On March 1, the highly-discussed Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser at Walt Disney World opens to guests.
Not to be confused with your standard Disney World Resort, this is essentially a hotel (you sleep and eat there), BUT there is a key difference — Galactic Starcruiser provides guests with a two-day, two-night all-immersive experience.
Think of this as similar to hopping aboard a Disney Cruise Line ship, but instead, you’re transported into a galaxy far, far away and living your best Star Wars life (well, maybe, depending on who you ask — and if you think it’s worth the hefty price tag).
There’s no denying that this is a truly unique experience providing an unforgettable and all-immersive Star Wars-themed voyage.
And while we ourselves didn’t attend the media event to get a sneak (and free) preview of the experience, nor do we have any plans to book a reservation anytime soon, we do want to make sure you have all of the necessary information, especially if you’re thinking about planning a trip aboard.
With that, here are 12 things you need to know about Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser.
Important Update – Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser is closing
How does check-in work?
You can (and it’s also recommended) check-in online or via the My Disney Experience app for Galactic Starcruiser, just like you do for other Disney World Resort hotels.
Upon arrival, you’ll finalize check-in outside the terminal, where Cast Members (aka “Crew Members”) give you a complimentary exclusive Galactic Starcruiser MagicBand that acts as your room key and is used at other various experiences while aboard the ship. They also take your luggage and will deliver it to your room for you.
Be sure to keep any items on you that you may need immediately, since your luggage is whisked away.
Once you go through security and watch a safety video (explains a “show” emergency versus a “real” emergency), you’re guided onto a launch pod that will transport you via simulation (no, you don’t actually blast off into space) to the Halcyon, the “ship” you stay on during the entire experience.
When the capsule lands, doors open into The Atrium, the lobby, of the starcruiser.
FYI: Valet parking is included in the price of your voyage. Your car will be parked prior to boarding the ship.
Guests are asked to arrive to the terminal after 1 p.m. and before 4 p.m. You will not be allowed to board before 1 p.m. Previously, if you arrived earlier than 1 p.m., Disney would hold registered guests’ luggage and send them to Disney Springs until it was time to board. There was even a bus stop at Disney Springs for these guests to use. However, bus service from Disney Springs has since been discontinued.
Important: Only registered Galactic Starcruiser guests are permitted to visit the terminal or board the starcruiser.
Do you need to do anything before your arrival?
Disney recommends you do the following before your arrival…
- Link your reservation to your Disney account online or via the My Disney Experience app. If you gave your email when you booked, your reservation might already be linked.
- Complete check-in online, which you can do online via the website or in the My Disney Experience app.
- Download the Play Disney Parks app, in addition to signing into the Play Disney Parks app 30 days before your arrival to receive your itinerary details.
- Reserve additional activities for an additional cost, including the Captain’s Table dining experience, the CSL Portrait Experience, Savi’s Workshop, Oga’s Cantina, and Droid Depot. To reserve (up to 60 days in advance) and check availability, call (407) 939-1800. More details here.
- Confirm guests names in order to receive your MagicBands when you arrive. You don’t need to order your MagicBands in advance, but visit My Plans and confirm that the names on your reservation are correct, as they will be printed on your MagicBands.
- Plan what to wear and be sure to review the Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser costume guidelines.
What’s included in the overall experience?
The following is included:
- A 2-night stay in a cabin or suite
- Valet parking
- Meals (excluding alcoholic and speciality beverages)
- Entry to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, along with the rest of Hollywood Studios
- While at Galaxy’s Edge, one Quick Service meal at Docking Bay 7 Food and Cargo or other select locations at the park (meal includes one entree, one non-alcoholic beverage, or, if 21 or over, one alcoholic beverage where available, or for guests ages 3 to 9, one combo meal from the children’s menu to be used in the theme park only)
- Exclusive Galactic Starcruiser databand (aka MagicBand)
- Opportunity to live your Star Wars story through exclusive experiences, missions, and activities
- One-time entry to Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance and Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run during Galaxy’s Edge excursion
What’s not included?
Of course, there are also items that are not included in the price, like:
- A big one: PhotoPass. You can pay an additional cost of $99 (an introductory rate) for a 30-minute private photoshoot with an “Image Scanner,” aka a Disney PhotoPass photographer, in different locations around the ship. You must book in advance (up to 60 days).
- Additional activities when visiting Galaxy’s Edge, like Savi’s Workshop, Oga’s Cantina, and Droid Depot. You must book in advance (up to 60 days).
- The Captain’s Table, a dining experience that allows you to sit at the captain’s table, where you’re served extra courses (the captain’s favorite dishes). This is considered a “prime location” in the center of the dining room. For the remainder of 2022, the price is $30 per person (plus tax) for 1 night. For 2023, the price is $50 per person (plus tax) for 1 night
- Alcoholic and specialty beverages
- Admission to other theme parks
What are “DataPads” and are they important?
A “Datapad” is simply your smart device. You need your Datapad and the Play Disney Parks app to get the full experience. These are basically essentials during your voyage.
The Play Disney Parks app is where you’ll access your itinerary too.
Don’t have a smart device? No problem!
As noted by Nerdist reporter Amy Ratcliffe, “Upon check-in, guests on early voyages may receive ship-issued datapads (a.k.a. iPhones) to use, and if so, you’ll need your Play Disney Parks log-in information handy.”
What are the rooms like?
There’s a total of 100 cabins and suites. You can book a standard cabin or choose between two suites. Depending on which room you book, you can sleep up to 8 guests.
You can book the following:
- Standard Cabin: Queen bed, 2 bunk beds (for one adult each), a wall pull-down bed for one adult (if sleeping 5)
- Galaxy Class Suite (1 Bedroom): One queen bed and 2 wall pull-down beds for one adult each
- Grand Captain Suite (2 Bedroom): 2 queen beds, 2 bunk beds (for one adult each), 2 wall pull-down beds for one adult each
Each room includes the standard amenities, including mini refrigerator, hair dryer, in-cabin safe, phone with voicemail, interactive TV, H20 Plus spa, bath, and shower products.
BUT, there isn’t an iron or ironing board (you can request both).
There is also storage for your belongings, including shelving and closet space. Of course, there are also outlets to charge your datapads (aka smart devices).
Cabins even have one or two windows with “views out into space.” There’s also a shield to shut down the window, if you want a dark room when sleeping.
The ship even has a droid named “D3-O9,” who you can interact with in your cabin.
What does it cost? (spoiler: it’s expensive)
You’ll definitely pay a BIG price tag for this experience.
Here is a sample of the standard cabin rates for voyage departure dates most weeknights from Aug. 1, 2023 to Sept. 14, 2023.
- 2 guests per cabin: $1,209 per guest per night, or $4,809 voyage total
- 3 guests per cabin (2 adults, 1 child): $899 per guest per night, or $5,299 voyage total
- 4 guests per cabin (3 adults, 1 child): $749 per guest per night, or $5,999 voyage total
Keep in mind that the cost of your voyage varies based on several factors: your party size, voyage dates, and the cabin or suite you book.
How “immersive” is the experience?
This is all about characters and storytelling. Think of it as a 2-day long character meet and greet, with a ton of interaction.
You can meet meet a mix of new and familiar characters, like Rey and Chewbacca.
You’ll interact with these characters in all kinds of way, including a character helping guests stowaway, or encountering a character in a hidden part of the ship, or helping a character break out of a brig.
This also means guests can choose who they want to be loyal to (the First Order or the Resistance) and who they want to interact with.
Guests can simply sit and watch and take it all in, but it seems like you’ll get more out of the experience if you go all in (and your group probably needs to do the same) or it won’t be as fun.
Also, you will be tired at the end. Per Nerdist reporter Ratcliffe:
“Remember when I talked about this experience being go, go, go? Planning breaks feels challenging because of it. Even when I took 30-45 minutes to step away to change for dinner, I felt like I missed cool moments and activities. I know I for sure missed a very cool thing on night two while I slowly got ready for dinner. It’s important to take breaks if you need them, but be aware things will continue happening and you may miss out. The schedule just overflows, and that doesn’t account for the spontaneous activities around the ship.”
Do you have to dress up?
No, you do not have to dress up or even wear Star Wars-themed apparel.
Of course, seeing as the Galactic Starcruiser is all-immersive, costumes add to the experience. But, you need to do what you’re most comfortable with.
If you do decided to dress up, be sure to review the Galactic Starcruiser costume guidelines.
Is there a gift store on board?
The Chandrila Collection is a boutique located just off the Atrium. You’ll find a range of items to purchase, like tunics, robes, dresses, flight uniforms, accessories, and other souvenirs.
Plus, there’s a pop-up shop outside the terminal when you leave with items that have the Galactic Starcruiser logo.
After your departure, you’ll also receive a one-time link that you can use to purchase soft goods with the logo.
How does dining work?
There are several dining options available on board.
Meals (except for alcoholic and specialty beverages) are all included in your voyage vacation package.
During your trip to Galaxy’s Edge, each guest receives one Quick Service meal at Docking Bay 7 Food and Cargo or other select locations at Hollywood Studios (if you prefer).
The meal at the park includes: one entree, one non-alcoholic beverage, or, if 21 or over, one alcoholic beverage (where available), or for guests ages 3 to 9, one combo meal from the children’s menu to be used in the theme park only).
As for dining on the Starcruiser, not only is there unlimited green and blue milk available during breakfast and lunch, but the following.
The Sublight Lounge (drinks cost extra)
The Sublight Lounge is where you can grab a drink and relax. You can even play a hand of holo-sabacc at the Sabacc gaming table.
You can also try grab and go breakfasts and late night snacks here.
Note: Remember that alcoholic and speciality beverages cost extra.
The Sublight Lounge already appears to be a favorite, even more than Oga’s Cantina. It also stays open until 1:00 a.m. to 2:00 a.m.
The Crown of Corellia Dining Room
The Crown of Corellia Dining Room will offer breakfast and lunch, before transitioning each evening into a multi-course menu for dinner.
Breakfast and lunch are served as buffets:
- Breakfast: Hot and cold small plates, variety of beverages (juices, fresh brewed coffee, and Bubo Wamba Family Farms blue milk)
- Lunch: Small bites (sandwiches, soups, mini flatbreads, assorted salads, and sweets)
You can also grab small snacks in the Atrium in the afternoon (fruit, sweets, etc.)
And then there is dinner:
- First night (dinner): Enjoy a table-service meal at this supper club featuring a special musical appearance by galactic superstar Gaya.
- Second night (dinner): Called “The Taste Around the Galaxy,” you’re able to try courses inspired by the geography and environments of iconic destination planets throughout the galaxy. There are group appetizers for the table, a choice of entrée, and a specialty plated dessert.
Tip: When you book your vacation package, you’ll be able to indicate your preference for first or second dinner seating (based on availability).
Keep in mind: You are likely to be seated at a table with other guests in the Crown of Corellia Dining Room. If you add on the Captain’s Table experience, you will be seated with other guests.
The Captain’s Table experience requires an additional fee. When sitting at the captain’s table, you’re served extra courses (the captain’s favorite dishes). This is considered a “prime location” in the center of the dining room.
What experiences and activities are available?
Some activities are on your itinerary, whereas others you’ll just stumble upon.
The biggest activities available (and that are also on your itinerary) are:
- Lightsaber training: You’re able to experience the art of wielding a lightsaber and be able to put your skills to the test against a training remote. Guests must be at least 7 years of age to participate.
- Bridge training: This is a hands-on experience, where you explore the inner-workings of the bridge and learn how it functions from the crew. You learn about the navigation, power, defense, and other critical systems that are used to keep the Halcyon safe.
How much time do you actually get in Galaxy’s Edge?
On Day 2, you’re seamlessly transported via a well-themed and decked out vehicle in the morning to Batuu in Galaxy’s Edge.
Overall, you have several hours (morning to the afternoon) in the land, including the chance to:
- Access both Rise of the Resistance and Smugglers Run via the Lightning Lane
- Get one Quick Service meal at Docking Bay 7 Food and Cargo or other select locations at Hollywood Studios (if you prefer). The meal includes: one entree, one non-alcoholic beverage, or, if 21 or over, one alcoholic beverage (where available), or for guests ages 3 to 9, one combo meal from the children’s menu to be used in the theme park only).
If you want to visit Oga’s Cantina, Savi’s Workshop, or the Droid Depot, you must book these in advance (and for an additional price).
Can you go outdoors at all?
Your time on the Halcyon is basically all indoors, except for when you visit Hollywood Studios.
There’s also ONE outdoor space on board — the Climate Simulator that simulates the exact climate of Batuu.
Who is Galactic Starcruiser meant for?
If you’re not a Star Wars fan, into cosplay, or LARPing, this extremely immersive experience isn’t for you.
The audience is pretty narrow. Plus, if you want a relaxing vacation — and one where you can unplug — this isn’t it.
Based on all of the coverage so far, this seems like an immersive, imperfect, and exhausting experience that many Star Wars fans with $5,000 to $6,000 and a willingness to play along for 2 days will love.
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