A note from Tad: Bright suns! Disneyland reopens April 30, 2021. If you you've been on the long pandemic journey to Batuu, waiting to finally build your own lightsaber with the Gatherers, you are soon approaching your time access this exciting land. Capacity is limited and you will need to make a reservation at Savi's Workshop. Reservations reopen on April 22, 2021. You'll need a theme park ticket AND Disneyland park reservation for Disneyland to build a lightsaber to gain access to Savi's Workshop. Purchase your theme park ticket and make a park reservation before making a Savi's Workshop reservation.
'Sup! Tad here. Tween frog, head family videographer and young padawan. By now, if you've been following along on our ventures to Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge at Disneyland Resort, you know it's been a ribbeting experience for the whole Frog Fam. Piloting the Millennium Falcon was more than I could have ever imagined (despite navigating the tight spots and suffering a few crashes), and dropping into Oga's Cantina was an out-of-this galaxy adventure. But building my own lightsaber at Savi's Workshop, well, that was the most toadally awesome experience of them all and one I will never froget!
This is the most popular experience at Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge at Disneyland, so you'll need to be prepared if this is something you want to do when you plan your visit to the planet of Batuu. Don't worry: This post will have you toadally prepped and ready! Here's what you need to know.
Savi's Workshop Pricing and Logistics
Let's just get it out of the way. At $219.99 plus tax, this experience is a bit of an investment. (In case that number looks higher than before, the price went up in April 2021.) You're paying to build your own lightsaber out of one of four different handle, or hilt, styles, then adding customizable options under the tutelage of the all-knowing "scrap-metal Gatherers" in their super-secret workshop. While these lightsabers are hefty, well-made items (way beyond what we'd consider a toy), you're mostly paying for the experience of building the lightsaber in the workshop, and it is sooooooo cool! Now you practical momma and poppa frogs may have your doubts about that price, but trust me, you're going to be toadally blown away by just how moving this 20-minute experience at Savi's Workshop is.
But is it really worth it? If you have a budding padawan in your midst and can afford it, we overwhelmingly think the answer is yes. Of course, if your whole family wants to build lightsabers, you will want to budget for this! It's important to note that for now only one guest can attend the experience with the builder, so this is another logistic you'll want to work out ahead of time if you are visiting with two padawans.
How to Make a Reservation for Building a Lightsaber at Savi's Workshop
If you want to build a lightsaber at Savi's Workshop, reservations are highly recommended, as walk-ins are limited each day. The good news is that the reservations system has gotten more flexible. You can now make a reservation up to 60 days in advance. We know this makes holiday and peak travelers hoppy to be able to plan in advance. There are additional same-day reservations released at 7 a.m. PST. You can make a reservation through the Disneyland app or at the Disneyland site. These reservations may fill up quickly, so definitely get a jump on it and be ready to reserve at 7 a.m. PST if you are hopping for a same-day reservation. You'll need to use a credit card to reserve. The no-show fee is $219.99, so keep your eye on the clock. Missing that reservation would be an expensive mistake! If you make an advance reservation, you may cancel at least one day in advance to avoid the no-show fee.
The nice thing about getting a reservation is that you'll know before you even enter the park that you'll be able to build a lightsaber. What a relief! Just be sure to check in at Savi's Workshop no earlier than 15 minutes before your reservation. Same-day cancellations are not allowed, so make sure you can realistically get to the reservation (allowing for traffic, parking, security, lines to enter the park, time to walk to Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge at the back of Disneyland, etc.) before you select a time to build.
If you are unable to get a reservation for Savi's Workshop, and this is your only chance to visit Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge, you can still buy a lightsaber. Dok-Ondar's Den of Antiquities sells legacy lightsabers from heroes and villains. The legacy lightsabers come with a sturdy protective case. The shop also sells a lightsaber clip. The clip fits all custom and legacy lightsabers. We've met some people in the park who managed to get a walk-up spot, but do not count on it.
Here are a few more important details about Savi's Workshop:
- There is only one lightsaber per builder, per experience (the guest accompanying a builder will not get to build).
- The Savi's Workshop reservation is for one builder and one guest (it used to be two but capacity is more limited due to the pandemic).
- The age recommendation for the experience is 5 and up (we saw many more adults than children during our visit, but there are more tadpoles when the kids are out of school).
- At least one guest in your party must be at age 14 or up.
- Additional parts and customizations can be bought from Dok-Ondar's Den of Antiquities.
- Custom lightsabers are not refundable.
- At check-in, be prepared to present your reservation confirmation email, photo ID and the credit card provided at the time of booking the reservation.
- The experience takes about 20 minutes in total, though you'll need to be ready to check in about 15 minutes before your reservation.
- Cancellations for advance reservations must be made at least one day in advance. Same-day cancellations are not allowed. A $219.99 "no-show fee" — basically the full cost of the experience! — will be charged to your credit card if you fail to check in for your reservation.
- You do not have to use the credit card given at booking to pay for the lightsaber when checking in.
- If you have a reservation at or just after park opening, arrive early and use the designated turnstile (usually all the way to the left) to enter the park and get to the land in time for your check-in.
- If you need to ship your lightsaber home, hop into Droid Depot to take care of that.
- Lightsabers come with a case and can be carried on a plane and stored in the overhead compartment. The hilt is removable.
Finding Savi's Workshop and Checking In
The Savi's Workshop sign says "By Appointment Only" in Aurebesh
Just getting to Savi's Workshop can be its own challenge. The areas of Batuu are not well-marked, and besides, pretty much everything is written in the native Aurebesh language. Since lightsaber-building is a covert operation, Savi's Workshop is unmarked. So unless you're looking at the map online or using the Disney Play app, aka your datapad, you may have a little trouble finding it. Even the sign is in Aurebesh. It says, "By Appointment Only."
The inhabitants of Batuu aren't always as helpful as you might like. If you ask a cast member where you go to build a lightsaber, for example, they may ask instead, "Are you interested in purchasing some 'scrap metal?'" After all, you never know who is listening! The troops of the First Order can and do appear, along with Kylo Ren, so be prepared. Logistically speaking, the unmarked workshop is tucked into a set of buildings just across the way from Ronto Roasters between Droid Depot and Dok-Ondar's Den of Antiquities.
Once you've arrived, one of the workers will come around and explain the four hilt style options for you to select.
Here are the lightsaber hilt options:
- Peace and Justice
Salvaged scraps from fallen Jedi temples and crashed starships in these Republic-era designs honor the galaxy’s former guardians.
- Power and Control
Originally forged by dark side warriors, this style features rumored remnants from the Sith homeworld and abandoned temples.
- Elemental Nature
This theme embodies the Force — an energy created by all living things, like Brylark trees, Cartusion whale bones and Rancor teeth.
- Protection and Defense
Hilt materials bear mysterious motifs and inscriptions that reconnect users with the ancient wellspring of the Force.
Checking in to Build
You'll want to arrive no earlier than 15 minutes ahead of your build time to check in outside of the workshop. But you definitely don't want to be late, because you may not get in! You won't be allowed to check in earlier, but when there is so much more to explore in Batuu, we're not sure why you'd want to.
You'll decide which lightsaber hilt you would like to use. You'll also be given a cloisonné pin reflecting your hilt style. The pin is important because it will help the Gatherers know which hilt style you've selected. And it's yours to keep, so it's like a bonus souvenir!
After you check in, you will be waiting to go inside. The time waiting goes by pretty quickly because the Gatherers are interacting with everyone in your group, commenting on the funny "satellites" on people's heads (mouse ears) and sharing more about the customs on planet Batuu. This is a great time to ask about life on Batuu.
If you haven't yet encountered Kylo Ren and the First Order, be alert, because they may stop by to inspect what's going on inside the shop! The Gatherers, who all wear hoods outside to protect their identity, are working to keep the truth about what's really going on a secret!
Warning — the rest of this post contains some spoilers!
Your Lightsaber Building Options
Once you check in, you'll be assigned to a build group and asked to put on your cloisonné pin. After you're build group is assembled, you and your guests will be escorted through the corridors of this dimly lit, cavern-like space to a small build room. You'll be stationed on the outside of a large, circular build area that the Gatherers can weave in and out of to inspect your work and bring out additional parts.
The lead Gatherer will welcome you into the workshop and explain the role of the Gatherers, who have traveled all over the galaxy collecting parts and bits of "junk" from abandoned starships and hidden planets that will be forged into these one-of-a-kind lightsabers.
You will begin your build with the kyber crystal, which imbues your lightsaber with energy. The crystal forms the heart of your lightsaber and determines the color of your blade. Your lead Gatherer will present one of four crystals to choose from, and other Gatherers will walk around with canisters of glowing crystals that you will select from.
Here are the kyber crystal colors available in the build:
- Blue - Once held by Obi-Wan Kenobi and now Rey
- Green - Once held by Master Yoda and Luke Skywalker
- Violet - Rare and beautiful, once held by Master Mace Windu
- Red - The crystal of power, once held by Darth Vader and now Kylo Ren
Additional kyber crystal colors are available for purchase at Dok-Onder's Den of Antiquities.
After selecting your crystal, Savi's Gatherers will bring out a tray of parts themed to your particular hilt style. They will instruct you on how to assemble the hilt, the foundation of your lightsaber.
Each tray of parts includes:
- 1 hilt
- 4 sleeves (pick 2)
- 2 emitters (pick 1)
- 2 pommel caps (pick 1)
- 2 sets of activation plates and switches (pick 1 set)
Assembling Your Lightsaber Inside Savi's Workshop
The first step in assembling your hilt will be to place your kyber crystal inside the chassis and assemble the rest of the hilt from your assortment of grips, emitters and pommel caps and activation plates. This building can get a little tricky — especially if the instructions are explained quickly — but don't worry if you don't get everything assembled immediately. This what the Gatherers are there for! They will walk around, inspect your work and make adjustments as necessary.
When the hilts have all been assembled, the lead Gatherer will ask everyone to step back so that the Gatherers can do the dangerous work of inserting the hilts into separate stabilization chambers. Inside the chamber, each hilt will will be forged to its respective blade! When that is done, it's time to forge the bond between lightsaber and builder!
The lights are dimmed and John Williams’ "Force Theme" plays as Master Yoda addresses the group, congratulating everyone on their work. Builders are then asked to step up to their individual lightsabers, put their hands on their hilts and activate their lightsabers while still in the chambers. They are then asked to raise their lightsabers all together as one! This is the most powerful moment of the whole experience — I still get goosebumps just thinking about it! Even if you're not a Star Wars fan, you'll be ready to go out use the Force!
Builders are then asked to power off their sabers as they prepare to exit the workshop. Each is provided a saber sheath, a padded case to protect their sabers, as they head out into the galaxy! You'll definitely be pulling out the lightsaber for more photo ops around Galaxy's Edge, and they look toadally cool at night when they're turned on! After you are done building your lightsaber, you might want to hop next door to Dok-Ondar's Den of Antiquities to purchase a lightsaber clip for wearing your lightsaber.
Are you ready for the power and responsibility of building a lightsaber at Savi's Workshop? Drop me a line and tell me what you're most ribbeted about.