The Star Wars Hotel Is…Really Good
I know that some of you were hoping for a trainwreck. So, I have some bad news for those folks.
Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser is really, really good. Here’s what you need to know about the new Star Wars Hotel.
The Story So Far
Guests are currently spending their first vacation at Galactic Starcruiser. Disney hosted some sneak previews for various guests before March 1st.
On that date, guests live streamed their opening day experiences. Here’s one such example (warning: potential spoilers):
However, the various influencers and Disney dignitaries had already posted plenty ahead of March 1st.
Some spent four hours at Disney’s newest resort, while others enjoyed the entire experience.
I don’t want to spoil anything for you. So, please watch the interspersed videos at your own risk.
The gist is that Disney has somehow delivered on its early promises.
When you walk into the hotel, you’ll enter an immersive Star Wars adventure that, if anything, will overwhelm you. In fact, it may prove too much for some.
You’ll ride to a nondescript facility. In the story, you’re arriving at a cruise dock and checking in with the hotel crew.
Since you’re in outer space, you’ll board a transport ship that docks with the mighty Halcyon, a luxury intergalactic cruise ship.
The transfer plays out similarly to Space 220’s stellarvator experience. It’s not as dramatic, though.
Then, you’ll exit the docking bay and enter a hotel lobby. At this moment, you’ll gasp at what Disney has accomplished.
Star Wars fans have literally wept at the sight of this themed area. The décor is quasi-sci-fi in the same way as most 1970s movies were.
The unmistakable black and white colors are downright Kubrickian in design. To me, the lobby’s as much 2001 as Star Wars.
Notably, the vessel’s bridge is accessible the moment you enter this section as well. It’s on one side of the lobby. So, you can walk right there if you like.
I Find Your Lack of Faith Disturbing
Here’s where the experience begins.
Remember that Disney fought a wave of negative PR after releasing early Galactic Starcruiser videos?
Those people look pretty silly, as the new information we have paints a much different picture.
Cast members happily introduce themselves to you when you enter the lobby, main cruise deck, or whatever you want to call it.
Some of them wear standard uniforms. Others are costumed cast members who identify themselves.
You’ll quickly learn about Gaya the pop star, Captain Riyola, Raithe Kole, and…some bug-faced thing that deejays a concert. It’s a lot to take in.
You’re not in a rush, though. You’ll spend the next three days interacting with these characters. Yes, they’ll maintain their identities the whole time.
I admire the cast members who signed up for this project, as it’s remarkably ambitious in scope.
Imagine an entire workday where you’re playing a character in a never-ending improv show.
I’m guessing that thought reminds many of you of the former Adventurers Club at Disney Springs. In a way, it’s that premise taken to its logical extreme.
For your part, you’ll cozy up with each person and learn whose side each is on. Then, you’ll answer questions on your datapad (the Play Disney Parks app).
Afterward, you’ll get tips about assignments you can perform to help The Resistance or *gulp* the First Order.
Here’s the remarkable part. Your early performances will influence which assignments you receive afterward.
In fact, you’ll spend a day at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, wherein your visit consists of completing previously unknown quests hidden in plain sight at the park.
You’ll also get Lightning Lane passes for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance and Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run.
So, this visit is unlike any previous day you’ve had at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
Never Tell Me the Odds
Look, I know many people expected this project to fail…and it still might.
We should have no illusions that Disney has priced this extremely high.
How many people actually want to do this, can afford it, and are willing to do it once, much less multiple times?
Even people who loved their first visit have suggested it may lack repeat value.
Still, these are future problems. Disney needed a hit today, and it’s got one.
Here’s a video that captured my attention:
That’s a well-known Disney personality and her co-host who SOBBED with emotion after one experience.
She wasn’t the only one, either. I’ve seen this happen at least three times.
The storytelling at Galactic Starcruiser resonates with Star Wars fans, arguably more than anything in the most recent movie trilogy.
Sure, you will notice some complaints. Later on, I’ll do a follow-up post that examines the pros and cons in greater detail.
Overall, I only want to alert you to two potential negatives. First, the rooms are pretty tight, albeit efficient like Bay Lake Tower’s studios.
Also, you don’t leave the hotel much. There are a small number of outdoor experiences and the Hollywood Studios visit.
Beyond that, you’re stuck in the same place with the same complete strangers for three days.
If either of those things bothers you, this experience may not be for you. Otherwise, the Star Wars Hotel has turned out to be precisely what we’d initially expected.
This visit is a bucket list vacation for all Star Wars fans. Disney has somehow built something unprecedented here. It’s a remarkable feat.