Disney’s ‘Star Wars’ hotel, the Galactic Starcruiser, to close

After spending hundreds of millions of dollars to build an impressive “Star Wars”-themed hotel at Walt Disney World, Disney said Thursday that, amid drastic corporate cost cuts, it would close the underperforming hotel in September after only 18 months. will turn off the attraction. It was open.

The attraction, called Galactic Starcruiser, was marketed as part luxury hotel, part theme park ride, part role-playing game.

Guests are welcomed aboard the 275-year-old space liner and taken on a celestial tour, on which they may be asked to deliver a secret message, go into the engine room to help repair a fuel valve, or take light training may be asked to participate.

Disney said the hotel’s “last visit” would take place from September 28 to 30. The company said guests who had already booked hotels after September would be contacted to discuss options for modifying their plans, and that new bookings were being put on hold to give priority. Guest.

All trips are for a two-night stay, with prices starting at more than $4,800 for two people and nearly $6,000 for a family of four. For authenticity, 100 of the Florida hotel’s cabins have no windows. Instead, a rain of stars, planets and asteroids is shown on a video screen.

The announcement came as Disney pulled the plug on plans to build a $1 billion office complex in Orlando, a decision influenced by the company’s feud with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. In his return as the company’s chief executive officer, Robert A. This also happened shortly after Iger unveiled a corporate restructuring aimed at cutting $5.5 billion in costs.

Expectations were high for the hotel when it opens in March 2022. Two months later, Bob Chapek, who was Disney’s chief executive at the time, described demand for accommodations as strong and said the company expected “100 percent utilization” by the end of the third quarter. ,

“The response to next-generation storytelling like Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser has been phenomenal,” he said at the time.

Some fans weren’t shocked by the plan to shut down the Galactic Starcruiser, including Dylan Dixon, who runs the Theme Park Obsession YouTube channel.

In a video in response to the closing, he called the hotel’s short run “disappointing” and “a shame” and suggested that the company tried to subtly suppress the news.

But the story caught on on Twitter, where a user regretted on That he never got a chance to taste the blue colored prawns served in the hotel. Another, poking fun at a futuristic concrete building with few windows, joked That the hotel would be converted into a jail.

Mr Dixon said he thought the exorbitant price had brought the hotel “to its end”, and argued that Disney fans should visit a park abroad for the same price. He himself has never stayed at the hotel, saying in email that “the price doesn’t justify the experience.”

He thought another “big issue” with Galactic Starcruisers was that it only offered one scenario: guests are recruited to help either the First Order or the formidable Resistance. That, he said, limited any incentive to return.

“It is very strange that Disney is unwilling to find a way to discount the experience to make it more attainable for the average family,” Mr. Dixon said.

In his YouTube video, he said: “All that wasted money, company money, time, blood, sweat and tears that went into it. To me, it’s disrespectful to Imagineers. It’s a slap in the face.”

The “Imagineers” are the team at Disney that develops theme park attractions. The company had planned to move most of that department to the now-canceled Orlando campus.

In a statement this week, Disney said, “We are very proud of all the artists and imagineers who brought Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser to life and look forward to delivering an outstanding experience for guests during the remaining voyages in the coming months.” Looking forward to.”

Josh D’Amaro, president of Disney’s theme parks and consumer products, told employees in an email Thursday that $17 billion was earmarked for construction at Disney World over the next decade, which is estimated to create 13,000 jobs.

“I am optimistic about the direction of our Walt Disney World business,” he wrote.

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