Disney's Star Wars Galactic Starcruiser will take its final voyage this fall. Walt Disney World announced today that it will be closing its ambitious, role-playing, cruise-like Star Wars experience, after just over a year of operation.
Star Wars Galatic Starcruiser's final voyage will board September 28, concluding on September 30. Disney will be contacting passengers booked on the Halycon after that date to arrange an earlier booking, if available and desired. To accommodate those guests, Disney is pausing booking on the Starcruiser until May 26.
Set aboard the Halycon - a Chandrilla Star Lines vessel that Disney's backstory said was the honeymoon destination for Leia Organa and Han Solo - Star Wars Galactic Starcruiser was much more than the "Star Wars hotel" that went viral when Disney first announced its plans. A two-night, cruise-like experience, Star Wars Galactic Starcruiser invites guests to become characters in the Star Wars universe, interacting with cast members playing Halycon aboard the "ship."
A "port call" to Batuu - the Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge land in nearby Disney's Hollywood Studios - was included with the all-inclusive Starcruiser experience. Russell Meyer detailed the entire Galactic Starcruiser experience during its February 2022 press preview in several articles and videos that we have posted at themeparkinsider.com/starcruiser.
Haters likely will call Starcruiser an overpriced failure. But the experience sold out most dates for its first months and continues to enjoy solid booking numbers. So why is Disney closing it?
A Disney World spokesperson called Star Wars Galactic Starcruiser a "premium, boutique experience." And that was its problem. Disney does not do "boutique."
With just 100 rooms available for booking, the Starcruiser represented less than half a percent of the Walt Disney World Resort's on-site room inventory. Yes, bookings cost thousands of dollars per person, but Disney likely spent far more money per visitor running the Galactic Starcruiser than for any other property in its portfolio. Even if fully booked, the Starcruiser was just too small for a huge company like Disney to run as anything more than a vanity project.
And under Bob Iger's leadership, Disney strives for blockbusters - not boutique.
That said, Star Wars Galactic Starcruiser featured some of the hardest-working, most creative and enthusiastic cast members at the Walt Disney World Resort. And Disney's Imagineers and show production staff developed innovations for the project that have won multiple industry awards. The experience won some of Disney World's highest guest satisfaction ratings, too. So it would seem obvious for Disney to apply elements from the Galactic Starcruiser experience to other theme park, hotel, and Disney Cruise line experiences going forward.
Disney has released this message: "We are so proud of all of the Cast Members and Imagineers who brought Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser to life and look forward to delivering an excellent experience for Guests during the remaining voyages over the coming months. Thank you to our Guests and fans for making this experience so special."
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