The first fully immersive Star Wars experience at Disney World will trap families inside a hotel with a bunch of cosplayers for two entire days. It’s either a dream come true for Star Wars fans, or a nightmare for the members of families who don’t want to live in a Star Wars-themed hotel for two days, during which time they never really get to leave. The long-anticipated Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser experience is coming, and it sounds… pretty weird? And the strangest thing about it is that it sounds like the vast majority of the ride will be spent indoors, in a fake spaceship at Disney World.
Even before COVID-19 made families uneasy about going inside with their kids for long periods of time, the whole appeal of going to a Disney park, in general, is to be outside. If you take a look at a sample itinerary for the Galatic Starcruiser experience, most of it will be spent well, on the Galatic Starcruiser, meaning, inside of a very expensive, very big Star Wars toy that is fused with a hotel and populated by Star Wars cosplayers who might prompt you to participate in some kind of “unexpected story moment” which, if you’ve ever been to a dinner theater, sounds very uncool.
— Walt Disney World (@WaltDisneyWorld) August 4, 2021
Although the Starcruiser will make “stops” at other outdoor Star Wars rides, when you break down what this attraction actually is, it’s simply a hotel made to look like a Starcruiser, which, presumably would ferry rich people in Star Wars.
On the official Disney page, the first FAQ reads: Is Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser a hotel? And the answer from Disney is: Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser is much more than a hotel—Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser is an entirely new vacation experience: a 2-night, immersive adventure where you choose your own path within an epic Star Wars story.
So yes, it is a hotel. And sometimes they let you out.
To be clear, we never have seen anything like this luxury “Starcruiser” in a Star Wars movie, at least not for any extended period of time. This makes the promised visits to the Bridge and the Engine Room kind of bizarre; those things are big deals in Star Trek, not Star Wars. On top of that, it seems like the vibe of this immersive Star Wars experience is to act like a rich person on a space vacation, kind of like those jerks from Canto Bight in The Last Jedi, which the movies taught us was bad. If someone was to create a real immersive Star Wars experience, wouldn’t the hotel be covered with sand, while you constantly get harassed by Stormtroopers to show some ID? Think of it: In the morning, you wake up in a tent in the middle of the desert, and then you have to go scavenge for food, just like Rey!
Do you know how many things you have to click through to find out how much this all costs? I’ll tell you, you have to click on like four things that are not obvious. Here’s the price breakdown:
Yes, Star Wars appeals to families, but this kind of immersive experience seems not only absurdly expensive but also, very misguided.
And, even if life is closer to “normal” in the spring of 2022, you really have to wonder if families want to spend three days and two nights indoors, with their actions dictated by Star Wars cosplayers. Obi-Wan Kenobi told us that the Force can dictate your actions, but also, obey your commands. It seems the same can be true for families too. But, unlike the egalitarian nature of the Force, this kind of adventure is only for the very rich. Luke was taught by Yoda to go outside and embrace nature. Maybe we should teach our kids the same.