Are you ready to start planning your own epic Star Wars story? Embark on the Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser, the first-of-it's-kind 2-night...
Are you ready to start planning your own epic Star Wars story? Embark on the Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser, the first-of-it’s-kind 2-night experience, where you become the hero. Our team had the opportunity to experience this revolutionary adventure firsthand and we are over the moon to share all the details and highlights of our stay. We’ll take a glance at its uniqueness and, why it’s such a great experience for a true Star Wars Fan. Are you ready to accept the mission? Read below to find out more about this immersive expedition.
Note: Reservations are almost sold out through the summer but they recently released availability for the fall season so if you’re interested in booking now is a great time. To begin the planning process, our team at Katie Bean Travels is here to assist and help you prepare for your departure date. Click here to book or call our office at (407)-636-2460
Let’s Have a Glimpse at Our Team’s First-Ever Exploration to a Galaxy Far, Far Away
Not familiar with the Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser? It is Disney’s newest flagship hotel, which opened in the spring of 2022. The Galactic Starcruiser is an entirely immersive and interactive-themed hotel set in the world of Star Wars and goes beyond any ordinary hotel experience. The best way to describe this experience is a thrilling combination of a hotel, a live-action show, an escape room, and themed dining with character interactions all in one. Perfect for the traveler that not only loves Star Wars but really is looking to explore and play the part.
The physical location is the backstage of Disney’s Hollywood Studios at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida. To be honest, the entry was very underwhelming (and even a little confusing). There was only one small sign and you can’t tell if you park in the cast member parking lot or make a right, which in the end was the way we went. We unloaded our bags, received our valet ticket, and went through security to board the Galactic Starcruiser at the Terminal. We boarded the simulator and before we knew it we were in a galaxy far, far away. We loved how we felt like we were transported into the actual movie set.
The entire ship is themed with sets, props, and costumes from the movies, themed food and drinks, and exclusive activities and missions. Guests are encouraged to dress up in their own costumes to transform themselves into characters to become completely in their role for their choose-your-story adventure. We noticed that half of the guests were sporting their galactic best while others were in normal clothes. We weren’t fully prepared for what was going to take place during our 2-night stay, so we didn’t have any outfits planned. Our take from the whole experience is that if you’re going to invest in this kind of trip, you may as well go all in. Get the costumes! The more immersed you are in the whole thing, the more you will enjoy it. It really is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to live out all of your childhood Star Wars dreams so why not dress the part?!
The hotel consists of 100 cabins and suites, all themed after iconic locations from the saga. We arrived on the ship at 2 PM which was early for our 4:00 PM check-in but lucky for us they took us right to our room. Every guest is given an exclusive white Magic Band which acts as your entry onto the ship, into your cabin, and into Star Wars Land at Hollywood Studios.
We were taken to our room and given a brief tour, then introduced to our very own robot through the screen. She was hilarious and it was the perfect way to get us into the whole experience. Later in the day, just before bed, she even sang us a lullaby!
The Standard Cabin, Grand Captain Suite, and Galaxy Class Suite were available as hotel accommodations on the Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser. We opted for the standard cabin.
Amenities in the Standard Cabin
The cabin was designed to accommodate four people with one queen bed, two bunk beds (each sleeping one adult), and a pull-down bed that also sleeps one more. The room was decorated with a mix of Star Wars and space-themed artwork.
We enjoyed seeing the planets, ships, and other various floating objects passing right outside the window! It really felt like we were looking out into space. It had a wet bar, mini-fridge, and a flat-screen TV with lots of Star Wars movies. The bathroom was also decorated with Star Wars artwork. We were pleasantly surprised by how well the room was laid out and how much space there was in the cabin. The bathroom had a nice shower and a small washbasin. There was no shortage of towels. It was nice to be able to go into the cabin, shower, and change, then come back out and relax in our room. We also liked that there were multiple electrical outlets in the room (there are only two outlets in the bathroom). We brought our laptops, so we were able to plug them into the two USB ports on the wall. The cabin’s furnishings were much nicer than we expected and the beds were very comfortable. We all slept so well.
Here is a sample of our itinerary to help you prep for your journey!
No Star Wars adventure would be complete without learning how to wield these legendary weapons, and as our first activity onboard the Halcyon, Lightsaber Training quickly became one of the highlights of our entire voyage.
The experience begins in an intimate training room on Deck 4, which holds about 16 guests. Our guide, Saja, started off with the basics – proper fighting stance, deep breathing, and mindfulness of “The Force” all around us.
Training takes place in three stages – first, each guest gets to try their hand at holding the saber and deflecting slow-moving laser blasts from the training pods upfront. The difficulty increased on the second round, where the waiting guests had the opportunity to deflect missed blasts with glowing shields. Once we had all mastered this skill, the third and final round involved a surprise that was every Star Wars fan’s dream – the lights around the room dimmed, mystical music began playing, and the voice of Yoda echoed around the room, encouraging each of us to work together and use the force to overcome our challenges, together as one.
Saja asked us all to gather around one of the smallest children in the room and support him as he tried the third challenge – deflecting laser blasts without a warning flash beforehand, using the Force to guide him. This was a surprisingly emotional moment and incredibly special for the child that gets selected – we all had goosebumps just watching! The final challenge was the most difficult and the glowing lightsabers, shields, and laser beams made for some very cool visual effects in the darkroom.
While we enjoyed the physical aspects of this training session, the real heart of the experience was our training guide, Saja. She felt like she had stepped right out of the movie and her energy and passion made each and every one of us feel like we were part of the Star Wars story. We were amazed at how quickly she adapted to the constant flow of questions from the children, never breaking character and going out of her way to make each child feel special (she even brought one little boy up to the front of the class so he could give us an inspirational speech about the Force!). All in all, both Star Wars fans and non-Star Wars fans alike will have a blast at this experience.
Our next scheduled activity aboard the Halcyon was to report for Bridge Training. The Bridge is located near the Atrium on Deck 6 and was a focal point throughout our journey.
Throughout Bridge Training, we learned how to operate the Halcyon and defend the ship against the First Order. Training simulations included Systems, Shields, Loaders, and Weapons where we learned to capture cargo, shield the ship from incoming hazards, repair damage, and fire upon targets. After each training exercise, guests rotate between stations to experience all four roles in training.
Progress throughout each training sequence is displayed on large screens throughout the Bridge and encourages friendly competition between all trainees. Training comes to an end with the help of a few friends from The Resistance paving the way to the next element of the storyline.
Be sure to pay close attention during Bridge Training, you never know when you may need to use your training.
A Day in Batuu
After our first night aboard the Halcyon, we took an excursion down to Batuu, located in Hollywood Studios’ Galaxy’s Edge. Since the physical location of the new hotel is located right behind Hollywood Studios, all it took for us to get to Batuu was a quick pathway to the entry point. Of course, we first had to take a quick “shuttle” through space to get on the planet 😉 Prior to our arrival, we were given an exclusive Halcyon passenger pin, allowing us special identification on Batuu. Greeted by refreshingly cold water bottles, we were soon off on our adventures!
Through the Play Disney App, we were able to engage in messages, missions, and special tools during our excursion to Batuu. Navigating through the Black Spire Outpost, we scanned for hidden messages, unlocked valuable trinkets and armor, and detected encoded systems. We were given Lightning Lane access to The Rise of the Resistance and Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run with the touch of our Halcyon Magic Bands. Helping the Resistance against the First Order, and assisting Hondo Ohnaka in retrieving precious coaxium, we truly felt we were in the Star Wars Universe.
From 8:30 am to 4:00 pm, we had unlimited “shuttle” access from Batuu and the Halcyon, allowing us freedom and flexibility to decide our schedule for the day. We had an Oga’s Cantina reservation during the day, which was the perfect pit stop to refresh for our adventures. Lunch was provided at Docking Bay 7, however, the line was too long for our liking, and we opted to return to the Halcyon for the buffet luncheon provided. All Halcyon passengers were called back to the starcruiser and had to arrive no later than 4:00 pm to return for our next set of missions.
While on the Halycon Starcruiser, all guests meet at the Crown of Corellia Dining Room for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Dinner has two seatings, one at 5:30 pm and another at 8 pm. We ate at 5:30 pm both evenings which gave us plenty of time to enjoy the other activities going on throughout the evening. The dining room is transformed into a table-service dinner with a special musical appearance by galactic superstar Gaya, on the first night. This is where guests are able to mingle and communicate with crew members and other guests onboard. Gaya was fantastic, she had a beautiful voice and at times everyone was able to get up and dance around. It was incredibly fun. On the second night, there was no entertainment in the dining room but the entire crew presented the Taste Around the Galaxy meal with dishes inspired by different planets at the same time so it still felt like somewhat of a show. All of the food items are included in the price of the stay. Although, alcoholic beverages are not included.
The hotel is staffed with a mix of cast members all dressed in Star Wars costumes, and they serve as the front desk clerks, concierge staff, and crew members, who are in serious role-play. As your journey unfolds, there are so many opportunities to have in-person interaction with new and familiar Star Wars Characters and we really felt that this was the highlight of the entire experience. The Play Disney Parks app was incredibly interactive. We took full advantage of this and had some help from the crew with several missions. We loved the accessibility of it all, being able to walk up to any character at any time and dive right into the action. At one point the ship captain was standing close by so we jokingly told her that if she needed any help we were all hers. Within minutes we were in a private room and given a special secret mission to pick something up upon arrival at Batuu. After working some magic on the giant data pad up on the wall nearby, she had us scan our magic Bands and we immediately began receiving messages through the Play Disney app regarding the mission. Moments later we found ourselves hiding Chewbacca from the Storm Troopers, it was like we were in the movie!
We had the best time onboard the Galactic Starcruiser. The food was fun and tasty although if you’re a true foodie it leaves much to be desired.. We were most impressed by the acting of the crew and cast members as they never broke character. Even our waitress in the bar who we felt very comfortable with, never broke from her role. We asked if she lived locally and she quickly responded with “Of course, on Batuu!”
Is the experience luxury? Not quite. We would compare the experience to a themed, immersive cruise. The meals, non-alcoholic drinks, coffee, and most experiences are included in the high price tag of the 2-night, 3-day stay, which starts at $6,000 for a 2-guest standard room. You’re not paying for luxury on this trip, you’re paying for the exclusivity and that was very real. If you’ve always wanted to go to lightsaber training, have a hands-on experience on the legendary Halcyon starcruiser, and live out your own Star Wars dream in the most immersive way, this vacation aboard the Star Wars: Starcruiser truly is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.