Disney Executive Reveals What Went WRONG With the Star Wars Hotel

An experience where YOU are at the center of your very own Star Wars story, get to eat blue shrimp, have the chance to train with a lightsaber, and sleep in a space cabin — does it sound like an absolute dream? Sadly, soon it might be.

Starcruiser Bridge

Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser (a.k.a. the Star Wars Hotel) is an incredibly unique cruise-like experience that opened in 2022 in Disney World. Your payment for the experience included a 2-night stay aboard the “ship,” food, interaction with all kinds of Star Wars characters, and even a park ticket to Hollywood Studios. But the experience didn’t come cheap, costing couples and families into the thousands, and now its closure is imminent (with final sailings in September 2023). So what happened here? We’ve got some details.

On Monday, May 22nd, the Chairman of the Disney Parks, Experiences, and Products division — Josh D’Amaro — participated in a question-and-answer session at the JP Morgan Global Technology, Media & Communications Conference.


D’Amaro spoke on a number of topics, but one of the most interesting was the Star Wars Hotel (Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser) in Disney World. Despite the experience only opening about a year ago, the Star Wars Hotel will host its final voyages later this year. What will happen to the space is unknown at this time as Disney hasn’t made any announcements yet.

There have been some signs of potential issues at the Starcruiser in recent months as Disney reduced the number of voyages for later this year and began offering various discounts for certain groups. But just what went WRONG here and why is Disney closing it? Well, D’Amaro gave us some insight.

Iced Blue Felucian Shrimp Cocktail

During the JP Morgan event, D’Amaro said that the Starcruise is a “stunning asset” and pointed out that the Imagineers did an “incredible job” with it. He also noted that Cast Members did an exceptional job, it got high ratings, and it was a never-before-seen type of experience.

But, unfortunately, D’Amaro shared that the project “didn’t perform exactly like we wanted it to perform.” That’s why the team at Disney felt like it was time to “sunset” it.

Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser Atrium

He explained that Disney expects around a 100-150 million dollar acceleration in depreciation of this asset in each Q3 and Q4 of the fiscal year.

D’Amaro shared that it is a boutique hotel and is small in the context of contributing to the overall capacity of Disney World.

In terms of comparing that to Disney Cruise Line, D’Amaro said that Disney’s standard cruise ships have been “very productive.” Even though they’re small from an industry perspective, around 40% of Disney Cruise Line passengers say they only cruise because they’re going on a Disney ship.

Entrance area

D’Amaro even noted that they don’t do much discounting on the ships because they have such a high demand and small fleet. According to D’Amaro, “We know that the value is there.”

So while Disney Cruise Line is thriving, it seems that a Star Wars cruise-type experience on land (particularly at the price point Disney had it at) simply didn’t perform the way Disney had hoped. Disney had previously shared that the closing of the Starcruiser was a business decision, so this seems to line up with that.

Galactic Starcruiser

For now, reservations for the Starcruiser have been paused but they will reopen on May 26th for voyages between now and the closure date. The final voyages will take place from September 28th to September 30th, 2023.

Reportedly, discounts will NOT be offered when bookings reopen (except in a limited amount for those who had Starcruiser reservations past the closure date). Some dates appear to already be filling up for the Starcruiser though so you might want to book quickly once reservations open up again.

Galactic Starcruiser Room

To see our FULL page about the Starcruiser, click here. You can also check out some more Starcruiser thoughts below:


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4 Replies to “Disney Executive Reveals What Went WRONG With the Star Wars Hotel”

  1. Josh D’Amaro should be a politician. He managed to say what we already knew, but
    used a lot more words to look at the “positive side” of everything.

  2. Not feeling like this story added anything about “what went wrong.” Clearly, they’re closing because they’re not making money on it; I decided that when the closing was announced. (Maybe it was really too “niche?” At that price point, casual/non- Star Wars fans wouldn’t bother? I’m a Disney fan in the latter category…)

  3. The professional performer cast members were excellent. The college program ‘crew’ were inexperienced and undertrained and often simply not competent. Bad cutting corners there.

    Imagineering did a great job on concepts and design. Implementation and construction cut corners and I found painters tape, decorative lighting falling out of tracks on the bridge, exposed wires and splintered edges in the room and panel doors for the rooms that let in all sound from the hallways.

    Rooms had inadequate stowage for luggage, too few cabinets for clothes, almost no place to hang costumes, too few places to charge phones, cheep bedding and inadequate linens in the bunks, no privacy curtains or electric plugs in the bunks, and unreasonably small space overall.

    Paying $1.50 per minute for us to have to be on our phones for 4-6 hours a day to play space dinner theater spy mystery with characters we don’t care about seemed excessive. No one cares about Rey or Kylo at all!

  4. It failed because Disney priced the experience so absurdly outside the reality of the rank & file…those who would have been over the moon to experience this. The only individuals who could feasibly participate were kids who were chauffeured to school, grew up eating sushi & caviar and spent early Holiday long weekends on private islands. Essentially the uniqueness of the experience was “par for the course” for the entitled rather than dream fulfilling for the true fans. I would presume Disney was well aware ahead of time that this would be the dynamic and didn’t care at best, banked on it at worst. Sadly, this has become all too common these days for Disney. Ok I suppose as long as you lend your support to leftist culture wars.