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Editor’s note: This is a recurring post, regularly updated with new information.
Hopefully, you’ve been saving up your “credits” for Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser. The one-of-a-kind experience/hotel, which was supposed to begin accepting reservations in 2020, continues to march slowly towards completion. While the pandemic made the ‘Star Wars hotel’ miss that milestone in accepting reservations, it is clearly getting closer to lift-off as we now have some real-life peeks inside courtesy of Disney World’s president, Jeff Vahle.
While there’s been no formal update on timelines for this project, piecing together renderings and these new photos, shows us a bit of what life will be like aboard the Starcruiser.
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When Disney’s first Star Wars-themed hotel opens, your family will be able to board a spaceship near Disney’s Hollywood Studios and not touch the ground again for two nights — or at least, that’s what it will feel and look like.
Whereas the Star Wars Rise of the Resistance attraction within Galaxy’s Edge changed the game when it came to how immersive a theme park ride can get, the Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser is set to change the rules when it comes to theme park hotels.
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While there are plenty of things we don’t know yet about Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser, we have learned quite a bit. Based on official intel from Disney, documents filed with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and our own drive-bys, here is everything we know about the Star Wars hotel.
It’s not just a Star Wars hotel — it’s an experience
This won’t be a hotel you just book to stay at while on a Disney World vacation. Instead, it is a two-night immersive adventure aboard the Starship Halcyon. Perhaps in some ways, it makes more sense to think of it as a themed Disney cruise where you live out a Star Wars story, in that meals and activities are all part of the package.
Upon arrival at the “terminal,” you’ll complete your earthly tasks and then enter a launch pod that blasts you off into space toward the Halcyon ship for your boarding with the main starcruiser.
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Along the way, the “windows” above will show you the stars as well as the space cruiser in the distance. You’ll no longer see Central Florida at all — the magic of technology will completely immerse you in what should look and sound like space.
You’ll then dock with Halcyon, hearing the “whoosh” of the airlock as your launch pod engages and you’ll emerge into the ship’s atrium. Once onboard, you’ll start two nights and three days of your Star Wars dreams.
Guest rooms (er, cabins) will sleep up to five and will provide a completely different hotel room experience. Disney recently released new renderings of the first guest room mock-up, and they’re awesome if you ever wanted to live aboard a starcruiser.
There’s a door, bed and bathroom. But that’s pretty much where the similarities to regular resort rooms end.
The bunk beds are meticulously themed pods that kids are almost sure to love. Each bunk/pod has its own command center. A slightly less cool queen/king bed is available for Resistance members to get sleep before their next mission.
Looking out from the pod, we see plenty of features to be excited about. There’s a video monitor on the wall that appears to be interactive (with the name of the fictional Johnston Family displayed). Underneath could be storage or other hidden goodies. Or, it could be as simple as a Halcyon-ized murphy bed for that fifth guest. Disney has even found a way to fold the HVAC into the theming, with some cool vents on the exterior wall.
Where we would normally find a hotel window, we have a view of the galaxy flying by as Halcyon is on its journey. Given previous reports and rumors, we expect the view to change during your journey with a few friends like Chewbacca flying by.
Here’s a brand-new real-life look at a cabin from the Instagram account of Walt Disney World’s President.
Still, there are so many open questions. Are the bunks as small as they appear in those images? How will such an all-in-one environment adjust for a world where fresh air is at the top of the priority list? And will kids (and excited adults!) ever sleep at all while onboard!
The other detail that’s still a bit of a mystery is that at least some guest rooms do actually appear to have windows. As you can see from this recent construction picture, there appear to be tall, narrow panes of glass at regular intervals in the “cabin” wing.
The newest images bring almost as many questions as answers. They also further reinforce the fact that Star Wars will be fully immersed in the experience, from the time you wake up until the time you lay your head down to sleep.
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As part of your multiday journey on Halcyon, you’ll take a special journey to Black Spire Outpost (aka Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge). You’ll be invited to the bridge of Halcyon to demonstrate navigation and defense skills you’ve learned, and maybe even get a chance to pilot the galactic starcruiser.
Kids and adults alike will follow in the footsteps of Luke, training to use a lightsaber. During the voyage, they’ll be allowed to explore the mechanics of the ship and may even find hidden spots where the crew hold meetings. After all that hard work, there’s a place to relax called the Silver C Lounge.
Related: Guide to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disney World
It’s right next to Disney’s Hollywood Studios
If you drive near Disney’s Hollywood Studios, you can take a look at the construction for yourself. You’ll find the hotel very close to the Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge portion of Hollywood Studios. In fact, in this photo of the hotel’s construction from October 2020, you can spot spires from Galaxy’s Edge in the background. That’s how close the hotel is to the park.
But — it’s not connected to the park, so your “on-planet excursions” will likely involve a transport of some sort for the short journey.
Related: Disney World introduces virtual queue for its newest attraction
Disney’s Star Wars hotel is small
We don’t know exactly how many cabins will be on this starship, but we’re guessing the Halcyon won’t have more than about 100 rooms. Let’s pause for a minute to digest just how small that would be.
Disney’s Caribbean Beach has around 2,000 rooms, and even the more compact deluxe hotels, such as Disney’s Contemporary Resort, still ring in at more than 600 rooms. And, just for clarity, even at those larger sizes, at least during normal times, the resorts sell out — regularly.
We haven’t heard official numbers on the size of the hotel, but there are clues in some official applications if you want to nerd out with us.
The term “key” is generally used in the hotel industry to detail how many rooms you plan to construct. For example, the new Super Duper Inn will be five stories tall with 400 keys. Or, the new Super Duper Inn will cost $100,000 per key to construct. In the application below, there’s also a calculation for maximum water flow. See the image below:
The notes at the bottom say “100 keys x 230 gpd/key.” If we translate that into English, the assumption is that each guest room will be responsible for about 230 gallons of water per day. That includes showers, toilet flushes, sink use and likely a calculation for food prep, etc. If the first floor is 34 rooms, then the second floor and third floor have a similar footprint, backing up the assertion that 100 is about the right number of rooms. This is a really small property. For perspective, your typical roadside Hampton Inn or Holiday Inn Express is probably 80 to 100 rooms.
California Coaster Kings did a great job stitching together some of the plan images, along with adding a bit of color for perspective. Here’s what we believe the layout of the Star Wars hotel will look like:
The hotel plans feature one table-service restaurant, with a buffet line near the back, a larger open space and booths for four to six people around the perimeter.
Outside the restaurant, we find some themed spaces labeled Brig, Dojo and Transport Hall. We see a shuttle bus area that seems to be covered and/or connected to the hotel, most likely to simulate the “pods.” That’s all consistent with the theatrics expected for the immersive experience.
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A hotel this small will be a major departure from Disney World’s previous ventures, which makes sense as Disney states this is an all-new experience.
How much will the Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser cost?
We know that the Star Wars-themed official site still has a “coming in 2021” date prominently displayed, and that reservations were supposed to open in 2020. We don’t yet have any indications of a new timeline, but it’s clear this project is still a priority for Disney. But Disney has remained tight-lipped not only on the new timeline but also on just how much a two-night stay will cost. (Though trust us, we did ask.)
But here are some numbers we do know. A Disney theme park ticket generally costs about $130 per day, per person. A deluxe Disney hotel can easily cost $400–$500 per night. Meals at Disney can cost $100 per person, per day if you have at least one daily character or signature dining experience.
Start adding those numbers together, round upward for the exclusive, immersive nature of this experience and …
We won’t be shocked if a cabin for a family of four costs more than $3,000 for the two-night journey if they go with an all-in number. Some are predicting a Halcyon journey could be $7,000 to $8,000 for a family. Maybe we’ll get lucky and it will be closer to $1,000 per night for a family (again, not unlike a Disney Cruise), but we’re not expecting this to be a budget-friendly experience.
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We still aren’t certain about every detail about the Star Wars hotel. But — we think it’s safe to say, based on the information we know, that a stay on the Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser is going to be unlike anything we’ve seen before. Simple Disney supply-and-demand assumptions combined with the size of the structure mean this is probably going to be one hot space ticket.
What does all that point to? In the Disney World universe, a potentially out-of-this-world experience for an out-of-this-world price. That said, we’re saving up our credits now and can’t wait to book a journey into space when it’s time to blast off.
If a trip to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is in your future:
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Featured mock-up image courtesy of Disney
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Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.