On September 28th, Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser will make its final voyage. What went wrong with the Unique Immersive Boutique Resort, which should have been Number 1 on every Star Wars fan’s must-do list? Unfortunately, the writing was on the wall before the resort opened.
It opened late and in a difficult market.
The Galactic Starcruiser will not even have been open for 18 months when it takes its final journey. The attraction was originally announced in 2017 but should have opened in 2021. This should have come just two years after the opening of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. However, the resort closure due to the pandemic halted these plans.
It is unlikely the resort’s delayed opening would have led to the failure of Starcruiser, but the feedback on Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge might have had an impact. While feedback was good, the number of people attending Disneyland and Hollywood Studios did not increase as expected. This led to changes, including the departure of Catherine Powell as President of Disney Parks West. While Disney stated that guest satisfaction with Galaxys’ Edge was high, it did not appear to result in increased returns or new visitors. Rise of the Resistance is a great ride, but I’m not sure it has a high repeat value.
In our opinion, Galaxy’s Edge is great, but there is only so much Star Wars you can have in any one day. Perhaps a two-day immersive visit was too much for many guests?
The international travel market was only starting to reopen in 2022, which will likely have had an impact. However, despite its late opening, perhaps it actually opened too early. Guests have been restricted from visiting Walt Disney World over the last few years, and perhaps two vacation days spent in one building after being restricted felt too restrictive. Some reviews reported the experience as feeling too claustrophobic; remember, this hotel does not even have windows.
However, the biggest issue probably was the price, at a time when many people had reduced income. Walt Disney World vacations are expensive, and they have got a lot more expensive. Adding an additional cost to your vacation when you have not traveled for two years would have put many people off. I suspect many, myself included, had Starcruiser down for a special vacation.
The price of a Star Was: Galactic Starcruiser Vacation was unbelievable.
This wasn’t a cheap vacation! Prices almost started at a staggering $5000 for two nights. Two people would expect to pay $1209 a night each. This was for a basic cabin, and prices increased significantly. The cheapest vacation for a family of four was $6000.
With only 100 cabins, Disney would have thought enough people would be willing to pay these prices. It is likely that guests would have put the vacation down for a special occasion, but there have not been enough of these.
Undoubtedly, the publicity over the prices would have put many guests off. The media did not give the prices favorable reviews. However, there was something else that put me off booking a vacation.
It looked a bit rubbish.
I’m sure, I would have had great fun on Starcruiser, but my initial reaction on watching preview vlogs by “Tim Tictac and the Usual Suspects” was it looked a bit rubbish.
Like many people, I probably envisioned what I expected of the experience, but it wasn’t what I saw when I watched the original videos. I was incredibly disappointed when I saw some of the games. Disney did not deliver my Star Wars Vacation vision, like The Rise of Skywalker didn’t deliver my final chapter vision.
Disney has damaged the Star Wars brand.
I’m sure this would have had some impact; the Star Wars brand has been damaged. Yes, there have been some tremendous stuff, such as Andor and Rogue One, but there has also been Solo and The Last Jedi. However, I am in the minority; The Last Jedi was my favorite of the sequels.
There has been too much Star Wars over the last few years, and of variable quality. Basing Starcruiser on the Sequel Trilogy Era would always cause it to be a harder sell.
Who would you rather meet, Kylo Ren or Darth Vader? Poe Dameron or Han Solo? I know which I would prefer my immersive vacation to be based around.
The lack of options didn’t help.
Why didn’t they offer 1-night cruises or perhaps longer trips on Starcruiser? I’m sure there would have been a demand for shorter and longer trips.
In recent times Disney has been offering various price reductions to select guests, but it hasn’t been enough to save Starcruiser. Presumably, these discounts were a last desperate attempt to save the resort after some cruises were canceled and some operating at reduced capacity. Even though it has been operating for just over one year, capacity has sometimes been less than 25%, and sometimes the resort hasn’t even operated.
25%, think about it. That is only 25 rooms. Assuming these cabins only contain two guests, that is just fifty people. Fifty people in the cheapest rooms meant Disney was only taking $125000 on some voyages, and that assumes there were no discounts.
Disney has never announced how much Starcruiser cost to build, but you would guess break even was more than $125000 per voyage.
It is an embarrassment.
Don’t expect Starcruiser to be included in future official Disney World history books. In fact, you will not find any mention of Starcruiser closing on Disney’s official media.
This is clearly a huge embarrassment for Disney. It will be interesting to see what happens with the resort, but it seems unlikely to become a dining experience or add-on to your Galaxy’s Edge day as it will provoke memories of the short-term embarrassment. We expect the resort will be either demolished or used for backstage purposes.
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