A fascinating report from The Wrap shed some new light on Disney’s failed Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser experiment at Walt Disney World. The Wrap, with a lot of help from the always-great Len Testa, reported that the Galactic Starcruiser never made money. That’s not surprising, but learning that Disney is extensively surveying guests to see what worked may catch some by surprise.
Is there a future in store for the Starcruiser?
We discussed the Starcruiser’s failures extensively, and it sounds like our analysis matches that from The Wrap’s insiders. Via The Wrap:
Three individuals close to the project admitted that the experience never made money. That’s partly because there were two sets of characters on duty at all times — if one performer fell ill or broke a leg, there would be a understudy seamlessly taking center stage — and because Disney struggled to convey to the general public what, exactly, the Starcruiser was.
That falls in line with the assumption that Disney didn’t lower the price for the Galactic Starcruiser because they couldn’t lower the price. The experience was extremely expensive to operate and, according to The Wrap, never made any money. The failure to market and explain what the Galactic Starcruiser was didn’t attract the number of guests needed to keep everything running.
The failures of the Galactic Starcruiser were many. Most of those problems could have (and should have) been caught long before the experience opened to guests. That said, in many ways the experience was a huge success. And Disney wants to learn more about what worked.
The Wrap mentions some very detailed surveys Disney has sent to Galactic Starcruiser guests. The survey is much more detailed compared to regular Disney surveys, and asked guests questions that required long-form answers. That’s interesting news as Disney usually moves on quickly from projects when they close. It’s well reported that guest surveys about the Galactic Starcruiser were overwhelmingly positive prior to the closure, and Disney appears to be trying to figure out why.
Disney has been left in a bit of a strange place. They’ve closed the Galactic Starcruiser because it financially didn’t make any sense. But, the Galactic Starcruiser produced the most positive survey results ever at Walt Disney World. Disney needs to find out what worked so well at the Galactic Starcruiser and then, theoretically, they could blend those ideas into a more financially smart experience. Remember, Josh D’Amaro did say “something will happen” with the Galactic Starcruiser.
All of this makes it sound like the Galactic Starcruiser could have a new lease on life (in some capacity), but that’ll be a difficult task. The poor marketing and the closure of the Galactic Starcruiser mostly killed the perception of the experience. And, assuming the Galactic Starcruiser could slim down to a shorter, more affordable experience, Disney would have to ensure it still accomplished what the old version did so well.
Keep an eye on this space. Even if the Galactic Starcruiser doesn’t return in some way, shape, or form, Disney will take the lessons learned from happy guests and (hopefully) apply them elsewhere.