Disney’s ‘Star Wars’ Hotel, Galactic Starcruiser, to Close

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Business|Disney to Close ‘Star Wars’-Themed Hotel Less Than Two Years After It Opened


The planned closure of Galactic Starcruiser, an immersive role-playing attraction, comes arsenic Disney seeks to chopped wide costs by much than $5 billion.

A household  of 4  wearing ‘Star Wars’-style attire walks done  a edifice  hallway designed to look   similar  a spaceship, with debased  ceilings and nary  windows.
A two-night enactment for a household of 4 astatine Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser astatine Walt Disney World Resort successful Florida outgo astir $6,000.Credit...Todd Anderson for The New York Times

Lauren McCarthy

May 20, 2023, 2:54 p.m. ET

After spending hundreds of millions of dollars to physique an immersive “Star Wars”-themed edifice astatine Walt Disney World, Disney said connected Thursday that, amid sweeping firm cost-cutting, it would adjacent the underperforming attraction successful September, lone astir 18 months aft it opened.

The attraction, called Galactic Starcruiser, was marketed arsenic portion luxury hotel, portion taxable parkland ride, portion role-playing game.

Guests are welcomed aboard a 275-year-old abstraction liner and instrumentality a celestial voyage connected which they mightiness beryllium asked to present a concealed message, caput to the motor country to assistance repair a substance valve, oregon enactment successful lightsaber training.

Disney said the hotel’s “final voyage” would instrumentality spot Sept. 28 to 30. Guests who had already booked the edifice aft September volition beryllium contacted to sermon options to modify their plans, the institution said, and caller bookings were being paused to prioritize those guests.

All visits are two-night stays with a starting outgo of much than $4,800 for 2 radical and astir $6,000 for a household of four. For authenticity, the 100 cabins astatine the Florida edifice person nary windows. Instead, stars, planets and asteroid showers are shown connected video screens.


Visitors experiencing “hyperdrive” connected the Galactic Starcruiser’s bridge. Disney said the edifice would adjacent successful precocious September.Credit...Todd Anderson for The New York Times

The announcement came arsenic Disney pulled the plug connected plans to physique a $1 cardinal bureau analyzable successful Orlando, a determination said to beryllium influenced by the company’s feud with Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida. It was besides not agelong aft Robert A. Iger, successful his instrumentality arsenic the company’s main executive, unveiled a firm restructuring intended to chopped costs by $5.5 billion.

Expectations were precocious for the edifice aft it opened successful March 2022. Two months later, Bob Chapek, who was past Disney’s main executive, described request for stays arsenic beardown and said the institution expected “100 percent utilization” done the extremity of the 3rd quarter.

“Response to next-generation storytelling similar Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser has been phenomenal,” helium said astatine the time.

Some fans were not shocked by the plans to adjacent Galactic Starcruiser, including Dylan Dickson, who runs the Theme Park Obsession YouTube channel.

In a video successful effect to the closing, helium called the hotel’s abbreviated tally “disappointing” and “a shame” and suggested that the institution tried to subtly hide the news.

But the communicative took clasp connected Twitter, wherever 1 idiosyncratic lamented that helium ne'er got the accidental to effort the blue-colored shrimps offered astatine the hotel. Another, poking amusive astatine the futuristic factual gathering with fewer windows, joked that the edifice would beryllium converted into a prison.

Mr. Dickson said helium thought the exorbitant terms brought the edifice “to its demise,” and helium argued that Disney fans should alternatively sojourn a parkland overseas for the aforesaid cost. He himself ne'er stayed astatine the hotel, saying successful an email that “the terms didn’t warrant the experience.”

He thought different “big issue” with Galactic Starcruiser was that it lone offered 1 scenario: Guests are recruited to assistance either the evil First Order oregon the gutsy Resistance. That, helium said, constricted immoderate inducement to return.


A compartment wrong Galactic Starcruiser.Credit...Todd Anderson for The New York Times

“It’s conscionable unusual that Disney isn’t consenting to fig retired a mode to discount the acquisition to marque it much obtainable for the mean family,” Mr. Dickson said.

In his YouTube video, helium said: “All that wasted money, institution money, time, blood, sweat and tears that went into this. To me, that’s violative to the Imagineers. That’s a slap successful the face.”

The “Imagineers” are the squad astatine Disney that develops taxable parkland attractions. The institution had planned to relocate overmuch of that section to the now-canceled Orlando campus.

In a statement this week, Disney said, “We are truthful arrogant of each of the formed members and Imagineers who brought Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser to beingness and look guardant to delivering an fantabulous acquisition for guests during the remaining voyages implicit the coming months.”

Josh D’Amaro, Disney’s taxable parkland and user products chairman, noted to employees successful an email connected Thursday that $17 cardinal was earmarked for operation astatine Disney World implicit the adjacent decade, which helium estimated would make 13,000 jobs.

“I stay optimistic astir the absorption of our Walt Disney World business,” helium wrote.

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