Walt Disney World’s Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser, the high-end and immersive sleepover experience priced at $1,200 per person per night, will permanently close at the end of September, just 18 months after its opening. According to Disney World’s website, reservations for the Star Wars-themed resort in Orlando will not be available after the Starcruiser’s final voyage from September 28 to 30. The company cites “a business decision” as the reason for the Galactic Starcruiser’s demise.
The project, which was first unveiled in 2017, has always been difficult to categorize. Is it a hotel, a landlocked cruise ship, or an intricate choose-your-own-adventure theatrical experience? It’s a combination of all these elements.
The Galactic Starcruiser experience follows a narrative arc, akin to a Star Wars film. Guests embark on a two-night immersive journey, similar to a cruise ship, where they board a virtual transport pod, travel through hyperspace, and arrive at the Halcyon starcruiser. Once there, they don Star Wars attire, interact with famous characters like Chewbacca and Kylo Ren, and participate in lightsaber training and “bridge ops” training with the ship’s captain. In their cabins, they engage with D3-O9, an AI-driven droid that provides updates about the ship. Guests can also socialize in the cantina with a diverse crew of alien spies and bootleggers. Additionally, they choose to align themselves with either the Resistance or the dark First Order and receive their respective missions.
While the all-inclusive two-night experience has garnered high guest satisfaction ratings, with prices exceeding $4,800 for a couple or $6,000 for a family of four, it appears that the Galactic Starcruiser is not affordable for enough guests.
In a reflective statement, a Walt Disney World spokesperson mentioned the opportunity to experiment with this boutique experience, which featured only 100 rooms. They expressed the intention to incorporate the learnings from this project into future experiences that can reach a broader audience of guests and fans.
Disney’s CEO, Bob Iger, reiterated the company’s cost-cutting initiatives during a recent earnings call, emphasizing the aim to achieve $5.5 billion in savings. The closure of the Galactic Starcruiser aligns with this mindset. Additionally, Disney recently announced the cancellation of a $1 billion complex, resulting in the loss of over 2,000 potential jobs.
Disney will inform guests who have booked reservations for the Galactic Starcruiser after September 30 about the closure and provide alternative options. New bookings for the experience are temporarily suspended and will reopen on May 26, with priority given to existing guests.