Walt Disney World in Florida has announced that its infamous Galactic Starcruiser hotel will close its doors at the end of September, just 18 months after opening.
The troubles with the Star Wars–themed hotel, a two-night, meal-inclusive experience that catered to role-playing guests, date to long before a certain power-craving Florida governor picked a fight with Disney.
From the moment the Starcruiser's exorbitant pricing was announced in 2021, observers warned that the cost was far too high and that a flop was all but inevitable.
Complete two-night stays for a family of four started around $6,000.
Naturally, rates like that dramatically limited the number of people who could afford to go, and plenty of consumer reporters said so. But the Disney company, perhaps convinced that it could succeed with such an ultra-luxury product, proceeded anyway.
While there were glaring problems with the hotel's rollout, the high-concept product did receive positive notices from many who could afford to stay there. Guests regularly praised the evident hard work of the creatives who assembled the experience.
By our judgment, the Galactic Starcruiser isn't going the way of Alderaan because of quality issues in the cosmic theming and performances—the stagecraft of Rey's lightsaber battle inspired many admiring social media posts—but simply because the price was so otherworldly.
The cost for the niche adventure was too high for the mainstream Florida tourism market, and was no match for our current economic turbulence.
This year, as the bookings by Star Wars die-hards dried up and Disney began having trouble filling rooms, "voyages" were cut down in frequency to save on labor costs.
But one thing that never happened: lowered rates for the general public.
It's now evident that wasn't possible. The high price was apparently necessary to pay all the actors and chefs required to keep the two-night adventures going. Disney says it will find other work for the Starcruiser cast elsewhere in the resort.
The company has not announced what will become of the 100-cabin show building, which was custom-constructed just outside Disney's Hollywood Studios theme park.
You only have a few more months to sample this Disney lore in the making. Like Horizons, another legendary lost Disney attraction that came before, the futuristic white elephant known as Galactic Starcruiser will soon live strictly in the past.
New bookings for Galactic Starcruiser have been paused, but they will reopen on May 26 to accept reservations for the remainder of the run.