Disney to shut down its $2,400 per person Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser attraction after only 18 months
In a nutshell: Disney has decided to pull the plug on one of its most ambitious attractions – the Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser. The “Halcyon” launches its final voyage this fall. Don’t bother trying to book a flight, though. Disney will be busy dealing with those who have reservations past the deadline.
In 2017, Disney World Orlando announced plans for a Star Wars attraction like no other. The Star Wars: Galatic Starcruiser is part hotel, part theme park “ride” that finally opened on March 1 last year. Guests arrive at the park’s transportation depot to board a shuttle that whisks them away from Earth to the luxurious Halcyon Starcruiser for a two-day journey filled with adventure in the Star Wars universe.
Star Wars: Galatic Starcruiser’s last trip will be September 28-30. Disney booked the attraction further out than that and will contact guests with reservations after September to reschedule or cancel trips. A Disney spokesperson speaking with USA Today framed the closure as ending a short-term experiment.
“Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser is one of our most creative projects ever and has been praised by our guests and recognized for setting a new bar for innovation and immersive entertainment,” said the representative. “This premium, boutique experience gave us the opportunity to try new things on a smaller scale of 100 rooms, and as we prepare for its final voyage, we will take what we’ve learned to create future experiences that can reach more of our guests and fans.”
Whether or not Disney intended to build Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser as a temporary attraction is debatable. After all, the structures involved with putting on the show are all brick-and-mortar. Why go to the trouble and expense of building permanent facilities if you’re going to tear it down or repurpose it in 18 months?
In either case, it’s readily apparent why the attraction was not sustainable. A two-night stay costs $4,800 for two people in a standard cabin ($1,200/person/day). Families of four could get a significant discount bringing the basic package to $6,000 for two nights. So a “trip” to the stars was and is out of reach for most park patrons.
The attraction’s exorbitant price tag was necessarily high due to its overhead. The company never mentioned how many the Galactic Starcruiser employed, but it was likely into three digits, including behind-the-scenes and front-of-house staff. A good portion of the visible workers were actors. If employees weren’t cooking, mixing drinks, or serving customers, they were likely playing a role above Disney’s minimum wage.
Unfortunately, the high overhead and expensive asking prices worked against it. Such a dynamic is only sustainable for so long before you run out of patrons. One trip is enough to prompt even hardcore fans to say, “been there, done that,” to the mere suggestion of a second trip, leaving insufficient bookings to cover payroll, let alone all the other costs of maintaining the facility. The Star Trek Experience on the roof of the Hilton in Las Vegas suffered the same fate, although it ran for ten years at a fraction of the price.