First photos and impressions from Disney’s ‘Star Wars’ style hotel, where everyone becomes a hero of the space saga
A galaxy far, far away can be much closer – for $5,000.
On March 1, 2022, the Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser Hotel will open at the Walt Disney World Recreation Center, offering guests to become a Star Wars character and immerse themselves in one of the stories that took place “long, long ago in a galaxy far, far away.” Authors of several foreign editions visited the hotel before its opening and shared their impressions. We have selected the most important from the materials.
After guests arrive at the hotel, they are immediately involved in a role-playing game in the “Star Wars” universe, which lasts for two days. The first thing the guests do is to get to the spaceport, from where they will be taken by a transportation capsule directly to the Halcyon battle cruiser.
Along the way, the guests must decide what role they will play in their upcoming voyage. The guests must think of a backstory and choose whether they will be a supporter of the rebels or the First Order or an outlaw who hasn’t decided on a side yet. Data about themselves must be entered into a special app that tracks the character’s progress on tasks, rank among other visitors, and relationships with crew members.
When guests arrive on the starship, they find themselves in a vast lobby where hotel employees, dressed as members of the ship’s crew, bring them up to date on the latest developments. A columnist for The Verge revealed that he immediately got to know several of the characters. Each of them told him their backstory about how they got on the starship and offered to complete the mission.
As I stepped out of the transport capsule, I immediately met a visiting galactic pop star Gaia, her manager Wright Kole, an aspiring musician Sandro Alimander, who, like me, was going on his first space flight, and the ship’s captain Riyola Kiwan.
According to the journalist, such activity confused him at first, and it took him a few minutes to decide how he would fit into this role-playing game. However, he got the hang of it pretty quickly, thanks in part to the help from the actors.
All of the members of the ship play important roles in the story and there are quests associated with them, among other things. According to the author of The Wrap, by the end of the journey, you can become very fond of these characters, just as much as the popular heroes of the saga, whom, however, you will also meet in the hotel.
All reviewers praised the way the actors played their characters. For example, one of the characters, a Rhodian named Wanni, understands English in the story, but she only speaks Huttish. The girl during the four hours that the journalists spent in the hotel, spectacularly spoke in an unfamiliar language and amusingly tried to explain herself in sign language.
During their stay at the hotel, each guest participates in a series of quests with a full-fledged story that differs depending on the role chosen. For example, if you become part of the Resistance squad, in order to win one of the missions you must prevent members of the First Order, who are played by other guests, from taking over the ship.
Many quests in the Galactic Starcruiser Hotel are non-linear and proceed differently depending on what choices the player has made before and what crew members he prefers to communicate with.
Do you want to join Lieutenant Harman Croy and help him destroy the Resistance forces aboard the ship? Or help junior mechanic Sammy sneak stolen First Order blueprints aboard? The choice is yours. The decisions you make will directly affect the development of the story.
During the quests, hotel guests engage in a variety of activities at will. For example, you can sit right at the control panel of the cruiser and help the team to deal with enemy ships. Or practice lightsaber combat under the guidance of a follower of the Force, which most journalists called the most exciting activity. The swords look and feel very realistic, including the tactile response.
For those who are tired of the many events, however, the bar is always open, where you can play board games with other guests and listen to live performances by “alien” artists.
The hotel also hosts collaborative events in which all guests participate, regardless of their chosen role. In addition, in the evenings the guests get together and discuss what happened during the day. According to the journalists, thanks to it, it is possible to feel the story and learn more about everything that happened on the starship.
At the end of the second day, all the guests gather together in the atrium to watch the final scene. According to one of the many storylines, Rey Skywalker arrives on the cruiser to fight Kylo Ren. All the reporters were left extremely impressed with how spectacularly the organizers staged this fight.
Rey fights with a “real” lightsaber, and it looks incredible. There are many impressive effects used during the battle, such as Kylo Ren grabbing Rey with the Force and pulling her up against him. There are also funny moments, like when Ren uses the Force to unscrew a huge chandelier that starts swinging right over the guests. All the while, the stormtroopers are firing their blasters and sparks are flying from the places they hit.
Reviewers loved that the final battle features not only the famous “Star Wars” characters, but also the members of the ship they’ve managed to become friends with over the course of two days. In the finale, the forces of good defeat Kylo Ren, and as reporters write, the guests really feel like they took a direct part in it. The two-day stay ends with a salute to the music of composer John Williams.
Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser will open March 1. The cost per night is about $2,500. Journalists conclude that for Star Wars fans who can afford the expense, two nights at the hotel will be an unforgettable adventure.