Reservations open this year for Disney's 'Star Wars hotel'

February 6, 2020, 10:30 PM · I know that we're barely a month into 2020, but it's not too early to start looking forward to 2021, is it?

Not when 2021 brings us the new "Star Wars hotel" that so many fans have been waiting for from the Walt Disney World Resort. With the two-day, two-night cruise-style interactive experience debuting next year, many Disney and Star Wars fans figured that Disney World would have to start taking reservations for the new destination sometime this year.

And they would be right. Disney confirmed today that it will begin accepting reservations for Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser later this year.

There's still no specific date on when that will happen though, or an official price for the experience, which will include a "port visit" to the Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge land in Disney's Hollywood Studios. But Walt Disney Imagineering's Ann Morrow Johnson provide an excellent new overview of the Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser experience in a video that Disney released today.

Expect a four-figure nightly rate for the two-day/two-night "cruise" vacation. But you also should expect that Disney and Star Wars fans will sell out the 68-cabin "starship" regularly once it opens for reservations, no matter what the price.

Replies (17)

February 7, 2020 at 3:54 AM

Hmmm the hotel rooms shown in the renders in this video look a lot closer to traditional hotel rooms than they did in previous renders, and the “window” into space from the room looks very small - almost like a 55” TV rather than a window. Have the room designs been scaled back?

February 7, 2020 at 8:22 AM

I was wondering why GE didn't have an experience where you could take your $200 newly built lightsaber and get training with it. Now I know why. You've got take pay extra for that. Overall it looks cool. Stevenz is right, the cabins are neat, but not that much different from regular resort hotel rooms. My kids would still complain if they couldn't change the space window to Netflix. Kudos to the imagineer for not once using the adjective "immersive" in the video.

I'm assuming guests will also get priority access to the rides and restaurant in GE? If so, I'd think they'd want to tout that as a benefit. It would suck if your "transport ship" were late landing in Batuu and all the boarding groups for ROTR were taken. ;)

February 7, 2020 at 9:25 AM

If my employer agrees to that %200 pay increase with our next contract, I'm absolutely making a reservation!

Oh well...it's not having what you want. It's wanting what you got. Those people will be jealous that they don't have a hotel with a guitar shaped pool with statues of the three caballeros squirting water in the middle of it.

February 7, 2020 at 10:49 AM

The one question Disney fails to answer with any mention of this project continues to be the cost - even ballpark figures (4-figures per night has been rumored from multiple sources, but not a peep has come from Disney). One part of me goes back to the old adage that "if you need to know how much something costs, it's probably out of your price range", but there's another part of me that strongly believes that Disney has no idea yet how they're going to price this experience. Their years of operating the most expensive cruise line on the planet would suggest that they should know how to price this to ensure optimal occupancy, but I get the sneaky suspicion with how expensive they've already priced items in Galaxy's Edge that this will launch with some empty rooms and fans wondering if rates will ever come into a more affordable range.

Until Disney puts a price tag on this experience, it's impossible to evaluate it. Sure, I'd love to do it, and it sounds like an amazing experience. I'd be willing to pay a pretty large sum of money to try it at least once, but I'm not going to empty my life savings for it.

February 7, 2020 at 1:17 PM

Price is not going to be a selling point for SWGS, so there's no need for Disney to talk about it prior to reservations opening. This isn't Endless Summer. No one's going to stay here because of the price. They will stay here in spite of it.

That said, yeah, pricing this looks tough, even given Disney's experience with this sort of thing. It's such a unique product. No one really knows what people will pay for it.

That makes me wonder if SWGS might tempt Disney into trying some new type of auction-based pricing system for this, in an effort to squeeze every last dollar from a unique product. Sure, that might be confusing and even frustrating for some potential visitors, but, hey, Disney crossed that barrier with boarding groups.

February 7, 2020 at 3:01 PM

I fear I will be able to afford Super Bowl tickets before a ticket on the Halcyon.

February 7, 2020 at 8:42 PM

I am more excited about the project after seeing that video. I imagine the reveal into the lobby is going to be amazing. But I have to agree with the previous posts, those rooms look pretty standard for a premium hotel. I was expecting something much larger than an "inside cabin", especially if you are trapped in there for two days.

February 8, 2020 at 1:03 AM

With regards to the room design, yes it's a unique experience unlike other "hotels", but the room itself still needs to be less sterile and more welcoming. People are paying thousands to stay in these rooms and they won't want to feel like they're sleeping in a military bunker.

February 8, 2020 at 12:35 PM

So that is where all those SW aliens from the GE concept art are.
Also amazing how that robot's legs are so thin, no person could be in there and it's free walking! How does Disney do that? And how are they going to pull off the hologram cards, that is quite something, you don't even see a glass display or anything.
In the end this looks like the lifeboat from Avenue 5 but not funny. And those hotel rooms look shockingly cramp.

February 9, 2020 at 1:02 PM

I’m a pretty big Star Wars fan. Unfortunately, neither I nor the vast majority of Star Wars fans will be able to afford staying here (at least cannot justify the cost of doing so). No this is really for the millionaire club (or more money than sense crowd) and their spoiled kids. As such I have zero desire to stay there.

February 9, 2020 at 1:02 PM

I’m a pretty big Star Wars fan. Unfortunately, neither I nor the vast majority of Star Wars fans will be able to afford staying here (at least cannot justify the cost of doing so). No this is really for the millionaire club (or more money than sense crowd) and their spoiled kids. As such I have zero desire to stay there.

February 9, 2020 at 10:21 PM

Mr. Sharp, I think you may have hit the nail on the head. If it really is as expensive as we think it will be, the people that stay there will be the very reason I don’t go even if I can afford it. I think this is a rather large mistake with poor optics (and I hate using that word). But, hey, we may be wrong. The other issue is my kids are fans but grown to the point that they will not dress up. Further, while Star Wars is compelling, there is so much more to the property.

February 10, 2020 at 11:10 AM

It strikes me how similar this may be to a traditional cruise (albeit shorter). I'm guessing you check in around lunch and check out early to mid morning like we've see on a cruise ship. In my mind that means your check in day is a half to 3/4 day and the next morning starts your 1 full day. If you start to get cabin fever, then you can pop into the park, but I think a lot of people will keep that short to enjoy whatever is on their "ship". And like a cruise, there will be lots to explore for the 200 to 400 people on board.

It's going to be like a lot of Disney World, an "expensive once in a lifetime experience" and I understand why people will be upset. But I also think this is a beginning. This type of hotel experience could be replicated and iterated. So I'm excited to see what this becomes, and I look forward to hearing from people who experience this.

February 10, 2020 at 1:05 PM

I am now worried that this is going to be a strain on an already overstrained system. They are taking reservations but stating no cost, so it is assumed (possibly unreasonably) it will be extremely expensive. It may be also assumed (also possibly unreasonably) that these guests will get priority into GE. FP+ already is horrible. Especially for DHS. Loading groups are hard to get, and you have early morning hours. I have a bad feeling about this.

February 10, 2020 at 1:45 PM

@JC - Disney hasn't actually started taking reservations yet. They just announced that they would do so later this year, so they still have a few months to figure out what the price will be (as I stated, I think Disney is struggling with how to price this experience).

As far as the experience, rumors indicate that guests will get some type of exclusive access to the Galaxy's Edge attractions, but I don't think the limited number of guests staying on the Halcyon will dramatically affect availability to regular park guests. The thought is that Halcyon guests will be brought to Batuu either before DHS opens or after the park closes to regular guests to ride RotR. In both scenarios, the 200-300 guests will not impact the ride's capacity since they don't start calling Boarding Groups until a few minutes after the park opens, and suspend Boarding Groups typically over an hour before the park closes for the evening. MFSR is a people eater, and (knock on wood) has not experienced any major delays or breakdowns, so weaving an extra 200-300 guests either through the back door or FP+ queue will not make a dent in the ride's ability to meet regular park guest demand.

I do agree that Boarding Groups are getting harder to get, especially since they've rolled back to 8 AM opening (more guests are able to make it to the park at that hour than 7 AM), but no matter how you look at it, RotR just can't meet the demand of a typical park crowd so there's really not much that can be done right now until some of the shine wears off and the attraction become more reliable from an operational standpoint to limit the amount of downtime.

FWIW, Disney eliminated all morning Extra Magic Hours (EMH) through the summer of 2020, so everyone right now is on the same playing field whether you're staying at a Disney resort or off-site (DHS has only evening EMH now). That indicates to me that they're going to stick with the Boarding Group system at least through the busy summer months, and possibly beyond.
Giving Halcyon guests a guaranteed ride on RotR, something not even Grand Floridian Concierge-Level guests can get, is the least Disney can do for guests likely to be spending $2,000+ for a 2-night experience.

February 11, 2020 at 5:33 AM

My concern is not just the impact of the people on the boarding groups on RofR but on the whole FP+ system at DHS. Let me explain. Have you ever been to Animal Kingdom when FoP goes down? Every attraction in the park is immediately affected. The difference with AK and DHS is that AK has a lot to do that does not require standing in lines like the wonderful animal exhibits. DHS has a horrible FP+ availability to begin with. DHS cannot handle the strain as it has nowhere to give. I just hoped that the Millennium Falcon worked out so well without FP they would phase out FP+ and go to some hybrid system similar to what used to be in place, but I knew that was a pipe dream.

February 11, 2020 at 8:46 AM

I agree that FP+ has become an untenable mess, but at least the situation appears to be improving at DHS. Under the previous tier scenario, the ONLY "ride" in tier 2 was Star Tours, which not only inflated perceived demand for that attraction, but made it appear that guests were breaking down the doors for the other tier 2 attractions in the park (all shows - Indy, Beauty and the Beast, Frozen Singalong, Little Mermaid, Muppets, and Disney Junior). In reality, guests were ONLY picking up those tier 2 FP+ attractions because they needed to in order to have access to additional tier 1 FP+ reservations later in the day (I'm as guilty as anyone in doing that, yet it allowed it us to experience at least another 4-6 rides in the park via FP+ once we cleared that show FP+). With the new tiering, only the "top" rides in DHS are Tier 1 (MFSR, SDD, and MMRR), which gives guests more flexibility to pick up FP+ reservations for some of the lesser rides in the park.

I agree that the situation is still not great, but by placing MFSR, SDD, and MMRR on tier 1, meaning guests can only pick one of those 3 attractions when they make their FP+ reservation prior to arrival, it spreads out demand and should increase FP+ availability for all three of those attractions as well as for the popular tier 2 rides (like ToT, RnR, TSM, and Star Tours). While the situation over the past year at DHS is incredibly frustrating with so few actual rides in the park, it has improved dramatically in the span of just 2 years with the addition of 3 major FP+ attractions and another attraction (RotR) that defies any convention. In fact, the situation at DAK has now become much like it was a DAK with very few rides actually available via FP+, and no signs of it improving especially with Primeval Whirl changing to a seasonal attraction.

As we see at MK, the only way to make FP+ work the way it should is to have an overwhelming number of attractions available on the system, but even then, the most popular rides will still be difficult to secure - though I would expect 7DMT to become slightly easier to get once Tron opens next summer.

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