Disney might have been able to pull it off in a galaxy far, far away, but here on planet Earth, its Star Wars-themed hotel failed fantastically.
The company announced Thursday that its Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser hotel at Walt Disney World in Florida is closing up shop.
“This premium, boutique experience gave us the opportunity to try new things on a smaller scale of 100 rooms, and as we prepare for its final voyage, we will take what we’ve learned to create future experiences that can reach more of our guests and fans,” the company said in a statement concerning the closure.
Despite previously showing availability through Dec. 31, the 100-room hotel’s website now indicates the final “voyages” will take place on Sept. 28.
Prospective guests with bookings scheduled after the newly announced closure are being given the option of switching to an earlier slot, reported the Washington Post. It is unclear whether they can alternatively be reimbursed to better spend their money elsewhere.
New bookings have been paused, but will reopen on May 26.
Touted by the company as “the most immersive Star Wars story ever created — one where you live a bespoke experience and journey further into a Star Wars adventure than you ever dreamed possible,” the hotel features live music, activities both for children and adults, and opportunities to engage with costumed employees.
Scott Trowbridge, the Disney creative executive who oversaw the development of the failed hotel, said at the time of its debut, “We’ve made the first of something that will hopefully change the way we think about the possibilities of immersive experiences.”
Polygon reduced it to a “a Disney cruise ship on land.”
The Verge characterized it as “a giant improv exercise with dozens of strangers” with an “exorbitant price tag.”
Packages for a two-guest cabin are presently priced at $1,209 per guest per night or $4,809 total. Two adults and a child would be looking at a minimum expenditure of $5,299, not including various other Disney-styled cash-grabs.
IGN reported that the windowless cabins “are as basic as they come. A standard cabin is comparable to what you’d find on a cruise ship cabin, which is hard to accept when you know the room could be as large as Disney wanted to make them, and with the imagination of Star Wars, yet they chose to go small.”
A tricked-out suite can cost upwards of $20,000, noted the New York Times.
“The family price of $6,000 for four people is just too much. A family of four could do so much more at Disney or on Disney Cruise Line for that money,” wrote Matt Roseboom of Attractions Magazine.
While that astronomical price tag might force some guests to drink, vacation packages do not include alcoholic beverages. A glass of beer costs $13.50, and wine goes for at least $11.
Robert Niles, founder and editor of Theme Park Insider, told the Post, “There was no way that this ever could scale to the numbers where it made enough money to be a better investment than other projects on which Disney could spend this operating budget.”
Niles stressed that “Disney does blockbusters, not boutique.”
The Orlando Sentinel indicated that there are no immediate plans for the building housing Disney’s blockbuster failure.
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