The Walt Disney Company has never done anything halfway. When Walt Disney developed the original idea for Disneyland, for example, he wanted Guests to be able to ride a scientifically accurate rocket ship to outer space — a clear predecessor for the Space Mountain roller coaster — but, not terribly practical in its original form, unfortunately.
45 years after Walt Disney’s 1966 death, Disney purchased Lucasfilm, thereby adding the entire Star Wars universe to the Disney family. Seven years after one of entertainment’s all-time biggest purchases — over $4 billion, to be exact — Disney invited theme park Guests at both Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort to truly travel to a galaxy far, far away with the opening of the 14-acre Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge expansion.
Talk about full circle.
Of all of the amazingly immersive lands Walt Disney Imagineering has ever created, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge takes the cake. It truly transports Guests to another world — in this case, the Outer Rim planet of Batuu, which is home to the infamous Black Spire Outpost.
Now, Disney’s Imagineering team is about to take things one step with the upcoming opening of the Galactic Starcruiser hotel at Walt Disney World Resort. Construction progress on the first-of-its-kind Disney Resort hotel has been coming along — in fact, we’ve already gotten a sneak peek at nearly completed staterooms on the Halcyon starship — and the newest Walt Disney World Resort hotel was recently confirmed to be opening next year, in 2022.
All of the latest details can be found on Disney’s official webpage for the first-ever Star Wars-themed Disney Resort.
Here, we’ll take you through what you can expect to experience when you board Disney’s Star Wars hotel for your own journey to a galaxy far, far away.
Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser Launch Pods
When Guests enter the new Disney World Star Wars hotel to start their journey on this luxurious passenger starship, they will “Arrive at the terminal, enter a Launch Pod, blast off into space and rendezvous with the Halcyon”.
Presumably, this will use some type of ride technology that will allow Guests to feel as though they are rocketing through space. It could, perhaps, be similar to the experience on Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run, although Disney has not confirmed how the Halcyon boarding process will work.
Wookieepedia has provided some additional details about the Launch Pods and their purpose:
Launch Pods were small spacecraft used to board starships. Unlike an escape pod, its purpose was not escaping, but boarding another vessel.
The pods included viewports for passengers to look out of, and an astromech was situated on top of the vehicle. The MPO-1400 Star Cruiser Halcyon was known to be boarded by passengers from ground terminals through Launch Pods.
In Disney’s concept art [above], you can see how Walt Disney Imagineering research envisions Galactic Starcruiser Guests docking in their Launch Pods.
Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser Halcyon Starcruiser
The Halcyon Starcruiser is a luxury passenger ship that is carrying Guests — you, in this case! — on a leisure trip throughout the galaxy. Imagineers have noted that there may be a “detour or two” to popular planets within the Star Wars universe based on the choices that passengers make during their intergalactic vacation.
The Halcyon was a Corellian MPO-1400 Star Cruiser operated by Chandrila Star Line. It was commanded by Captain R. Keevan, and a note posted in Oga’s Cantina in Black Spire Outpost on the planet Batuu advertising a mechanic position on board the starship directed all applicants to contact Keevan. The job listing stated that applicants would need experience working on MPO-1400s and that the ability to speak Shyriiwook would be beneficial.
It’s amusing that Shyriiwook is specifically noted as a desirable trait for a Halcyon employee — this is the language of the Wookiee homeworld of Kashyyyk, and from some of the Disney concept art you’ll see in a moment, we know Chewbacca is likely to be one of the Star Wars characters Guests encounter onboard the ship!
Next, we’ll dive into all of Disney’s detailed concept art that gives prospective Halcyon passengers a glimpse of what to expect on their starship adventure.
Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser Atrium
The Atrium, presumably, will be one of the first areas of the Star Wars Resort that Guests see. This open space appears that it will serve as a gathering place for passengers, crew members, and even iconic Star Wars characters (we see you, Chewbacca!)
This artist rendering also lends credence to the reports that a Stormtrooper invasion will be part of the curated experience for Guests who book passage on the Galactic Starcruiser hotel.
Disney describes the ship’s main deck Atrium as a place where Guests can “Discover the heart of the Halcyon, a welcoming place where crew and passengers gather”. It appears that there will be ample seating, as well as viewports where Guests can see the galaxy flying by.
Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser Bridge
The Bridge area is described as a place where Guests can “Operate the ship’s navigation and defense systems under the crew’s guidance.” This appears to be an area of the starship that will have numerous interactive areas for families to fully immerse themselves in the Star Wars story.
We can assume that Galactic Starcruiser Cast Members will have been trained to interact with passengers in character, so there is sure to be a storyline that goes along with the fact that Guests are apparently allowed to roam the bridge on this particular luxury liner.
The bridge was a location on board the MPO-1400 Star Cruiser Halcyon. In it, the crew operated the ship’s navigation and defense systems. Passengers were occasionally allowed to operate the systems with the crew’s guidance.
Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser Sublight Lounge
Previously known as The Silver C Lounge, The Sublight Lounge will be a venue where one can “Sip a drink in this stylish lounge, a warm and inviting retreat for passengers of all ages.”
The concept art shows an R2 unit roaming in the background, though it is difficult to tell for sure if it is Star Wars icon R2-R2. In either case, this seems to confirm that there is a high likelihood of droids being present on the Halcyon. Furthermore, it looks as though the Imagineering team behind the Star Wars hotel may very well be utilizing some type of hologram technology.
At this time, the full menu for The Sublight Lounge is not known, but it will be joined by other exquisite dining experiences on the ship.
Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser Crown of Corellia Dining Room
The glamorous Halcyon Starcruiser will also be home to the Crown of Corellia Dining Room. This ode to Han Solo’s home planet invites Guests to “Enjoy unforgettable meals in a setting known throughout the galaxy for first-class cuisine and intriguing conversation.”
Disney Parks Blog officially describes the Crown of Corellia as:
The enticing supper club’s name is an homage to Corellia, the planet known galaxy-wide for its shipyards that gave us not only the Halcyon starcruiser, but also the Millennium Falcon. The dining room is a bright and welcoming hall that will offer breakfast and lunch to passengers before transitioning each evening into a lavish multi-course menu of both otherworldly and familiar origins.
We do not know at this time if familiar Star Wars characters will be on-hand to make sure “intriguing conversation” occurs — though having Kylo Ren show up at dinner would certainly lend itself to nervous whispers throughout the restaurant!
Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser Dinner Show
In addition to the two confirmed restaurants at this new Resort, Guests will be able to enjoy a Star Wars dinner show that appears to be themed similarly to the popular, chic clubs that existed throughout the United States in the 1950s and 1960s — think New York City’s Copacabana, but in space.
The very first details about the dinner show appeared in The Art of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge coffee table book. The text notes:
An overnight experience shaped around standard cruise offerings — a lounge, a dinner show, tours of the ship — Galactic Starcruiser goes above and beyond by extending an invitation to participate more actively in the narrative — whether accepting a mission from the Resistance or the First Order, training with a lightsaber, or kicking back in the lounge. Each guest sets his or her own level of participation, and their choices impact the story around them.
In the imagery of the show [pictured above], it appears that Guests will be seated at tables surrounding a sleek stage where performers will either stand or be projected. From this concept art, it is unclear if holograms will be used to project Star Wars species, such as Twi’leks, onto the stage, or if Cast Members will wear elaborate costumes taken straight out of a galaxy far, far away.
Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser Passenger Cabin
The final onboard space that Star Wars fans have been given a sneak peek of is a passenger cabin example. It appears that each cabin will feature a viewport that will make it appear as though one is flying through space, along with typical hotel room amenities, like beds and a seating area. These will, of course, be themed to fit into the Star Wars universe.
Disney notes that “Each cabin features its own window into space with a view of spectacular ships and galactic sights.”
What activities will there be on the Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser?
Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser Lightsaber Attraction
Star Wars fans have also been given a look at some of the onboard activities the Halcyon starship will boast. One standout activity is the opportunity to “Experience the traditional art of wielding a lightsaber and put your skills to the test.”
It appears that this particular perk of being a Galactic Starcruiser Guest will involve competing against either a computer (perhaps the screen on the wall) or even other passengers for lightsaber dueling glory. It is likely that this is where Disney’s “real lightsaber” will be unveiled, but nothing has been confirmed at this time.
Because we know Rey — Daisy Ridley’s character from the Star Wars sequel trilogy — will appear at the Starcruiser Resort, many are hoping for a Rey lightsaber lesson!
Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser Engineering Room Attraction
Another activity is The Engineering Room, where Guests will be able to “sneak into a crew-only area and discover the inner workings of the ship’s systems.” This appears to be a family-friendly space that may function almost like a play area for kids — similar, perhaps, to the function of the splash pads on Disney Cruise Line’s four ships.
What will the “port excursion” to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge be like?
Finally, Galactic Starcruiser passengers will have a “spaceport excursion” — like a cruise port excursion — on Batuu. This is the only time over the course of the immersive Star Wars experience that Guests will be allowed to disembark from the ship.
From the looks of things, being a Star Wars Resort Guest will have one major benefit — a surefire spot on the notoriously hard-to-ride Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance attraction. No boarding group required for Halcyon passengers, it would seem!
We do not know at this time if Galactic Starcruiser Guests will have to stay together as they tour Galaxy’s Edge or if they will simply have to be back at the starship area at a certain time.
We do, however, have an idea of how Guests will travel from the location of the Halcyon to Galaxy’s Edge. A road has been constructed and there appears to be a bay where passengers will board transport shuttles. Twitter user Bioreconstruct wrote:
Aerial look at where guests will access shuttle ships for excursions between Batuu and the Star Wars Galactic Starcruiser (hotel). Immersive vehicles with the illusion of space travel.
Immersive shuttle ships will carry guests on excursions from Star Wars Galactic Starcruiser and Batuu. Will the shuttles dock in this area? Really, the shuttles will be buses. With video screen windows showing the flight between ground and space.
Immersive shuttle ships will carry guests on excursions from Star Wars Galactic Starcruiser and Batuu. Will the shuttles dock in this area?
Really, the shuttles will be buses. With video screen windows showing the flight between ground and space. pic.twitter.com/DD14slynrj
— bioreconstruct (@bioreconstruct) February 21, 2021
It is not yet known how the area between the ship’s docking point and Black Spire Outpost will be themed. It is, however, important to remember that Batuu is a forest planet, so trees are likely to play a major role in concealing the Florida landscape.
What is the Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser timeline?
Star Wars timeline-wise, the Galactic Starcruiser will officially fall between The Last Jedi and The Rise of Skywalker, just like Batuu. This means that beloved characters like Han Solo, Leia Organa, and Luke Skywalker are unlikely to appear onboard the ship due to their respective deaths in the sequel trilogy. General Organa would still technically be alive at this point in the Star Wars story, but she has yet to make an appearance on Batuu at either Disneyland Resort or Walt Disney World Resort.
Disney has described the Starcruiser as:
…a new type of immersive vacation that only Disney could create – a two-night, cruise-style itinerary where you’ll become the hero of your own adventure in an experience that surrounds you 24/7 in Star Wars storytelling.
We know that Guests will make choices throughout their 72-hour stay that will ultimately impact their experiences onboard the Halcyon. How closely these decisions will tie into interactions with stormtroopers, Chewbacca, Rey, Vi Moradi various droids, and other Star Wars characters who have a presence at Galaxy’s Edge is not yet known.
How much will a Galactic Starcruiser stay cost?
Pricing for the Galactic Starcruiser Star Wars hotel has not been announced, though online rumors indicate it might be priced similarly to a Disney Cruise vacation, which often averages about $700 per person for three nights, depending on stateroom type.
This would make sense, given that the experience is going to be similar to a sea cruise in some ways and that the stateroom sneak peek actually resembles the setup of a cruise liner stateroom.
Can you see fireworks from the Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser?
Because the windows on the Halcyon are actually screens that will allow Guests to watch the galaxy speed by, it is unlikely that the fireworks at Disney’s Hollywood Studios will be visible from the structure.
However, it is not yet known if Guests will have the opportunity to watch the Star Wars Galactic Spectacular nighttime show when they disembark to visit Batuu.
The fireworks are visible from Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge and can be best seen from the platform outside of Docking Bay 7. Disney officially describes the Star Wars nighttime show as:
As John Williams’ majestic theme fills the air, feel the Force of beloved Star Wars characters, iconic starships and a heroic finale. You’ll be right in the middle of the action during this immersive light show.
State-of-the-art projection effects, dynamic lighting, lasers and pyrotechnics put you right inside scenes from the Star Wars saga—including a new action sequence from Solo: A Star Wars Story.
What better way to celebrate Star Wars than with a show written on the stars!
Please note that the Galactic Spectacular is currently unavailable due to Walt Disney World’s phased reopening process amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
What will a stay on the Starcruiser be like?
Although we can’t know for sure what the Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser will be like until it opens — no official opening date has been announced, but the official website still says 2021 — Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Chapek recently promised Guests:
“People are going to be blown away by the experience. It is truly unlike anything we have ever done before.”
It sounds like Disney’s Imagineers have outdone themselves this time and we can’t wait to blast off.
Are you looking forward to this brand new kind of Disney vacation? Will you be booking a fully immersive Star Wars hotel experience when reservations are available?
This article was last updated on Friday, June 11, 2021 at 6:42 p.m. EST.