Bob Iger Rejected Plans to Retheme ‘Star Wars’ Hotel, Decided to Pull the Plug

in Walt Disney World

Galactic Starcruiser concept art

Credit: Disney

Fresh off the announcement that Galactic Starcruiser is closing its doors, more details are trickling in about how Disney came to the decision.

When Galactic Starcruiser opened in March 2022, it was heralded as the beginning of a new era of immersive storytelling for Disney Parks and Resorts. While it definitely succeeded on the immersive front, Guests weren’t as keen on the price tag. Two days aboard the Halcyon cost Guests anywhere between $4,000 and $6,000 – steeper than a trip from America to Tokyo Disneyland.

Guests aboard the Galactic Starcruiser
Credit: Disney/Matt Stroshane

Initial voyages sold out quickly, but sales soon plummeted in the following months. Disney attempted to salvage the situation by slashing the number of dates and offering Guests up to 30% off their trip. However, it ultimately admitted defeat by announcing that Galactic Starcruiser would set sail for its last trip on September 28, 2023.

In Disney’s official statement, they declared that “this premium, boutique experience gave us the opportunity to try new things on a smaller scale of 100 rooms, and as we prepare for its final voyage, we will take what we’ve learned to create future experiences that can reach more of our Guests and fans.”

Guests laughing at Galactic Starcruiser.
Credit: Disney

Josh D’Amaro, Chairman of Disney Parks and Resorts, later confirmed that “it didn’t perform exactly like [Disney] wanted it to perform. Despite the fact it was a never before seen experience and raised the bar, we thought it was time to sunset this in September.”

Behind the scenes, however, it seems like Disney considered multiple options to save its failing Resort.

According to a report from The Wrap, there were conversations about retheming the entire hotel to The Mandalorian – as well as offering “tours” of the hotel to give day Guests access to its bar, dinner show, and gift shop – but Disney CEO Bob Iger ultimately rejected the ideas in favor of shuttering Galactic Starcruiser for good.

'Star Wars': Galactic Starcruiser exterior
Credit: Disney

The report puts much of Galactic Starcruiser’s failure down to its focus on premium Guests – who ultimately make up a small portion of the Disney Parks clientele. “Once you went through the one-percenters who could afford it and the fanatical ‘Star Wars’ fans who would sell their mother to do it, you were done,” a Disney insider told The Wrap. Another added, “No one connected to this came off well.”

Since the announcement, Disney fans have thrown around similar ideas to save the hotel from complete closure, such as incorporating it into Disney Hollywood Studios’ Galaxy’s Edge. However, with Disney writing off the building and its technology for an estimated $300 million, it seems like September really is the final goodbye for Galactic Starcruiser.

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