Why You Shouldn't Think Of Walt Disney World's Star Wars Galactic Starcruiser As A Hotel

Star Wars Galactic Starcruiser concept art

While Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge and Rise of the Resistance are currently wowing guests at both Walt Disney World and Disneyland, the future is already looking bright for Star Wars in the parks thanks to the construction in Orlando of Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser, a new two-night Star Wars experience. When first revealed, it was being referred to as a "Star Wars Hotel" but you'll notice that Walt Disney World doesn't really use that word at all. It's become increasing clear that the reason Disney isn't calling this new location a hotel is that that's not really the way to look at it. The more applicable comparison is to a cruise ship.

Walt Disney World has announced that the Galactic Starcruiser, set to open sometime in 2021, will begin taking reservations later this year and with that announcement came a new video which compiles all the bits and pieces of information that have previously announced into a cohesive whole that makes it clear while the Galactic Starcruiser might not actually move, the design is that of the all-inclusive cruise ship which will offer a host of dining, on-board activities, and shore excursions,

From the beginning the idea of a three-day, two-night, Star Wars experience, that would take place entirely inside the building, had the feel of something closer to a cruise ship than a hotel, and when all these details are put together, it certainly looks that way now. And in the case of the Galactic Starcruiser we're getting yet another level that you don't get on a normal cruise ship, the complete theming and immersion that will make you feel like you're on-board a starship in the Star Wars universe.

What's A Galactic Starcruiser Stay Really Going To Cost?

This isn't just a semantic difference however, because of all the details that have been announced, there's one important piece of information that is conspicuously missing. We have no idea what this thing is going to cost. We all know this is not going to be the cheapest thing in the world, but I would fully expect everything about the cost of the Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser will be priced like a cruise ship, not a hotel.

Walt Disney World hotels cover a complete range of price points so as to appeal to every potential guest. If you want to make a Walt Disney World vacation work on a budget, you can get a room for $100 a night at the right time of year. Of course, if you want to stay some place nicer, there are some really nice places, and you can easily spend several hundred dollars a night on a room, or even more if you can afford the luxury.

However, the thing about hotel rooms is that, they generally cost the same amount, no matter how many bodies you cram inside them. The room is the same cost for the family of four as it is for the childless millennials.

But cruise ships don't get priced that way. If you're booking a cruise ship, you're often paying a price per-person. A base price can be the cost for a couple, but adding more people, children or adults, increases the cost significantly. On a cruise ship, the family of four is paying more than the childless millennial couple.

A two-night Disney Cruise, as a for instance, can start around $1600 or $1800 and go up from there. But that's just one example. Cruise ships of different sizes to different places have quite a range of costs. But that price makes it one of the more expensive Walt Disney World hotel rooms out there, but it also may not be quite as expensive as it sounds.

First of all, that price covers two nights, so we can technically cut the price in half. We're still looking at an expensive room, but something potentially in line with other Disney World hotels.

Galactic Starcruiser Might Include Some Things, But Others Could Cost Most

There's also the possibility that much, or all, of the additional activities will be included in the price. Visiting the "bridge" of the ship or doing lightsaber training might be something that is simply available for you to do by being on board. The shore excursion to Batuu will probably be included with the price, which means you're getting a theme park ticket as part of your stay. One assumes you'll have the run of Disney's Hollywood Studios, not simply Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge, since I'm not sure how they keep you out.

Food is another x-factor. Frequently on cruise ships, some food is included, but some is not. Normal meals can be included, but if you want to eat in the nice restaurant, you'll be paying a normal price for such things. Drinks might be included, but alcohol is not.

Of course, you can also get more things included in your base price by paying a higher base price up front. And there will be, according to reports, at least a couple different room designs, and so of course a nice room will cost a bit more. However, those same reports also imply that there won't actually be that many rooms in total. The Galactic Starcruiser doesn't appear to be a sprawling hotel like so many at the Walt Disney World Resort. And smaller cruise ships always cost more. Disney Cruise ships are massive.

Cruise ships aren't usually cheap vacations, but, when you breakdown what you're getting for the cost, and add in the convenience of having everything you need in one place, they usually are viewed as "worth it." But there are a lot of variables. We simply don't know today how much the "basic" package will include and for what price, and how much more will be available for the guests willing and able to pay for it. Still, when those real numbers are finally released, don't expect them to even look like the price of an expensive hotel room. They're going to look like the cost of a stateroom on a luxury liner.

Of course, we're also not including the fact that, for a lot of guests, a stay on the Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser, is likely to be only part of a larger Walt Disney World vacation. You'll need to book a separate hotel for the rest of your stay, and still pay for everything else you're going to need.

Perhaps booking a trip on the Halcyon will be its own vacation. You can visit Walt Disney World next year.

Dirk Libbey
Content Producer/Theme Park Beat

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian, Dirk began writing for CinemaBlend as a freelancer in 2015 before joining the site full-time in 2018. He has previously held positions as a Staff Writer and Games Editor, but has more recently transformed his true passion into his job as the head of the site's Theme Park section. He has previously done freelance work for various gaming and technology sites. Prior to starting his second career as a writer he worked for 12 years in sales for various companies within the consumer electronics industry. He has a degree in political science from the University of California, Davis.  Is an armchair Imagineer, Epcot Stan, Future Club 33 Member.