Barely open a year, Disney’s $5,000 Star Wars hotel slashes prices

Less than a year after opening to great fanfare, Disney World’s $5,000-a-stay Star Wars hotel is slashing rates in an attempt to increase bookings.

The Galactic Starcruiser, which opened on March 1, 2022, only has 100 rooms, but has consistently struggled to sell out. Disney billed the pricey hotel as an immersive journey where guests became part of the Star Wars story, interacting with costumed actors and being sent on missions. The cheapest two-night stays were initially priced at about $5,000 per couple and closer to $6,000 for a family of four; guests are required to book exactly two nights, as the storyline of the Starcruiser spans two days.

But from the start, many guests felt the experience seemed cheap for the sky-high prices and lofty expectations set by Disney. The Starcruiser is a luxury cruise ship in space, which means guest rooms are tiny and there are no windows to the outside world; some referred to the hotel as a “windowless bunker.” Others felt full-price cocktails in the hotel’s only bar, the lack of a pool and other fitness amenities standard in luxury hotels and blocked views of the dinner show were surprising given the cost.

Now, Disney is slashing rates to drum up more interest. Back in November, the company announced that discounts of up to 30% were being made available to Disney Vacation Club members. DVC, Disney’s timeshare program, regularly gets access to exclusive deals. But 30% off is a fairly rare sight for Disney’s hotel offerings.

Character Gaya performs as the first passengers experience the Galactic Starcruiser.

Allen J. Schaben/Los Angeles Times via Getty Imag

This month, Disney also announced it’s offering its first-ever Galactic Starcruiser discount to non-DVC members. Guests with a reservation for the Starcruiser can get a discount of up to $700 if they also book accommodations before or after at another participating Disney World hotel. The biggest discounts — $350 per night — are for packaging a Starcruiser stay with additional nights at the Beach Club, Grand Floridian or Yacht Club resorts. The offer is valid for stays between February 5 and September 30, although there are some blackout dates.

Considering Disney may have found there’s a limit on how many Star Wars fans can afford to shell out many thousands of dollars for a two-night stay — not to mention the cost of flights, park tickets and incidentals — it’s not clear what will become of the Galactic Starcruiser in the years to come. Fans have long suggested Disney turn the experience into a regular hotel with fewer interactive elements but cheaper rates.

As of Sunday, only Presidents’ Day weekend is fully booked until mid-May.

A First Order loyalist takes control of the ship from captain Riyola Keevan, right center, at the ship’s bridge as the first passengers experience the two-day Walt Disney World Star Wars Galactic Starcruiser.

Allen J. Schaben/Los Angeles Times via Getty Imag