Disney Could Reopen Its Doomed ‘Star Wars’ Hotel

in Walt Disney World

Chewbacca with Guests on Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser

Credit: Disney

It turns out the Galactic Starcruiser may not be as dead as we thought.

The story of Disney’s Star Wars hotel is turbulent, to say the least. First announced at the D23 Expo in 2017, Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser was a one-of-a-kind, immersive hotel themed to the world inhabited by Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), Rey (Daisy Ridley), and Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) in the beloved franchise.

Star Wars Galactic Starcruiser concept art
Credit: Disney

When it opened in 2022, guests were treated to a two-day role-playing experience aboard the Halcyon. The simulated cruise allowed its passengers to undertake lightsaber training, explore the spacecraft, and participate in secret missions.

In short, it was a Star Wars fan’s dream come true. But it came at a price. The two-night stay would set each guest back roughly $1,200 per day, making it a luxury targeted at a very specific demographic: wealthy Star Wars fans.

Guests laughing on the 'Star Wars': Galactic Starcruiser.
Credit: Disney

It turns out that this demographic is surprisingly small. After the initial rush of bookings, Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser quickly saw a decline in occupancy and failed to turn a profit. Only 71,000 guests stayed at the hotel during its operation, and it held an average occupancy rate of 70%.

While Disney made several attempts to salvage its $400 million project – including offering discounts to Annual Passholders and Disney Vacation Club members, slashing the number of voyages on offer, and even considering a retheme to The Mandalorian – it conceded in May that the project was a failure. The Galactic Starcruiser completed its final voyage on September 30, 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.”

Stormtroopers aboard the Galactic Starcruiser
Credit: Steven Miller via Flickr

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.”

At the time, it was rumored that Disney would write off the building and its technology for an estimated $300 million. However, it seems like there could – potentially – still be a future for the overly ambitious Star Wars hotel.

According to The Wrap, guests on Galactic Starcuiser’s final voyage received a survey featuring questions that suggest Disney may “rework and reopen the attraction as a more streamlined, less-costly experience.”

Galactic Starcruiser entrance
Credit: Steven Miller via Flickr

Disney reportedly paid guests who passed the pre-screening process between $150 and $250 and asked them to sign an NDA before completing the questionnaire. Questions pointed towards Disney looking at utilizing cheaper technology and cutting the length (and price) of a stay.

It also asked guests in-depth questions about their day-to-day experiences, as well as whether they considered themselves to be introverts or extroverts. This may point toward Disney considering how to adapt the hands-on experience for more reclusive guests.

Chewbacca with Guests on 'Star Wars': Galactic Starcruiser
Credit: Disney

Disney periodically runs surveys of all kinds. As one designer who works in the industry told The Wrap, “It’s a big leap of interpretation.” While this may simply be an exercise in further understanding where and how they went wrong with the Galactic Starcruiser, it’s also a pretty positive sign that Disney isn’t as done with the concept of a Star Wars hotel as once thought. Watch this space (or spacecraft).

What would you like to see from a second attempt at a Star Wars hotel? Let us know in the comments!

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