Savi’s Workshop reopens at Galaxy’s Edge inside Walt Disney World this week, and I was lucky enough to secure a reservation on one of the first days of the return. I’m happy to report that very little has changed to the original experience. Furthermore, the changes in place are very minor and don’t really impact the experience at all.
As expected, the key focus of the changes is social distancing. We still in midst of a global pandemic brought on by COVID-19, so safety is of the utmost importance. All of the Gatherers and the Kembe wear masks, just like every cast member you see throughout the Disney parks. The Kembe wearing a mask was a slight surprise as other characters have not worn them, but they are also kept 20 or more feet from guests in the character cavalcades. No doubt wearing a mask was a requirement of the Actor’s Equity union and a welcome one at that. The Kembe’s mask does match the rest of the performer costume though, unlike the rest of the cast at Galaxy’s Edge.
Apart from masks, the number of builders per show has been basically cut in half. This places the requisite six feet between each party. Numbered dots are placed in front of the building stations to help guide you to your area assigned by the Gatherers as you enter. Prior to entering the workshop, you’re also placed on a numbered dot to wait for the show to begin. Overall, the distancing measures in place are more than any other experience I’ve had at Disney since the reopening.
The final distancing measure in place for Savi’s Workshop is the entrance and exit experience. It is a bit more drawn out than before, with each party entering and exiting one at a time. This doesn’t change the experience itself, although the Kembe does ad-lib (or perhaps it’s scripted options?) as each group comes in/leaves. This results in the entrance and exit taking a bit longer than before, but only by a couple of minutes.
The Show Itself
I didn’t do a word-by-word analysis for script changes, but the two experiences felt identical once the show started. There are some very minor differences in the performance from the Kembe, entirely based around keeping six feet from guests. Previously, the Kembe moved around in the space between build stations, but now the performer stays in the middle. The script didn’t change though, so unless you’ve built a lightsaber at Savi’s Workshop before, you won’t notice a difference.
The other minor change is the placement of the Gatherers during the build process. Rather than being directly in front of you, the Gatherers use their own tray of parts at the stations in between guests. This allows them to demonstrate without actually touching your saber. It’s a great way to maintain the integrity of the show while staying as safe as possible for everyone involved.
As Savi’s Workshop reopens, reservations are still recommended to ensure you get what is hands down the best experience on Batuu. You can reserve a spot as many as 60 days in advance of your park visit, but you must have a Park Pass reservation for Hollywood Studios prior to making your Savi’s Workshop reservation.