Why Disney Closed the Star Wars Hotel in Florida
Disney World’s Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser, a two-day hotel experience that promised to transport guests to a galaxy far, far away, is closing its doors after only one year of operation. The immersive attraction, which opened in March 2022, will have its final voyage on September 30, 2023.
The Galactic Starcruiser was designed to be more than a hotel. It was an interactive adventure that allowed guests to become part of a Star Wars story, complete with characters, missions, lightsaber training, and a visit to the planet Batuu at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
Guests stayed in themed cabins that resembled starship quarters, with windows that showed views of space. They also dined at the Crown of Corellia Dining Room, where they could enjoy live entertainment and exotic cuisine.
The experience was not cheap, however. The price for a two-day stay ranged from $4,800 for a couple to $5,999 for three adults and a child. That’s more than what some families spend on a week-long Disney vacation. Despite the high cost, the Galactic Starcruiser received rave reviews from guests and critics alike, earning a Thea Award for outstanding achievement in the themed entertainment space and some of the highest guest satisfaction ratings in the history of Walt Disney World.
So why is Disney closing the hotel? The company did not give a specific reason, but cited “changing business conditions” amid the ongoing pandemic and its impact on the travel industry. Disney also said it was proud of the cast members and imagineers who brought the Galactic Starcruiser to life and thanked the guests and fans for making the experience so special.
Disney said it will pause the hotel’s reservation portal until May 26 to help customers who made reservations for after September 30 modify their plans. Guests who still want to experience the Galactic Starcruiser before it closes can check availability on Disney’s website or call (407) 939-5277.
The closing of the Galactic Starcruiser is part of a larger cost-cutting effort by Disney, which plans to slash 7,000 jobs across its business units and pull out of a $1 billion investment in Florida that would have created a new office space for 2,000 employees. Disney CEO Bob Iger has said he is seeking a “transformation” of the company as it faces unprecedented challenges from the pandemic and its aftermath.
The Galactic Starcruiser may be gone soon, but it will not be forgotten by those who had the chance to live out their Star Wars dreams on board the Halcyon. It was a unique and innovative experiment that pushed the boundaries of immersive storytelling and entertainment. It was also a testament to Disney’s creativity and passion for creating magical experiences for its guests. May the Force be with you, Galactic Starcruiser.