D’Amaro: Galactic Starcruiser Was “Difficult To Explain to the Public”, New Experiences In The Works

    Whenever someone asked me to explain what the Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser was, I would often say “even Disney doesn’t know how to explain it”. The experience was so hard to put into words that Disney tried a couple of different approaches in its pre-opening marketing efforts. The first nationwide introduction to the hotel tapped an actor from ABC’s The Goldbergs (of all places) during The Wonderful World of Disney: Magical Holiday Celebration and the result was a clumsy and maybe cringy introduction to what would ultimately be amazing experiences (when can I enjoy a Gaya dinner show again?!).

    Eventually, Disney settled on a more grand, cinematic approach to its marketing that suited the experience well. That said, you only get one shot to make a first impression, and the $6,000 pricetag combined with traditional media previews showcasing space bingo and line-dancing is what the internet grabbed onto.

    Galactic Starcruiser: intimate, immersive experiences were second to none

    In a recent interview with CNBC, Disney Experiences Chairman Josh D’Amaro acknowledged the difficulties that Disney had with explaining what the 2-night immersive experience actually was.

    This is something that had never been done before. It was difficult to even explain to the public, and I think it was incredibly brave for us to move into this space. … And this, to me, says Imagineering is still at its best today.

    Those learnings are being employed on the next experiences, which we haven’t even announced yet.
    Josh D’Amaro, Disney Experiences Chairman

    D’Amaro’s comments about how Starcruiser represents the best of Imagineering couldn’t be more accurate. Having been fortunate enough to experience the Starcruiser multiple times, there has been no better combination of immersion, storytelling, and acting in the history of the company. Guests became an integral part of the Star Wars story, and Imagineering cites that immersion as the catalyst that first inspired teams to develop the experience. Even the Walt Disney Imagineering website still prominently features the Galactic Starcrusier experience, when the immersive role-playing adventure has otherwise been scrubbed from the Company post-closing.

    Walt Disney Imagineering website featuring the Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser experience

    D’Amaro continues to say that there is something in the works at Disney. Back in a June 2023 interview, D’Amaro said that “something will happen” when asked about the future of the Galactic Starcruiser. In this most recent interview, D’Amaro again says that Disney is working on something, but it seems like the new experiences might just build upon the immersion that the Galactic Starcriser represented instead of resurrecting it.

    That said, there are no wrecking balls on site, and Disney could open the experience again with a fraction of the startup costs that it has already taken accelerated depreciation for. As fans of the Starcruiser experience, we’re hopeful that we haven’t stepped foot on the Halcyon for the last time. As fans of the Disney theme parks and experiences, we’re hopeful that those responsible for making decisions at the highest level haven’t given up on immersive and innovative experiences.

    As always, keep checking back with us here at BlogMickey.com as we continue to bring you the latest news, photos, and info from around the Disney Parks!

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    5 COMMENTS

    1. I think it was also poorly presented to the public by all of the Disney Vloggers. Tim Trackers videos were some of the worst examples of the experience. He made it look like a dress up slumber party that you paid $6k for.

      • The writing was on the wall before it ever opened, because people like Tom Corliss, Pete Werner, and John Magi were saying that they didn’t want to have to “play the games”. If you’re not going to play along, you’re not going to have fun, and you’re going to ruin the experience for everyone around you.

    2. The biggest problem with it was (aside from the crushing price) that it was a LARP experience, and the overwhelming majority of people are simply too self conscious to actually LARP. Even a bunch of Star Wars “fans” won’t do it. And if you aren’t willing to surrender to the experience, it simply wasn’t worth the money.

    3. As someone who only went once, I also tell people that one of the main issues was Disney not being able to accurately communicate what it was. And as someone who only went once, something I noticed as the year progressed was that the 1%ers and influencers who were able to go multiple times also created this sense of even more exclusivity for the experience. It came to feel as if you weren’t part of the Halcyon club unless you’ve been multiple times. That ran counter to what Disney probably hoped it would become. If more people felt like it was within reach, it would have helped get more guests. I understand, though, why Disney kept paying for influencers to come on board. They needed other people to try and explain why it was worth doing.

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