One Year Later, Disney World's Struggling Star Wars Hotel Just Made A Huge Change That Is Not A Good Sign

It’s only been a year since the Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser opened at Walt Disney World. And while the Star Wars Hotel” was met with massive crowds and positive reviews at the outset, things have changed drastically in the last few months. It’s become clear that the Starcruiser is having trouble filling itself to capacity, and now the location has made a new big change to deal with this problem, by simply reducing the number of available dates. 

Currently, Galactic Starcruiser dates are available every other day, and when I say available, you can still book a stay for tomorrow if you want to. Only a handful of individual stays are currently sold out in the next few months, which is a big change from opening when it was sold out for months. But starting in October, the Galactic Starcruiser is set to essentially shut down mid-week. With stays starting only on Fridays and Sundays, with holiday weeks, like Thanksgiving and Christmas including an extra stay on Tuesday. In a statement, Disney said…

We’ve been learning a lot during our first year of operation and have adjusted voyage dates to meet the needs of our guests.

What this also says, if read a certain way, is that guests don’t need as many Starcruiser launch dates as they previously had; the demand is simply not there. This had been a concern from the beginning. The fact that the Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser was designed to be an “immersive” Star Wars experience, and that it was quite expensive, caused many to wonder just how big the potential audience was. 

It now seems clear the audience was not as big as previously believed. If the Starcruiser simply doesn’t have enough guests to justify running full-time, that’s not a good sign. If the Starcruiser can basically cut one-third of its operational time, it can cut more. While this certainly doesn’t mean the Starcruiser could shut down entirely anytime soon, it’s certainly a first step in that direction if this change doesn’t improve things. 

In recent months we’ve seen signs that Disney World was having trouble filling the Galactic Starcruiser. While no discounts on the Star Wars experience have been offered to the general public, we have seen discounts given to resort stays that include the Starcruiser. Discounts have been offered to Disney Cast Members who book the experience, up to 50% off.

More recently, we’ve seen the addition of The Mandalorian and Grogu to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. This is a significant addition because the characters are from a different point in the Star Wars timeline than Galaxy’s Edge, and more importantly, the Galactic Starcruiser had been set by Disney. The story being told on the Starcruiser is set at a point in time, but if Galaxy’s Edge is becoming more flexible, one wonders if that could mean changes are coming for the Starcruiser.

Changes were always to be expected with the Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser. What Walt Disney Imagineering did there was unlike anything that anybody had ever tried before. As such, it was all but certain that mistakes would be made, and not everything would be just right. How do you perfectly do something that nobody has ever seen before? At the end of the day, if this is the change that is required to make sure the Starcruiser remains in operation, then it’s a change worthy of making. 

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.