You’ve traveled the world — this world, at least.
But unless you’re related to any alien life forms, you’ve likely never made quite the journey awaiting at Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser at Walt Disney World.
The much-anticipated and immersive two-night experience opens March 1, with guests taken “beyond anything Disney has ever created before.”
If you’ve been to Hollywood Studios, imagine Galaxy’s Edge offerings and Star Tours all rolled up into one video game and you’re part of it, as one of the stars. With holograms. And characters you “know” but haven’t met in real life. And warning alerts. And … caution. Sorta-spoiler alerts on the intergalactic getaway ahead.
Let go and get galactic-ized
Choices abound from the time you arrive at the Galactic Starcruiser Terminal and make your way to the launch pod to the Halcyon Starcruiser. What you choose determines your “stay.”
No looking out the “windows” for palm trees, as once that pod docks, and the airlock opens to a sweeping atrium and the scenes where much action will occur, you’re … you know the drill. In a galaxy far, far away. (Don’t pack a suit. No pool.)
Guests build a Halcyon stay the way they want: Totally throw yourself into a character and role-playing, learning to use the weapons systems on the bridge, joining the Resistance, watching out for stormtroopers and Lieutenant Croy of the First Order. Or be an onlooker checking out flying chunks of asteroids. Without spilling too much, there are emergencies. And alert warnings. And lots of moving around. Wear comfortable shoes.
If you have the Disney Parks Play app, use it to help with scheduling. If you don’t have it, it’s handy and full of trivia. Those who like to arrive dressed for the part can find new merch at the Star Wars Galactic Starcruiser Chandrila Collection online before they check in.
Don’t miss just being there
Take photos, lots of them, and shoot video. Fire away. But don’t do it to the exclusion of actually experiencing what you’re part of on this deliciously detail-filled and sensory-rich adventure. Maybe someone in your party isn’t as into one of the offerings as you are, and they can be the photo wingperson.
In other words, don’t miss out on the actual hands-on fun of operating the defense mechanism of the ship with Captain Keevan at the helm. Or learning to wield a lightsaber …
Yes. Do the lightsaber training
Who wouldn’t like to swing a energy-charged lightsaber at the enemy once in a while? You’ll have plenty of chances to yield that plasma blade in the darkened training room.
As the instructor said to one guest who called it a workout: Yes, it’s a workout. That’s why they call it training.
Ask for the back stories
The Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser narrative, unfolding in an immersive theater experience, takes place between “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” and “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.” The storyline interacts with and complements Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at next-door-neighbor Hollywood Studios.
The crew is invested in the experience. They’ll share their names, where they’re from, how long they’ve been aboard the 275-year-old Halcyon and answer all your questions. The detail and makeup on Rodians, Togrutas, and Twi’leks are eye-popping, and do a close-up chat with gorgeous singer Gaya, the Twi’lek superstar — you be you and whatever color you want to be with envy.
More:Is Disney’s Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser experience worth the cost? Here’s what you get.
Learn the lingo
From the moment you arrive, you’ll hear a lot of things you might not understand: Ask questions. This team is as accommodating as they come. And learn the language: A bathroom is a “refresher.” The “Lady H” is the Halcyon. “Muster” is roll call. At the Sublight Lounge, sip specialty cocktails like a Mandalorian sling (aka Manhattan), a Pod Chaser (an old-fashioned). Non-alcoholic drinks are on the menu, too, or ask about a “beverage from your home world.”
And for the love of Chewbacca, do not tell anyone you’re staying at a hotel — that’s practically galactically gauche. This is an intergalactic voyage.
Rooms with a teleporter view
There are 100 cabins and suites on this ship: standard cabin, Galaxy Class Suite, and Grand Captain Suite.
Think cruise ship size: The standard rooms aren’t big. They can sleep four to five — there’s a trundle bed in that wall. There’s a “home planet” TV, a window on “space” scenes and a mini-fridge, and you can chat with the interactive communications system’s response host. Other than that, as on that cruise, you’re likely not going to be staying in there for the square footage anyway. And if you’re feeling claustrophobic, there’s a “climate simulator” room. With rocks. Real ones.
Do Batuu, too
On the second day, if travelers choose, there’s a trip to planet Batuu (or as it’s commonly known at Hollywood Studios, Galaxy’s Edge).There’ll be a “special transport shuttle” to Batuu, with missions based on the characters aboard the starcruiser and one-time entry to Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance and Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run. There also might be “ramifications” on your return, depending on who you meet along the way.
Not economy, but a heckuva memory-maker
No doubt: This isn’t a cheap getaway. Two nights, two guests: $4,809, with breakfasts, lunches and dinners included. The price per person goes down the more guests are in your party. It’s from $4,809 to $5,999 for most weeknights until Sept. 17.
And if no one in the party is a “Star Wars” fan, the appeal may be limited by more than just the cost.
But many potential guests are looking at it as a once-in-a-lifetime experience they want to share with family and friends.
Samantha Wiener of Melbourne will be boarding in July with her husband, their two children and three other family members.
“It was my parents’ idea to book — we unsuccessfully tried booking the morning reservations opened,” she said. “We tried a couple of weeks later and were able to get it … we look at it as an experience three generations may enjoy together.”
Contact Kennerly at 321-242-3692 or [email protected] Twitter: @bybrittkennerly Facebook: /bybrittkennerly.
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