Disney World is pulling the plug on Star Wars Galactic Starcruiser

The two-night, immersive experience will offer its final voyage from Sept. 28 to Sept. 30

click to enlarge Galaxy Starcruiser is expected to run through Sept. 30, 2023. - Rendering via Lucasfilm/Walt Disney World
Rendering via Lucasfilm/Walt Disney World
Galaxy Starcruiser is expected to run through Sept. 30, 2023.
The Walt Disney Co. announced on Thursday that it's pulling the plug on a nearly $1 billion dollar expansion project in Lake Nona that had been expected to generate 2,000 jobs at the new Central Florida campus, but that's not the only surprise coming off the Disney chopping block today.

Walt Disney World's Star Wars Galactic Starcruiser experience will also be seeing its final days this fall, according to the company.

The Star Wars Galactic Starcruiser, a three-day and two-night immersive, "intergalactic" experience located near Disney's Hollywood Studios theme park, debuted in March 2022. But Walt Disney News Today reports that this announcement comes "after months of disappointing occupancy."

Last May, former CEO Bob Chapek, tossed aside by Disney executives in November with a $20 million severance package to boot, only had praise to offer for the Starcruiser, which  offers a two-night stay in a cabin or suite, and an opportunity to "live your Star Wars story" through immersive missions and activities, live entertainment, and a fictitious excursion to Batuu.

In their announcement, the company boasted these highlights of the Starcruiser vacation package, in its own way of softening the blow.

“Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser is one of our most creative projects ever and has been praised by our Guests and recognized for setting a new bar for innovation and immersive entertainment. ... We are so proud of all of the Cast Members and Imagineers who brought Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser to life and look forward to delivering an excellent experience for Guests during the remaining voyages over the coming months.”

The Starcruiser experience, priced at $1,209 per person per night, will run through Sept. 30, with the final voyage setting off Sept. 28. In its statement, the company said they plan to contact guests who booked a vacation package on or after those dates to discuss their options or "modify" their plans. They're also pausing new bookings until May 26.

Disney is in the process of cutting $5.5 billion in costs, and has been caught up in a political feud with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis over the state's "Parental Rights in Education Law," also known as "Don't Say Gay." Although a regular donor to DeSantis in the past, the company publicly came out against the 2022 law last year, which restricts classroom instruction on gender identity and sexual orientation in public schools, and which was just recently expanded.

Eric Clinton, president of the labor union Unite Here Local 362, which represents thousands of Disney World employees in the parks, told Orlando Weekly in a text message that the parks' unionized labor is unlikely to be affected, but that the unions will negotiate over any impacts on union membership. Roughly 45,000 parks employees are represented by a coalition of labor unions at Disney, known as the Service Trades Council Union.

This is a developing story.

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About The Author

McKenna Schueler

News reporter for Orlando Weekly, covering general news, local government, labor, housing, and other social and economic justice issues. Previously worked as a news anchor for WMNF in Tampa and a freelance journalist with works published in In These Times, Strikewave, Creative Loafing Tampa Bay, and Facing South...
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