Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser Discount for Disney Visa Card Members to Fall 2023
Walt Disney World has released the first-ever Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser resort discount for Disney Visa Cardmembers, with eligible voyage dates in Summer & Fall 2023–more that previously-released as part of other recent deals on the unique hotel/cruise-like experience.
If you’re looking for a regular resort, Walt Disney World has already released many special offers for those. Most recently, new discounts were released offering up to 30% off for residents of Florida and up to 35% off for Annual Passholders or Disney Visa Cardholders.
Outside of the targeted offers, Walt Disney World also dropped a tiered general public discount offering up to 30% off for travel dates through early Fall 2023. Those aren’t the only deals available for booking right now. For everything else, see All Current Walt Disney World Discounts for 2023. That covers everything for the general public, Florida residents, military members, and everyone else.
Here are the official details of this new promotion courtesy of Walt Disney World: Disney Visa Cardmembers can save 30% on select Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser voyages—valid for voyages on the following departure dates in 2023:
- May 1, 5, 7, 9, 11, 13, 15, 19, 21, 23, 25, 29 and 31
- June 2, 4, 6, 14, 18, 20, 24, 26 and 28
- July 2, 8, 10, 22, 24 and 30
- August 3, 13 and 29
- September 8 and 16
There’s a lot of overlap here between the May and June 2023 dates and the recently-released 30% Off Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser Discount for Annual Passholders. Accordingly, our expectation is that that special offer sees an extension, or perhaps something is released for Floridians. That would make sense, especially for the August and September dates that are highly unlikely to fill up without better deals.
- The number of packages allocated for this offer is limited.
- Savings based on the non-discounted price for the same package.
- Must use a valid Disney Visa Card or Disney Rewards Redemption Card to pay the deposit.
- Limit one cabin per Disney Visa Cardmember. Disney Visa Cardmember must stay in the cabin.
- Offer is non-transferable.
- All packages are a 2-night experience. Package includes entry to Disney’s Hollywood Studios for one (1) day on day 2 of the experience. This admission ticket expires at midnight prior to departure date. Ticket is required in all Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser packages. Tickets may not be modified, are non-upgradable, non-transferable and non-refundable and exclude activities/events separately priced. Package includes two (2) breakfast, two (2) lunch and two (2) dinner meals per Guest, with gratuity included for dinners; and one (1) quick-service meal consisting of one (1) entrée and either one (1) nonalcoholic beverage or, if age 21 or over, one (1) alcoholic beverage (where available), or, for Guests ages 3 to 9, one (1) combo meal from the children’s menu offerings, to be used in the theme park only. Entertainment and experiences onboard subject to change without notice or liability.
- Offer is only applicable for new reservations.
- Advance reservations required.
- Offer dates are subject to change without notice.
- Offer excludes Galaxy Class Suites and Grand Captain Suites.
If you’re not an Annual Passholder or Disney Visa Cardmember, there’s also the special offer to Save Up to $700 on 2-Night Disney World Resort Stays when paired with Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser. In our view, that’s a good discount for people who already had Starcruiser booked. In other words, it incentivized Deluxe Resort stays before or after, and not Starcruiser bookings.
With that said, if you’re on the fence about Starcruiser, pricing is the impediment, and you’re not eligible for targeted discounts, you might just want to wait. That’s because there’s still plenty of availability after the AP and Cast Member discounts. The same will likely be true following this special offer. Next up will be Floridians and possibly Disney+ subscribers.
However, I am skeptical that Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser will be discounted for the general public anytime soon. That’s mostly because the number of rooms is so limited–it’s significantly smaller than a standard hotel–making room inventory an issue. More targeted deals is likely Disney’s solution to this. So who knows, maybe there will be PIN codes or some other means of limiting discount eligibility before opening the floodgates to everyone.
For those who are on the fence about doing Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser, we highly recommend it. The experience is definitely not for everyone, but we think it’s more broadly appealing than some might assume. Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser is an incredibly well-done, memorable, and personalized experience. Everything about it is amazing. You become emotionally invested in the outcome of the storyline and the whole thing is just immensely satisfying.
Walt Disney World has had its hits and misses in recent years, but this delivers in just about every regard. Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser is classic Walt Disney World–a true triumph of Imagineering. We’ve covered this in great depth elsewhere, and you should read much more than a few paragraphs before deciding whether to take the plunge. See our Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser Review for more pros & cons.
The main problem, of course, is the price. (For more thoughts on this expensive pricing, see Is Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser Worth the High Cost?) Guest satisfaction is incredibly high, but there’s just a tiny bit of selection bias there: it’s surveying those who could afford to do Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser. Not polled are the ~95% of the potential audience for this that either could not afford it or don’t want to invest the time in a multi-day live action role playing experience.
Basically, Walt Disney World has something that’s awesome and envelope-pushing, but has high operating costs and even higher price points for guests. The end result is something highly exclusionary that reduces a potentially large consumer pool into a very small one.
Ultimately, I really want to see Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser succeed and not end up shuttering. It was a bold bet and truly innovative idea, but also a massive miscalculation in several regards. Here’s hoping that Walt Disney World is able to right the ship before it sinks, as this will go down as a costly failure if something doesn’t change soon.
It’ll be interesting to see if the 30% off rate moves the needle enough with Disney Visa Cardmembers. I suspect it will for many or most of these travel dates, providing a stopgap solution while a broader fix is figured out. If this discount isn’t enough to move the needle, Floridians will be next, followed by other affiliation groups and, eventually, the general public. There are a lot of targeted offers that can be released to boost occupancy at Galactic Starcruiser before Disney resorts to offering aggressive general public discounts.
I get why so many fans are frustrated by the Starcruiser and are openly cheering for it to fail. It was dumb of Disney to make this so exclusionary, both in pricing and appeal. There are dozens of ways Disney could have approached this so it didn’t alienate so much of the audience. Yet they opted against all of that and remain steadfast in their refusal to fix the underlying issues. In a sense, Disney will get what they deserve if Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser fails.
However, that’s not what the creative team behind the Starship Halcyon deserve, nor do the passionate performers who poured their hearts and souls into making these characters and the whole experience come alive. It’s also not what Star Wars or Walt Disney World fans deserve–and that includes those who have bashed it. There are so many fans who have done so out of justifiable frustration, but who would actually love the Starcruiser if given a chance to experience it.
Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser is actually awesome, innovative, and a leap forward for the world of interactive storytelling. Imagineering created something outside the box that offered full immersion, interactivity, entertainment, and personalization in a highly-themed environment. It will be an absolute shame if more fans do not get to experience this, and if Disney scraps the millions of dollars in physical infrastructure and R&D. Walt Disney World needs to be as creative in fixing the current problems as Imagineering was in designing the experience–because there’s something special here, more people just need the chance to experience it.
Planning a Walt Disney World trip? Learn about hotels on our Walt Disney World Hotels Reviews page. For where to eat, read our Walt Disney World Restaurant Reviews. To save money on tickets or determine which type to buy, read our Tips for Saving Money on Walt Disney World Tickets post. Our What to Pack for Disney Trips post takes a unique look at clever items to take. For what to do and when to do it, our Walt Disney World Ride Guides will help. For comprehensive advice, the best place to start is our Walt Disney World Trip Planning Guide for everything you need to know!
Thoughts on this Disney Visa discount of 30% off Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser voyages? If you’re a cardmember, is this enough of an incentive to get you to book Starcruiser, or is it still too expensive? Do you agree or disagree with our advice and assessments? Any questions we can help you answer? Hearing your feedback–even when you disagree with us–is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts below in the comments!
Anyone know if you can stack the discounts? AP and Visa card holder?
As someone who still worships “Star Wars” as the best movie I ever saw, I must confess that going to warm sunny Florida and staying inside a building/ship without even a pool sounds pretty grim to me. Now if they had a built a Star Wars park and hotel here in the frozen north (Ohio), they might have had something.
I don’t believe the 30% off is going to do much. They need, like, at least 60% off (ie, $1000 per night per family) for people to be able to aim for it.
Personally, I am certain that SWGS will fail by next year. I get why Tom and many others enjoyed it tremendously, but the entire idea just repulses me and my family. I can afford it, but I don’t want to go if it were offered to me free. I dislike the thought of being stuck in a small space for days. Maybe if I lived in Florida like Tom I would have been more OK with it, but I have to take time off to fly there, and my time in Florida is so precious that I don’t want to waste 2 days being locked out of the sunshine and fresh air.
Even then, I’m hoping that Tom is wrong and Disney isn’t going to lock the place up with it fails, instead of running it like regular hotel (with no pool or window or outdoor landscaping or entertainment staff), for $500 a night. I think people will pay, and Disney will make a few bucks. They will just have to endure the “I told you so” from millions of SW fans. But Tom is probably right and Disney will just lock the doors on a $200 million building and let it sit and rot.
60% off would simply be too much of a discount for it to make economic sense for Disney to operate unless it was severely limited per “trip.” Although the price is very high, based on reports, it’s probably justified by the fact that the daily operating costs have to be astronomical. That would explain why they are closing it occasionally/only offering limited discounts to a small number of potential guests per trip. To the extent Disney missed the mark, it wasn’t because they are charging too much, it’s because the price they need to charge for it to make economic sense limits its market too much.
Also, I can’t see Disney operating it as a regular hotel instead of just giving up and shutting it down. I imagine it would feel a lot more claustrophobic without the constant activity the way it currently operates and it would probably be more cost effective to write it off on their books than keep it open without the immersive experience aspect.
LDW, if you have enjoyed going on a cruise ship, you do not have to worry about feeling like you’re “stuck in a small space for days.” It’s basically a cruise ship on land. The indoor spaces are large in scale and feel. There’s a beautiful outdoor garden (with a fun explanation) if you ever want some sunshine and fresh air. Day One goes so fast: you board in the afternoon by 4pm, swing right into activities, have a fun dinner and show, and then it’s off to sleep. You wake up on Day Two to about 8 hours of outdoor activities on Batuu in DHS and then there’s so much to do onboard as the voyage comes to its conclusion. And then you leave the morning of Day Three.
I don’t think it’s possible for them to do much more than targeted/limited discounts. While the price is admittedly very high, by all accounts it seems like they can’t really charge that much less and still offer the full experience. The operating costs are just too high. The sheer number of skilled (aka higher paid) cast members alone needed to make it work must make costs astronomical.
I think they will end up running it less frequently with these limited discounts before they ever lower the price overall. It probably has to run at full capacity (even with a small number of discounted rooms) for it to make any economic sense and it’s probably cheaper to just let it sit empty every so often than operating at lower capacity. It’s not like a half full trip can run with half of the skilled cast members. At best that reduces some housekeeping and food costs (although even with food, if they are doing mostly set meals and buffets, there’s probably not a ton of savings), but that doesn’t do much to cut the core operational costs. It’s still going to need a certain number of rack rate paying guests to be viable.
You’re absolutely right. That’s actually something we’ve addressed in prior posts–people assume the margins are high given the price points, but so too are the costs.
Scale is also one of (many) reasons why this cannot be converted into a regular hotel–another topic of past posts.
I think you’re right about 30% off the base price is as cheap as they can go without drastically changing the experience or tearing the whole thing down and putting up a tower – admittedly a drastically changed experience! What I *could* see WDW doing is eventually moving though offering targeted groups the 30% discounts to offering that same 30% off to the general public, especially in the current economic environment.
My opinion is that for a two day/two night soft-LARPing experience for four people, $525 per person per night actually sounds like it might be worthwhile. I may not be able to afford it, or I may not want to do it without the right other three people, but the costs and service seem in alignment in a way that, quite frankly, still seem *to me* to be out of whack for a single traveler or even a couple.
For anyone who has been waiting for a good discount, take this one and go! The Galactic Starcruiser was incredible — we did a three-generation trip this spring with varying degrees of Star Wars fandom among us and everyone had an epic time. (In fact, the family member who loved Star Wars the least and binged the 9 movies beforehand probably had the most fun tackling the Day Two missions. She was unstoppable.) Tom is not exaggerating at all about the cast members, show quality, and experience. There is nothing like it.
Do you know if a solo traveler would have to pay the same as a couple in a room like they do in cruise ships or is there some kind of a break there? This might be enough to move the needle for me but i’m not sure if I have someone to go with.
Hi, Victoria. Per the GS website FAQs: “If you will be the only person staying in a cabin during a Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser voyage, you will be charged the same total package price as 2 adults staying in the same cabin.”
As Karyl replied I don’t think they do. As a potential single traveler, at first I thought that sounded insane, but when you actually think about it, having only one person in a cabin hardly saves them anything compared to having two. They still are going to have to fully turn over the room you used and the fact that most of their meals seem to be either set menus or buffets means the savings on food Disney sees would be rather minimal. They still likely would have to have the same number of expensive skilled cast members on board regardless of whether there was one person in your room or two, and that’s where the vast majority of costs comes in.
Yeah that makes sense. It’s also how cruise pricing tends to work. There’s a price for the room, then they charge more for having more than two people.