Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge has finally arrived at Disneyland and Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and these new immersive lands have not disappointed. Fans of the iconic franchise have been wowed by the high level of detail and theming that allow guests to live out their own adventure in a galaxy far, far away. Now you can fly the Millennium Falcon on a smuggling mission, construct your own robotic companion, or have a drink in a galactic cantina while listening to the universes hottest tunes. One of the most popular experiences available is the chance to build your own lightsaber just like your Jedi hero. The Professor had the chance to take part in the process during Walt Disney World’s Galaxy’s Edge opening last week, so let’s take a look at what guests can expect from this new experience.
*Warning, there are spoilers for the experience ahead!
Guests begin their building experience by checking in with a Cast Member at Savi’s Workshop. As with most locations in Galaxy’s Edge, there is no signage for the shop. This location is meant to be a secret spot operated by a group called the Gatherers, hidden from the prying eyes of the evil First Order and could easily be missed. The Cast Members really play up the secrecy here, and try to make it clear that this is just an unassuming collection of useless junk. Certainly not a place where a Resistance fighter can craft an elegant weapon for a more civilized age. After confirming their reservation, guests are given a choice from 4 styles of lightsabers representing different aspects of Jedi and Sith lore.
Guests may choose Power and Control, Peace and Justice, Elemental Nature or Protection and Defense. Each style of lightsaber has multiple pieces to choose from allowing many different styles to be built. Sadly, guests are not allowed to mix and match pieces from different styles, and may only choose from their style’s selection.
After choosing their style, guests are given a pin corresponding to their choice. Guests must wear this pin to signal to their Gatherer helpers which pieces they will work with. Make sure to check out the unassuming set of drawers located in the waiting area. Each drawer contains the pieces guests may choose from, allowing you to get a closer look and help figure out your choices before the process begins.
At building time, guests are led inside the Gatherers Workshop and given a spot at one of 12 stations on a large circular work table. The walls of the workshop are lined with old crates and ancient items from across the galaxy. After settling in at their stations, guests are then greeted by a member of the Gatherers who explains that their purpose is to collect and protect rare and interesting scrap pieces that most might consider worthless. Some of this scrap can be used to create lightsabers just like the Jedi knights of the past. The presentation is very well done and the Cast Members seemed to really enjoy playing the part of a secret society working in shadows.
Guests are then given a choice of Kyber Crystal that will power their lightsaber. The crystals come in red, green blue and violet and will determine the lightsaber blade’s color. These crystals can also be used in the Holocron boxes sold at Dok Ondar’s Den of Antiquities. A Gatherer then presents the builder with the pieces they can choose from to create their weapon. The lightsaber hilts consist of 5 sections: an emitter, an activation plate, a pommel cap, and two sleeve pieces. Guests may examine each piece and play around with the fit to find their perfect setup. These pieces are mostly made from metal and have a nice weight to them that gives the toy a realistic feel. At our build, the Gatherer host made sure to take a few seconds to speak with each builder, asking them why they chose their style and color and giving a little Star Wars history lesson. This attention really added to the immersion of the experience and made the process even more fun.
After assembling their lightsaber, guests then step back from the table while a Gatherer takes their hilt and attaches it to a chamber built into the workstation. After a little fanfare and some encouragement from the voice of a very special guest, the builders then step forward and activate their new weapon. This is where the experience really shines. As the lights dim and the builder flips the switch on their hilt, the chamber begins to glow with the chosen blade color. The chamber then opens to reveal the finished lightsaber complete with a glowing blade. The builders then raise their weapons to the sky and marvel at their handiwork. Each lightsaber comes with a complimentary padded carrying bag that helps to cart the rather large item around the park. Guests staying at a Walt Disney World hotel can also have their completed lightsaber shipped to their hotel as part of the package delivery service. Lightsabers can also be shipped to guests home.
Guests wishing to build their own lightsaber at Savi’s Workshop in Galaxy’s Edge will need to make a reservation in advance through their My Disney Experience account. These reservations are handled much like Disney’s dining reservations and can be made up to 180 days in advance. This has already proved to be a very popular experience, and spots fill up fast, so you’ll want to make your reservation as soon as possible. A credit card is required for reservation. Your card will not be charged at that time, but the full price will be taken out if you are a no-show or do not cancel 24 hours prior to arrival. Reservations must be made for each person wishing to build a lightsaber and each builder is allowed to bring one guest who will not build (guests under 7 must be accompanied by someone age 14 or older). Lightsabers are sold for $199.99 (plus tax) and are nonrefundable.
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