If I could, here’s why I’d happily spend $5,000+ at Disney’s new Star Wars hotel
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My love affair with the Star Wars universe began in May 1977.
I was living on a military base in Washington, D.C. Most bases have their own movie theaters, where we always got films about a month after they came out. But because there was so much buzz about the original Star Wars movie at my high school, I decided to do something rare: Pay to go to a regular movie theater on opening day.
The movie (now known as “Episode IV: A New Hope”) was amazing. I took in the tie-fighters, the Jedi, the Force, the Empire, the special effects that brought it to life and down the rabbit hole (or Sarlacc pit) I went.
In the decades since that fateful night in 1977, I’ve been that crazy person who has spent weekends watching all nine Star Wars films in order. (For the record, I used to go in order of release date, but now go from Episode 1 – Episode IX.) And because I’m “that person,” I’ve also watched all the origin movies and the final Skywalker series ad nauseam.
Given that background, it’s probably not surprising that I have been shaking in my rebel alliance boots with excitement since Walt Disney World announced plans for a “Star Wars hotel.”
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We now know the Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser hotel is more than a place to sleep, it’s a two-night immersive experience. Bookings are rolling out in the coming days, with a grand opening set for March 1, 2022.
The problem? There are only 100 cabins and suites starting at $1,209 per guest, per night.
An update: Opening day (March 1) pricing for 2 adults is currently priced at $5200ish for a standard cabin. The sample rate on the website, which was based on September rates, shows $4800. So it seems sample rates (so far) are pretty consistent with actual quotes. https://t.co/AFZZfelgDM
— Scott Gustin (@ScottGustin) October 5, 2021
As much as I love the story, characters and, of course, the films, that’s a little too rich for my blood.
But if I had won Monday night’s $699.8 million Powerball jackpot instead of that lucky person in California, I would be all in — with a group including my kid and eight of my closest friends.
Here are nine reasons why I’d 100% spend the cash if I could to be transported to a galaxy far, far away.
It’s an all-in experience
Who wouldn’t want to have any kind of bespoke experience — but especially a Star Wars one?
That experience starts at the Walt Disney World Resort terminal, where you board a launch pod and rendezvous with the Halcyon starcruiser. Talk about starting out with a bang. You’ll also take transport to the planet of Batuu, which is part of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. That sort of all-in-one experience and immersion doesn’t end until you “land” back on earth three days later.
You’re in the action
What many of us missed during the pandemic were experiences. And this is set to be an experience.
As soon as you board the Halcyon starcruiser, the action begins — and you are in it. You can decide your own Star Wars story, choosing which path to take.
Or to quote Obi-Wan Kenobi: “You’ve taken your first step into a larger world.” You can be the hero or villain of your story, or you can just observe. But I’m not shelling out all this fictitious money just to observe, so let the games begin. I’m in it to win it.
In 1977, Obi-Wan Kenobi introduced us to the lightsaber, when he described it as “the weapon of a Jedi Knight. Not as clumsy or as random as a blaster. An elegant weapon … for a more civilized age.”
After seeing that elegant weapon, I admit I was that geeky teen who bought the plastic lightsaber made by Kenner Toys.
It was a glorified large flashlight with all whooshing sound effects provided by yours truly, but trust me when I say it was really cool at the time. But after seeing a teaser video of what the lightsabers are like on board — they look real. Like, really real. I have little doubt that the lightsaber training offered in the Disney Star Wars experience is light years ahead of me playing with my inadequate toy, and 1977 me wants that experience.
The costumes and cosplay
Of course, Halloween ’77 was awash in Star Wars costumes. My then-best friend had hair long enough to wear the Princess Leia cinnamon bun hairstyle and I’m still a little jealous. Disney’s new Galactic Starcruiser experience is going to be awash with folks dressed in their Empire best.
I’m sure ShopDisney will be fully stocked with Star Wars outfits by the time the first hotel guests arrive. I’d jump at the chance to wear the Darth Vader costume — complete with the breathing apparatus! And don’t forget your formal Star Wars garb, since your adventure ends with a gala celebration.
Be on the bridge
Before there was Star Wars, there was Star Trek.
The idea of being on the bridge with Lt. Uhuru (forget Capt. Kirk) was the original dream, but then Star Wars took the bridge to the next level. Get hands-on experience learning how the bridge works, including navigation, power, defense and other critical systems, as part of your Starcruiser experience. I want that experience. It’s the melding of my passions of transportation and Star Wars.
Help iconic characters
After decades of having to sit doing nothing while hearing Princess Leia plead for help, you could actually be the one to respond to characters and make a difference while writing your own Star Wars story aboard the Halcyon. Yes, please.
A space view
Upon arriving in your cabin, you get that same cool view out into space that was featured in so many of the Star Wars movies (and now in Epcot’s new Space 220 restaurant).
And since Disney and Industrial Lights and Magic (George Lucas’ motion picture special effects company) are involved, you know it will both look and feel real. How can you top your own Star Wars-themed cabin in space?
Recreate the iconic bar scene
I wasn’t old enough to drink when the original Star Wars came out, but I wanted to be at the Mos Eisley Cantina with Luke Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Han Solo and that do-do-do-do-do-do-doooo music so badly. And now I can basically do just that, thanks to the Halcyon Starcruiser’s version of an intergalactic hive of scum and villainy, the Sublight Lounge.
Forget about chicken nuggets and burgers in space.
Chef Strono “Cookie” Tuggs will offer “dishes crafted with ingredients from across the galaxy” from his mobile kitchen, Docking Bay 7 Food and Cargo. I’d definitely shell out extra Imperial Credits to enjoy dinner at the Captain’s Table in the center of the Crown of Corellia Dining Room.
TPG sister site Gamespot (both are owned by parent company Red Ventures) even came up with this listicle, “From Blue Milk to Roast Porg: 19 Food and Drinks from the Star Wars Movies, Ranked.”
Here’s hoping some of these dishes show up on the Halcyon. I’m ready.
I’m a parent to a kid a mere two years away from college, so given the $5,000+ starting price for this “space journey,” this trip isn’t happening for me anytime soon without that winning Powerball ticket.
But for those of you who have $5,000 to $10,000 to blow on this uber-cool experience, I hope I’ve shown you possibilities for how to craft your own voyage aboard the Halcyon Starcruiser – and why it looks to be worth it if you have the cash to spare.
Remember: The Force will be with you. Always.
Featured photo courtesy of Disney Parks/David Roark, photographer.
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