Years ago the news broke that Disney was adding Star Wars lands to its major parks and there was much rejoicing. If there is one thing Disney really knows, it is fully immersive themed lands and experiences. This was going to be epic. Surely they couldn’t mess this up?
And then the dark times came. Rumors of interference behind the scenes. A full Mos Eisley experience, dropping fans directly into the world of the beloved original trilogy, was completely retooled to Black Spire Outpost. The theming was switched to the sequel trilogy. This meant the people who actually paid the bills to take their families to the parks were not finding what they wanted or expected.
Even worse, delays to a second major ride meant it opened with just Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run as the anchor attraction. Even after Rise Of The Resistance opened, visitors likened Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge to a retail experience, rather than a ride hub. It seemed mostly made to extract yet more cash from customers through everything from lightsaber and droid building stores to a cantina.
There was a New Hope… there was another…
So all eyes were on the next announcement, a fully immersive, interactive Star Wars hotel experience – Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser. The chance to completely bury yourself in a Star Wars experience for several days. The perfect getaway for a Star Wars superfan.
Then there were rumors online of cancellations, empty rooms and guests saying they wouldn’t return. This was recently exacerbated by Disney spending even more money on focus groups to dig into the guest experience. Guests who had previously stayed at Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser and completed a survey after their stay are being asked to join a paid focus group so Disney can learn more about their experiences. Participants will be paid $175 via Disney Gift Card for their time.
The claim was made online that this was further proof that the attraction was in trouble.
However this claim has been rebutted by investor website The Motley Fool, who point out that even with a price point of at least $4,809 for a two-night stay for a party of two, the experience is fully booked all the way through to the end of August, and pricing has remained high. They dismiss rumors of a struggling attraction as “clickbait gold” and say it is too early to say.
They also point out that the interactive two-night journey has only 100 available rooms that it has to fill every other night, on a resort with more than 36,000 rooms. So at less than 0.3% of the on-site overnight guest capacity, it is by definition highly exclusive.
So what is the truth? Is the scuttlebutt about the Star Wars hotel struggling simply wish fulfilment from jilted Star Wars fans? Or is the investment sinking under it’s high price point?