building kits depending on the design style to selected at check in. Elemental Nature had a very earthy, natural feel to it. In reality, the pieces are all medal and plastic, but they look like wood and bone with leafy flourishes. Other designs are more streamlined, more technical, but I was pleased with my choice.
Cast members will take you through each step to teach you how to properly assemble the lightsaber. There are two options for each piece of the saber – mix and match as you please. There were quite a few people in my group who chose the Elemental Nature set, but between the variety of options and the different Kyber Crystals, nobody made the exact same saber as me. Which was pretty cool.
Savi’s Workshop is more than just building the lightsabers. This is an experience, remember? Once all the lightsabers have been built, the builders are instructed to insert their hilts into a special slot and the lights dim. There’s a neat little scene and lo and behold! The lightsabers are complete and a part of the counter slides open to reveal your fully lit lightsaber!
This is a beautiful scene, with all the builders showing off their new creations. At this point, your experience is nearing its end. A few more words from the presenting cast member, and you’ll be sent out with a carrying case – or, err, “plastic bag” now I guess? Even with masks, without proper carrying cases… this experience is super cool for a Star Wars fan.
The cast was fantastic, the experience was super fun, and the saber itself is higher quality than I expected. While I don’t think I’d do the experience twice personally, that’s simply because I don’t need more than one lightsaber! Savi’s workshop is easily one of the coolest experiences at Disney World, and certainly a must-do for any Star Wars fan.
Next week, we’re going to start talking about EPCOT’s 2021 Food and Wine Festival. Food and Wine doesn’t start at Disney until late summer, but hopefully some of our experiences for 2021 prepare folks for 2022!