Many people have been talking about the Star Wars Hotel, or the Disney World Galactic Starcruiser, for months, if not years now. If you haven’t heard anything about it, I wrote a little summary a few weeks ago.
When the news first came out a few years ago, I was excited, and had my eye on the project. Then, when it was time to book, I was cautious, due to that heavy price tag, but my wife and I knew that we were the perfect demographic for this experience, and with this platform, we could give a fully honest, non-sponsored, fanboy review.
But first, without coming off as bragging, I want to take a moment and explain why I think I will be able to give an honest and full review of the experience.
First of all, I am obviously a huge fan of Star Wars. I love the movies, I’m rewatching the shows, I love the video games, Tabletop RPGs, and even the anime. I will say, if you consider yourself a “purist” and think the Prequels and/or Sequels are a disgrace to the Lucas Legacy, then we will probably disagree. I don’t think every movie is perfect, but I don’t think that the Original Trilogy is better purely because it came from George Lucas himself.
I know enough of the lore to appreciate Easter Eggs, and I understand the setting enough to create a fully fleshed Original Character that I will be attending as (more on that below).
I understand why many Star Wars fans think that the Star Wars Hotel doesn’t feel like Star Wars too. Star Wars, ultimately, is about war, and in war your surroundings and equipment tends to be utilitarian and designed with function, not form. We see that Disney World understands this when they created Batuu for Galaxy’s Edge. The idea of clean walls and nice outfits does not match much of what we have experienced with Star Wars. The moments of Star Wars where things DO look like the Galactic Starcruiser (Kamino, Lando’s Millennium Falcon, Canto Bight) always stands out as something wrong or off putting within the galaxy. So to make the hotel in that setting I can understand puts people off. Sure, it would be more classically Star Wars to set the hotel in a military bunker. However, I’m not going to judge the hotel based on what it’s not, but what it is.
Now, unlike many bloggers that are going to be talking about this, I am not a “Travel Blogger.” I actually have a career in Luxury Hospitality. I’ve worked as a hotel barback, bellman (luggage boy), chauffeur (personal driver), front desk, and concierge. I know what it takes to create a luxury experience for high paying guests. I’ve served multiple celebrities in one luxury experience or another, including Luke Skywalker Mark Hamill himself.
Again, I don’t say this to try to brag, but to say that I know what to look for when it comes to a good hotel experience. As I mentioned in my previous post, I know that a vacation quality is equally comprised of Where You Sleep, What You Eat, and What You Do. I know that the perfect vacation isn’t one where nothing goes wrong, but where when something does go wrong, the staff know how to solve it.
What is probably the most influential aspect of this experience, I know how Immersive Theatre works on an intrinsic level. My wife and I met while majoring in Musical Theatre in college, and have been performing since 2007. We helped create an Improv Troupe in our town that performed monthly, and had been going on a little more than 2 years until the pandemic forced us to stop. I play Dungeons & Dragons as a Dungeon Master, leading my friends/family through longform collaborative storytelling, since 2015. I attending the opening night of a park in Utah called “Evermore” which is an “immersive experience theme park.” Basically, when you walk into this park, you are transported into a fantasy world of monsters, fey, taverns, and adventure. It was everything you expect from the Star Wars Hotel or Galaxy’s Edge (sans rides), except it’s in classic western European folklore.
When we go, my wife and I have created fully fleshed out Original Characters (OCs) that we will be essentially Live Action Roleplaying (LARPing) as. Without going into too many details, we will be Information Smugglers (Infochants) who just paid off a huge debt to the Crimson Dawn, and are celebrating by going on this cruise and seeing an old friend on Batuu. Our goal is to be fully in character to the point where hopefully other guests will start to question if we are Cast Members ourselves. Obviously the Databand (Disney MagicBand) will give some of it away, but we want to blur that line as much as possible.
Lastly, though least importantly, we are two 20-somethings that live in Florida, without kids. We understand that this trip is overpriced for so many potential guests. On top of everything else, we want to look at the cost-value of this trip, to see if it’s really worth the price. We have discussed that we won’t allow ourselves to fall into the Sunk Cost Fallacy, so we won’t try to convince ourselves we had a better time than we did just because we spent so much money. We want to really evaluate if we think you should go, and just how much you would have to buy-in in order for it to be worth the price. Disney claims that it is fun if you just sit back and watch, but is that really true, or do you need to be a full character yourself, running around the ship for 16 hours a day to make it worth it? We’ll let you know.
So, when we get back, come back for a full analysis on the quality of the trip, the cost-value, as well as our day-by-day breakdown of what we did.