Disney announced its new “Galactic Starcruiser” hotel, immersive Star Wars experience. But now that it’s open, prices and delivery have many taking potshots at Disney World.
Galactic Starcruiser Hotel
Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida officially launches its Star Wars “Galactic Starcruiser” hotel on March 1st, 2022. The property is constructed behind Hollywood Studios, home to the park’s Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge land. Like other theme park additions of the last 10-15 years, Galaxy’s Edge is treated as an immersive experience where there are no mentions of the rest of the park, prices for goods are referred to as “credits” and Disney cast members refer to being “on” or “off-planet.” The land is home to a number of unique dining and shopping experiences as well as a ride featuring the Millenium Falcon and the new Rise of the Resistance.
Walt Disney Company is trying to take Star Wars fans out of this world by completely enclosing the experience for visitors. One way in which they achieve this is to offer guests valet parking, and then treat them to a “cruise” whereby the entire stay is meant to be like a cruise in the Star Wars universe.
“Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser is a revolutionary new 2-night experience where you are the hero. You and your group will embark on a first-of-its-kind Star Wars adventure that’s your own. It’s the most immersive Star Wars story ever created—one where you live a bespoke experience and journey further into a Star Wars adventure than you ever dreamed possible.
Arrive at the Walt Disney World Resort terminal, board a launch pod and rendezvous with the magnificent Halcyon starcruiser. Stay in a cabin or suite with an exquisite view of space. Throughout the ship, you’ll interact with an eclectic collection of characters, sit down to exotic galactic cuisine and perhaps even plot a secret mission together.
As the itinerary continues, you’ll take the story further and deeper. Choose your path. Seek out the inner workings of the legendary starship, learn the traditional art of wielding a lightsaber and even jump on a transport to the planet Batuu—where your mission continues at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge!” – Disney
Disney’s Execution Is Of Concern
Disney’s Star Wars hotel has been hotly anticipated, but some have already indicated concerns about execution, a rarity for Disney Parks. One of those concerns has been that the parks will not be able to deliver on amenities they promise. Recently, the theme park couldn’t get cases for their $200 (minimum) lightsabers (colored flashlights) so instead, they offered umbrella sleeves. The “transport” to the “Galactic Starcruiser” appears to be conducted by a box truck which again levels concerns that Disney may not be putting in the limited extra effort for a simple body kit like they do for all of the rest of their vehicles.
The Star Wars hotel price is an additional source of ridicule. Fashioned after a Disney Cruise Line model (cabin purchase, all-inclusive experience), standard cabins for a couple start at $4,809 for the two-night stay, a family of four runs $5,999. But wait, there’s more – that’s for weeknight experiences with weekends running even higher. For comparison, a Disney cruise for 7-nights with “Star Wars Day at Sea” and actual Caribbean island stops starts at $4,662 per cabin for the entire journey. At more than $1,200/night per person, no detail can be overlooked.
For comparison, here are the prices for other luxury two-night weeknight stays in Orlando during the same period:
- Waldorf-Astoria $748 ($374/night or $187/person/night)
- The Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes $958 ($479/night or $239.50/person/night)
- Four Seasons Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort $1,712 ($856/night or $428/person/night)
What People Are Saying
When images surfaced of the box truck that was to stand in for the experience of lifting off from the planet and heading to the Galactic Starcruiser, the internet was not kind:
Aerial look at the truck (left) with a simulation inside. Transport Shuttle flight between the Halcyon spaceship (Star Wars Galactic Starcruiser hotel) and planet below (Batuu, as seen as Galaxy’s Edge DHS).
A similar transport shuttle door is on other side of the truck. pic.twitter.com/HWocCqAWav
— bioreconstruct (@bioreconstruct) January 30, 2022
Exclusive photos of the new Galactic Starcruiser to Galaxy’s Edge transport vessel pic.twitter.com/c21Ypxo2ty
— Toby (@303SnowWolf) January 28, 2022
— T E A S D A L E •-• (@Chuck82Tea) February 2, 2022
Half of New Grand Floridian Rooms Added to Condo Association, Aerial Look at Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser Box Truck & Docking Bay, Mickey & Friends Motorcade Ending February 12, and More: Daily Recap (2/4/22)https://t.co/PGZ2ewgmvz
— Disneyland News Today (@dlnt) February 5, 2022
Here is a closer look at the new transport that takes you from the Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser to Hollywood Studios. pic.twitter.com/lWc6eeAKsx
— Castaway RJ (@CastawayRj) January 28, 2022
And lastly, Universal Studios Orlando could hardly resist taking a shot.
Get in, folks. We’re goin’ to Universal! pic.twitter.com/utMgB6rUEX
— Universal Orlando Resort (@UniversalORL) January 28, 2022
This post breaks it down into an hourly price ($53.43/person/hour) without addressing the questionable quality or labor struggles (Disney has had a tough time getting servers to sign up to work the restaurants.) USA Today had a more favorable view on comparative pricing but stays within the Disney universe and its inflated nightly costs to do so, but is an accurate portrayal.
I love Star Wars and I am sure I would love this experience but for $2400/night – it’s a ridiculous notion. To find that it comes with transport via box truck, a couple of park meals plus a pair of Lightning Lane passes makes this all the more absurd. Availability of the cruises seems to suggest the market agrees that this is an overpriced cash grab.
What do you think? Are you planning on staying at the Galactic Starcruiser? Do you think this is fair, absurd, or even under-priced? What about delivery, do you think they are underdoing it for once?