Rise of the Resistance is finally in place at both Disneyland and Walt Disney World, and both theme parks have reopened, and while that may mean that Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge is "finished" (at least for now) there is so much more planned for Star Wars at the Disney parks. A Star Wars land is also on the drawing board for Disney's Paris theme park, but closer to home is the Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser, a new Star Wars themed hotel that, based on everything we know, is actually a great deal more than just a hotel.
As the name implies, the Galactic Starcruiser is built to resemble a cruise ship in space more than it is a hotel, and the experience that guests will have while "on board" is also much more akin to a cruise ship design. There are activities guests can get involved in, characters to meet and interact with, and even shore excursions to take to alien worlds. There are still a lot of unanswered questions about Galactic Starcruiser, but here's every that we do know about the upcoming Walt Disney World experience, that is also a hotel.
When The Galactic Starcruiser Will Open
As one might expect, building anything as big as a hotel, or a cruise ship, is a massive undertaking that takes a lot of time, and while Disney certainly has a schedule and an expectation of when the Galactic Starcruiser will open to the public, that date has not been announced to the rest of us quite yet. The only thing we've been told for sure, is that the Galactic Starcruiser will open sometime in 2022.
Originally, the plan was for reservations to open up sometime in 2020, with the hotel opening in 2021. Unfortunately, 2020 was sort of a bad year for literally everything. Construction on the Galactic Starcruiser was halted for a time, and while it wasn't until May of 2021 that Walt Disney World made the delay official, it was confirmed then that the grand opening was being pushed into 2022. No new date for bookings opening up has been given, but it will likely be in late 2021 or early 2022.
How Long You Can Stay In The Galactic Starcruiser
The first and most obvious way that the Galactic Starcruiser differs from a traditional hotel and becomes more like a cruise ship is that you can't book your stay for any number of nights you choose. Stays at the Galactic Starcruiser will be two night experiences, where everybody in the starcruiser checks in at the same time and checks out at the same time. It's possible you might be able to book multiple consecutive stays, but they'll certainly need to be booked two nights at a time even if that is possible. We can expect that every stay will follow a pretty similar schedule as far as what experiences are available, what characters might wander through, or what "events" might take place while on board.
What Will The Galactic Starcruiser Cost?
Cost is another item that we will finally be told when reservations go live, but it seems unlikely we'll have that answer before then. One rumor suggested a number of $3,300 per person or $7,200 for a cabin that sleeps five. While that is a price that includes two nights, and likely a number of other amenities, it certainly isn't cheap. It's much more likely that final pricing hasn't even been decided on yet, as the time of year, the demand, what's included, and even more general economic conditions will likely all factor into the final total.
The larger question regarding the pricing, however, is what exactly does it include? If we use the cruise ship model as a guide, then some amount of the various activities available to guests might also be included. Usually, on a cruise, there's a base level of things that are included in your stay, and there's usually a premium level that is not. If some entertainment and food is included, then even at a premium total price, the Galactic Starcruiser stay might not actually turn out to be that expensive, at least not compared to your average day of a Walt Disney World vacation.
One of the more interesting things about the Galactic Starcruiser, called the Halcyon within the story --because everything has a story-- may be what happens before you even get there. Rather than simply driving up to the door, guests will arrive at a terminal and board a launch pod. This launch pod will then transport you through "space" and dock with the Galactic Starcruiser. The idea is that once you enter the terminal, you will feel like you've entered the galaxy, far, far, away, and the only windows you see will show scenes of deep space.
Create Your Own Star Wars Story
With Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge, Disney tried to create a land where the theming was so strong, you actually felt like you were part of the Star Wars galaxy, and the Galactic Starcruiser is promising an even more immersive experience. The Galactic Starcruiser will allow guests to live their own "Star Wars Story." It seems that each person will be able to, if they choose, take on the role of a citizen of the galaxy far, far, away, interacting with other guests and Walt Disney World cast members in what sounds like essentially, a two-day long role playing game. How this will work, especially considering not everybody on board will likely want to play, remains to be seen.
The whole idea of the cruise ship is that everything you need is located in a single place, so you rarely need to go anywhere. That means that there should be plenty of entertainment on board the Galactic Starcruiser. A couple of different activities have been revealed that guests will be able to engage in. One is lightsaber training, where guests will be able to take on a targeting droid in the same way that Luke Skywalker did in the original Star Wars: A New Hope. This feels like the closest thing to a full on Walt Disney World attraction that can be found on the Galactic Starcruiser.
But the really impressive thing here is the lightsaber itself. Walt Disney Imagineering has unveiled a brand new lightsaber design which is the most realistic version to date. It lights up just like the real thing, but is also fully retractable, so it ignites just like the real thing too. We have yet to see the new device in action but it will be what guests use as part of the lightsaber training experience inside the Galactic Starcruiser.
Visit Various Galactic Starcruiser Locations
The Halcyon is supposed to be a functioning ship, and so guests will be able to visit some of its key locations. The "bridge" of the ship will be available for guests to learn how the Starcruiser Halcyon's various controls work. It's being strongly hinted that, while there, the ship may find itself under attack, requiring guests to use the controls to defend the starcruiser.
The Engineering Room is being called a "crew-only area" but it will be one that totally expects guests to find it and sneak inside. Concept art shows guests crawling through tubes, interacting with controls and picking up tools. Maybe it's some sort of playground?
Finally, there's the atrium of the ship (see concept art above), and this is where guests and crew of the ship will be able to mingle with each other. This is where we'll likely see costumed cast members dressed as Rey, Chewbacca, or whomever else we might meet. It seems that both Resistance and First Order characters will be visiting, which implies the Halcyon might be the location of the occasional skirmish.
A Visit To Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge
One of the highlights of any good cruise ship vacation are the shore excursions to exotic locations, and the Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser will have one of its own, to the planet Batuu, or as we know it, Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge. Whether a park ticket is included in the stay or not is another unanswered question, but guests will have the ability to visit Galaxy's Edge, and since the Starcruiser is on the border of the new land at Disney's Hollywood Studios, guests will have their own special entrance.
Keeping Galactic Starcruiser guests inside Galaxy's Edge would maintain the theme of the experience, though I'm not sure how they would all be prevented from leaving, so the visit to Galaxy's Edge is likely more realistically a ticket to Disney's Hollywood Studios in its entirety. It might also include other perks, like FastPass+ access to the attractions, space in the virtual queue for Rise of the Resistance, or reservations for lightsaber building or droid building.
The Crown Of Corellia Dining Room
One of the best thing s to do on any cruise ship, or on any trip to Walt Disney World, is eat. And the Galactic Starcruiser will give guests plenty of opportunity for that. The primary dining location will be a spot that pays homage to the place where the Galactic Starcruiser was built, the shipyards of Corellia. It will offer guests all three main meals of the day, and is promising "a lavish multi-course menu of both otherworldly and familiar origins" for dinner. We've only seen concept art of what the space will look like, but it will apparently include repulsor columns as part of the decoration.
The Sublight Lounge
Food is great, but sometimes you just need a drink. Sometimes you need an adult drink, in the company of other adults. Formally called the Silver C Lounge, the place to stop for a drink on board the Halcyon is now called the Sublight Lounge. Concept art shows guests enjoying their drinks while perhaps also engaging in games. Think of it as a slightly upscale version of the Mos Eisley cantina.
While these are the only two locations announced for food and drinks so far, there's a good chance there will be more. If the Crown of Corellia is the standard dining room, there may be some upscale options available for guests who want something a little special, and who are willing to pay for it.
Every cruise ship has a captain, and the Halcyon will be no different. He's just one of the characters that guests may encounter while on board. A number of original Star Wars characters, like a mechanic and an entertainer character being called a "galactic superstar" are among those that Disney is currently casting. We're also likely to visit some characters we know, like Rey and Kylo Ren, so expect to have to defend yourself against the First Order.
While we still have our share of questions, with everything that we do know, Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser is setting up to be an experience like no other. No matter, what it all ends up costing, it will likely be worth it for a lot of serious Star Wars fans. With the hotel at least a year away, there are certainly more details to be unveiled that will only make us want to make the trip to the galaxy far, far away that much more.