Walt Disney World Resort is known for providing cutting-edge, top-of-the-line rides, entertainment, food, and accommodations. The Resort’s innovation in hospitality is one of the reasons that Guests return year after year to spend their valuable vacation time. However, sometimes Disney misses the mark and misjudges what their customer base really wants.
The Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser hotel may be one of the biggest missteps the Disney Parks have seen in the past few decades. Josh D’Amaro, the Chairperson of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, has addressed the Galactic Starcruiser’s failings and the impact that its closing will have on the company financially.
Disney ‘Sunsets’ the Galactic Starcruiser
Last week, many fans were saddened, but not completely surprised, to hear that the Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser would be completing its final voyage on September 30, 2023. The much-anticipated hotel was a boutique experience for Guests who wanted a premium, immersive Star Wars adventure. The project is wildly inventive, and it is truly an entirely new experience for fans to immerse themselves in the Star Wars universe.
The Star Wars Galactic Starcruiser was an intimate experience where a small number of Guests would embark on a two-night voyage aboard the starship Halcyon. During their travels, Guests would get to interact with various characters from the Star Wars universe, take part in lightsaber training, and enjoy various other activities.
Unfortunately, the Starcruiser did not perform as well as Disney had hoped. Most Guests were turned away by the shocking $2,500 per night price point. After less than two years, the Starcruiser will be retiring earlier than hoped.
Josh D’Amaro Speaks on the Starcruiser
Earlier today, May 22, 2023, Disney Parks Chairman Josh D’Amaro did a Q&A at the JP Morgan Global Technology, Media, and Communications Conference. During his interview, D’Amaro addresses the closing of the Starcruiser, which he referred to as “a pretty stunning asset.”
D’Amaro explained that Disney is very proud of how the Starcruiser turned out and is honored that Guests gave it such incredibly high ratings. Unfortunately, the Starcruiser did not perform as well as hoped, which left Disney with no choice but to “sunset” the experience.
D’Amaro goes on to explain how this with financially affect the company saying;
“I will not, I don’t think we’ve talked about this before, but in both Q3 and Q4, as we accelerate depreciation on that Starcruiser, we should expect about $100-$150 million in accelerated depreciation.”
About Starcruiser: "It didn't perform exactly how we wanted it to perform, so we decided to sunset it this September," Josh D'Amaro said on Monday. "In both Q3 and Q4 … we should expect about $100-$150 million in accelerated depreciation." pic.twitter.com/tcfKmUzcaC
— Scott Gustin (@ScottGustin) May 22, 2023
While it isn’t totally clear if he means $100-$150 million per quarter or total, that is a large number for Disney to lose. The Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser will be a massive asset to loose, and it’s failings may mean we wont see anther experience like it for a while.