Because the ship plays a critical role in the action onboard the Star Wars Galactic Starcruiser, be aware that the following contains critical details that may include important aspects of the experience. SPOILER ALERT....
While guests have very comfortable rooms to sleep in, a majority of the time on the Galactic Starcruiser will probably be spent around the rest of the ship. The largest and most prominent space on the Halcyon is the Atrium. This is the first space guests see when the board the Galactic Starcruiser. The area is a two-story, lobby-style space that doubles as a performance and meeting/seating area and is where many of the important story points are revealed.
The upper level of the Atrium is a wrap-around balcony where characters can perform to the guests below.
Flanking each side of the atrium are holographic columns that display various images pertinent to the story. The voyage begins with the columns displaying the Chandrilla Star Lines logo,
but toggles to a promotion poster for Gaya, the entertainer for the first night’s dinner,
and then to the First Order logo when they board the ship.
While the columns are decorative through most of your time on the ship, they become a critical storytelling element during the grand finale on Day 2 when a holographic Yoda addresses the ship. At the front of the Atrium is a model of the ship
and access doors to the bridge and an area for guests to get water (chilled sparkling, chilled flat, and ambient flat are offered through three separate taps).
The Bridge is probably the most technologically impressive part of the ship. This is where guests get the best views of space around the Halcyon.
All guests are scheduled for Bridge Training where you learn the roles and responsibilities of the various stations that keep the ship operational. Weapons, shields, loaders, and repair and control stations surround the space beneath giant space windows, and guests get an opportunity to try each station in a simulation during the Bridge Training activity.
On Day 2, the experience gained from the Bridge Training is put to use in operations that integrate into various stories occurring on the Halcyon. From retrieving coaxium from Hondo Onaka,
to fending off X-wings trying to break the First Order blockade, guests are summoned through the Datapad or pulled into the bridge by Crew Members to play out scenarios pertinent to the stories playing out on the ship. Ultimately, the Bridge is like a giant video game where guests press buttons, turn knobs, flip switches, and toggle joysticks to perform tasks directed by crew members and characters. In addition to our initial training, I got experienced three additional scenarios on the Bridge, but in talking with other guests, there were at least a half dozen other scenarios that played out beyond what I experienced.
Adjacent to one of the holographic columns is the Sublight Lounge.
This is the bar and late-night hangout on the Halcyon. The space is very intimate with four pod-like seating areas around the perimeter with a number of tables around the room along with a few seats at the bar. The table at the very center of the space is a Holo-Sabacc table.
Sabacc is a card game made famous by Han Solo, who famously won the Millennium Falcon from Lando Calrissian at the Sabacc table. My son Zach couldn’t get enough of this table, and it is a pretty fun, yet simple game to play. Guests who fancy their luck can even participate in a Sabacc Tournament on Day 2 of their cruise. The Sublight Lounge felt really small when we first walked in, but at no point did it ever feel overcrowded.
Across the Atrium from the Sublight Lounge is the passenger services area.
This is where you can get help with any issues you may have during your stay on the Halcyon and is also where snacks are served in the afternoon and early evening. Next to the passenger services area is the ships store, the Chandrilla Collection. This is where guests can get exclusive merchandise available only to those who have been on the Halcyon. Items include costumes and jewelry guests can purchase to facility cosplay on the ship, exclusive personalized light saber hilts, toys and games (including Sabacc decks), and even a scale light-up model of the Halcyon. The merchandise available in the store is all of excellent quality and is priced accordingly.
The issue is that when you’re already spending upwards of $6k for a stay on the Galactic Starcruiser, you might not want to spend even more for a couple of nice souvenirs, even if they’re really nice. Another issue I discovered is that I had identified a few items I wanted to purchase but was waiting until the end of our stay to purchase them - however, the store was closed when we checked out, probably to facilitate guests disembarking more expeditiously, so I had missed out on merchandise that you can’t get anywhere else at WDW. So, if you find something you like in the store, don’t wait to purchase it!
Downstairs from the Atrium, guests will find the Crown of Corellia Dining Room. The dining room has two tiers with booths around the perimeter surrounding a sunken seating area. At the center of the room is the Captain’s Table.
Guests are given assigned seating for both dinner services but can pay an additional $30 per person to sit at the Captain’s Table for one of the two dinner services. Dinners are served family style with the first night’s dinner featuring a musical performance from Gaya, a Twi’lek diva character, while the second night’s dinner is a “Taste Around the Galaxy”, which is led by the culinary staff of the Halcyon. Lunches and breakfasts are served buffet style with pre-plated items at serving stations located in the back of the dining room.
Adjacent to the dining room is the Engineering Room, Brig, and Cargo Hold. These areas of the ship are where various story points play out, and also serve as places where younger passengers can play. There are tons of buttons, switches, levers, and cables to experiment with in the Engineering Room, and the intimate space is perfect for covert meetings, to smuggle items into and out of the adjacent Cargo Hold, and to secure prisoners in the Brig.
When there are no characters in these areas, they have limited appeal for adult guests, though there are some interesting puzzles to solve.
These areas remind me a lot of post-show areas at many Epcot attractions.
On the opposite end of the deck from the dining room, guests will find a long hallway where the Lightsaber Training Pod, Climate Simulator, and Transport Shuttle Bay are located. The Climate Simulator is designed to replicate conditions on Batuu, but in reality, is an open air, semi-enclosed space where you can see the Central Florida sky.
There are plants growing out of the walls and a rock garden in the center reminiscent of what you see on the planet of Ahch-To featured in The Last Jedi, though we learned from our ship tour on the first day that the rock garden is made of rocks from Chandrilla. I understand what Imagineers were going for with this space, but it seems like a bit of a cop out to refer to it as a Climate Simulator. It’s not good for humans to spend multiple days without fresh air, but I think this space could have been designed a bit better with some design elements that make it feel more than a glorified courtyard.
The Lightsaber Pod is where the Saja (trainers knowledgeable in the ways of the Force) teach passengers how to wield Lightsabers. Every guest gets an opportunity to complete Lightsaber Training with sessions spanning both Day 1 and Day 2 of the experience. Guests are given specially designed lightsabers and are instructed by the Saja to deflect blasts from training drones that extend away from the wall at the start of the training program. The drones project beams of light that guide you as to where the blasts will be targeted.
After every participant gets a chance to use a lightsaber, the Saja distribute shields which additional participants can use to deflect any blasts escaping the wielder of the Lightsaber. Guests take another round of turns with the lightsabers and shields as the speed and difficulty increases.
Before the final round, Yoda provides words of wisdom to trainees as the light beams are removed, meaning guests need to sense and use the Force to predict where the blasts will be aimed. If you’ve never wielded a fancy Master Replica Lightsaber before, the simple act of holding and activating the weapon is a pretty impressive experience. Even for those of us who have our own lightsabers, this experience is still incredibly powerful and engaging. Obviously, if Disney could have figured out a way to get the training drones to hover and dart around the room like Obi Wan Kenobi does with Luke Skywalker on the Falcon in the original Star Wars: A New Hope, that would have been the ultimate experience, but this current training simulation is still pretty neat. The Lightsaber Training Pod is also where other scenes of the story aboard the Halcyon play out, including a very impressive effect involving Yoda’s Holocron that becomes an important piece of the Day 2 finale.
As much as the characters aboard the Halcyon drive the stories of the Galactic Starcruiser, the rooms and spaces provide different backdrops that allow scenes to play out over the course of your two-night, three-day adventure. The design, architecture, and sets are critical in allowing guests to connect with the stories, and you can tell how well thought out each of these spaces were in developing this attraction.
As you can see, many of these spaces appear nearly identical to the concept drawings, and Imagineers clearly spent plenty of time in the design phase to develop spaces that would facilitate the storytelling process and guest experience.
More Star Wars Galactic Starcruiser Coverage:
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