The Walt Disney Company announced today that the Star Wars Galactic Starcruiser hotel will be closing, with the last stay coming in September 2023.
The hotel was launched in March 2022 at Walt Disney World in Florida with the promise of providing a fully immersive and expansive Star Wars experience. Guests were thrust right into the galaxy, with the totality of the stay becoming a story for visitors to inhabit. It pairs with the Galaxy’s Edge area at Hollywood Studios and is about as close as fans can get to actually feeling like they’re in the Star Wars galaxy. Those who experienced it have generally come away with positive things to say after an enjoyable stay, but with a price tag of $4,000-$6,000 for the two-night stay the struggle always appeared to be getting enough people to stay there.
Disney didn’t give a clear reason for the decision to close it down, besides the general idea that it’s a business decision. The pricing surely didn’t help the cause, but to make a radical decision like shutting it down entirely makes me wonder if it’s not also influenced in some way by the ongoing feud between the company and Florida governor Ron DeSantis. Today it was also revealed that Disney is cancelling plans to add a $1 billion office complex in Florida due to the government restrictions, a move that will cost the state 2,000 potential new jobs that would have been added. This is a very interesting time for the Walt Disney Company, which stunningly saw Bob Iger step back in as CEO late last year to help guide them through it. In addition to the Florida feud, Disney is dealing with the fallouts of the WGA strike and the uncertainty regarding streaming services and profitability.
The theme parks have been a major factor in helping the company stay strong, and Galaxy’s Edge has been a great addition to that, but the Galactic Starcruiser always seemed to have a far bigger hurdle to clear, one that never really got off the ground like was hoped. With all the fanfare that surrounded it and the hype leading up to the launch, it’s pretty shocking that just over a year later Disney has announced plans to shut it down. What will become of the facility, and plans for the future, are still unclear.
This is disappointing news, but, well, I guess we’ll always have all that tie-in material that Disney hoped would build hype for it. At least we got several books, comics, and a Disney+ LEGO special about it. For most people, that’ll be all they remember it for, marking an odd period of Star Wars history.