Savi’s Workshop Review and Ultimate Guide
What happens when three Star Wars fans and one polite bystander attend one of Walt Disney World’s most expensive attractions?
You’ll find out in this review of Savi’s Workshop at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
About Savi’s Workshop
While Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge feels like it’s been at Hollywood Studios for a long time, the truth tells a different story.
In August of 2019, Walt Disney World unveiled its version of Batuu, complete with shops and stores that Imagineers themed carefully.
When you enter Black Spire Outpost, the rest of the theme park vanishes, creating the illusion that you’ve gone off-world.
Disney has enhanced Star Wars Land by making it a real place, complete with its own language.
When you dine on Batuu, the foods don’t display any signs of human cuisine. Instead, proteins hint at alien animals you’re devouring.
One Audio-Animatronic at Ronto’s Roasters even shows the unlucky creature who will become today’s barbecue entrée.
Disney offers other Star Wars staples like blue and green milk, and it sells merchandise that appears straight from Kylo Ren’s tailor.
The real star attraction doesn’t come from existing Star Wars canon, though.
Instead, Disney has done something special as an upsell event that caters to Star Wars fanatics.
At Savi’s Workshop, guests may construct a personalized lightsaber.
A multitude of parts ensures that no two lightsabers look the same, at least in a general sense.
So, you’re building a lightsaber unlike any other in existence…theoretically. In a moment, I’ll explain why that’s a bit misleading during the pandemic.
Still, if the idea of building your own lightsaber appeals to you, you’ve obviously considered Savi’s Workshop.
The sticking point is the price, as lightsabers start at $199 and will cost about $250 for most people.
Yes, that’s a lot. Is the experience worth the price? Well…
Checking in at Savi’s Workshop
We arrived on time for our scheduled appointment at Savi’s Workshop. You can and should book reservations online for this event.
Savi’s Workshop has recently added a walk-up waitlist feature. However, the throughput of this attraction is relatively low.
The staging area for the interactive show portion can hold up to 12 lightsaber builders at once during non-pandemic times.
Currently, only half that number can participate. Since each performance lasts about 15-20 minutes, we’re discussing 20-25 guests per hour.
We definitely felt that throughput crunch while awaiting our turn.
We showed up at 1:05 p.m. and proceeded to wait until just after 2 p.m. It was easy to tell this since Hollywood Studios slows to a crawl at 2.
That’s when everyone tries to book a Boarding Group for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance.
My party entered the workshop area right after that happened, meaning that we waited the body of an hour on an incredibly humid day.
The exterior portion of Savi’s Workshop features plenty of seating and at least some shade. Still, it’s an uncomfortable place to be on a hot day.
That’s my only real complaint about the entire experience. Once we got inside, everything felt magical, but the wait nearly broke me.
Entering Savi’s Workshop
I should add that I’m the Star Wars skeptic among our party. I like Star Wars: The Last Jedi and Solo: A Star Wars Story the best of the franchise.
So, I function as a bellwether for which Star Wars movies most fans will hate.
We weren’t attending for me, though. This event was a 14-year-old girl’s Christmas present…and one of my wife’s gifts, too.
Here are the pictures of my Protection and Defense lightsaber from Savi's Workshop at Batuu West pic.twitter.com/Jdy7VLbswd
— ApprenticeEwok (@ApprenticeEwok) March 12, 2020
The two of them happily closed their eyes and imagined that they were Rey, preparing to bond with a lightsaber while the girl’s mother and I watched.
Savi’s Workshop allows one guest per build, meaning all four of us got to witness the event.
Beginning Sept. 20th, the Force will be flowing once again inside Savi’s Workshop – Handbuilt Lightsabers in Star Wars: #GalaxysEdge at @WaltDisneyWorld Resort. Get all the details on the reopening of this mysterious shop in Black Spire Outpost here: https://t.co/0ux3b1VVOf pic.twitter.com/8bV64wO80y
— Disney Parks (@DisneyParks) September 10, 2020
Alas, this caused issues with spacing. Disney has socially distanced workstations.
These places reside in a circular room that’s vaguely Round Table-ish. Unfortunately, that table fills most of the room.
In January I was contemplating whether or not to do Savi's Workshop.
Now, as the world changed, I'm so glad I did.
Behold the nerdiest, coolest lightsaber I'll ever own: my self-built, elemental nature saber. 🍃#Disneyland #GalaxysEdge #savisworkshop #StarWars #Batuu #BatuuWest pic.twitter.com/DBtIN1SUsR
— Chris Reid☄️ (@CosmicReid) July 28, 2020
A visibly annoyed cast member didn’t appreciate my height, as I took up too much space. She barked at me to move multiple times during the show.
I fully understood her frustration, as I felt like I was in the way much of the time.
We tried to take some video of the show, but my stabilizer wasn’t working. Also, the cast member kept asking me to move.
So, it’s mostly Zapruder footage. You can take a look at some of it here:
I sincerely apologize for the video quality.
Overall, despite the tight space and my oversized footprint, the room never felt tight for anyone else.
I quizzed our party afterward, and another guest overheard. All of them felt entirely comfortable.
In truth, they grew so mesmerized by the building process that they paid little attention to the outside world.
Reviewing the Show
Given that statement, you can guess what I’m about to say.
The moment that the two lightsaber builders began, they forgot about the outside world entirely.
The two women relished the opportunity to choose their parts and push the appropriate buttons to activate their new weapons.
I should mention the one flaw with Savi’s Workshop right now. Disney has limited the number of high-touch items.
Yes, you can still choose your artifacts for your lightsaber, but you have fewer than before.
Nobody in my party cared in the least, as the total number of permutations remains excessive. You’ll never lack for parts at Savi’s Workshop.
As for the experience, my wife describes the experience as “oddly, unexpectedly spiritual.”
The cast member portraying the Jedi master took his role seriously. He acted like a wise village elder passing along his knowledge to a new generation of Jedi.
In hearing it described over the past year, I thought it sounded cheesy. When I was in the room, I experienced surprise over the humanity of it.
Everyone involved in the production treated lightsaber construction with respect bordering on reverence.
The end result was that when my friends finished their lightsabers, they felt like they had become one with the Force, if only for a time.
They were gleeful about the moment, and neither one would part with her new weapon afterward.
Even though the lightsaber cases were as tall as them, the women proudly carried their new gifts for the rest of the park day.
I’ve since caught my wife wielding her one-of-a-kind lightsaber on several occasions.
She waits until I’m not looking and then attacks phantom Sith only she can see.
Similarly, we’ve already won Christmas for our teen friend. Her father couldn’t make the trip this time since he’s high-risk during the pandemic.
Apparently, during the entire ride home from the airport, she excitedly recounted the moments that led to the creation of her new lightsaber.
She and her shiny glowstick are impossible to separate now.
I’ve thought about how I should quantify the entire experience of Savi’s Workshop.
Yes, building a lightsaber is wildly expensive, especially for a show that lasts 15-20 minutes.
However, I’ve come to accept that it’s a momentous, meaningful event for Star Wars fans who have wanted a lightsaber for their entire lives.
Ergo, the price matters less than the emotional resonance of the event.
As such, even someone like me who isn’t a Star Wars fan must acknowledge that it’s a 10 out of 10.
If you care about Star Wars at all, you NEED to build a lightsaber at Savi’s Workshop at some point in your life.