Disney World releases new views of its interactive Star Wars hotel

February 22, 2018, 12:38 PM · Walt Disney World today dropped a couple of new concept art images for its upcoming Star Wars resort, which will allow visitors to interact in a Star Wars themed-adventure on a level not previously seen in theme park hotels.

We still don't have an official name or an opening date for the resort, which will be connected with the Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge land that opens in 2019 in Disney's Hollywood Studios. But Disney is teasing it hard: "Families visiting this resort will board a starship alive with characters and stories that unfold all around them during their voyage through the galaxy – and every window has a view of space!"

Here's the new concept art:

Star Wars resort concept art

Star Wars resort concept art

Which complement previously-released images:

Star Wars resort concept art

Star Wars resort concept art

In the comments, you are welcome to fill in the blanks with your best guesses on pricing, packages, and what the experience might most be like relative to anything else in this business.

Replies (24)

February 22, 2018 at 1:08 PM · I think the size of this hotel is the biggest unknown, which is still a complete mystery (along with its exact location, exterior styling, and opening date - from what anyone can tell they haven't even broken ground on this yet).

For me it's going to come down to price. A WDW vacation is already so expensive, guests have to cut back somewhere. That means if you now have to spend a premium on this hotel experience, what will you cut from the budget to make ends meet? Will you buy fewer days of admission? Will you give up a fancy meal or two? Will you shorten your vacation altogether? I still think that the rumored $700-1,000/night price point is the most likely bottom of the range for stays at this hotel, which is way out of my tolerances for vacation hotels (that's coming from a HUGE Star Wars fan that has already spent thousands of dollars on the franchise already). Unfortunately, that's where it's going to have to be to ensure it's not a ridiculous and random free-for-all to get a reservation (like some ADRs), and guests willing to pay the exorbitant price can reasonably get a reservation with a normal about of lead time (4-6 months).

I think the only way they will be able to price it at that level would be to provide a completely immersive, VIP-level experience. Guests will need to be able to access Galaxy's Edge without waiting in any lines and have interactive hosts (or phone/tablet apps) that guide them through individually crafted stories within the Star Wars Universe. It's going to have to be amazing right out of the gate (which I know is something that Disney can tend to struggle with when it comes to debuting something completely new and different), because this is not a single ride that breaks down or has delays with dozens of other rides in a park to pick up the slack. If something is amiss in this experience, guests will expect refunds or discounts because of the shear cost of the hotel.

February 22, 2018 at 1:40 PM · Somehow, I don’t think bunk beds and concrete floors are a good combination, but maybe that’s just me.
February 22, 2018 at 1:50 PM · I wonder if being "screened in" will have an unexpected unsettling effect on visitors..
February 22, 2018 at 2:05 PM · Robert, did you ever do the Star Trek Experience in Vegas? This seems like a Disneyfied version: It will be bigger and better.
February 22, 2018 at 2:34 PM · I've never been on board with the whole themed hotel idea. I think most people are looking for a place to relax and reenergise after being in the park all day. I don't think people are looking to be entertained 24 hrs. a day. But our opinion really doesn't matter as this is clearly an effort to cater to the rich and give them a reason to spend 1g per night. They will determine the success or failure of this experiment. If successful there is no doubt that Universal will follow with a Harry Potter hotel asap.
February 22, 2018 at 2:50 PM · I have a feeling that the pricing will put off and/or rule out a LOT of people and families. We all know this isn't going to be a reasonably priced hotel.
February 22, 2018 at 3:00 PM · Seems like if the next Star Wars flops, the rooms will be easier to get. I can’t imagine sleeping in Luke, Han, or Leia’s death bed.
February 22, 2018 at 3:13 PM · I still think the term hotel is likely a bit of a misnomer for this. More likely than not, it will probably be an all-inclusive multi-day experience for around $1,000 per room (2 adults + 1 or 2 children). From everything Disney has released, the point of this is to go live in the Star Wars Galaxy for two or three days, not just to stay in a Star Wars themed hotel while visiting the parks as a normal visitor. I may wind up being completely wrong, but at this time I'm holding to the belief that this will be completely unlike anything offered anywhere until proven otherwise.
February 22, 2018 at 3:18 PM · I like the idea of themed hotels, but I think it's going to be hard not to break the illusion in some way.

By comparison, a themed land will seem easy...

February 22, 2018 at 3:18 PM · Disney Cruise Line's Plussed-up Star Wars Day at Sea on Land?
February 22, 2018 at 4:22 PM · I give it two years at most and the tech will be phased out and people will have views of Florida again.
February 22, 2018 at 4:22 PM · I think you're right AJ. This will be a niche thing for a particular group of cashed up Star Wars fans. Visiting Disney world will probably be of secondary concern to the guests (who will have multi day passes anyway, even if they're not in the parks much).

If this doesn't appeal to you, it doesn't matter because most of us can't afford it anyway.

February 22, 2018 at 5:00 PM · I think the mindset people should use when looking at this "Star Wars Hotel" is that it is less a hotel than it is a fantasy-cruise-on-land. It is not just a "hotel room" to come back to after being in the parks all day. This is like boarding a cruise ship and having a Roleplaying adventure, where once you check in all you do is Star Wars stuff for 2 days. You go into the hotel and are then "onboard the ship in space" and you have fun things to do there...or you can go down to the Star Wars Land and be in that part of the park (of course you can go to other parts or leave property if you want, but people spending all that money to do this are people who WANT to be immersed in just the Star Wars for two days).

I personally do not make a ton of money and I have not been down to WDW since 2010, but I can tell you that when they open this Star Wars Hotel that I will for sure book a stay there. I would happily pay $1,000 a night for two or three nights to be able to do this, as there is nothing else like it around. I enjoy doing the Escape Room mysteries and I like going to murder mystery dinners. For me, this Star Wars Hotel is an elevation and expansion on that sort of thing. I would love to experience what it feels like to be "in space" and for me it would be a fabulous adventure to take. I have never taken a cruise as that just never interested me...but this "cruise" in a starship while completely on land and just immersed in a new fantasy environment is something I would happily pay the premium for.

And afterwards, I think I would check out and then get a room at Port Orleans or something for another 3 days and hit the other parks and even go to see Harry Potter at Universal, since while i am in Florida I would like to do that. This Star Wars Hotel would get me back to WDW though I think I would probably only stay there once. After I did it once I don't know if I would feel the need to do it a second time.

If Universal built a Harry Potter hotel like this then you better believe I would go stay there as well. I would love it.

February 22, 2018 at 5:24 PM · Years ago, Disney was trying to come up with a boutique park experience, like Sea World's Aquatica, where you swim with the dolphins. This seems like the answer to that. It's probably like a cruise ship experience on steroids, where every moment is part of the story. I imagine a two-day adventure, where at 5 o'clock, the ship is attacked by the Empire, (or First Order) and you go through certain motions to escape and have dinner. As a Star Wars fan, I would do it once.
February 22, 2018 at 10:50 PM · If this turns out to be as good as I'm thinking it'll be, I will definitely stay. Oh, it'll take a couple of years to save up for it, but this is a memory. An experience I'll have forever, like saving up to go to the Super Bowl.

I believe my dinner at Victoria and Alberts for my wedding was over $300, and that was just dinner, but it's a memory I'm going to cherish forever, and this experience will be the same.

There is no shortage of millionaires in the world, and there is no shortage of Star Wars fans who will save up (like myself) to go to this once in a lifetime hotel.

I'm not worried. The only thing that I'd caution them on is making it too big and watering down the quality. But I think Disney is on their A-game, and I don't have any concerns.

I'm super excited, even if I may not stay for a few years after it opens.

February 23, 2018 at 12:09 AM · Way out of my price range, but I'll bet lots of people will be visiting this hotel, just to take in the sights and snap some pics. Expect lots of gawkers who aren't staying there...
February 23, 2018 at 5:05 AM · I never thought any of the space ships in the Star Wars universe looked inviting enough to stay beyond a quick visiting unlike for instance Cloud City that looks actually nice.
I have the same thing with a Potter hotel (if JK and Warner would approve), nice to visit but not to stay.

As everything Disney is building I don't recognise any of the interiors from the movies. The room with the bunk beds looks like you are in BB8's butt. Then there is a room where everyone is staring at screens, that looks like a casino from Battlestar Galactica.
Then there is the staffing of this shell. Aliens with prosthetics, the robots, I just don't know if Disney can find the actors/staff to pull this off. An besides scavenger hunts and video games, what are you going to do? Force shock a cast member, kill some younglings with your lightsaber or play "Genocide Extravaganza" where you blow up planets or enormous spaceships to create peace? Does it sound magical, sure for some demographics but for this former Star Wars fan not so much.

February 23, 2018 at 9:33 AM · Not sure about spending a week in hotel with no windows but could be fun for a night.

I'm wondering how small this is going to be. Since no one seems to have stumbled across a large building permit yet, could this possibly be under a 100 rooms? If so, it might have a rack rate of $1000/night but good luck getting a room at that rate or at all.

February 23, 2018 at 10:29 AM · My biggest concern is going to be the lack of exterior windows. I think guests will find it downright eerie to never see outdoors. After long days in the park, hotels are there for guests to unwind. I can't imagine being able to relax in a place like this.

Also, how is WDW going to handle the hordes of non-guests that want to just wander around the property without paying $1000 a night? Right now anybody can go wander around the various hotels and eat in the restaurants. Is Disney going to link access to the property to the MagicBands? What's to stop someone from boarding WDW transporation to enter?

February 23, 2018 at 12:44 PM · If, as reported, this hotel is directly connected to Galaxy's Edge (along the perimeter of DHS), then Disney could easily limit access with MagicBands. Vehicular access would be limited to those with confirmed reservations. I'm not saying that Disney will do that, but if they're going to charge $1,000/night for an experience like this, they would be foolish to not protect it from freeloaders.

I don't think this hotel is supposed to be a relaxing place, which is why it's reported that Disney will only allow guests to book 2 nights at a time. It's supposed to be a fully immersive experience where guests live, eat, and breathe Star Wars 24/7. If that's not your cup of tea, then you're not the target audience. However, it appears that Disney feels that there is enough demand to build this and to charge a significant premium for it.

February 23, 2018 at 4:44 PM · I'd also like to know how they plan to build an immersive experience that *doesn't* involve Carrie Fisher, Harrison Ford or Mark Hamill? Luke and Han are now dead in the movies and Carrie unfortunately passed away in real life. I know Star Wars is bigger than those three but they are still central to it. I'm certainly not paying $1000 a night for newly created characters or background players from the movies. Is this hotel set in the Old Republic, the Empire, the New Republic or the latest civil war? Or does it somehow exist in a Star Wars universe where there never was a Republic/Empire clash? I don't see how they can sort out enough of a story to full immerse their guests without losing the basics of Star Wars in the process.
February 23, 2018 at 4:52 PM · I would have loved it if they had opened a haunted hotel or twilight zone themed hotel.
February 24, 2018 at 7:00 AM · Cruise ships have interior rooms that have screens that are virtual windows. Disney could build hotels that are much more efficient in use of space with some interior rooms.
February 24, 2018 at 9:45 PM · I can’t imagine more than a two night stay. That’s 48 hours of total immersion, time that I would not want to waste sleeping, and doubt my body could stand much more than that!

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