What We Wish Disney Would Do with the Galactic Starcruiser
There was some pretty jaw-dropping Disney news announced the other day — Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser (AKA the Star Wars Hotel) is closing forever. This will happen at the end of September this year.
The hotel only opened back in March of 2022, so the experience won’t even be open for two years. Keep in mind, Disney has been planning this hotel for a very long time and has spend hundreds of millions of dollars on it.
So, what happens next? Let’s talk about it.
Galactic Starcruiser Moving Forward
We found out today that Disney will basically be writing off Galactic Starcruiser as a tax write off. Chairman of Disney Parks Josh D’Amaro said that “in both Q3 and Q4 we should expect about $100-150 million in accelerated depreciation” of the hotel experience.
When I first heard the news about Starcruiser, my mind went to work thinking of all of the possible ways Disney could use it moving forward, by reinventing it, adding on to it, and more. But, it doesn’t appear that that’s even a possibility anymore.
Since Disney will be writing off the hotel as a loss, that essentially means they are no longer allowed to make money off of it. So, they couldn’t revamp the hotel to have more amenities or even a different theme.
They basically have to demo the building or just not use it in any way shape or form that could make them money. Those ideas about the space just becoming storage are looking way more possible.
What Went Wrong?
This is just so sad, honestly. Disney and its Imagineers invested so much time, money, and effort into this project that has never been done before, and it’s just going to be gone!
It’s not really unexpected though, because the form that it’s in right now (and since the beginning) is simply unsustainable. The price tag is way too high, there are only 100 guest rooms, and the singular storyline all make it less and less likely that people would go on multiple trips.
Also…have you met Star Wars fans? They are a TOUGH fanbase to please, especially the ones that completely write off the sequels and/or prequels.
I do consider myself a Star Wars fan, but as someone born in the 90s, I was a very big fan of the prequels — I saw them before I saw the original trilogy (I was 3 when Episode 1 came out, so give me a break!). I think that experience led to me pretty much enjoying almost everything in the Star Wars universe.
But back to my point, the Starcruiser uses a storyline set in the world of the sequels, so that right away pretty much isolates your audience. If people don’t like the story, they’re less likely to spend thousands to experience the hotel.
The price tag was seriously just over the top, even for Disney standards. It was over $4,000 for 2 people, over $5,000 for 3, and over $6,000 for 4. Those were just the STARTING prices, not including tax, not including alcohol or upgraded experiences on board.
Just to understand how expensive this is, let’s break it down. It’s a 2-day, 2-night experience, so using the check in and out times, it’s a total maximum time of 45 hours aboard the “ship.” For a family of 4, that’s about $133 per hour, or $33 per person per hour. YIKES.
It DOES include your food and a ticket into Hollywood Studios to visit Galaxy’s Edge for a short amount of time one day, though.
Disney was being very clear that the hotel isn’t closing due to guest satisfaction, though. They said that guests gave the hotel excellent ratings.
So, there was no doubt that guests LOVED the experience — why wouldn’t Disney just lower the price so more people could enjoy it?! Sure, we don’t actually know the operating costs and it would take longer for Disney to make up what it spent on the hotel and make a profit. BUT it would at least have a better chance at being sustainable.
What We Wish Was Happening Next
So, what do we wish would happened to the hotel? There are a lot of possibilities that will unfortunately not happen now due to what we know. But, we want to talk about them anyway!
We’re going to talk about some things that Disney could’ve done with the hotel to increase demand moving forward after announcing the closure of the experience as it is now.
First, Disney could have reopened the Galactic Starcruiser as more of a traditional hotel. It uses a cruise format right now, where everyone arrives on the same day and everyone leaves the same day, then the next group arrives.
If Disney made it a traditional hotel, people could book their stays for longer. But, a lot would have to change to do this.
At the bare minimum to make this work, Disney would have to add more guest rooms and more dining options. It needs to have more than 100 rooms and more than one main dining spot!
Next, to make it even more desirable, we think there would need to be some sort of pool situation. It could be an indoor pool so that you remain immersed in the world by using the same screen technology used in the guest rooms and at places like Space 220.
It could maybe have futuristic space bathhouse or spa vibes!
Another option would be to put the pool outside and surround it with vegetation and architecture so that you wouldn’t be able to see the outside world. Disney is an expert at creating the right sight lines, so this is definitely doable!
The way that it could still fit into the story is by using the same technology used to take you “up” to the ship. Guests going down to the pool would board a transportation pod that appeared to be taking them down to a nearby tropical planet to visit an oasis!
We also think that more characters should be added aboard the ship. Disney is all about keeping things in a certain storyline, but let’s be real — most fans just want to see their favorite characters even if it doesn’t make sense with the story!
I want to see Darth Vader roaming the halls, Han Solo at dinner, and Darth Maul at the lounge. It doesn’t need to make complete sense — it’s just fun!! Disregard the timelines and give the people what they want.
And, if it were to become a more traditional hotel, the price would obviously have to be lowered down to at least Deluxe Resort pricing. This would allow more people to be able to visit!
It might even be cool to open up the resort to people not staying there. More people around means more people spending money on food, merchandise, and more. You could set requirements like needing a dining reservation or something to keep it under control.
Another option for the hotel would be to make it more of a seasonal thing. Only have it open during popular times of the year!
Or, you could make it seasonal in the sense that the Universal Tribute Store is seasonal. The themes change depending on what time of year it is! This would help to solve the issue of getting people to visit more than once.
A few months could be the First Order completely running the ship, the next could be the Rebellion, the next could be a Life Day celebration. There are a lot of possibilities!
Finally, they could just open the hotel for events like Star Wars weekends. These used to take place at Hollywood Studios (bring them back!) and were VERY popular. The limited-time availability could drive up demand while lowering costs because the hotel wouldn’t be operating every single day.
I’ve also seen the idea floated around that Disney should expand Galaxy’s Edge into including the Galactic Starcruiser, or allow people in Galaxy’s Edge to visit the hotel kind of like you do with Rafiki’s Planet Watch in Animal Kingdom. This is another possibility, but I don’t think it would solve the money issue unless you charged extra to take this excursion.
However, none of these ideas I mentioned really matter anymore since there is no possibility of them happening. Oh well, goodbye Galactic Starcruiser, you will be remembered!
Stay tuned for more Disney World news and updates.