Stop Saying Disney World’s New Star Wars Hotel Is A Flop

Earlier this year, Walt Disney World opened up one of the most ambitious concepts since Disney World itself, Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser. Although it is known as the “Star Wars Hotel”, it is actually much more than that. The Starcruiser is a hotel, theme park and immersive role-playing experience all in one.

That’s a lot, and of course it’s not a cheap experience, but recently there have been stories circulating claiming the Galactic Starcruiser is officially a fail/flop. But the reasoning behind it seems to be that reservations are available at all despite the Starcruiser being booked farther than any Walt Disney World hotel.

Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser Characters

(Image credit: Walt Disney World)

Galactic Starcruiser reservations are going well

It is true that when the reservations for the Galactic Starcruiser went online, which covered the first three months of operation (March, April and May), they practically all disappeared. While the Galactic Starcruiser is certainly expensive, there were enough people with the money who wanted to at least give it a try.

However, since the initial interest, bookings have slowed. Reservations are booked approximately two months in advance at this point, and some last-minute bookings in June are available at the time of this writing that weren’t there last week, indicating possible last-minute cancellations. The month of July is busy, as is the middle of August. There are fully booked single weekends through November.

Granted, the Galactic Starcruiser isn’t booked as far back as it once was, but that’s far from important. The Starcruiser is always well booked at the moment, and that’s ultimately what counts. As long as the place stays full, the Galactic Starcruiser is a hit, even if you end up being able to reserve a spot a week in advance.

Beyond that, we’re not sure if the Galactic Starcruiser should stay full. I have no idea of ​​the profit margins on the Starcruiser, but they’re unlikely to be so slim that a few empty coins make the difference between profit and loss. The Galactic Starcruiser is an expensive ticket, and it’s almost certainly an expensive business to run, but it seems unlikely that Disney has priced the experience such that at least a nearly full run will earn them no money.

The thing is, I can book a room at Disney World‘s Animal Kingdom Lodge or the Grand Floridian Resort and Spa for a date much earlier than the Galactic Starcruiser. I can make reservations for any Walt Disney World theme park I want in less than two weeks. The availability of these is certainly greater, but the price is also much cheaper, which means that the demand should also be high.

Lenka Mok on Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser

(Image credit: Walt Disney World)

Changes to Galactic Starcruiser are to be expected

Another reason that is suggested as evidence that the Galactic Starcruiser is “in trouble” is that Disney World recently emailed previous guests asking them to participate in focus groups to get their feedback on what worked and which didn’t work.

Using this as proof of failure is obviously stupid. Disney is constantly acquiring data from customers about what they liked and disliked about their trips. It used to be that you couldn’t leave the park without someone with a digital clipboard trying to ask you about your time spent in the parks. If you ever visit Disneyland or Disney World now, you will receive emails asking for information about your stay.

This tune-up test is considered proof that Disney knows everything about the Galactic Starcruiser doesn’t work, but sure not everything works perfectly. From the beginning, Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser was a gamble. The simple fact was that no one had ever tried anything like it, and so there was no way of knowing how successful it would be.

It was not just a theme park attraction, but a living experience, where star wars the characters would interact with the guests and events would unfold based on these interactions. This offers an almost endless amount of variation as to how this can play out. It will be difficult to figure out how to make it work for every guest, and they won’t always be successful.

no matter how much good ideas that the people who designed the Galactic Starcruiser had, there was no way of knowing how well they would all work when the actual human guests showed up and started doing their own thing. It is to be expected that Disney will want to get feedback from guests and it is to be expected that based on that feedback some things will change; maybe a little, maybe a lot. It’s not proof of failure, it’s the normal evolution of an idea.

alien and droid at Sabacc table

(Image credit: Walt Disney World)

Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser’s Success Isn’t a Guarantee, But It Hasn’t Failed Yet

Due to the high price of Galactic Starcruiser, there were questions early on about the actual size of the potential audience that could afford it. Moreover, among them, how many would be interested in returning to the Starcruiser?

These are still very valid questions. The fact is, we don’t know the answers. Maybe there’s not much seriousness star wars fans who have the money to do it, no matter how badly they want it. Disney should expect that not to be the case. Although this is a first-of-its-kind experiment, a multi-billion dollar company has certainly done as much research as possible before committing to it. But maybe they were all wrong?

The fact that Galactic Starcruiser isn’t a failure right now doesn’t rule out the possibility that it won’t be a failure eventually. Perhaps reservations will dry up to the point where you can “walk” on the thing and Disney World will run out of guests able or willing to spend the money. It is simply too early to draw that conclusion now.

If Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser Flops, It Will Be Unfortunate because the Starcruiser is truly an impressively designed place with a truly unique take on themed entertainment. If it fails, it won’t be because there was anything wrong with what was designed. But people read the Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser accolades far too quickly. So far it’s working very well.

Herman C. Harkins