Disney Says the Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser Was “Difficult” to Explain to the Public

Disney is once again talking about what went wrong with the Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser. The innovative experience brought guests into their own two-night adventure, but the concept failed after less than two years and closed in September 2023.

In an interview with CNBC, Josh D’Amaro, Chairman of Disney Parks and Experiences, briefly discussed the problems the Galactic Starcruiser faced during its brief run.

“This is something that had never been done before. It was difficult to even explain to the public, and I think it was incredibly brave for us to move into this space. … And this, to me, says Imagineering is still at its best today.”

Josh D’Amaro

We think D’Amaro is accurate with his comments, but he’s not telling the full story. Objectively, Disney’s marketing failed to explain what the Galactic Starcruiser was and how it differed from a themed hotel. We talked about what went wrong with the Galactic Starcruiser a lot, and explaining the concept was just one portion of the problem.

The cost to experience the Galactic Starcruiser was a massive reason why guests didn’t arrive in droves. Remember these prices?

Prices on the Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser.

Even guests who fully understood the concept behind the Galactic Starcruiser had a hard time understanding (and justifying) the price. The pool of potential guests who wanted to experience the Galactic Starcruiser and were willing to pay these prices was way too small to be sustainable.

Disney didn’t lower the prices for guests because they couldn’t. The Galactic Starcruiser cost a lot to operate. The experience counted on talented cast members and a lot of technology to work, which wasn’t cheap. We’re not knocking the Galactic Starcruiser experience itself (it ranked extremely well in surveys), but we will question how Disney didn’t run the numbers before opening and recognize an obvious problem.

D’Amaro went on to say the Galactic Starcruiser was a learning experience.

“Those learnings are being employed on the next experiences, which we haven’t even announced yet.”

Josh D’Amaro

D’Amaro didn’t touch on what those next experiences will be, or what’s in store for the building where the Galactic Starcruiser operated just outside of Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Previously, D’Amaro said “something will happen” with the Galactic Starcruiser space, but no specifics have ever been given.

We’ll continue to applaud anytime Disney tries something new that’s outside the norm. Innovation is critical. The Galactic Starcruiser had some truly great ideas, and we hope the lessons D’Amaro mentions involves utilizing some of those great ideas across other projects.

Keep visiting NotesFromNeverland.com for the latest Disney news and information.

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David is a Disney travel expert who created Notes from Neverland in 2018 after visiting Disney theme parks countless times. Previously, David spent way too much time writing about sports, and was featured in Sports Illustrated, MSN, Yahoo!, and in many other publications. Learn more or contact us.

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