Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser is a highly-hyped new hotel offering 2-night experiences at Walt Disney World. The themed resort behind Galaxy’s Edge in Hollywood Studios is now open, and this guide covers everything you need to know–including pricing, 2023 reservation info, what’s included, and more! (Updated August 27, 2022.)
We’ve been “aboard” Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser twice now. Once for a preview and once for the inaugural voyage aboard the starship Halcyon, jewel of the Chandrila Star Line. We’ll be honest with you–this is not going to be for everyone, or even most visitors to Walt Disney World. As a threshold matter, you should determine whether this is good fit for your party by reading our spoiler-free Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser Review.
The nature of the experience alone will eliminate many families visiting Walt Disney World. Then there’s the cost, which makes it a total non-starter for many others. We paid $6,634.32 for a party of 4–or $1,658.58 per person. For more thoughts on this expensive pricing, see Is Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser Worth the High Cost?
As for what it is, that’s difficult to concisely explain. Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser has an immersive ‘choose-your-own-adventure’ style story layered on top, as well as opportunities for nearly-endless show elements. It’s an unprecedented hospitality and entertainment endeavor, with the end product being awesome or alienating, depending upon your perspective.
Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser is unlike anything Walt Disney World has ever done, an amalgamation of a bunch of different entertainment offerings. It’s not really comparable to a theme park visit or traditional hotel stay. Instead, think of it more like a cruise on land–as the name suggests–with all-inclusive (mostly) food & drinks and comparable programming. Even the cabins are more similar to cruise staterooms, as you can see in our Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser Room Review, Photos & Video.
Unlike Disney Cruise Line, the Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser Resort puts guests in the center of an interactive adventure that they control. Think of this as a hybrid between a live action role playing game and the all-inclusive resort hands-on ‘enrichment through entertainment’ experience.
Disney has tested similar concepts like Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser before, but this is envelope-pushing in terms of its scope and level of immersion. It’s also unlike a traditional hotel. About the only similarity is that it has guest cabins with beds. Many of the amenities and features you’d expect of a normal Walt Disney World resort are not present at Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser.
In fact, comparing Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser side-by-side to a Deluxe Resort reveals that it doesn’t check many of the same boxes. If you want a luxurious experience with a pool, spa, concierge, well-appointed rooms, and more–you’ll be disappointed. Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser has none of those things. It doesn’t even have windows in the guest rooms–it has simulated portals into outer space. Although it’s on land, it’s pretending to be a spaceship, meaning it doesn’t have anything you wouldn’t find on a spaceship.
None of this is to say that Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser is lacking–it just is not what you might expect from a typical Walt Disney World resort at this price point. The focus here is much more on the immersive experience, role-playing, and themed environment. Suffice to say, don’t conflate “expensive” with “luxurious” as this is something different entirely.
With that said, let’s dig into all the details, because there is a ton to know about Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser Resort!
Star Wars Galactic Starcruiser Updates
Voyages aboard Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser have now been released through the end of the year. Above is a look at October through December 2022. Only a handful of departures are sold out despite these dates drawing nearer and this 3-month stretch being the busiest time of year at Walt Disney World. This is surprising–and potentially concerning for Disney.
With that said, availability fluctuates a lot. Keep in mind that one reservation can be the difference between “sold out” and “available,” meaning that all it takes is one cancellation or even a modification to different dates to go from available to not available. You really need to call (407-939-1800) for accurate availability if your dates are within the next 3 months.
If you’re already looking ahead to doing Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser in 2023, you’ll soon have the chance to book voyages through September 30, 2022. Reservations have already opened to Club 33 and other select groups. On August 30, booking opens to Disney Vacation Club Members. Annual Passholders can reserve departures starting August 31. Finally, the general public may begin booking Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser 2023 itineraries on September 1, 2022.
This staggered schedule is likely more about creating a false sense of urgency and exclusivity for affiliation groups that are eligible to book early than anything else. As you can see from the October through December calendar above, even the most popular travel dates of this year that are only a few months away largely haven’t sold out. The “new ship smell” has already worn off the Halcyon, so availability is unlikely to be an issue for the vast majority of dates immediately upon their release.
Even though dates for most of the summer months booked up, most people plan vacations several months into the future. People traveling from October through December 2022 likely have booked their trips already. Most people aren’t taking multi-thousand dollar vacations on a whim. It’s probably concerning to the company that it’s hot new experience with incredibly limited capacity already is not filling up.
To that point, Disney just send out invitations to participate in paid research to “talk more about your perceptions, observations, and attitudes about your recent stay on the Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser” at Walt Disney World. (Sadly, we were quickly eliminated from this $175 offer by virtue of being bloggers.)
While Disney routinely solicits guest feedback about experiences to tweak them, so this might be nothing noteworthy at all. It’s also possible there’s a greater sense of urgency and importance (hence the hefty payout) if the company needs to make adjustments to increase bookings. With only 100 rooms to fill, it is likely concerning to the company that many peak dates in October, November, and December have not yet sold out. It’ll be interesting to follow the availability situation to see how quickly changes are made, or whether discounts are offered.
Even if voyages don’t sell out, it wouldn’t surprise us to see Walt Disney World not offer discounts until mid-2023. Releasing special offers within a year of the debut date doesn’t send a good message to investors and company analysts about the success of this costly investment. Disney may also want to maintain the appearance of a premium product–with commensurate pricing–to consumers. Discounting sets a precedent, and one that’s difficult to undo.
When you do call to make your reservation, have all contact information (names, ages, etc.) for everyone in your party ready as well as your Disney account email address (if you somehow don’t have one, make it before calling). Also be prepared for lengthy hold times and being transferred a couple of times. Wait times are sometimes multiple hours; on busy days, the call queue closes completely.
While we’ve found the reps booking Galactic Starcruiser to be knowledgeable and experienced, they’re also very “careful” with information. For example, they won’t simply tell you which dates are cheapest or offer pricing info certain suites–you have to provide specific dates and info, and then they’ll give you a quote for those dates–and only those dates. It can be a bit tedious.
If you don’t want to hassle with it yourself, we highly recommendrequesting a free/no obligation quote from an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner and having them deal with the headaches so you don’t have to. That travel agency, and presumably most others, have dedicated planners that are already experienced in booking Star Wars Galactic Starcruiser who will be happy to assist you with the process, help you choose the most economical dates, best add-ons, and so forth.
Just keep in mind that options, especially the Galaxy Class Suite, Grand Captain Suite, and Captain’s Table, are limited and might not match the calendar above. In the last few months, availability has fluctuated wildly. Using an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner is definitely the way to go when booking Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser–it’s easier and they can monitor for availability and deal with calling in to manage the reservation since nothing can be done online (and there are always wait times on the phone).
We’ve completed our first voyage on Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser, paying full price for the expensive experience. (Well, we shared the room with 2 other adults, so technically we paid half price–but the point is that there was no discount!) We’ll have comprehensive reviews and coverage of the actual experience for paying guests in the coming weeks, so stay tuned.
With that update out of the way, here’s everything else we know about Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser Resort…
Star Wars Galactic Starcruiser Experience Details
Prior to their departure, guests preparing for their voyages aboard the Halcyon are encouraged to purchase Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser costumes sold exclusively on shopDisney.com. Options range from $70 to $150 for adults and $60 to $100 for kids. Each seemingly serves a different purpose, so I guess you’ll “need” to buy multiple wardrobe changes to avoid any intergalactic faux pas or style mistakes.
ShopDisney’s merchandise is available for purchase exclusively by guests with a qualifying Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser reservation. Eligible guests are eligible to buy these outfits on shopDisney.com up to 60 days prior to their Galactic Starcruiser reservation check-in date and up to 30 days after their check-out date. In order to complete the transaction, the email address used to sign into shopDisney must also be linked to your Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser reservation.
Following that and all other pre-departure preparations, the actual adventure begins when guests arrive at the Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser Terminal at Walt Disney World and check in for their two-night experience. Guests then enter a Launch Pod for transport into space. Through windows, they’ll see themselves leave Florida behind, jumping into hyperspace and drawing closer to the Halcyon, which is the starcruiser they’ll call home for the next two nights.
When the Launch Pod docks with the Halcyon and the airlock opens, guests step into the ship’s main deck Atrium to begin their journey through a galaxy far, far away. A visit aboard the Halcyon becomes a multi-day story that interweaves with members of the crew, other passengers, familiar Star Wars characters, and an excursion to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
While staying aboard the Star Wars Galactic Starcruiser, guests interact with an eclectic group of characters both familiar and new. This includes the Halcyon’s strong and charismatic captain, a plucky ship’s mechanic, and a galactic superstar who can captivate an entire room with the crook of one jewel-encrusted purple Twi’lek finger.
This singing sensation is a featured performer during one of the dining experiences inside the Crown of Corellia Dining Room. The enticing supper club’s name is an homage to Corellia, the planet known galaxy-wide for its shipyards that gave us not only the Halcyon starcruiser, but also the Millennium Falcon. The dining room is a bright and welcoming hall that serves breakfast and lunch to passengers before transitioning each evening into a lavish multi-course menu of both otherworldly and familiar origins.
During their all-immersive experience aboard the Halcyon, guests are invited to delve deeper into their personal adventures by participating in onboard activities, interacting with characters, crew, other passengers they meet, and becoming part of the action.
Some of these activities include wielding a lightsaber and facing off against a training remote, visiting the starcruiser’s Bridge to learn about ship systems and how to operate them, and operating the starcruiser’s navigation and defense systems–skills that come in handy during a journey through this adventure-filled galaxy.
Guests are able to explore the Halcyon and discover hidden spaces deep in the mechanics of the ship–like the Engineering Room, which is perfect for uncovering secrets or holding secret meetings. Another interesting spot is the Sublight Lounge, where guests of all ages can enjoy libations and games in a stylish setting.
On the outside, the Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser Resort looks like an industrial bunker, and not an actual starship. When you enter the hotel, you’ll only be seeing the terminal and Launch Pod, not the Halcyon itself. Any representations of the Halcyon from inside the hotel are simulated. The exterior of the hotel and surrounding area is incredibly unimpressive and industrial.
Additionally, there are very few guest rooms in the Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser Resort–only 100 rooms total. That should make for an intimate (and in-demand) experience as compared to other resorts at Walt Disney World, many of which have well over 1,000 rooms.
The Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser Resort is physically located backstage behind Disney’s Hollywood Studios near Cast Member parking and the show buildings for Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. However, every window in the Halcyon, including those in each guest cabin, has a view into outer space, with ever-changing vistas as the ship progresses from place to place.
Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser Resort is not open for the general public to visit. This is unlike any other hotel at Walt Disney World, and even the DCL comparison doesn’t do it full justice. A docked ship that would have amenities and facilities that overlap with a standard hotel, but this won’t have things like a pool, spa, tennis courts, or literally any outdoor recreation options.
The Galactic Starcruiser is more like a long-form, multi-part attraction or on-board cruise excursion. Think of it along those lines–it’s an immersive experience…that’s so long it offers a place to sleep, too.
To give you an idea of what to expect, here’s a sample itinerary for Star Wars Galactic Starcruiser:
With some basics about the Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser Resort out of the way, let’s cover other questions about the Star Wars hotel that we’ve been receiving from readers…
Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser vacation packages include:
2-night stay in a cabin or suite
Ongoing, immersive and interactive entertainment, where choices determine your experience
Food and beverages on the starcruiser (excluding alcoholic and specialty beverages) and a quick-service meal at Docking Bay 7 Food and Cargo or other select locations at Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Admission to Disney’s Hollywood Studios for your planetary excursion to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge
Exclusive Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser MagicBand
Walt Disney World has released sample pricing for Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser Resort. Above is a look at rates for departures on weeknights in the fall off-season.
A few things to note here. First, this is the off-season at Walt Disney World and it’s when rack rates at all hotels are at their lowest levels of the year. For example, Grand Floridian rooms start at $742 per night for those same dates but jump to over $850 per night for many dates in October.
Suffice to say, pricing for weekends or more popular travel dates could end up being considerably more expensive. With that said, we’re honestly surprised by how “low” the prices are for Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser.
Obviously, this experience is not cheap. To the contrary, it is very, very expensive. Total voyage costs of ~$5,000 to $6,000 for off-season weekdays is a ton of money and suggests peak dates are thousands of dollars more expensive.
However, that’s still less money than we anticipated (a prior version of this post predicted costs of around $3,000 per person). Some dates could end up being on the more expensive end of that spectrum, but the starting prices–and costs for families of 4 are a pleasant surprise. Again, it’s still an exorbitant sum of money…just less exorbitant than the outrageous numbers we were bracing ourselves for.
We’re sure many–if not most–of you will disagree with this. Perhaps it’s all about expectations. We expected this to be astronomically priced given what the experience entails, its all-inclusive nature, and how Disney prices both its luxury resorts and cruises. Others might’ve had different expectations than us. No matter how you slice this, it’s expensive. But it could’ve been worse.
Another thing to consider here is that the Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser Resort is essentially an all-inclusive boutique hotel plus an interactive live entertainment experience. It’s labor intensive but does not have many rooms, meaning that the price-points here are high.
Scarcity is also a huge factor. Some have derided this as a hotel or experience for the top 1%, but that’s actually not accurate. On any given day, less than .01% of the guests at Walt Disney World will be staying at Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser Resort. This isn’t to say it’ll only appeal to the wealthy…just that an infinitesimally small number of Walt Disney World’s overall guest population will be staying here.
There are a lot of diehard Star Wars and Disney fans with large amounts of disposable income. Look no further than the prices Savi’s Workshop for Handbuilt Lightsabers is able to charge for that experience due to its incredibly limited capacity. This resort is similar to that, but with a more elaborate and involved experience.
Reservations & How to Book?
Reservations for Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser Resort can be booked by calling (407) 939-1800 to confirm availability and book your voyage. Again, reservations cannot be made online. The only way to bypass long wait times on the phone is by contacting an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner and having them reserve your vacation package for you–that’ll save you time and work, as they’ll do your planning.
If the Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser Resort is something that interests you, we’d highly recommend booking it sooner rather than later. This is for a couple of reasons. First, prices are likely to go up–Disney rarely decreases prices. The ‘sample pricing’ graphic you see below is likely the cheapest Star Wars Galactic Starcruiser will ever be.
Second, this is an ambitious and envelope-pushing idea, and is currently in a state of ‘pure & pristine’ Imagineering. Over time, compromises and changes are likely to be made in service of operational realities, changing demographics, and guest feedback.
Third, if for some reason this concept does not work and Disney is “forced” to decrease prices to attract more guests…more of the aforementioned compromises will be made to preserve the company’s margins on the Galactic Starcruiser. Cuts will be made to entertainment or dining (charging extra for food & beverage is an obvious way to cut the up-front price while increasing overall revenue).
This is all speculation on my part. However, this is a truly unprecedented project for Walt Disney World, and iteration is likely to continue based upon guest feedback and behavior patterns. This will likely begin as a thematically ambitious experience with structured live action roleplaying plus minimal real world intrusions. It’ll likely be aimed at the hardcore Star Wars fans who want something incredibly immersive and all-encompassing. And that’s largely who it’ll attract at first–Star Wars zealots and other hardcore fans who save or splurge on this.
What the Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser Resort evolves into depends in large part upon both the effectiveness of Disney’s messaging and potential guests actually listening to marketing. Walt Disney World is already stressing that this is not a typical hotel stay, but that doesn’t mean people will hear or comprehend that.
Ultimately, it’s possible that Imagineering will fine-tune the offerings aboard the starship Halcyon, and it’ll age like a fine wine. This could mean new storylines, seasonal events, added characters, and who knows what else. We were surprised to find the experience firing on all cylinders during the inaugural voyage, and were surprised by how well it appealed to guests of all ages and even mainstream audiences. There’s a lot of potential here.
With that said, it’s also possible that the Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser Resort experience will be diluted after its first year or so (this is what we predicted prior to opening). The primary demographic could shift from hardcore fans making a big splurge to affluent guests wanting their first visit to Walt Disney World to consist of the very best of everything–basically, rich parents with kids who enjoy Star Wars. The latter group is far less interested in thematic and storytelling integrity, and more so in exclusivity and luxurious experiences. Over time, Imagineering will iterate on the concept so it comports with guest feedback and expectations.
What do you think about the addition of a boutique Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser Resort to Walt Disney World? Will you be booking this? If not, what’s your maximum per person price-point for this experience? Would you prefer a more conventional hotel stay at a Star Wars-themed or decorated hotel? 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!