On March 1st, 2022, Disney opened a new hotel titled Galactic Star Cruiser. This Star Wars-themed hotel was branded as its own attraction and brought characters, ideas, and themes from every Star Wars era. As it turns out, Galactic Star Cruiser wasn’t the attraction Disney had hoped it would be. As a result, Disney will be closing the hotel permanently next month. The final dates will be September 28th-30th.
But what drove this extremely wealthy corporation to permanently close this hotel? As previously mentioned, The Galactic Star Cruiser was branded as its own destination, and for good reason! Just a short two-night stay was at the hefty cost of $5,000, an exceptionally high price no matter where you go in the world. Many families pay at least that much or more for a whole week at Disney World. Therefore, spending that much for only a weekend where you’re limited to one hotel just wasn’t very appealing to the common Disney tourist. Business analyst Walt Hickey additionally recorded that Disney took a 250 million dollar hit in accelerated depreciation due to the Star Cruiser, which is only a testament to how expensive this project was from the start.
Roughly a month ago, Bob Iger spoke during an interview on Disney’s most recent cinematic and streaming releases. He presented himself as aware of both Disney’s latest successes and failures. Iger also went as far as saying he didn’t believe that Disney’s entertainment was the best that it has been in previous years. In order to save money on production, Iger explained that spending and making less on production was part of their “Cost containment initiative.” Looking at the massive amounts of lost money, closing Star Cruiser may very well be part of that same initiative.
Knowing what Disney lost in this endeavor, it’s entirely possible they may want to try and rebuild an entirely immersive experience all over again. Not only will Disney want to profit after the Star Cruiser failure, but they also have an endless supply of media to do it with. This is one of the many lucrative franchises owned by this absolute entertainment conglomerate. After the release of Way of the Water, Disney may want to take another chance with the Avatar Universe. Flight of Passage, a virtual, immersive experience, is one of Animal Kingdom’s most popular attractions, with people waiting hours in line. Now that Disney has a mistake to learn from, It could open up room to grow and build a successful attraction and immersive experience without breaking its back financially.