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Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser
Main atrium of the Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser
LocationEpcot Resort Area
Resort typeDeluxe
OpenedMarch 1, 2022 (2022-03-01)[1]
ClosedSeptember 30, 2023 (2023-09-30)[2]
ThemeStar Wars
Rooms100
OperatorDisney Parks, Experiences and Products
WebsiteOfficial website at the Wayback Machine (archived October 26, 2020)

Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser[3] was a Star Wars-themed two-night live action role-playing/choose-your-own-adventure operated by The Walt Disney Company between March 1, 2022, and September 30, 2023.[4] The experience simulated a cruise in outer space within the Star Wars galaxy, and took place in a building located next to Disney's Hollywood Studios, in the Epcot Resort Area of the Walt Disney World Resort in Bay Lake, Florida. It was thematically linked to the Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge area in Disney's Hollywood Studios.[5]

History

In April 2017, Disney contracted the website Swagbucks to survey visitors in order to gauge interest in a possible Star Wars-themed hotel. As a result of the survey, Disney decided to approve such a hotel, with a visitor experience based on the Star Wars storyline.[6][7] Plans for the Star Wars hotel were announced at D23 Expo 2017 in Anaheim, California,[8] unveiled along with 22 other improvements and additions to Disney parks around the world.[9] At D23 Expo 2019, it was revealed that the hotel would be called the Halcyon and would be a two-night immersive experience where all guests arrive and depart together, similar to a cruise line.[10][11]

The planned 2021 opening of the Star Wars hotel[12] was delayed to March 1, 2022, by the COVID-19 pandemic.[1][13]

Bob Chapek said the Star Wars hotel would be Disney's "most experiential concept ever".[12] Chapek described the hotel as an "100% immersive" experience that "will culminate in a unique journey for every person who visits."[14] Planned features included creatures and droids acting as certain hotel staff; guests wearing Star Wars costumes; and an ability to interact with features of the hotel as if visitors were really in the Star Wars universe.[15] Visitors would also be able to have lightsaber training and duels (an extension of the Jedi Training Academy in Disney's Hollywood Studios[6]); explore and pilot Star Wars spacecraft; and go on "secret missions" personalized toward the visitors' experience.[16] These concepts were modified into droids participating as crew members, and lightsaber training solely on the ship for passengers. Instead of piloting the ship, passengers were able to partake in "Bridge Ops" training.

One writer for The Verge called the planned hotel a "Westworld for Star Wars fans," noting the hotel amenities that would facilitate the immersive-hotel experience.[15] Mic compared the planned hotel to Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge and Universal Orlando's Cabana Bay Beach Resort, two hotels containing immersive experiences, though to a lesser extent.[17] Estimates of the cost to build the hotel varied, from as low as $350 million[18] to as high as $1 billion.[19]

In May 2023, Disney announced that the Galactic Starcruiser would have its last two-day voyage on September 28, and then close permanently.[20] The Galactic Starcruiser officially closed at 10 a.m. on September 30, 2023.[21] At the JP Morgan Technology, Media & Communications Conference in May 2023, Chairman Josh D'Amaro claimed that Disney was expecting "about $100-150 million in accelerated depreciation” in the following two fiscal quarters -amounting to $200-300 million total- due to the closure.[22] This number was later revised and confirmed by Interim CFO Kevin Lansberry to be $250 million.[23]

Description

Early renderings of the project in 2017 showed that the new hotel would be shaped like a Star Wars starship.[9][16] Renderings also showed a lobby in the style of a Star Wars spaceship interior.[24]

On May 30, 2018, it was announced that the hotel would be located just south of Disney's Hollywood Studios, to the east of World Drive.[25] Valet parking was available for guests arriving in personal vehicles (no self-parking), or guests could use other means, such as ride sharing or a taxi. A driveway connected the Starcruiser's main terminal to the Cast parking lot of Disney's Hollywood Studios.[26]

Guests would stay on the ship, named the Halcyon, for two days and two nights.[27] The minimum room rate was $4,800 for two people.[28] The guest rooms contained full-size bunk beds and a queen-sized bed; some rooms also had a pull-down to sleep a fifth guest in the style of Star Wars bunkers.[24][6] The cost included the room, ongoing entertainment, food and drinks (excluding alcoholic beverages), admission and transportation to Hollywood Studios, lightning lanes for the Galaxy's Edge attractions, a quick-service meal credit for DHS, valet parking, and a MagicBand.[29] Guests were able to leave the Starcruiser at any point throughout their stay.[30]

The Halcyon was described as containing thirteen decks, with only four being "available" to passengers: 4, 5, 6, and 7. Deck 4 contained the Crown of Corellia Dining Room, the Lightsaber Training Pod, the Climate Simulator, the Transport Dock to Batuu, the Cargo Hold, the Brig, and the Engineering Room. Deck 6 contained the Atrium, which led to the Bridge, the Sublight Lounge, the Chandrila Collection (souvenir shop), and the Passenger Services' Desk. Decks 4, 5, and 7 hosted the guest cabins.[31]

On their second day, guests at the hotel traveled directly to Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge by a "shuttle-pod transportation system". The interior resembled a shuttle spacecraft that ferried guests between the hotel and Hollywood Studios while maintaining the illusion of traveling from space to the planet's surface and back.[32] The shuttle-pod terminal in Galaxy's Edge was located next to the First Order ship in Docking Bay 9. The walkway that led to the shuttle-pod is still visible, though unavailable to guests.

The story followed the Halcyon crew and passengers as they celebrated the 275th anniversary of the starline.[33] The ship's itinerary coincided with Resistance activity, which caused the First Order to board and investigate.[34] Guests were able to chose which storyline they wanted to participate in: Resistance, Smuggler, or First Order.[35]

Deck 4:

Deck 6:

Deck 7:

Reception

Early photos of the Halcyon's small, windowless cabins went viral before the hotel opened to the public, with many commentators on Twitter complaining that they were not a suitable luxury accommodation.[36]

After opening, the Galactic Starcruiser received mostly very good reviews, though the high price was still criticized. Tom Bricker wrote on his Disney blog that the Galactic Starcruiser is "not for everyone by virtue of its pricing", but concluded:

Viewed in the vacuum of themed design and immersive entertainment, Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser will go down as an incredible achievement, proof that Imagineering can deliver revolutionary experiences. The Halcyon is everything I wanted it to be and much more, elevating Galaxy’s Edge and finally deliver on the promise of being a place for you to ‘live your own Star Wars story.’[37]

In November 2022, the Galactic Starcruiser won a Thea Award from the Themed Entertainment Association for outstanding achievement in brand experience.[38]

In May 2024, a long-form review of the Galactic Starcruiser by YouTuber Jenny Nicholson went viral.[39][40] Nicholson detailed her own experience with the hotel, mainly noting issues with customer service and glitches in the app that prevented her from engaging with the story. In Nicholson's opinion, the Starcruiser experience failed to justify the hotel's high cost.[40] Nicholson speculated that early reviews of the Starcruiser were based on a press tour that only lasted four hours, where aspects such as the app were described by tour guides rather than experienced by the reviewers; this was confirmed by Polygon reviewer Charlie Hall, who noted he and others were never shown the app.[41]

Shortly after Nicholson's video was released, Molly Brizzell, a former cast member of the Galactic Starcruiser, wrote an article about her experience on Screen Rant. Brizzell claimed that it was misunderstood as a hotel instead of an interactive experience.[42] The article, which Rebecca Alter from Vulture speculated was written in response to Nicholson's video despite not mentioning her, was received poorly on Twitter. Alter noted that Brizzell's "arguments in favor of the Starcruiser sound like the corporate talking points".[43]

References

  1. ^ a b Bankhurst, Adam (September 30, 2021). "Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser Opening Date Revealed for Walt Disney World". IGN. Archived from the original on May 27, 2024. Retrieved October 1, 2021.
  2. ^ Francis, Katie (September 30, 2023). "Together... As One: Reflecting on the Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser After Its Permanent Closure". WDWNT. Retrieved September 30, 2023.
  3. ^ Smith, Thomas (August 22, 2019). "Disney Parks, Experiences and Products Shares First of Many Exciting Announcements to Be Unveiled at D23 Expo 2019". Disney Parks Blog. Archived from the original on May 27, 2024. Retrieved August 22, 2019.
  4. ^ Egan, Toussaint (May 18, 2023). "Disney World's immersive Star Wars hotel will shut down in September". Polygon. Archived from the original on May 27, 2024. Retrieved May 18, 2023.
  5. ^ Fashingbauer Cooper, Gael (July 16, 2017). "Disney's Star Wars land named Galaxy's Edge, includes resort". CNET. Archived from the original on July 16, 2017. Retrieved July 20, 2017.
  6. ^ a b c "Disney's Star Wars Hotel: Sleep In A Starship, Live In The Story". /Film. April 18, 2017. Archived from the original on April 19, 2017. Retrieved July 20, 2017.
  7. ^ Holmes, Jamie (April 18, 2017). "Star Wars: Disney fans asked about a new theme hotel". WFTV. Archived from the original on April 30, 2017. Retrieved July 20, 2017.
  8. ^ Kumparak, Greg (July 15, 2017). "Disney is opening an immersive Star Wars Hotel where each guest gets a storyline". TechCrunch. Archived from the original on July 16, 2017.
  9. ^ a b Levine, Arthur (July 18, 2017). "Disney announces 23 wild new developments for its theme parks". USA TODAY. Archived from the original on July 19, 2017. Retrieved July 20, 2017.
  10. ^ Radulovich, Petrana; Patches, Matt (August 25, 2019). "The Star Wars hotel is basically a Disney cruise ship on land". Polygon.com. Archived from the original on November 29, 2022.
  11. ^ Smith, Thomas (August 22, 2019). "Disney Parks, Experiences and Products Shares First of Many Exciting Announcements to Be Unveiled at D23 Expo 2019". Disney Parks Blog. Archived from the original on May 27, 2024. Retrieved August 22, 2019.
  12. ^ a b Bevil, Dewayne (July 15, 2017). "Coming to Disney World: Tron, Guardians of the Galaxy ride, 'Star Wars' hotel". OrlandoSentinel.com. Archived from the original on July 16, 2017. Retrieved July 16, 2017.
  13. ^ Schoolfield, Jeremy (May 4, 2021). "Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser Launches in 2022 at Walt Disney World Resort". Disney Parks Blog. Archived from the original on May 27, 2024. Retrieved October 1, 2021.
  14. ^ Fickley-Baker, Jennifer (July 15, 2017). "Plans Unveiled for Star Wars-Inspired Themed Resort at Walt Disney World". Disney Parks Blog. Archived from the original on July 16, 2017. Retrieved July 16, 2017.
  15. ^ a b Bishop, Bryan (July 16, 2017). "Disney wants to build a Westworld for Star Wars fans". The Verge. Archived from the original on July 16, 2017. Retrieved July 17, 2017.
  16. ^ a b Mulvihill, Tom (July 17, 2017). "The world's first official Star Wars-themed hotel to open at Walt Disney World Orlando". The Telegraph. Archived from the original on July 17, 2017. Retrieved July 19, 2017.
  17. ^ Marino, Valerie (August 1, 2017). "The 'Star Wars' hotel isn't just for fans. It might be the future of immersive travel". Mic. Retrieved August 2, 2017.
  18. ^ "Disney's Star Wars Hotel Was Too Much—Even for Star Wars Fans". WSJ.
  19. ^ "Inside Disney's Billion-Dollar 'Star Wars' Galactic Starcruiser Hotel Bust | Exclusive". May 24, 2023.
  20. ^ Sampson, Hannah (May 21, 2023). "Disney to close $5,000 Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser hotel". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved May 28, 2024.
  21. ^ "A Disney World Hotel is Permanently CLOSED | the disney food blog". October 2023.
  22. ^ "Josh d'Amaro Says Galactic Starcruiser "Didn't Perform How We Wanted It To"". May 22, 2023.
  23. ^ Dowd, Katie. "Disney to take hit of $2.5M per room at failed 'Star Wars' hotel". Sfgate.
  24. ^ a b Strachan, Maxwell (July 19, 2017). "Wait, This 'Immersive' 'Star Wars'-Themed Hotel Looks Awesome". Huffington Post. Retrieved July 20, 2017.
  25. ^ Fickley-Baker, Jennifer (May 30, 2018). "Update on the Star Wars Immersive Resort Planned for Walt Disney World Resort". Disney Parks Blog.
  26. ^ "New Details Reveal the 'Star Wars' Hotel at Walt Disney World Will Have Special Access". Travel + Leisure. July 6, 2018. Retrieved August 20, 2018.
  27. ^ McCarthy, Lauren (May 20, 2023). "Disney to Close 'Star Wars'-Themed Hotel Less Than Two Years After It Opened". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved June 5, 2023.
  28. ^ Brooks, Khristopher J. (May 19, 2023). "Disney to close its "Star Wars" hotel that opened last year". CBS News. Retrieved June 5, 2023.
  29. ^ "Your Burning Questions About Disney World's Star Wars Hotel Answered". March 2022.
  30. ^ "Your Burning Questions About Disney World's Star Wars Hotel Answered". March 2022.
  31. ^ "A Guide to the Locations Onboard the Halcyon Starcruiser". February 25, 2022.
  32. ^ Gallagher, Brian (November 17, 2018). "New Star Wars Disney Hotel Concept Art Reveals Shuttle Pod Entrance". ScreenRant. Retrieved December 10, 2018.
  33. ^ "The inside story of the 275-year-old Galactic Starcruiser". February 25, 2022.
  34. ^ "Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser - the Real Story". YouTube. October 28, 2023.
  35. ^ "The Stories and Cosplay on Star Wars Galactic Starcruiser".
  36. ^ Warby, Nathan (February 25, 2022). "Fans blast Disney's $5,000 Star Wars Galactic Starcruiser after "luxury" suite goes viral". Dexerto. Retrieved October 8, 2022.
  37. ^ Bricker, Tom (March 7, 2022). "Star Wars Galactic Starcruiser Review". Retrieved May 30, 2024.
  38. ^ Bevil, Dewayne (November 15, 2022). "Disney's Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser wins a Thea Award". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved May 18, 2023.
  39. ^ Willingham, A. J. (May 23, 2024). "A viral longform video revisits Disney's failed luxury 'Star Wars' hotel". CNN. Retrieved May 25, 2024.
  40. ^ a b Tenbarge, Kat (May 23, 2024). "YouTuber investigates why Disney World's expensive Star Wars hotel closed after 18 months". NBC News. Retrieved May 25, 2024.
  41. ^ Hall, Charlie. "Disney's Star Wars hotel Galactic Starcruiser was torpedoed by bad app design". Polygon. Retrieved June 2, 2024.
  42. ^ Brizzell, Molly. "I Worked at the Galactic Starcruiser, & I Can Tell You What Everyone's Getting Wrong about the 'Star Wars Hotel.'". ScreenRant. Retrieved May 22, 2024.
  43. ^ Alter, Rebecca. "Everyone's Favorite Star Wars Character Is … Pole!". vulture. Retrieved May 31, 2024.

External links

28°21′05″N 81°33′40″W / 28.351389°N 81.561111°W / 28.351389; -81.561111

This page was last edited on 3 June 2024, at 04:08
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