Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser Resort is a highly-hyped new hotel coming to Walt Disney World, opening behind Galaxy’s Edge in Hollywood Studios. This post covers everything you need to know–the latest on when the spaceship Halcyon will open, pricing, concept art & construction photos. (Updated July 22, 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!
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.
Although nothing is official, our expectation is that the 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 probably 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. The resort won’t offer anything to do for non-guests, who will only get in the way and break the illusion. As such, it’s hard to imagine Walt Disney World allowing visitors to the Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser Resort.
With some basics about the Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser Resort out of the way, let’s cover the opening date, when reservations will open, anticipated pricing, and other questions about the Star Wars hotel that we’ve been receiving from readers…
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. No specific date was provided beyond that, but our expectation is still that it’ll debut in the first half of the year–hopefully before spring break.
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.
In late July 2021, Walt Disney World revealed the “attraction posters” for Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser. This includes 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.
Additionally, Walt Disney World announced that there will soon be an interview with Imagineers to discuss all things Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser. It will be 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!
Previously, Walt Disney World indicated 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.
This is likely more of a conscious decision given the nature of the experience than a “needed” delay due to construction timelines. Star Wars Galactic Starcruiser is largely inside a confined space with no windows or outdoor spaces as guests interact in close proximity to each other as part of a live action role-playing game. It’s understandable that Disney may not want to open such an experience just yet, even with most health safety protocol dropped.
Moreover, this is very different from a normal hotel, and a lot of work plus testing & adjusting will need to be done inside the resort before its ready to blast off into a galaxy far, far away.
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 in the first half of 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.
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.
Expect reservations to be delayed for Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser Resort. 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. 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. My guess would be that this begins as a thematically ambitious 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.
The short and simple answer is that Walt Disney World has not announced official pricing for Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser Resort yet. Even once rates are released, there is nothing to say those are what guests will actually end up paying. With Disney Cruise Line, prices often increase after the opening day for booking itineraries. With Walt Disney World hotels, discounts are offered that render rack rates somewhat meaningless.
Since Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser Resort was announced, there have been numerous rumors on pricing. Given that some of these began to appear several years ago, you should take all of these numbers with a huge grain of salt. Walt Disney World will charge what the market can bear. That amount will be derived from numerous factors, including some external to Disney (like the US economy and consumer confidence).
Yes, Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser Resort is going to be incredibly expensive. That much is a given, especially with 2-night itineraries. If you want the likely price floor for Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser Resort, look no further than pricing for 3-night Disney Cruise Line itineraries…then double it. (This could very well start at over $3,000 per person.)
Another thing to consider here is that the Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser Resort is essentially a boutique hotel. This will not have many rooms, meaning that the price-points here will be driven by supply as much as demand. Whereas Disney Cruise Line has multiple ships with tons of stateroom inventory, Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser Resort is one hotel with a small supply of rooms.
Scarcity is going to be 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.
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!