Disney Considered Re-Theming The Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser Before Closing
In the weeks and months leading up to the closure of the Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser, Disney executives and Imagineers scrambled to try and find a way to salvage the property.
The incredibly immersive Star Wars hotel initially opened to rave reviews, with the Los Angeles Times calling it “arguably the most ambitious tourism project undertaken by the Walt Disney Company since the creation of the original Disneyland.” All 100 rooms were regularly booked.
Guests who went on a Galactic Starcruiser “voyage” were wowed by their interactions with Star Wars characters, the dazzling dinner show, and the intricate level of theming.
One problem that the Galactic Starcruiser could never overcome, however, was its price. At about $1,600 per person for a two-night “voyage,” the market for the hotel was limited.
The Wheels Fall Off
A year after the Starcruiser opened, demand for the hotel had dried up. Disney began offering discounts to cast members and DVC members. Additionally, the dinner show went from twice a night to one performance. Finally, the number of voyages was reduced, and some were even outright canceled.
“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 TheWrap.
Disney knew they had a problem.
Disney Considered Drastic Changes
In an attempt to save the fledgling resort, Disney considered offering “tours” of the property to guests staying at Walt Disney World.
These trips would cost guests between $50 and $100 a person, and give them access to the Starcruiser’s bar, dinner show, and gift shop.
Another option, according to Disney historian Jim Hill, was to retheme the entire hotel to the popular Star Wars series The Mandalorian.
Even as recently as last week, Imagineers were on the Starcruiser looking for ways they could change the experience.
In the end, it was Bob Iger who shut these plans down.
Disney Writes It Off
Subsequently, at the JP Morgan Global Technology, Media & Communications Conference on Monday, Disney Parks Chairman Josh D’Amaro stated the company would take a $150 million write-down in Q3 and Q4.
While some of the Galactic Starcruisers elements could make their way to Galaxy’s Edge, the project will go down as one of the most expensive failures in Disney’s history.
For many, the hotel will be a symbol of former CEO Bob Chapek’s short tenure at the head of Disney. Now, the company moves on.
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