“It Didn’t Perform” — Disney Exec. Announces How the Star Wars Hotel Went WRONG

Disney fans received some pretty startling news recently about the CLOSURE of the Star Wars hotel in Disney World. The immersive hotel experience opened just a little over a year ago, in March 2022, so the news that it was closing so soon came as a surprise to many.

Star Wars Galactic Starcruiser

However, there were certainly warning signs about the Galactic Starcruiser‘s profitability. After a few sold-out months around the time of the hotel’s opening, we started to see voyages sell out less and less often, and Disney even reduced the number of voyages offered each week in response to the decrease in demand.

The Starcruiser’s last voyage will be from September 28th through the 30th (this final trip is now sold out). Disney executive Josh D’Amaro just shared more details about WHY the Starcruiser failed and how this will affect The Walt Disney Company.

On Monday, May 22nd, Josh D’Amaro participated in a Q&A session as part of the JP Morgan Global Technology, Media, and Communications Conference. D’Amaro is the Chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences, and Products at The Walt Disney Company. He was interviewed by Phil Cusick.

Josh D’Amaro, Head of Disney Parks and Resorts

During the interview, Cusick asked D’Amaro about Disney’s future plans for the parks. D’Amaro said, “We’ve invested aggressively in these parks,” mentioning the upcoming Frozen lands at a few international Disney parks as well as the new Avengers Campus at Disneyland Paris.

Cusick then asked D’Amaro, “You’re closing Starcruiser — What drove that and how should we think about the impact?”

Star Wars Galactic Starcruiser

D’Amaro responded by stating that the Galactic Starcruise hotel is “a pretty stunning asset.” He said, “It’s essentially a spaceship that guests board, themed out to feel exactly like Star Wars. Our Imagineers did an incredible job pulling this asset together, and our guests gave it very high ratings.” Despite those high ratings, however, D’Amaro said, “It didn’t perform exactly like we wanted it to perform, so we decided that we’re going to sunset this in September.”

Starcruiser cabin

Although the hotel apparently didn’t fulfill Disney’s expectations, D’Amaro emphasized that the Cast Members who ran the hotel did everything they could have done: “Our Cast Members […] did just an exceptional job.”

Starcruiser Cast Members

D’Amaro went on to say, “We did decide that, despite the fact that this was a never-before-seen type of experience, and I think it’s raised the bar from a creativity perspective on where we can go next, we thought it was time to sunset this beginning in September.” Disney has adopted this optimistic perspective on the Star Wars hotel’s closure, repeatedly emphasizing that they will take the lessons they’ve learned from the experience and apply those to future experiences.

Breakfast on the Starcruiser

In Disney’s initial statement about the hotel’s closure, they 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.” Details on what will happen to the building and location have not yet been shared. Thus far, there are no current plans to announce.

Starcruiser entrance

The “smaller scale” mentioned in that statement may have been one of the problems with this hotel. With just 100 rooms, the hotel just can’t accommodate huge numbers of guests. In the JP Morgan interview, D’Amaro noted that the size of the hotel means that its closure won’t have much of an impact in terms of Disney World’s capacity: “The Galactic Starcruiser got a fair amount of attention. It’s a boutique hotel — it’s 100 rooms — and if you think about Walt Disney World, it’s actually 30,000 rooms. So this is this very very small in the context of what we deliver at Walt Disney World.”

Hallway to Passenger Cabins

In terms of the financial impact of the hotel’s closure on Disney, D’Amaro said, “I will note […] in both Q3 and Q4, as we accelerate depreciation on that Starcruiser, we should expect about $100 to $150 million acceleration in depreciation.” Cusick clarified that D’Amaro meant $100 to $150 million in each of the quarters (not total), to which D’Amaro said, “Correct.” In other words, Disney expects to lose about $100 to $150 million in value in both Q3 and Q4 with the Star Wars hotel’s closure.

Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser opened last year for two-night voyages aboard the starship Halcyon that allowed visitors to live out their ULTIMATE Star Wars dreams by becoming part of the onboard Star Wars story. Not only that, but they also got to have unique dining experiencesget lightsaber training, help fly the ship from the bridge, and more. If you’re wanting to book a voyage on the Halcyon before it closes, keep in mind that a trip on the Starcruiser is not cheap. Voyages start at around $1200 per guest per night for two guests in a cabin. We have previously seen discounts for Annual Passholders and Disney Visa Cardmembers.

Dining on the Galactic Starcruiser

The Galactic Starcruiser’s final voyage on September 28th to the 30th has officially sold out. Bookings for other dates are currently paused for most guests and will reopen on May 26th. Anyone who had a trip booked for after September 2023 is able to reschedule right now.

Sublight Lounge

Note that Disney did offer guests with voyages booked for AFTER September 2023 an opportunity to rebook at half off, so some of those reservations for the final voyage could be coming from them. Other dates are still available but you shouldn’t expect Disney to release any other discounts to the public.

The experience is unlike anything else in Disney World, but it won’t be around for long so you’ll want to book your trip as soon as you can if you’re hoping to experience it before it’s gone.

A cabin on the Starcruiser!

Once reservations become available again, you can reach out to our friends at Small World Vacations to help you with all your booking needs, so you don’t have to worry about it all on your own.

Our favorite people over at Small World Vacations are ready to help you save time, headaches, and best of all, money, when you book your Disney trip or cruise.

Their agents compare current offers to find the best deal for you — they’ve literally saved their guests millions of dollars since 1996. Plus, their services are 100% FREE FOR YOU! (They’re DFB’s recommended travel agency, and you can see why here!)

So book that trip now, then sit back and enjoy planning your Disney World Trip with a DFB-approved expert! Click here for a no obligation price quote today, and let them know DFB sent you 🙂


We have a LOT to share when it comes to dining at the Star Wars Hotel, so we’re gathering more links below so you can learn everything about it:

We’ll be watching for more updates, so stay tuned to DFB for all the latest news.

Star Wars Hotel — Galactic Starcruiser News and Information

Click HERE to See More About Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser

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Did you stay at the Star Wars hotel? Tell us what you thought about it in the comments!

The post “It Didn’t Perform” — Disney Exec. Announces How the Star Wars Hotel Went WRONG first appeared on the disney food blog.

source https://www.disneyfoodblog.com/2023/05/22/it-didnt-perform-disney-exec-announces-how-the-star-wars-hotel-went-wrong/

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