Soon visitors to Walt Disney World in Florida will be able to partake in a fully immersive based on the popular “Star Wars” films unlike any other experience offered at the theme parks before.
In a blog post, Disney DIS, -1.17% announced that their new hotel will open in 2022 at Walt Disney World, though a specific date was not revealed. Previously, Disney had teased a 2021 opening for the hotel, as noted by travel website Disney Food Blog. Many of Disney’s new attractions at its theme parks and resorts were delayed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, including a new section at Disney California Adventure in Anaheim based on the Marvel Cinematic Universe and a new ride at Epcot in Florida based on the film, “Ratatouille.”
In honor of Star Wars Day — which takes place on May 4 each year to evoke of the films’ famous catch-phrase, “May the force be with you” — Disney unveiled more details about what travelers can expect when they stay at the new hotel, called Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser.
Galactic Starcruiser won’t be a typical hotel. Disney describes it as a “two-night vacation experience” where visitors live out a Star Wars fantasy on a “Halcyon” ship. “This isn’t storytelling – it’s storyliving, where you’ll see, feel and live Star Wars in a whole new way,” Disney said in the blog post.
During their time there, they will interact with other guests and Disney employees as if they are members of the ship’s crew. How those interactions go will determine the rest of their experience, as if they are in a choose-your-own-adventure story. As part of their stay at the hotel, guests will also visit the Galaxy’s Edge attraction located at Disney’s Hollywood Studios theme park. The hotel’s guest rooms are designed to look like cabins on a spaceship, with windows that look out on the cosmos rather than the grounds of the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida.
Chief among the features Disney teased on Tuesday was a look at a “real” light saber that will be featured at the Galactic Starcruiser. “Watching that lightsaber activate right before your eyes will be just one of the countless ways that, from the moment you arrive to the moment you depart, you’ll be plunged into a Star Wars story where your decisions and actions – or even the casual conversations you may have – determine how your personal journey unfolds,” the company stated in the blog post.
The device was created by Walt Disney Imagineering Research and Development. In a video, an actress dressed like the character Rey from the third part of the film saga wields the weapon. Guests won’t handle these new light sabers themselves — only specific characters will wield them — but they will be able to take part in light saber training as part of their visit.
Additionally, Disney released artwork showing the concept behind the supper club where visitors will be able to eat their meals during their stay. Called “the Crown of Corellia Dining Room,” the restaurant will feature a multi-course menu and entertainment from live performers. The eatery’s name is a reference to the planet in the film franchise where the famous Millennium Falcon spaceship was built.
The Galactic Starcruiser hotel isn’t the only new Star Wars-themed experience Disney has in the works. The company is also currently developing an adults-only bar for its new cruise ship, the Disney Wish, which will also set sail next year.
In 2019, Disney opened new Star Wars-themed lands at its Hollywood Studios theme park in Florida and Disneyland theme park in California. Called Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, the themed areas feature two new rides, plus a host of gift shops and restaurants, based on the franchise created by George Lucas.
Those attractions opened earlier than Disney had planned due to the high demand from guests, but Disney’s theme parks division has faced significant challenges much like the rest of the theme park industry due to the coronavirus pandemic. Disneyland Resort only reopened in late April after being closed for more than a year because of the viral outbreak, and the company’s theme parks in France remain closed at this time after briefly reopening earlier in the pandemic. Capacity at the company’s theme parks around the globe is reduced, limiting the company’s revenue.