Disney World Closing Star Wars Lodge

Walt Disney World has introduced that it is going to be completely closing Galactic Starcruiser, its Star Wars “resort.” This covers the official announcement of the closure, dates & particulars, plus our commentary concerning the choice.

In line with Walt Disney World’s official announcement, the ultimate voyage for Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser will happen September 28-30, 2023. In different phrases, it’s one of many first cuts to be made and revealed earlier than Disney’s new fiscal yr begins on October 1, 2023.

“Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser is one among our most artistic initiatives ever and has been praised by our Friends and acknowledged for setting a brand new bar for innovation and immersive leisure. This premium expertise gave us the chance to strive new issues on a smaller scale of 100 rooms, and we are going to take what we’ve discovered to create future experiences that may attain extra of our Friends and followers,” Disney shared in an announcement.

Walt Disney World shall be contacting friends booked for voyages departing on or after September 30, 2023 to debate their choices and modify their plans. To prioritize these friends with previously-booked reservations, Walt Disney World is pausing new bookings till Might 26, 2023.

The corporate’s assertion goes on to say that they’re so happy with the entire Forged Members and Imagineers who introduced Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser to life and stay up for delivering a wonderful expertise for Friends throughout the remaining voyages over the approaching months.

We wish to begin by addressing Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser from a planning perspective. In all probability an odd strategy, provided that it’s closing. Nevertheless, you’ll probably have an opportunity to guide it after the mud settles for voyages between now and the top of September 2023, and there are nonetheless reductions out there for summer season voyages.

For individuals who are on the fence about doing Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser, we extremely suggest it. Not since you’ll have bragging rights a decade from now as one of many only a few followers who skilled this restricted time providing. Reasonably, as a result of Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser is superior.

The expertise is unquestionably not for everybody, however we predict it’s extra broadly interesting than some may assume. Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser is an extremely well-done, memorable, and customized expertise. Every little thing about it’s wonderful. You turn out to be emotionally invested within the final result of the storyline and the entire thing is simply immensely satisfying.

Turning to commentary concerning the closure of Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser, that is unhappy however unsurprising information.

Earlier than it even opened, we predicted that Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser may battle to seek out an viewers as soon as the preliminary wave of hardcore followers and prosperous fans bought their repair. We additionally predicted that Walt Disney World could be sluggish to pivot, and would quietly provide focused reductions to Forged Members and different teams to keep away from publicly “admitting” that the Starcruiser was not an enormous success. The precise issues which have been executed to this point.

With information of reductions and decreased departure dates, we expressed frustration. Our perspective was that if the established order was maintained, the Star Wars resort’s woes would solely worsen over time. Galactic Starcruiser debuted throughout a interval of pent-up demand and free-spending customers. Its first yr largely exhausted the availability of hardcore Star Wars and Disney followers who’ve the cash and curiosity in an expertise like this. The tides have since turned, and in an enormous method.

Our level was that these measures didn’t repair any underlying points. Specifically, they didn’t increase the viewers or enchantment of Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser. It’s a band assist strategy that merely resulted in Starcruiser shedding much less cash and failing slower. As we stated months in the past: if that is Walt Disney World’s solely repair, then failure is inevitable.

To that time, one other prediction we made even earlier than Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser opened was that if it failed, it might shut. There have been doable pivots (previous tense), however changing this constructing to an ordinary lodge will not be one among them. Many Walt Disney World followers appear to imagine this can be a believable or inevitable final result even with the “expertise” of Star Wars: Galactic Starcuiser ending. It isn’t.

Starcruiser doesn’t have a laundry record of facilities {that a} regular visitor would anticipate of a lodge–all the pieces from a pool to outside frequent areas to working home windows. A part of the rationale Starcruiser has been such a problem to market is as a result of it’s essentially not a lodge. It’s an immersive expertise that gives a spot to sleep.

Starcruiser can be very small. All the factor is just 100 rooms. The dimensions doesn’t work as a lodge, particularly given the extent of funding that will be required to transform this into an ordinary lodge. It will be like throwing good cash after unhealthy.

Truthfully, even when Starcruiser may someway be operated as a lodge with none materials adjustments, it’s not viable. The working prices of staffing, servicing, and sustaining it–even with out leisure performers–are too excessive given the low variety of rooms. (The margins on Starcruiser usually are not practically as wholesome as many followers assume. Sure, the value is excessive, however the working prices are staggering.)

When you’re a more moderen Walt Disney World fan, you is perhaps shocked at the concept that the corporate would simply abandon the constructing totally. When you’ve been across the block as a Walt Disney World fan, you may bear in mind Pop Century’s Legendary Years, River Nation, Disney Institute, Discovery Island, and so forth.

Heck, you possibly can argue that even Reflections – A Disney Lakeside Lodge and Play Pavilion are much like this (albeit not fairly on the identical scale). In brief, Walt Disney World has a time-honored custom of abandoning buildings and letting them rot. It’s as a lot part of their wealthy 50-year historical past as The Wand, Sorcerer’s Hat, Big EPCOT Filth Pit, or in-park tombstones!

Like a few of the different aforementioned failures, perhaps the bodily infrastructure of Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser will finally be repurposed. It’s doable the ‘day journey’ idea to the Halcyon that we’ve talked about beforehand will nonetheless come to fruition sooner or later, however departing out of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge and with completely totally different branding for the experiences. (Shade me skeptical about that at this level.)

No matter what occurs down the highway, don’t anticipate that announcement anytime quickly–and don’t be stunned if it by no means occurs. Walt Disney World has let loads of issues rot in plain sight earlier than; this may not be a primary. (Starcruiser isn’t actually in plain sight–it’s behind Forged Member parking at DHS, and the odd location is arguably a part of why it received’t be transformed into anything.)

In different phrases, this information that Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser is completely closing is not going to be adopted by one other announcement {that a} “brand-new” Star Wars Resort is opening. That isn’t going to occur. However who is aware of, perhaps they’ll flip it into a jail–it has the appropriate look and we’ve heard there’s curiosity in a kind of round Walt Disney World!

One of many issues that makes this closure information so unhappy is that visitor satisfaction for Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser is great. We’re speaking greater scores than absolutely anything else at Walt Disney World. I’ve heard this from a number of individuals with data of the Halcyon, and I’ve no cause to doubt them. (This additionally comports with our Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser Assessment, which is extremely optimistic about all the pieces aside from the value.)

I’ve no situation calling out the numerous errors that Disney has made with this, however the precise expertise will not be one among them. Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser having a few of the highest visitor satisfaction scores of something at Walt Disney World must be totally unsurprising for anybody who has truly executed a voyage.

For individuals who haven’t, it’s an extremely well-done, memorable, and customized expertise. Every little thing about it’s wonderful. You turn out to be emotionally invested within the final result of the storyline and the entire thing is simply immensely satisfying. Walt Disney World has had its hits and misses in recent times, however this delivers in nearly each regard. Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser is traditional Walt Disney World–a real triumph of Imagineering. 

How a lot followers would love the Galactic Starcruiser expertise if they may afford the fee is with out query essentially the most saddening a part of the information that it’s closing. We all know rather a lot of bloggers or vloggers who’ve axes to grind with Disney or Star Wars. There are many individuals who have been brazenly hoping for the failure of Starcruiser. We aren’t amongst them. We had been cheering for adjustments as a result of we actually, actually needed this to succeed and for extra individuals to have the ability to afford it. It’s such a disgrace that so few followers will get to have skilled Starcruiser.

The primary downside, in fact, is the value. To not belabor the purpose right here, because the overwhelming majority of discourse about Starcruiser has revolved across the prohibitive pricing. This was patently apparent to only about everybody from the start, and one of many largest the explanation why so many followers have been cheering for its failure. (For extra ideas on this costly pricing, see Is Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser Well worth the Excessive Price?)

Once more, visitor satisfaction is extremely excessive, however there’s choice bias at play. That solely surveys those that did Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser, which implies it’s the angle of those that may afford to do it. Not polled are the ~95% of the potential viewers for this that both couldn’t afford it or don’t wish to make investments the time in a multi-day stay motion function taking part in expertise.

Principally, Walt Disney World has one thing that’s superior and envelope-pushing, however has excessive working prices and even greater worth factors for friends. The top result’s one thing extremely exclusionary that reduces a probably giant shopper pool into a really small one.

The one viable resolution would have been increasing the consumer-base. That is completed by providing one thing that’s extra approachable, each from a pricing perspective and likewise a time dedication one. It’s not both/or, it’s each.

As a result of scale and working bills, there’s probably solely a lot cost-cutting that may be executed to cut back pricing on the 2-night expertise whereas nonetheless sustaining profitability. That’s high quality, as a result of worth will not be the one obstacle to individuals doing Starcruiser–it’s additionally investing 2 nights of restricted trip time into an expertise that may not be for everybody.

As we’ve recommended earlier than, the answer is/was debuting ‘day journeys’ aboard the Halcyon. Walt Disney World may provide 8-hour experiences that condense key moments of the storyline right into a single day go to. The branching script may very well be rewritten in a method that hits the most important excessive notes, mainly turning the Halcyon right into a boutique theme park or interactive narrative expertise. (Considerably like Meow Wolf, however exponentially costlier.)

This shorter expertise would have been very engaging to a wider cross-section of Star Wars and Walt Disney World followers. It additionally would’ve been considerably cheaper. It will have launched a complete new viewers to Starcruiser, and whetted their urge for food for much more. It may have resulted in much more bookings of the 2-night voyage as individuals discovered how good Starcruiser actually is. Sadly, all previous tense now.

It’s actually unhappy that Walt Disney World didn’t even take a look at this earlier than opting to as a substitute completely closing Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser. Maybe it was hemorrhaging more cash than we thought, and was deemed unsalvageable. It simply looks as if the one makes an attempt made at turning issues round–reductions and chopping voyages–had been half-measures at greatest that by no means would’ve been enough. Once more, very exhausting to say from the surface trying in.

Finally, we actually needed to see Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser succeed. That’s why it was so irritating that Walt Disney World didn’t make adjustments to repair the underlying points, however as a substitute made half-measures inflicting it to circle the drain a bit of slower. Now, all the pieces goes to be flushed away on the finish of Disney’s fiscal yr. This choice has huge “we’ve tried nothing, and we’re all out of concepts” vitality.

We understood why so many followers had been annoyed by the Starcruiser and brazenly cheered for it to fail. It was dumb of Disney to make this so exclusionary, each in pricing and enchantment. There are dozens of the way Disney may’ve approached this so it didn’t alienate a lot of the viewers. But they opted in opposition to all of that and remained steadfast of their refusal to repair the underlying points. In a way, Disney is getting what they deserve with Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser failing.

Nevertheless, this isn’t what the artistic group behind the Starship Halcyon deserve, nor do the passionate performers who poured their hearts and souls into making these characters and the entire expertise come alive. It’s additionally not what Star Wars or Walt Disney World followers deserve–and that features those that have bashed it. There are such a lot of followers who’ve executed so out of justifiable frustration, however who would truly love the Starcruiser if given an opportunity to expertise it.

Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser is definitely superior, progressive, and a leap ahead for the world of interactive storytelling. Imagineering created one thing outdoors the field that provided full immersion, interactivity, leisure, and personalization in a highly-themed atmosphere. It’s an absolute disgrace that extra followers won’t get to expertise this, and that Disney is now throwing away the hundreds of thousands of {dollars} in bodily infrastructure and R&D by completely closing Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser.

If this information makes you content or offers you a way of schadenfreude, that’s actually your prerogative. Nevertheless, when you assume Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser closing goes to “train Disney a lesson,” you might be sadly mistaken. Until the lesson that you really want the corporate to study is that they need to be extra risk-averse and push the artistic envelope much less, wherein case: mission completed!

Planning a Walt Disney World journey? Study inns on our Walt Disney World Lodges Evaluations web page. For the place to eat, learn our Walt Disney World Restaurant Evaluations. To economize on tickets or decide which kind to purchase, learn our Suggestions for Saving Cash on Walt Disney World Tickets submit. Our What to Pack for Disney Journeys submit takes a novel have a look at intelligent objects to take. For what to do and when to do it, our Walt Disney World Experience Guides will assist. For complete recommendation, the most effective place to begin is our Walt Disney World Journey Planning Information for all the pieces you want to know!


Ideas on Walt Disney World completely closing Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser? Assume the corporate will convert it to a daily resort, reopen it as one thing else, or abandon the constructing perpetually? Would you’ve got most popular a extra standard lodge keep at a Star Wars-themed or adorned lodge? Do you agree or disagree with our assessments? Any questions we can assist you reply? Listening to your suggestions–even while you disagree with us–is each attention-grabbing to us and useful to different readers, so please share your ideas beneath within the feedback!

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