Disney’s Star Wars Hotel: An In-depth Look at Everything We Know So Far
The Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge land at Hollywood Studios and Disneyland was a big hit for both Disneyland and Walt Disney World, so naturally, the next steps for the parks are to figure out ways to expand the experience. At Disney’s Hollywood Studios, this is coming in the form of Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser, the next generation immersive hotel being built in close proximity to the park. Before we get into the details and specs of the hotel, some details released by Disney state that as of now, the starcruiser experience will be three days and two nights, with only around 100 rooms aboard the ship.
Update: November 16, 2020
Disney today released new renderings of the Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser guest cabins:
For comparison, the Grand Floridian has 867 rooms, Disney’s All Star value resorts have just under 2,000 rooms, and many of the moderate level resorts have around 2,500. So suffice to say, getting a reservation at the starcruiser will be no easy task. While currently unconfirmed, based on the released statistics and comparisons to the Disney Cruise Line, which works similarly (we’ll get to that), it is estimated rooms will go for around $3,000 for one person and $7,200 for the maximum of five people per room, coming out to $1,440 per person. Now, this is going to be an article mainly focused on being informative, but I just have to say, as a massive Star Wars fan, this price estimation is extremely disappointing, because as amazing as the experience sounds, this price will severely limit guest accessibility. Not to mention the already exorbitant prices that Disney is charging for park entry, this price will make a visit to the starcruiser simply unobtainable for many guests, myself included. However, again, this is just rumor as of now, but based on how involved the experience is, I wouldn’t be surprised if the real price matches or exceeds this estimation.
The story of the experience is that the guests are visiting a luxurious galactic starliner called the Halcyon, essentially a cruise ship in space. This is a new ship to the Star Wars universe, but a fun easter egg in Galaxy’s Edge alluded to it, where one of the announcements in the Toydarian Toymaker shop tells the owner she has won an all-expenses-paid trip aboard the luxury vessel. The experience will begin much like a cruise, where guests will park or be dropped off at a terminal.
Guests then take their luggage and board a small launch pod, which essentially serves as a pre-show room, wherein guests will be launched into space to board the Halcyon.
This will be simulated through many different indicators throughout the pod, including graphics and shaking motions, as well as a large window above guests’ heads that they will be able to look through as they get closer and closer to the starcruiser.
Once their pod has docked, it will attach to the Halcyon via the air lock, and connect guests to the main ship. The airlock opens, and guests will emerge into the Halcyon’s main atrium. Based on the concept art, this looks to be a galactic version of a lobby, with droids, aliens, and Stormtroopers bustling about the area.
Now comes the part of the announcement that has me the most cautiously optimistic. Disney states that “your choices [aboard the starcruiser] of who you align with will affect your adventure.” Now, the reason I am cautious about this is because when Galaxy’s Edge was in this phase of design, we were pitched a similar message about individual interactive storylines and side quest adventures that change your experience in the land- but we never got that due to budgetary reasons. What I’m hoping is that the effort that went into planning those has transferred them from the park to this hotel, and that the starcruiser experience will be a sort of “booster pack” to Galaxy’s Edge, i.e. a way of enhancing your experience within the parks.
Disney says that these adventures will include interaction with both First Order (bad guys) and Resistance (good guys) troops, as well as other crew members and guests, on various missions. This has me very excited, because this makes it sound like as a guest, you will be fully immersed in a live action Star Wars adventure, where you are playing the role of the main character, which is what Galaxy’s Edge was supposed to be from day one. From this point on, be warned! There are spoilers ahead for both the character interactions and technical aspects of the starcruiser experience. So, if you want to go into this experience not knowing what to expect, you might want to skip the rest of this article and go check out some of our other posts.
In reality, your launch pod is basically an elevator, working similarly to the stretching room in the Haunted Mansion. The hotel is divided into three levels, the maps of which are included below:
We’ll get to the details of the entertainment rooms in just a minute, but for now I wanted to touch on the cabins. The cabins are the guest rooms, and there are three levels: regular cabins, captain’s cabins, and first class cabins. Each floor has 32 regular cabins, two captain’s cabins, and there are eight first class cabins, which are the same size as the regular, so I’m not sure what designates them as first class.
Every room on the starcruiser is equipped with a window looking out into space, with a real time viewing of what’s happening outside the ship. Each regular room sleeps five, with a double bed and two bunks. That puts the maximum capacity of this hotel at around 500 guests per day, which is minutia when compared to the parks, which welcome around 30,000-60,000 people per day. Another comparison would be that Space Mountain can cycle through 2,000 guests per hour when functioning normally. The point is, 500 people in a hotel is a very small amount considering this is a Disney property.
Now let’s get to why you’re really here, the on board entertainment. The primary hangout spot for eating and drinking aside from the sit-down restaurant, which we don’t have many details on, is a cantina called the Silver Sea Lounge. The concept art for this place is very reminiscent of the modern-day Star Wars era, bright neon lights, aliens milling about, and a very vibrant energy. What caught my attention first was that large table shown in the middle of the room, where aliens and passengers are playing a hologram version of Sabacc, the popular in-universe card game. There are various droids and aliens shown in this bar, including a free roaming R-unit droid similar to R2-D2, and an alien bartender, which again gets my hopes up for the character interactions on this ship.
Okay, here’s the big one: lightsaber training. This concept art is probably the one that gets me most excited about this experience because it shows a guest deflecting blaster bolts from a training droid with a real lightsaber. Now, if we think back to when Disney was filing all of the patents for Galaxy’s Edge, they created a patent for what appeared to be a real, genuine lightsaber. Not a laser sword that can cut things in half obviously- we’ve seen how dangerous those can be- but this was for some sort of apparatus that actually allowed guests to hold a hilt with a contained beam of light that could interact with different things.
This didn’t appear in the park, but like many other things, I’m hoping it will be updated and brought over to the starcruiser. However, thinking more realistically, guests will most likely be wielding blades similar to the ones sold in Galaxy’s Edge. It would also be cool if guests could bring those blades, or their custom ones they constructed at Savi’s Workshop, and have them work in this training dojo. The description also teases something cooler, by saying that guests “may discover your own connection with the Force.” If Disney can find a way to construct a working lightsaber, and allow guests to use the Force, this would quite literally be a Star Wars fan’s dream come true.
Next up is the bridge, the large room at the front of the vessel. Guests will each get a time to enter the bridge, and get a chance to learn about the navigation systems, defense mechanisms, and take a look out of the enormous window at the front of the ship. Disney teases that “skills you learn on the bridge may come in handy during the journey.” Knowing how these situations usually go at the theme parks, I’m assuming this information will indeed come in handy.
Beyond the characters on the bridge, there is also information about some familiar faces making appearances on the ship, such as Rey, BB-8, Chewbacca, and Kylo Ren. While not made official yet by Disney, there is information that says that during the journey, Kylo Ren and his Stormtroopers will be boarding the ship, and entire rooms aboard the ship have the ability to endure laser blasts, sparks, and even a sequence where Kylo Ren uses his explosive rage to rip open the ceiling using the Force, and hold Resistance cast members above the ground as well. This has me extremely excited, but again, this part is unconfirmed, and even all the other confirmed sections are liable to change at any time.
I wanted to take a moment to discuss some rooms that are in the blueprints, but not shown in any concept art or discussed further as of now. Like I mentioned before, there is a table service restaurant mentioned but not shown in detail, which makes me wonder if it is the proposed dinner show table service restaurant cut from Galaxy’s Edge (shown below).
There is also a boutique, which will sell merchandise exclusive to the hotel. Also included in the concept art is the brig, which is what jails are called when on a ship. This makes me wonder if one of the missions will include being imprisoned and having to escape, or if you choose to side with the First Order, having to capture Resistance agents. The courtyard is also intriguing, and the only thing I can picture is some sort of space patio, surrounded by windows looking outside the ship, which would be an awesome spot to hang out in. The engineering room looks a lot like the kids areas on Disney Cruise ships, but there are adults pictured in the concept art, so I’m assuming this is part of one of the missions, but mainly geared towards kids.
As part of the journey aboard the Halcyon, guests will be able to “take a special planetary excursion to Batuu’s Black Spire Outpost,” which is the Galaxy’s Edge land in Hollywood Studios.
There will be a special bus equipped with similar windows as the hotel so as not to break the immersion, which will drop guests off in Batuu.
While unconfirmed, there will most likely be a special door into the park that guests will use, because it wouldn’t be much use keeping the immersion on the bus for guests to then depart into the ticketing line for Hollywood Studios. There is speculation that it may be through the door near the First Order section of Galaxy’s Edge, which is currently not used for anything (shown below).
There are also teases of exclusive experiences in Galaxy’s Edge only open to guests of the starcruiser, which is reminiscent of the original idea to have bounty hunters approach you if you perform poorly on the Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run ride. It’s also possible that this will be a guided excursion, which will serve the dual purpose of keeping guests in the Star Wars bubble and not leave Galaxy’s Edge, and also allow characters to only interact with the starliner group.
Originally, bookings were scheduled to begin at the end of 2020, with the hotel opening in 2021, but as of now, the pandemic has halted construction, so the exact details of opening are not clear.
What do you think of the Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser experience? Will you be staying there (provided you can afford it, of course)? Leave us a comment below and may the Force be with you!