Disney's galactic struggle to fill 'Star Wars' hotel — with rooms up to $20K a night

Disney’s galactic struggle to fill ‘Star Wars’ hotel — with rooms up to $20K a night

Disney’s overpriced “Star Wars” Galactic Starcruiser hotel, which only has 100 rooms, is nowhere near selling out, according to the availability calendar on its website.

Guests have their pick of dates through the second half of 2022 to stay in the hotel, which has rooms for between $5,000 and $20,000 for a “tricked out” suite. Almost every day in August, September, October, November and December is available, the calendar shows, and there are many openings in June and July, too.

The immersive Orlando-based Star Wars hotel, which opened on March 1, has faced fierce backlash by Disney World fans over the sky-high room rates, food costs and “Star Wars” themed-extras, like a private portrait session with photographer.

Anger bubbled up last December, when the Mouse House scrubbed a promotional video from Twitter and YouTube, after fans slammed the lodging as subpar and too expensive.

Disney’s “Star Wars”-themed hotel is getting mixed reviews over its high prices.
Allen J. Schaben
Orlando, Fla - March 01: Singer, songwriter and galactic superstar, Gaya performs as the first passengers experience the two-day Walt Disney World Star Wars Galactic Starcruiser, which is a live action role playing game that doubles as a high-end hotel in Orlando, Fla.  The event is billed as Halcyon's 275th anniversary voyage across the galaxy.  at Walt Disney World Star Wars Galactic Starcruiser in Orlando, Fla on Tuesday, March 1, 2022. First Order lieutenant Harman Croy and his garrison of stormtroopers patrol the ship.  Guests arrive at Batuu, a destination for a planet excursion.  Players use a data pad to play the immersive game while they participate in activities such as light saber training.  (Allen J. Schaben/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)
Disney has billed its new Starcruiser hotel as a fully immersive experience.
Allen J. Schaben

“The ‘light saber training’ looks about as exciting as a roadside sobriety test,” one Disney watcher commented on YouTube. “It’s way too expensive,” another said.

The New York Times, which recently got a preview of the hotel, laid out some of the egregious additional costs guests can expect to pay outside of the basic experience fee.

A stay at the hotel does not include alcohol, which runs around $13 for beer, $11 and up for wine and $23 for specialty drinks, or any fun “Star Wars” themed-extras, the report said. For instance, it costs $99 minimum to hire a photographer for a portrait — or if you want to sit at the head of the captain’s table in the Starcruiser’s Crown of Corellia dining room, you’ll need to cough up an extra 30 bucks.

Orlando, Fla - March 01: Los Angeles Times columnist Todd Martens sits in one of the bunk beds inside a room at the Halcyon ship.  The first passengers arrive for the two-day Walt Disney World Star Wars Galactic Starcruiser, which is a live action role playing game that doubles as a high-end hotel in Orlando, Fla.  The event is billed as Halcyons 275th anniversary voyage across the galaxy.  at Walt Disney World Star Wars Galactic Starcruiser in Orlando, Fla on Tuesday, March 1, 2022. First Order lieutenant Harman Croy and his garrison of stormtroopers patrol the ship.  Guests arrive at Batuu, a destination for a planet excursion.  Players use a data pad to play the immersive game while they participate in activities such as light saber training.  (Allen J. Schaben/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)
A room in the new Starcruiser hotel, which has been called a “windowless bunker” from critics.
Los Angeles Times via Getty Imag

Still, reviews have since been relatively positive with some exceptions.

In its review, CNBC said “immersion takes on new meaning” aboard the Starcruiser, noting that the price tag is worth it, “if you’re willing to let loose and play.” Others critiqued the high-priced cabins, which do not have any windows, but instead a view of screens that play videos of stars, planets and asteroid showers.

Reviewers liked them to a “windowless bunker” and a “suburban junior high school built in the mid-1970s,” according to the SFGate.

They said the Starcruiser also lacks the amenities usually expected in hotels at this price point, like a pool and spa.

Orlando, Fla - March 01: Chewbacca, a legendary Wookiee warrior, waves goodbye to passenger as he escapes capture from the First Order, as the first passengers experience the two-day Walt Disney World Star Wars Galactic Starcruiser, which is a live action role playing game that doubles as a high-end hotel in Orlando, Fla.  The event is billed as Halcyon's 275th anniversary voyage across the galaxy.  at Walt Disney World Star Wars Galactic Starcruiser in Orlando, Fla on Tuesday, March 1, 2022. First Order lieutenant Harman Croy and his garrison of stormtroopers patrol the ship.  Guests arrive at Batuu, a destination for a planet excursion.  Players use a data pad to play the immersive game while they participate in activities such as light saber training.  (Allen J. Schaben/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)
Characters like Chewbacca (pictured here) are getting rave reviews for their part in the Starcruiser experience.
Los Angeles Times via Getty Imag

On the flip side, some guests have raved about the character actors, who take part in the immersive experience.

Along with Rey, Kylo Ren and Chewbacca, guests interact with a cast of cruise ship workers who encourage them to fight for the resistance and take on secret missions during their stay.

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