Disney World’s grand — and expensive — Star Wars hotel experience is closing for good
Disney's Starcruiser is more than a hotel; it's like stepping into a video game.

'Thank you to our Guests and fans for making this experience so special,' Disney said.

A form of cosplay on steroids, the Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser was a hotel experience like no other at Disney World. Fans of the popular franchise could experience their own adventure if they were willing to dish out nearly $5,000 for a two-night stay for two people.

The New York Times originally described it as “an expensive experiment in what one might call immersive lodging. It is equal parts luxury hotel, interactive theater, theme park ride, food as entertainment, digital scavenger hunt and role-playing game.”

You can also add short-lived to that list.

Disney World announced Thursday that the Galactic Starcruiser is permanently closing at the end of September after a nearly 19-month run.

“We are so proud of all of the Cast Members and Imagineers who brought Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser to life and look forward to delivering an excellent experience for Guests during the remaining voyages over the coming months,” Disney said on its website. “Thank you to our Guests and fans for making this experience so special.”

USA TODAY reported Disney is looking to find new jobs for the cast members working at the hotel.

There had been questions about low demand amid reports Disney was offering special discounts to Disney Vacation Club members this year.

Disney’s announcement to close the 100-room hotel comes on the same day as the company also disclosed it is canceling plans to move the California-based Imagineers to Orlando. Disney had sought to build a Lake Nona campus that would have housed more than 2,000 employees by 2026. The company cited “new leadership and changing business conditions” in its decision to nix the move, but Disney has also been in the crosshairs of Gov. Ron DeSantis for more than a year in a culture war fight.

When Florida Politics reached out to Disney World for a statement, the company said, “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. 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.”

On social media Thursday, some theme park fans lamented that Disney was closing the hotel, ending what they viewed as a great, creative and ambitious experiment.

At the hotel, guests were encouraged to dress up in costume and could practice lightsaber training. Disney cast members interacted and played along, so no visitor’s stay was the same. Everything was themed, even meals. This wasn’t a hotel where you got to rest and relax. Guests were on a mission. “As the itinerary continues, you’ll take the story further and deeper. Choose your path,” Disney said on its website.

But other Disney fans weren’t sad to see the hotel go. The expensive cost was out of reach for most regular Disney World visitors.

Gabrielle Russon

Gabrielle Russon is an award-winning journalist based in Orlando. She covered the business of theme parks for the Orlando Sentinel. Her previous newspaper stops include the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, Toledo Blade, Kalamazoo Gazette and Elkhart Truth as well as an internship covering the nation’s capital for the Chicago Tribune. For fun, she runs marathons. She gets her training from chasing a toddler around. Contact her at [email protected] or on Twitter @GabrielleRusson .


  • Dont Say FLA

    May 18, 2023 at 6:16 pm

    Translation, people who can afford this shit aren’t choosing Florida. And we all know why. It’s Rhonda!

  • Earl Pitts American

    May 19, 2023 at 9:08 am

    Good morning America
    This dum@55 move has nothing to do with the Disney/Desantis feud.
    This epic fail is totally on Disney for failure to properly research who and how many actual Star Wars nerds really exist on the planet.
    My, Earl Pitts American’s, 3 minute online research thanks to Mr. Google proves the total Disney epic fail.
    America stand by for truth:
    There are only 26,432 actual hard core Star Wars Nerds world wide. They all work in the IT departments of various business’s. They are those nerdely dressing (usually all black clothing) young to middle aged geeks that always have their high school backpack on wherever they go. 98% of them reside in a portion of Mom’s home (think basement).
    You can spot them from their unkempt appearance, bushy total geek beards, and extra size bellys as they waddle down the hallways where you work. They drink lots of IPA (YUCK) Beer and if you ever actually enter the dark and weird IT office area where you work those are the geeks with Star Wars dolls displayed around their work spaces ( I know America we all get that “run away” little voice in our heads) and seldom can be brave enough to venture that deep into their IT lair at our place of business.
    Anyway America, back to Disney. As I, Earl Pitts American, just proved beyond a shadow of doubt the Star Wars Hotel is a 100% Disney Epic Fail which in no way even remotly relates to America’s next POTUS Ron Desantis.
    Thank you America,
    Earl Pitts “Truth Prover By Science” American

    • Bobbie Jo

      May 20, 2023 at 10:25 am

      Earl, you are spot on with no politics here, but just plan fault of Disney’s lack of management which explains their stock failing.

  • Antonio

    May 19, 2023 at 5:08 pm

    Disney destroyed the Star Wars brand. Kathleen Kennedy decided to go all in on Nu-Star Wars and ignored practically everything fans of the franchise knew and loved. This hotel, as well as Galaxy’s edge are failures because there are barely any recognizable classic characters or vehicles. Aside from the Millenium Falcon, Stormtroopers, and Chewbacca, Glazy’s Edge and this Galactic Cruiser hotel are comprised of characters from Disney’s newer Star Wars movies. This was done on purpose by Kathleen Kennedy as she was insistent on the park attractions focusing on the new characters from the newer movies as she believed people wouldn’t care about “old and outdated” characters. She was wrong and under her guidance Star Wars, which used to be a license to print money, has massively dropped as a brand. This is evidenced by the diminishing returns on each installment of their trilogy, as well as the massive drop in quality in The Madalorian show. Star Wars is a joke now, and this hotel closing down is just the latest example.

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