Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser Resort is a highly-hyped new hotel coming to Walt Disney World, opening in Spring 2022 behind Galaxy’s Edge in Hollywood Studios. This post covers everything you need to know–including pricing, the official opening date, and when bookings will begin! (Updated September 30, 2021.)
While the new hotel has been delayed by a year, work long ago resumed on Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser Resort after only a few months delay, which is much better than most other projects around Walt Disney World. We’ve observed visible progress in the past year (you can see the construction site while leaving Disney’s Hollywood Studios), crews have been working on it as normal, and the exterior is totally finished.
This guide to the Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser will cover basics and answers to frequently asked questions about what this immersive starship hotel experience will entail. To start, we’d encourage you to think of this as truly more like a cruise than a traditional hotel stay. In fact, Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser Resort is slated to offer a two-night itinerary where all guests arrive and depart at the same time, similar to Disney Cruise Line.
Unlike DCL, the Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser Resort will put 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 of the Disney Institute. While Disney has tested similar concepts before, this is envelope-pushing in terms of its scope and level of immersion.
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
On Star Wars Day, Walt Disney World confirmed that Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser Resort’s opening has been delayed until 2022. The delay announcement came via the above teaser video, which is about the coolest way possible to announce bad news.
That’s a new type of lightsaber Rey is holding in her hand, created by Walt Disney Imagineering Research and Development. Guests who experience Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser will be the first to see it in action starting in 2022 when this amazing new two-night adventure debuts.
Watching that lightsaber activate right before your eyes will be just one of the countless ways that, from the moment you arrive to the moment you depart, you’ll be plunged into a Star Wars story where your decisions and actions – or even the casual conversations you may have – determine how your personal journey unfolds.
Walt Disney World also just shared a roundtable interview with Imagineers to discuss all things Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser. It’s the most in-depth discussion of this incredible new experience Walt Disney Imagineering has ever given publicly, so make sure you keep following to find out more!
This wide-ranging discussion, you’ll learn more about the planet-side excursion to Batuu, how the stories of the resort intersects with Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge (including Millennium Falcon Smugglers Run), cuisine served throughout Galactic Starcruiser, and much more.
This roundtable covers a ton of hidden details, Easter Eggs, and cryptic sneak peeks of yet-to-be-announced aspects of the “storyliving” experience aboard the Halcyon, from unique droid technology to the otherworldly cuisine served in the Crown of Corellia Dining Room, the starcruiser’s enticing supper club.
September 30, 2021 Update: During the Walt Disney World 50th Anniversary Showcase, Imagineering announced that the inaugural voyage of Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser at Walt Disney World Resort will depart March 1, 2022!
General bookings for this immersive adventure in a galaxy far, far away will open less than one month from now–on October 28, 2021. Some Walt Disney World fans, including Disney Vacation Club members, Annual Passholders, and Disney Visa Credit Cardmembers will have a special early booking opportunity in the coming weeks.
During the Walt Disney World 50th Anniversary event, Imagineer Ann Morrow Johnson provided a first look at the Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser’s bridge. It looks good in the still photo, but was even cooler via video. Reminiscent of Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, except in a more elaborate space.
Here’s what else we know about Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser…
Star Wars Galactic Starcruiser Experience Details
The 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 will 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 will 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 will 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 will be a featured performer during one of your exquisite dining experiences inside the Crown of Corellia Dining Room, which you can see in this artist concept rendering we’re sharing today for the first time. 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 will offer 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 will be 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 will 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 will come in handy during a journey through this adventure-filled galaxy.
Guests will be 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 Silver C Lounge, where guests of all ages can enjoy libations and games in a stylish setting.
The Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser Resort will look 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. There’s concept art for the starship Halcyon, but the physical building will not resemble that. Any representations of the Halcyon from inside the hotel will be simulated.
Additionally, there are very few guest rooms in the Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser Resort. The exact number of is not known, but construction permits and plans indicate roughly 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 will not be 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 the opening date, when reservations will open, sample pricing, and other questions about the Star Wars hotel that we’ve been receiving from readers…
Originally, Walt Disney World announced that Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser Resort would open sometime last year. That did not happen, with the delay being inevitable because of the construction pause during Walt Disney World’s closure. However, the hotel’s opening has been delayed by over a year despite only a few months of the project being paused.
As of August 2021, Walt Disney World has announced a new official opening season–Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser will open in Spring 2022.
As we’ve seen with the Space 220 Restaurant, which is another technology-heavy project, troubles with tech and construction can lead to delays in opening. That restaurant has had its opening date slip several times now, and that’s for a largely passive experience with screens offering views into outer space. Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser Resort is much more ambitious, has more moving parts, requires the seamless integration of screen-based technology & physical effects, and will also require a lot of Cast Member training.
In other words, it’s too early to offer estimates about an opening date for Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser Resort, and visible construction progress is absolutely no basis for such predictions, anyway. With all of that said, we expect the Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser Resort to open fairly early in 2022. It wasn’t delayed or slowed down that much by the closure, so there’s every reason to believe it can be ready by Spring Break 2022.
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
After years of speculation, Walt Disney World has released sample pricing for Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser Resort. Above is a look at rates for departures on weeknights in late August and September 2022.
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 will be 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 enough 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. These fan demographics alone will push prices even higher, at least for the first couple of years that Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser Resort is open.
Last year shortly before the closure, Walt Disney World teased that Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser Resort reservations would open “later this year.” For obvious and understandable reasons, that did not happen. In a normal year, Walt Disney World releases vacation packages for the following year in mid-June. Obviously, last year was not normal and neither is 2021.
Our expectation is that reservations won’t be released until Walt Disney World is reasonably confident in projecting a time for complete resort and entertainment normalcy. That could mean September 2021, or it could mean that in December 2021, the company thinks a May 2022 opening date is realistic. It’s really anyone’s guess at this point.
Beyond the monkey wrench thrown by the closure and reopening, the difficulty in predicting this for Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser Resort is that normal reservation release “rules” don’t apply since Walt Disney World isn’t targeting a wide audience. Unlike a new attraction, this could easily open in the off-season, releasing reservations only a couple months in advance. It’ll likely sell out its initial dates regardless.
If the Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser Resort is something that interests you, we’d highly recommend booking it ASAP when reservations open. 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 when it opens will be in a state of ‘pure & pristine’ Imagineering. Compromises and changes are likely to be made in service of operational realities, changing demographics, and guest feedback.
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, I would expect the Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser Resort experience to be diluted after its first year or so. The primary demographic will 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–even if that means changes for the worse.
What do you think about the addition of a boutique Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser Resort to Walt Disney World? Will you be booking this, regardless of cost? 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!