The interior of a guest suite at the defunct Star Wars Galactic Cruiser at Walt Disney World, with a hand giving a thumbs down
(Disney Parks / Illustration by The Mary Sue)

I Dreamed of Visiting Disney’s Galactic Starcruiser. Turns Out That Would Have Been a Nightmare

When I first heard about the Star Wars Galactic Starcruiser at Walt Disney World, a.k.a. “the Star Wars hotel,” my first thought was “I’ve gotta go there someday.”

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It wasn’t just a hotel but a whole Star Wars LARPing experience (not that they used the word LARPing in the very bad marketing) that promised full immersion into a storyline, video-game style. Then I saw the price tag attached to the Galactic Starcruiser, and I thought, “Okay, that’s a LOT, but you know. One day, when I’m richer.”

Alas, I never got rich enough to afford a trip to the Galactic Starcruiser, and now no one will ever go there again because it’s been shut down. This may have come as a surprise to some, seeing as how Star Wars and Disney parks are such big business, but as it turns out, the closure was entirely justified.

YouTuber Jenny Nicholson has released a four-hour (!) video about her experience at the Star Wars hotel and it’s really something. She paid the massive sum of $6,000 for the room and (what she thought was) the full holiday, only to be disappointed at virtually every turn. By the time I got through the whole video, I was mildly ashamed of myself for ever trusting Disney.

Jenny Nicholson’s Star Wars experience

Jenny Nicholson went into the experience with the same idealism as I would, only to have it crushed. There are a few stray details in the video I wish she’d gone deeper into, though. What do you MEAN “guests have to hide in a panic room during an emergency”? There’s no fire escape to get you out right away?! Well, let’s all be grateful that the Galactic Starcruiser didn’t last long enough to weather an actual emergency, then.

Another, albeit much less urgent, red flag pops up as Nicholson walks us through her first impressions of the hotel. There’s a TV in the room where you can watch Disney+ … if you already have a Disney+ subscription. Despite the fact that guests are paying a small fortune to stay on the Galactic Starcruiser, Disney just couldn’t bring itself to throw in Disney+ free for two nights.

Stinginess and poor customer service were the order of the day at the Star Wars hotel. Nicholson booked a photographer with her stay, but “didn’t see any photographers the entire trip.” She did a little digging and discovered this happened to other people too. Nicholson got her money back after complaining, because she is an influencer—no one else did.

Constant issues and problems

Nicholson actively wanted to engage with the LARPing at the Star Wars hotel. She even went in cosplay and created her own character, a socialite who supports the First Order. But the actors at the hotel seemed trained to respond only to the name a person had booked under, not a fake character name, and Nicholson felt like she was being judged for being too enthusiastic.

That was the least of her troubles, though. There were all sorts of problematic things Disney had totally overlooked. The “windows” in the room, which looked out to “space,” had bright lights around them that couldn’t be turned off without turning off the whole window. For one important character concert, Nicholson was left staring at a pillar the entire time, as Disney had seemingly forgotten to check that everyone could see the stage regardless of seating position.

Not worth the money

Nicholson worked out that the price of the Galactic Starcruiser came out to $2 per person per minute, and that is 100% not worth it.

Nicholson couldn’t even do the promised choose-your-own-adventure story experience. All guests had an app they were supposed to use to communicate with the characters roaming the hotel (via AI) but Nicholson found that hers didn’t work. In fact, nothing seemed to work for her. Despite really wanting to follow her own path in the story, it seemed constantly locked off. Glitches abound.

Perhaps the lowest point depicted in the video is when Nicholson and the other Galactic Starcruiser guests visit Galaxy’s Edge, the Star Wars area at Disney World, and are given some storyline quests to do while there. They can scan the codes on boxes to progress the story—except, on that day there was heavy rainfall (the guests were granted umbrellas, but very poorly constructed ones), and because of the absurd way the app was set up, Nicholson ended up opening the wrong scanner the first time around and having to do the entire “quest” again. At that point I found myself thinking, “Jesus Christ, this poor woman just spent $6,000 to scan boxes in the rain.”

Proof that Disney isn’t actually in the business of making dreams come true.


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Author
Sarah Barrett
Sarah Barrett (she/her) is a freelance writer with The Mary Sue who has been working in journalism since 2014. She loves to write about movies, even the bad ones. (Especially the bad ones.) The Raimi Spider-Man trilogy and the Star Wars prequels changed her life in many interesting ways. She lives in one of the very, very few good parts of England.