THE Star Wars: Galactic Star Cruiser was one of Disney World’s most ambitious projects – and that says a lot about a company that has blazed many roads in the world of parks and entertainment. While it may have been known as the “Star Wars Hotel,” it offered so much more than a place to sleep after roaming Disney World all day…and billing accordingly.
When the Galactic Starcruiser Leaving for its first public trip on March 1, 2022, reports from guests of the two-night immersive entertainment painted a picture of an uncommon time. Several TPG staff members who have tried it felt the same magic of living childhood dreams.
But Starcruiser guests also paid an outrageous price for the experience, even by Disney standards — a two-night trip for a family of four costs over $6,000. Despite the price, many of the first few months of experiences seem to have sold out. But there was evidence of cracks in demand at the end of 2022.
Today, Disney announced that the final voyage of the Halcyon Starcruiser will take place September 28-30, 2023.
The news comes as Disney is in the midst of a plan to cut $5.5 billion in costs from The Walt Disney Company, including not only the Starcruiser, but also cutting 7,000 jobs from its workforce. work, restructuring its business segments and canceling a plan to relocate about 2,000 Disney. The cast of Southern California’s Parks, Experiences and Products at a new campus in Lake Nona near Disney World.
So while this is a much bigger news day for Disney than the Starcruiser, we’re going to focus on what happened – and what we hope will happen next.
Why is the Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser closing?
Journeys booked itself quickly at first, with mega Star Wars fans jumping at the chance to take a (simulated) journey through the universe of Kylo Ren, Rey, Chewbacca and a handful of new characters created just for the ride. experience. The cast members who played these roles brought the story to life in a way that’s hard to compare because it was such a unique offering. It was so unique that it sold out for months after it opened with no discounts available.
In November 2022, Disney was offering a 30% discount on select trips to Disney Vacation Club members. In January of this year, Disney offered its first public discount on Disney hotel stays before or after Starcruiserand in March 2023, Disney announced that Starcruiser trips would drop from three trips a week to just two from October this year, while also offering a 30% discount to annual pass holders.
Even with those discounts, you were still looking at thousands of dollars to get the experience. Despite this, guests who have visited the Galactic Starcruiser have widely sung its praises, as evidenced by several Facebook groups dedicated solely to the experience. It won an entertainment industry themed award, despite only being open for a short time. Even TPG gave him an award in 2022 for his innovation.
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But at $6,000 and up for a family, it costs more than a Disney cruise and potentially even more than some family trips to Europe. As cool as that sounds, it was ultimately a hefty price tag for a less than 48-hour experience largely taking place inside a central Florida building.
In a statement shared with TPG, Disney provided more details about the closure:
“Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser is one of our most creative projects to date and has been praised by our guests and recognized for setting a new bar for innovation and immersive entertainment. This premium boutique experience range has given us the opportunity to try new things on a smaller scale of 100 rooms, and as we prepare for its final voyage, we’ll use what we’ve learned to create future experiences that can reach more than our customers and Fans.”
Can you still book travel on the Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser?
As expensive as the Starcruiser experience is – or was – we know of several regular customers who would even go with friends (or strangers) to share a room and split the cost by as many people as possible just to have the experience. And the good news for them, and other hopeful travelers, is that you can still book Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser stays through the end of September. The last trip will be September 28-30, 2023, and most weeks have two to three trips available.
However, new bookings are temporarily suspended while Disney works to rebook previously booked guests for dates that would now fall after the last trip.
New bookings will reopen on May 26, 2023. You can view available travel dates on the Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser website.
What future for the space occupied by Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser?
After hearing this news, we can’t help but wonder what’s next for the Galactic Starcruiser. Truth be told, we’ve been thinking about it for some time, as some warning signs have become apparent.
The themed space hotel is already here, fully operational and located directly behind the Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge area within Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
There are plenty of Star Wars fans who still haven’t had a chance to sleep in a space bunk, look out the bedroom “window” into space, and enjoy the exclusive themed bar and restaurant. , not to mention the other unique spaces.
Perhaps the Starcruiser’s next voyage could be to become a Star Wars hotel, as it was casually called after all. We would love to see the themed restaurant, bar and common areas accessible to more visitors. The space-themed Space 220 restaurant at Epcot shares some similarities with this hotel and is one of the hardest to book. restaurants throughout Disney World even after being open for about 18 months.
With the theme and proximity to this property, layering special access sooner or later to the Galaxy’s Edge area at Hollywood Studios seems… possible. The technology also already exists for guests to take on special missions and unlock codes in an app, and while that would lose some of the magic without the Starcruiser’s immersive element, it could still appeal to many.
A themed hotel with special park access and unique food and drink could conceivably at least command Disney luxury hotel prices, which are already often $500-$700 per night at other properties.
Maybe staying at an out-of-the-ordinary themed hotel is always a unique experience, but there are probably more guests willing to spend several hundred dollars a night to travel to a galaxy far, far away than several thousand dollars a night.
At the end of the line
You don’t need the power of the Force to know that Star Wars will likely be a major presence at Disney for years to come.
A quick scroll through the long list of Star Wars-themed movies and TV shows on Disney+ proves that Star Wars is still hugely popular. And, of course, there are entire Star Wars-themed lands at Disney World and Disneyland that aren’t going anywhere.
So, while big changes are coming for the Starcruiser, we’re not quite putting away our Jedi robes and lightsabers just yet. Instead, we’ll be crossing our fingers that there may be “A New Hope” for a different version of Disney’s Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser waiting in the future.