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Inside the collapse of Disney’s $300million Star Wars hotel where two-night ‘voyage’ on fake spaceship cost up to $20k

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DISNEY launched an immersive Star Wars holiday experience that took guests on a two-night ‘space voyage’ for $20,000 in 2022.

But just eighteen months later, the $300 million “Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser” was axed.

Actors playing Star Wars characters 'drive' the spaceship at the ship’s bridge as the first passengers experience the two-day trip

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Actors playing Star Wars characters ‘drive’ the spaceship at the ship’s bridge as the first passengers experience the two-day tripCredit: Getty
A mock-up showing guests onboard the Galactic Starcruiser

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A mock-up showing guests onboard the Galactic Starcruiser
The Halcyon Starcruiser cabin - with a view out to 'space'

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The Halcyon Starcruiser cabin – with a view out to ‘space’
Guests were offered lightsaber training during the action-packed cruise

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Guests were offered lightsaber training during the action-packed cruise
The ship was filled with characters from the Star Wars franchise

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The ship was filled with characters from the Star Wars franchise

Found in the Florida Walt Disney World Resort, the ‘Star Wars Hotel’ was actually a land-locked spaceship-style boat.

Passengers were taken on a two-day, two-night experience designed to feel like they were going on a voyage through space.

The “Halcyon” was Disney’s most ambitious attempt at an immersive, themed experience.

But it didn’t come cheap, with prices ranging from $5,000 to $20,000.

After it closed, Forbes dubbed the project a “$300-million write-off”.

While the hotel came and went in a flash, its story is now going viral after a four-hour-long documentary produced by YouTuber Jenny Nicholson.

She details her stay – paying more than $6,000 for two nights – across 20 video chapters.

She worked out the cost of her stay ended up being $2 per person, per minute.

And over the course of the massive video, she concludes it was not worth the cash.

Titled the “Spectacular Failure of the Star Wars Hotel” – the video has been viewed more than 4.6million times as of publication.

Inside Disney’s immersive Star Wars hotel which closed after 18 months

Jenny said: “I was continuously frustrated the entire time I was there and I left extremely disappointed in our particular experience.”

Star Wars fans were given a chock-a-block itinerary with curated activities scheduled almost down to the minute, according to a former guest.

The intention was to make people feel as though they were living inside the Star Wars world.

Guests were taken off the ship only once, to tour the Star Wars section of the Hollywood Studious theme park in Orlando.

Everyone dressed up as someone from the infamous film franchise and acted like them during their stay – surrounded by character actors across the ship.

Photographs from onboard the Galactic Starcruiser show a spaceship deck design with guests gathered around control pads.

Bedrooms were designed like futuristic pods, with bunk beds and windows looking out ‘to space’.

Passengers were offered the chance to learn the “ancient art of wielding a lightsaber” in a special Lightsaber Training Pod.

Guests were also served “galactic-inspired” food.

And a model SK-620 was on hand to greet guests as paratroopers patrolled the ship.

It was the first of its kind as far as Disney immersive experiences, miles ahead of other themed parks in its commitment to the bit.

But the bold project didn’t last two years.

A 'galactic lunch' onboard the fake spaceship

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A ‘galactic lunch’ onboard the fake spaceship
Breakfast on the ship - with what looks like a space-themed take on sausages, eggs and waffles

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Breakfast on the ship – with what looks like a space-themed take on sausages, eggs and waffles
Bunk beds inside one of the Star Wars Hotel's bedrooms

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Bunk beds inside one of the Star Wars Hotel’s bedrooms

In May 2023, Walt Disney announced the attraction would be closed by September.

Despite the extortionate prices – the Star Wars experience wasn’t all-inclusive.

Beers were priced at $13, cocktails at $23 and an official Star Wars-themed photo cost a whopping $99, the New York Times reported.

In January, a few months before its closure was announced, Disney said it was offering discounted rates for as low as $700 to members.

They told travel agents: “When the voyage calendar is live, you may notice the schedule has been modified to provide two voyages per week, except for holiday weeks where we may have three voyages.

“We’ve been learning a lot during our first year of operation and have adjusted voyage dates to meet the needs of our guests.”

In May 2022, just a couple of months after the launch, then-CEO of Disney Bob Chapek told Forbes that interest in the hotel from customers was “phenomenal”.

He boasted that reviews were “incredibly high”, but by the end of that year, Disney was offering discounts between 30 and 50 per cent.

One advert, shared on YouTube and Twitter, was deleted by the company after negative comments poured in.

Someone wrote: “The ‘light saber training’ looks about as exciting as a roadside sobriety test.”

Another added: “It’s way too expensive.”

A scornful review in the San Francisco Chronicle reviewer described the bedrooms as looking like a “suburban junior high school built in the mid-1970s”.

A man from Alabama poses as Darth Revan as the first passengers arrive for a trip on the Galactic Starcruiser in March 2022

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A man from Alabama poses as Darth Revan as the first passengers arrive for a trip on the Galactic Starcruiser in March 2022Credit: Getty
A mock-up of guests eating onboard the ship

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A mock-up of guests eating onboard the ship

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