Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser Cost Way More to Close Than Expected

Galactic Starcruiser closure costs
Credit: Disney

Walt Disney World’s ambitious endeavor, the Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser hotel, is set to close its doors in September, marking a costly setback for the entertainment giant. Initially expected to cost around $150 million to shutter, the reality now looms much higher. Let’s dive into the latest information about the costs of dismantling this failed experiment.

fan reviews galactic starcruiser closing

Credit: Disney

Galactic Starcruiser Closure Costs

According to the recent Q3 2023 earnings call, the hit taken by Disney over the Galactic Starcruiser closing will be way worse than anticipated. It now sits at a staggering $250 million in “accelerated depreciation,” according to interim CFO Kevin Lansberry. Disney has listed the closure as one of the reasons for lower profit performances from Walt Disney World.

The Galactic Starcruiser hotel, which launched in March 2022, promised Guests a unique and immersive two-night Star Wars experience. However, the venture failed to capture the anticipated audience, prompting Disney to decide to cease operations.

“While we’re proud of what we created, it simply didn’t resonate with our Guests in the way we had hoped,” Disney Parks Chairman Josh D’Amaro acknowledged during the initial annoucement.

Galactic Starcruiser

Credit: Disney

It’s So Much Worse

The project was a significant investment for Disney, with costs exceeding $350 million (though some outlets claim $1 billion). The lavish hotel aimed to transport Guests into the heart of the Star Wars universe, offering interactions with thematic characters and a range of unique activities. But its ridiculously steep price point proved to be problematic, and the venue struggled to attract a wider audience outside of rich Star Wars fans. It has not been established what the company plans to do with the building, and CEO Bob Iger has reportedly rejected multiple ideas for it.

Beyond pricing, the Galactic Starcruiser faced stiff competition from Disney World’s other well-established and more affordable hotels and attractions. With Guests already shelling out increasing costs for Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Animal Kingdom, and Hollywood Studios, not many had the funds to tackle this experience. Disney has been criticized harshly lately for pricing out its audience, and the Galactic Starcruiser has done it no favors.

Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser

Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser / Credit: Disney

A Post-Pandemic Galaxy Far, Far Away…

The closure of the high-profile hotel shows a changing perspective in the post-pandemic theme park industry. In an era marked by the rise of streaming services and video games, theme parks must constantly innovate to remain compelling destinations. Despite its audacious attempt to offer a unique adventure, the Galactic Starcruiser’s failure highlights the challenges of standing out in an increasingly competitive landscape where visitors more harshly justify their expenses.

Disney’s $250 million setback for the Galactic Starcruiser closure costs may seem substantial, yet this strategic move allows the company to refocus its efforts and resources on more lucrative ventures. While the Galactic Starcruiser’s journey may end, Guests can still explore the Star Wars world by visiting Galaxy’s Edge at Hollywood Studios.

About Michael Stoyanoff

Michael is a Disney fan with an entertainment background and passion for writing. Living in Orlando, he has been around the theme parks for over a decade. In his free time he enjoys running, playing video games, and traveling the world. He also loves hanging out with his dog, Mr. Pippers the Pug.

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