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 and Walt Disney World to truly travel to a galaxy far, far away with the opening of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.
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 Blackspire 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 recently and is still set to open in 2021, according to Disney’s official website.
Here, we’ll take you through what you can expect to experience when you board the Halcyon for your own journey to a galaxy far, far away.
Boarding Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser
When Guests enter the new Disney World Star Wars hotel to start their journey on this luxurious passenger starship, they will “blast off into space and rendezvous with the Halcyon” in launch pods.
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.
Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser’s Onboard Spaces
Disney’s detailed concept art gives prospective Halcyon passengers a glimpse of what to expect on their starship adventure.
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.
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.
Another exciting onboard space is The Silver C Lounge, 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 be utilizing some type of hologram technology.
At this time, The Silver C Lounge is the only known restaurant onboard the Galactic Starcruiser. It is not yet known if all meals over the 2-night/3-day experience will come from this establishment or if other options will also be available.
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.
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.
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.
Excursion to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge
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.
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 on board the ship.
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.
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.
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?