There is always something new on the horizon when it comes to theme parks but of everything there is to look forward to, the most game changing, at least potentially, is the Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser. There's never been anything quite like it in a major theme park. This is because, while it's being colloquially referred to as a "Star Wars hotel" it's actually so much more than that. While those that have been following the Galactic Starcruiser's development closely are well aware of just what's in store for those who book passage on the Halcyon, it seems that many more casual fans may not be aware of quite what they're getting themselves into. The Galactic Starcruiser isn't so much a hotel as it is a two-day long attraction that gives you a place to sleep.
Themed hotels are nothing new for Walt Disney World. Every resort hotel on the property has some sort of theme and if you want to stay in a hotel themed after Toy Story, Moana, or even Oscar-nominated short Destino, you have that option. But the Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser isn't simply a Star Wars themed hotel. It's an all-inclusive experience that is, with perhaps one exception, going to expect you to stay with in its walls for about two full days.
Star Wars Galactic Starcruiser is a two-night experience, so if you check in on a Friday, you'll be checking out on Sunday, and everybody that's staying will be checking in and out around the same time. The story being told is that everybody is on-board a starship called the Halcyon. It's a luxury starcruiser, and much like its terrestrial counterparts, the experience is more akin to a cruise ship than a hotel.
You'll take your meals in the dining room. You'll relax in the lounge. There will be some entertainment offerings within the Galactic Starcruiser to take advantage of, including the use of the most realistic lightsaber we've seen yet, and you can simply wander the ship and see its various elements. But it will all take place within the Starcruiser environment.
While Walt Disney World has said that Launch Pods, the method by which guests will arrive at the Starcruiser from the transport terminal, will always be available for guests who wish to enter or leave during their stay, the expectation is that you'll be staying for the duration. If you choose to leave then you'll likely find yourself missing many of the events and activities that are taking place within the Starcruiser.
Which is not to say you'll be cooped up on board the Starcruiser for the entire trip. There promises to be at least one "shore excursion" available as the Halcyon will make a stop on the planet Batuu, giving guests an opportunity to visit Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge. Exactly how this will work is unclear. We don't know if guests will then have the run of Disney's Hollywood Studios or if they will truly be limited to Galaxy's Edge. Maybe you could grab lunch or dinner at the Brown Derby if you really wanted, but maybe not.
Potentially the Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser is a vacation unto itself. Or at the very least, it will be a two night experience to add to whatever else you want to do at Walt Disney World. What it isn't is a place to keep your stuff while you go visit the theme parks.